15 June, 2005

prohibited words

I stole the below character chart from Imagethief who, in response to Microsoft’s decision to ban certain words from its Chinese blogging/journal site, writes:

Now, I may not be paying attention, but I am aware of no Chinese regulations or even “norms” (whatever that means) banning the words “freedom”, “democracy” and “human rights” in general discourse. I am aware of plenty of Chinese regulations concerning how and in what context those words are used, but that is different than banning the words themselves. With the words filtered, people are denied even the dubious privilege of self-censorship, something most Chinese are reasonably good at. Also, it presumes, from the point of view of the Chinese state, that there are absolutely no benign uses of any of these words. Example: the freedom to use whatever words you want in a blog post. MSN bloggers lose even the right to defend China on these issues, should they wish to.
I find the censoring of general words like “freedom” and “democracy” even more offensive than the general monitoring and blocking of websites by Chinese authorities. It is particularly galling when implemented as a matter of choice by an American corporation. This is a true expression of Orwellian thought control. Not only can’t you use these words in a our patrons might deem inappropriate, Microsoft is saying in its role as enforcer for the Chinese State, but you are unworthy of the very concepts themselves.
Therefore, as a public service, I would like to restore the words that MSN China has stolen from its bloggers.

click to enlarge

by @ 3:10 pm. Filed under Blogs, China, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia, Media, Censorship

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