Censorship is alive and well in Redmond. Well, sorta.

The drones at Microsoft, always ones to (a) try and cash in on a hot new trend and (b) be a couple of years behind the curve for what is actually "new", have launched the blog service "MSN Spaces ". Anyone with a passport account can try their hand at blogging as long as you play by Microsoft's rules - to wit, nothing dirty and nothing controversial. The mopes in Redmond have installed automatic censorship routines to make sure nothing "unsuitable" gets posted. Sadly (or hilariously, depending on your point of view when it comes to Microsoft) the censorship routines work about as well as every other Microsoft product. The gang over at BoingBoing did some playing around , and found that "offensive" blog titles like "A History of Censorship and Pornography in 20th Century Europe" would be immediately gassed, but "family-friendly" titles like "Teenage Butt Sex" would be perfect fine.

Innocent question 1: Could this attempt at censorship be mostly because one of the new items in PATRIOT III will be a provision that makes internet hosts and providers responsible for the content of their users?

Innocent question 2: How many MSN users will actually read the user agreement, especially the part were they give Microsoft what amounts to complete ownership rights to anything they post or write?

Pop quiz on Monday ...

Posted: Sat - December 4, 2004 at 09:19 AM