Censorship and Technology

Should we censor ourselves because a country like China doesn’t want its citizens to hear nasty words like “freedomâ€? and “democracy?â€? BetaNews reports today that: “Following the lead of competitors Yahoo and Google, Microsoft has blocked the use of words such as ‘democracy’ and ‘human rights’ 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, “No!â€? We shouldn’t refrain from saying exactly what we think. That is the beauty of the Internet, and blogging, specifically… if you don’t like what I say, you can comment, or you can write your own blog… but such “ominousâ€? concepts as freedom will still get through to Chinese readers even if the ‘net at large does try to appease China’s oppressive government. Freedom is like a virus… 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! “Big 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 “spreadâ€? freedom of thought… even if some try and use censorship as the “cureâ€? to it!

So, come on American corporations… stay on the side of freedom… don’t take a stand against it!

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