Censorship and Technology
Should we censor ourselves because a country like China doesnâ€™t want its citizens to hear nasty words like â€œfreedomâ€? and â€œdemocracy?â€? BetaNews reports today that: â€œFollowing the lead of competitors Yahoo and Google, Microsoft has blocked the use of words such as â€˜democracyâ€™ and â€˜human rightsâ€™ in some of its services for Chinese users – including its Spaces blogs. The move is likely to appease the Chinese government, which has strongly urged Web sites to self-censor themselves.â€? Should we “cave” to such requests? In a word, â€œNo!â€? We shouldnâ€™t refrain from saying exactly what we think. That is the beauty of the Internet, and blogging, specificallyâ€¦ if you donâ€™t like what I say, you can comment, or you can write your own blogâ€¦ but such â€œominousâ€? concepts as freedom will still get through to Chinese readers even if the â€˜net at large does try to appease Chinaâ€™s oppressive government. Freedom is like a virusâ€¦ it is communicable, and it spreads!
We should continue to say what we think, be free to speak our minds, and engage in critical thinking! â€œBig Brother,â€? whether in China, or any other country, has no right to force “his” thoughts on the citizenry. I have found technology to be a force for freedom, and freedom of expression. The Internet, and its related technologies certainly is! And, by quickly, and efficiently, disseminating information, I believe it will continue to â€œspreadâ€? freedom of thoughtâ€¦ even if some try and use censorship as the â€œcureâ€? to it!
So, come on American corporationsâ€¦ stay on the side of freedomâ€¦ donâ€™t take a stand against it!