A Lady's Ruminations

"Jane was firm where she felt herself to be right." -Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice


Wednesday, February 22, 2006

YahooMail Discriminates

This is just ridiculous. Via Kathryn Lopez at The Corner:

The Register: Yahoo!Mail bans Allah and Dirty Harry handles---

Yahoo! is banning the use of allah in email names - even if the letters are included within another name.

This was uncovered by Reg reader Ed Callahan whose mother Linda Callahan was trying to sign up for a Verizon email address. She could not get it to accept her surname.

Enquiries to Verizon revealed that a partnership with Yahoo! was to blame. Yahoo! will not accept any identies which include the letters "allah".

Nor will Yahoo! accept yahoo, osama or binladen. But it will accept god, messiah, jesus, jehova, buddah, satan and both priest and pedophile.

Ed Callahan told us: "On one level this is just silliness. But we have a war on terrorism and it's migrating to be a war on Muslims - this just shows the confusion there is between the two and how pervasive this is."

The Callahans are still waiting to hear back from Yahoo!
Really! Why are names that could make fun of Christianity and Judaism allowed, but Muslims are protected? There are more of us than there are of them. Our religions are older than Islam.

If this is simply about not allowing abuse of someone's religion, then Yahoo should also protect Christians and Jews. Of course, that won't happen.

Today, Yahoo! unbans! Allah!---

Yahoo! said in a statement: "We continuously evaluate abuse patterns in registration usernames to help prevent spam, fraud and other inappropriate behavior. A small number of people registered for IDs using specific terms with the sole purpose of promoting hate, and then used those IDs to post content that was harmful or threatening to others, thus violating Yahoo!'s Terms of Service.

"'Allah' was one word being used for these purposes, with instances tied to defamatory language. We took steps to help protect our users by prohibiting use of the term in Yahoo! usernames. We recently re-evaluated the term 'Allah' and users can now register for IDs with this word because it is no longer a significant target for abuse. We regularly evaluate this type of activity and will continue to make adjustments to our registration process to help foster a positive customer experience."
Nice excuses. And "God," "Jesus," "Messiah," and "Priest" haven't been used in a defamatory manner? Right.