Glenn Reynolds points at this article in Wired News. Even "Brother" Scoble of
the Death Star Microsoft is admitting he was wrong – succumbing to pressure from those closest to him. From the Wired News piece:
In a statement, lead MSN product manager Brooke Richardson said, "MSN abides by the laws, regulations and norms of each country in which it operates. The content posted on member spaces is the responsibility of individuals who are required to abide by MSN’s code of conduct."
Mao dismisses that statement as disingenuous. The company, he says, is going above and beyond official censorship practices, which deal decisively with speech critical of the ruling communist government, but don’t outright ban words like "freedom."
"They could try to reach a balance, so the users will understand, but the government won’t try to make trouble for the business," says Mao. "Instead, they’re just trying to flatter the government."
How about Microsoft boarding the Cluetrain and just saying, "Listen, we’re all confused as to how to interact with the Chinese government – we don’t really know what to do and we screwed up this time. We won’t do it again…or at least we’ll try not to."