Tuesday, June 14, 2005
democracy and human rights filtered out ...
I was having a discussion with a friend a few weeks back regarding the impact of globalization on human rights and societal structures. More importantly, can a company such as Microsoft impact the social structure of an emerging market or closed country through either its hiring practices or the product it sells? My naive argument at the time was that through exposure and the passing of corporate norms from one culture to another, we would see changes that would impact the greater global society. Today I received the counter argument by way of the announcement that Microsoft will filter out words such as Democracy and Human Rights in order to launch MSN in China. While I still contend that corporations do have the ability to impart change, I am also now reminded that first and foremost decisions made by corporations are based on financial gains. Therefore, societies have just as much of an opportunity, if not more, to impact how corporations act (i.e. who they hire, how the workers are treated, how they operate in a community, etc..) as corporations have in impacting societies. It is a sad day when Democracy and Human Rights can be filtered out with a line of code.
Posted by Lisa at 8:35 AM