bbc news | technology | micro$oft censors chinese blogs
i have mixed feelings on the story behind this article. basically the article says that in order to do business with china micro$oft has given in and agreed to block blogs that have “banned expression” within them. micro$oft says this is not a statement of the company’s politics, rather they follow the laws of whatever company they operate in and this censorship it is just the price of doing business in china. so micro$oft has banned blog entries that use words like “freedom,” “democracy,” and “human rights.” yahoo has done the same thing.
my mixed feelings come from the fact that i do want companies to operate within the law. yet, my heart cries out that microsoft (and yahoo) should say that if this is the cost of doing business in china then they won’t do business in china. the money simply can’t be worth the cost.
one of the reader comments on the article says:
As all companies, Microsoft is at making money and in the modern world, ethics is not good for business, which is sad but you can see it almost anywhere if you have a look at the world.
i simply can’t agree. companies are not amoral entities. they are composed of people, people who have ethical standards, and thus those companies have to operate within the ethical standards of those who compose their numbers. even in their pursuit of “the almighty dollar” our businesses still have to operate within the ethics of their people. otherwise we are all doomed.