You Buy Freedom of Information, 1 G?

Oh noes! Yahoo, Google, Microsoft, et al are in bed with the Chinese government! I’d say this was shocking, but that’s kinda what whores do — they spend a lot of time in bed for money. That’s not shocking.

New York Times: Online Firms Facing Questions About Censoring Internet Searches in China
CNN: Yahoo! accused of helping Chinese jail dissident
Reuter’s: Fresh US outrage at Yahoo ahead of China hearings
Wired: Tech’s China Policy a ‘Disgrace’

Same material in all of those links, but some might not think the NYT is as esteemed as others do. *cough*

All this got me to thinking, maybe I’m not doing all I can to aid freedom of information. I interact with more than a few Chinese citizens during the week while in World of Warcraft, how can I help them access information they might be denied (thanks to Yahoo, Google and Microsoft, apparently).

So the next time someone hails me in game with “Ni Hao”, instead of replying with my standard “sorry, English only”, I’m going to have a few of the taboo materials handy so I can pass along some fun facts to my Chinese servermate.

Wikipedia’s Tiananmen Square Protests of 1989 — Fun fact: Estimated citizen casualties range from the CIA’s 400 (ya, like they’d know) to the Red Cross’s 2,600.

Falun Gong — Fun fact: The Chinese government criminalized Falun Gong after a 10,000 man protest gathered outside the headquarters for the Chinese Communist Party. Man, what is with the Chinese government hating protests so much? Are they that inconvenienced by traffic jams?

Tibet — Fun fact: I know one thing the Chinese government hates more than traffic jams is cocktail party chat about Tibet. Here’s another fun fact, that link is flagged by Wikipedia as possibly not conforming to a neutral point of view. (wtf?) I imagine not many Chinese citizens are participating in that Wikipedia debate so that’s going to be a tough argument to resolve in the name of neutrality.

If you’d like to help your Chinese servermates access the information they desire, I found this article, reprinted from, discussing Chinese censored material, or you can check the entire Google News search, which I WILL ASSUME IS COMPLETE for an American IP.

I could be wrong on that, though.

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