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Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Covering their behinds

Corporates are discovering the wonders of blogging and offering readers insights into the culture of multinationals. Richard Giles, an account manager for Sun Microsystems Australia in Perth, says that, "Microsoft is looked at as being evil, and very closed and not very innovative", but corporate blogs can change the perception, providing a human side to long thought-of characterless and devious companies.

Novel idea and yet thoroughly unsurprising. Corporates are beginning to discover the full spectrum of public relations and how to best manage the information flow. How, then, to spin this?

"Users of Microsoft's new China-based Internet portal were blocked on Monday from using the words "democracy", "freedom" and "human rights" in an apparent move by the US software giant to appease Beijing. Other words that could not be used on Microsoft's free online blog service MSN Spaces include "Taiwan independence" and "demonstration"."

Looks like Microsoft's corporate bloggers have their work cut out for them. Bill Gates has clearly been inspired by that other true democrat and lover of Chinese repression, Rupert Murdoch.


Anonymous michael said...

Bill Gates caught in bed with Hu Jintao, eh? Who'd have thought it?

Guess this demonstrates how meaningless the distinction between 'Left' and 'Right' is when you are talking about authoritarian, centralised power structures. Whether bureaucratic or plutocratic, the objective is always to hang on to power and keep the rest of us under the jackboot (albeit a designer jackboot in the case of the plutocrats).

But then, Orwell has been telling us that since the 1930s, hasn't he?

On a related topic, it seems that enlisting Microsoft as state censors isn't the only proof that the Politburo are at the bleeding edge of technoppression.

Their net police seem to have adapted to the blogosphere more quickly than most Australian politicians. Which makes me wonder if our friend Alex Zuo may be one of the thousand that Chen Yonglin has been telling us about.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005 12:16:00 am  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

Indeed. Just shows that no matter what the rhetoric or how convincing it may be, vigilence is required. Wonder what Billy Gates really thinks about the Chinese govt and repression?

Wednesday, June 15, 2005 2:26:00 pm  

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