Friday, January 27, 2006

Boycotts Don't Start With Someone Else

I got a nice e-mail from "The Analyst," who is also calling for a boycott of all three ISPs who are censoring the web in China. He links to this article which I find quite interesting. The Bloomberg journalist paints a broad picture of the problem of censorship--one which I generally agree with. The title of the blog, however, says that the "Chinese Should Boycott Microsoft and Yahoo."

Take note that in the world of journalism, the authors are not always the same people who write the headlines of their own articles. So Mr. Pesek may not have written that headline, and the contents of the article say "I'd like to see the country's consumers boycott Yahoo, Google, Microsoft and others." There may be a disconnect between what the author intended and his headline.

But the bottom line is this: there should be no qualifier of who should boycott. Everyone, everywhere should boycott Yahoo! (and possibly MSN now), because the internet has no borders. We are all citizens of the internet (aka: "netizens") and furthermore, we all vote with our dollars and our choice of products.

To call upon the Chinese to Boycott is to say the issue is not important to you right here, right now.

2 Comments:

Anonymous theforester said...

I found my way here after you left a comment on my blog. I'll read when a get a chance. I hadn't heard about the Shi Tao incident -- how despicable. Good job keeping that photo of him posted on your blog. That photo should be emailed to Yahoo every day. It would make me queasy, knowing I caused a democracy supporter in China to be imprisoned.

As for Google -- people can equivocate all they want, but Google still could have taken a higher road, a bolder approach, and they chose not to. I call that disappointing, and chickening out, and hypocrisy.

I lived in Beijing, China for a year. I know what a one-party system feels like. If I were a Chinese citizen, I would feel incredibly disappointed in Google's decision.

Fueling China's economic growth without loosening the Communist Party's grip will prove disastrous for Chinese citizens, and for America as well. China's influence is expanding. Chinese corporations already are seeking to buy up American companies, as the Japanese did throughout the 1980's -- but China is no Japan. It is far larger, far more authoritarian, and it has no reason to show gratitude to the United States.

12:01 PM  
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3:17 AM  

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