Saturday, December 04, 2004

Boing Boing does MSN Spaces

Microsoft has made more money than there is money by being late to every party but beating the snot out the guys who rented the hall and bought libations. So it should be no surpise that they have now decided to make an appearance at the blog soire'.

As the folks at Boing Boing have determined, the Empire's first effort is rather un-bloglike -- that is, if you think of blogs as an antidote to corporate-owned infomedia.

Microsoft's new blogging tool, censors certain words you might try to include in a blog title or url. If you can't speak freely on a blog, what's the point of having one? This demanded a full investigation.

Using my existing MSN Passport account, I attempted to create a number of blogs, one after the other. The results of which titles passed and which were banned may surprise you -- or at least generate a few Beavis-and-Butthead snorkles. Each of the linked test-titles in this BoingBoing post points to to an actual, unmodified screenshot of the corresponding test blog I created (or was denied the ability to create) using MSN Search.
I figured anything in the original list of seven dirty words banned by the FCC would be off-limits: shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker, and tits. Most of that proved to be true, as did other potent cusswords which would likely cause license problems for a television or radio station.

It is indeed as if George Carlin had been hired to write the terms of use. The good news is that MSN Spaces will be safe for all the Brittney Spears/Gilligan's Island/conspicuous consumption blogs a complacent, anesthetized public can stand. The bad news is that if corporate America ever decides to squelch blogging, there is an increasing likelihood they will be able to pull it off. And once they finish neutering pension funds, the Democratic Party, and the Bill of Rights, they come looking for us.


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