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Monday, May 10, 2010

Yahoo blocks comments about Toyota.

Anyone who thinks Yahoo is a bastion of free speech better think again.  In recent weeks, with only two or three exceptions, Big Y has been refusing to publish my comments below articles about Toyota.  I've been permitted to comment on other topics, and interestingly enough, Yahoo has published my comments via Buzz.  The objective seems to be to prevent information from reaching the really BIG audiences attracted to top news stories, usually Yahooed via the Associated Press and garnering perhaps over 20,000 comments.  Buzz generally attracts a far more limited response, and is apparently being used by Yahoo in an effort to placate my concerns regarding censorship.  This evening, about 8:30 pm, Yahoo censored my comments re "Toyota waited months to issue steering recall," prompting this post.

Yahoo has a history of censoring comments.  Check out Yahoo's response when someone posted comments on a flickr blog complaining about thieved photographs, and Yahoo's scolding from Reporters Without Borders for cooperating with Internet censorship via repressive regimes such as China.  Gee.  What else has Yahoo been up to, and how many voices - outspoken bloggers in China are often jailed - has Yahoo helped to silence?

Bloggers in China have accused Toyota of hiring companies to remove negative posts.  Let's hope Yahoo, Toyota, and Twitter (see posts for 4/28 and 5/6/2010) aren't tryin' to globalize the repression of free speech.

UPDATE:  Immediately after publishing this post, I submitted a tweet, "Yahoo blocks comments about Toyota. (link to this post)," and Twitter censored the tweet from Search.  I then submitted a tweet intended for my followers, "Twitter is censoring my tweet re Yahoo blocking comments about Toyota," and it appeared in Search.  This is the same boorish tactic used by Twitter earlier today (see today's UPDATE below 5/6/2010 post).

UPDATE:  5/21/2010 Yahoo continues to block my comments re Toyota.  This afternoon about 5:10 pm EDST, I submitted a comment below the Yahoo news article (via AP), "Toyota recalls 3,800 Lexus cars for steering fix," and once again it was blocked.  Not surprising that one of the congressional witnesses Toyota targeted for attack also had a blog critical of Toyota (see link list under Shhh...).