December 06, 2004

MSN Spaces: Strict namespace policy

BoingBoing reports that Microsoft's new blog platform, MSN Spaces, is rejecting certain blog titles or URLs because they contain words that the company has deemed inappropriate. For a list of forbidden words, see here. MSN Spaces doesn't want its users to open a blog with a dirty word or any sex-related name, or even with the title "Lolita is a novel by Vladimir Nabokov"!
In one of its posts on the question, Boing Boing reports that the Chinese policy seems even stricter, preventing the users from using names such as cao which has a sexual connotation but also plenty other meanings.
As G. Waerden puts it: "Getting a blog with a dirty name past the MSN Spaces controls may be fun, but it also illustrates the tensions between the traditionally free and open world of blogging and the more corporate approach of a software giant like Microsoft."

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