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Centro de Acción Participación y Difusión

Caso Microsoft Encarta

The Chronicle of Higher Education reveló una campaña del gobierno turco para presionar a la  Enciclopedia Encarta de Microsoft con respecto al Genocidio Armenio.

En su 18va edicion de Agosto, The Chronicle reportó que el gobierno turco amenazó a Microsoft con serias represalias a menos que la mención sobre el Genocidio Armenio sea eliminada de las entradas con respecto a Armenia, escrita por Ronald Grigor Suny, y con respecto a Genocidio, escrita por Helen Fein.

Segun el artículo, en respuesta a la presión turca  Microsoft se dirigió a ambos autores para pedirles que reescriban sus textos sobre el Genocidio Armenio.  Ambos autores rechazaron el pedido.

(Para el que quiera, al final de documento está el articulo mencionado.)

Para apoyar la admirable decisión de ambos autores seria bueno tomar las siguientes dos medidas:
Medida 1: Agradecer a "Chronicle of Higher Education" por
              enfrentar la censura publicando este importante caso.
              The Chronicle of Higher Education
              Attention:  Scott Jaschik, Editor
              1255 Twenty-Third Street, NW
              Washington, DC 20037
               Tel:    (202) 466-1000
               Fax:    (202) 452-1033
               Email:  mail@chronicle.com
               Points:  I am writing to thank you for taking a
                       powerful stand against censorship by
                       revealing the Turkish government's campaign
                       to pressure Microsoft Encarta to deny the
                       Armenian Genocide.
                        Your August 18th article "The Other Side of
                       Genocide" provided a valuable public service
                       by drawing the attention of academics and the
                      general public to Turkey's shameful efforts
                       to cover-up this crime against all humanity.
Medida 2: Alentar a Microsoft Encarta a incluir el Genocidio Armenio en su entrada sobre Turquia.
              1)  Go to www.encarta.com
              2)  Click on "Help" at the bottom of the screen
              3)  Click on "Contact Us" on the left side of the
              4)  Click on "Encarta Content Queries"
              5)  In the "Offer Product Suggestions" section, click
                  on "Support Form"
              6)  Complete and submit the form

              Points:  I was troubled to learn in the August 18,
                       2000 edition of the Chronicle of Higher
                       Education that the Turkish government has
                       pressured Microsoft Encarta to censor its
                       documentation of the Armenian Genocide.  I
                       encourage Encarta to resist these threats
                       aimed at denying this crime against all

                       I also would like to recommend that Encarta
                       include the Armenian Genocide in its entry on
                       Turkey.  Clearly, no account of Turkish
                       history can be complete without addressing
                       the Armenian Genocide and the systematic
                       destruction of the Greeks and other
                       Christians communities in the final years of
                       the Ottoman Empire.

Text of The Chronicle of Higher Education Article

The Chronicle of Higher Education
August 18, 2000 (page 20)

The Other Side of Genocide:

Covering up genocide is a tricky business.  Probably the best place
to start is with the word itself.  Coined in 1944 to describe Nazi
Germany's systematic murder of millions, it's since been disputed
in nearly every other usage, from the U.S. government's early
waffling on whether Rwanda's Hutu annihilation of the Tutsis
qualified, to the Turkish government's continuing campaign to
convince the world that several hundred thousand starved Armenians
does not a genocide make.

That's where Microsoft's Encarta comes in.  Helen Fein, executive
Director of the Institute for the Study of Genocide, says the
online encyclopedia almost helped deny the genocide.

In 1996, Encarta asked Ms. Fein to write an entry on genocide.  Her
short essay, which included a brief mention of the murder or
deportation of at least 1.1 million Armenians by the Turkish
Ottoman government during World War I, was accepted and published.

But this past June, Encarta called Ms. Fein and asked her to revise
her entry, in response to "customer complaints."  She learned that
Ronald Grigor Suny, a political scientist at the University of
Chicago and the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, had been asked
to revise his entry on Armenia as well.

Ms. Fein says Encarta wanted her to include a few lines on the
"other side of the story" - the Turkish government's side, that is. 
Mr. Suny says an Encarta editor named Frank Manning explained to
him that the revision would leave the facts in place, but remove
the word "genocide."

"Their proposed changes suggested that all narratives are equal,
that we can't know for sure whether or not the Armenians brought
the massacres on themselves," says Ms. Fein.

According to Mr. Suny, Mr. Manning told him that the Turkish
government had threatened to arrest local Microsoft officials and
ban Microsoft products unless the who, what, and why of the
massacres were presented as topics open to debate.  Microsoft
representatives would neither confirm nor deny the threats, but
Namik Tan, a spokesman for the Turkish Embassy called the charge
"so ridiculous I cannot speak."  He acknowledged that the embassy
wrote at least two letters to Microsoft urging it to remove the
term "genocide" from the two entries, and to cite Armenian
rebellion as the cause of any suffering, but he insists that the
Turkish government "does not make threats."

When Ms. Fein and Mr. Suny threatened to remove their names from
the article and to publicize Microsoft's censorship, however,
Encarta editors backed down.  Ms. Fein and Mr. Suny agreed to add
that the Turkish government denies the genocide, but held firm to
the facts of its occurrence.

When the Chronicle attempted to reach Encarta's editors, a
publicist from the company said they were all on vacation.  A
second publicist added that every story has two sides, even one
about genocide.

Indeed, Ms. Fein notes that the Encarta entry on Turkey, which is
unsigned, still does not mention the Armenian genocide at all.