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Yahoo Reverses Allah Ban 331

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the wierdest-title-i've-posted-in-awhile dept.
damnal writes "Yahoo's ban on "Allah" in users names, has been reversed. The ban was instituted due to a number of people registering for IDs using specific terms with the sole purpose of promoting hate. Yahoo's comment on the reversal: "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.""
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Yahoo Reverses Allah Ban

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  • Considering the fact there were problems over a caricature of a Prophet, I'm amazed it's taken them this long to reverse it. Well, at least it was Yahoo and not Google.
  • reversed? (Score:4, Funny)

    by TheUnknownOne (810624) on Thursday February 23, 2006 @05:09PM (#14788364)
    I wouldn't say it's been reversed so much as removed... If it was reversed they would be requiring the string Allah in usernames, then again maybe i'm just nuts.
    • Er, I don't see it that way: a reversal of a prohibition does not a requirement make.

      When the U.S. lifted the prohibition against alcohol manufacture and consumption, people were not jailed for not being drunks.

      • When the U.S. lifted the prohibition against alcohol manufacture and consumption, people were not jailed for not being drunks.

        It would make the world a better place though.
    • by TubeSteak (669689) on Thursday February 23, 2006 @05:14PM (#14788420) Journal
      Slashdot is considering requiring Allah to be appended to all User Names.

      Yours will soon be: AllahTheUnknownOne
      Mine will soon be: AllahsTubeSteak
    • They've reversed their decision to ban the use of the string, Allah, in usernames.

      This post was brought to you by the Grammar Nazi Meta-Moderation Agency.
      'Even the grammer nazi's get it wrong sometimes.'

      Pointless reply to a pointless post...

    • "Nuts"? (Score:2, Funny)

      by Sr. Pato (900333)
      ...then again maybe i'm just nuts.
      I wouldn't say you're nuts so much as crazy... if you were nuts then I'd probably be eating you accompanied by a nice can of beer (as opposed to an angry one); then again, maybe I'm just hungry.
    • They reversed the order of the letters. So they are now only banning the string Halla in user ids. It's a reference to the bread used on the sabbath by Jews, more commonly spelled challa. Either that, or it is short for the Norse home for martyred warriors. I believe they are hoping that the outcry from the Jewish and Old Norse communities will drown out criticism they have received from Muslim activists.
      • Either that, or it is short for the Norse home for martyred warriors. I believe they are hoping that the outcry from the Jewish and Old Norse communities will drown out criticism they have received from Muslim activists.

        Well, seeing as there are approximately 7 million Jews (mostly in Israel), and over 1.2 billion Muslims (and growing, all over the world), if you're going to insult someone, you should probably stick with the Jews (and Old Norse). Or Buddists: they never seem to riot violently and at wor
  • by metlin (258108) * on Thursday February 23, 2006 @05:11PM (#14788381) Journal

    While I don't recall Yahoo! performing any heroic deeds in the past, I don't recall them not having a spine, either. However, latetly I've seen the do some pretty spineless things - disclosing information to the Chinese government (twice!), this etc.

    Is this because of Yahoo!'s change of focus? They're trying hard to become a media company rather than a technology company.

    And of course, considering the fact that someone like Terry Semel (a media executive with little to no technology experience) is leading them, such policies would not be surprising. Ever since Semel's been on board, Yahoo! has taken great pains to build a brand-name, and a lot of tech folks have been replaced by older media people, and Semel has indicated that Yahoo! would "diversify" the way Warner Brothers did.

    So, that probably explains why Yahoo! is afraid to ruffle any feathers. While companies like Microsoft and Google are still technology companies at heart, Yahoo! is probably attempting to get into the media, and having bad publicity in the media industry has worse consequences than it would in the high-tech industry.

    Just a thought, that's all.
    • by Otter (3800) on Thursday February 23, 2006 @05:20PM (#14788484) Journal
      I agree on the China end, but the Allah thing seems to have been a stopgap measure put in to block some idiot and reversed once he got bored and went away. No one would have noticed it if some blogger hadn't picked that brief interval to try to register some *allah* name, flipped out and hit the blogopanic blogobutton.

      Given that Slashcode is full of features designed to thwart some specific jackass who hasn't been here in five years, at least Yahoo deserves credit for cleaning this up afterwards.

  • by winkydink (650484) * <sv.dude@gmail.com> on Thursday February 23, 2006 @05:11PM (#14788389) Homepage Journal
    but you can't have a pic on your profile.
  • by eclectro (227083) on Thursday February 23, 2006 @05:11PM (#14788390)
    and users can now register for IDs with this word because it is no longer a significant target for abuse.

    Now that it has hit the front page of slashdot, it is once again the target for abuse.

  • Promoting Hate (Score:2, Insightful)

    by nurb432 (527695)
    Hey, its my right to choose who i like or dislike..
  • by pclminion (145572) on Thursday February 23, 2006 @05:13PM (#14788411)
    They don't have the balls to just come out and say "Yes, we banned Allah because we were afraid of terrorists blowing up our office." This line about the word being used abusively is a load of horse shit. Last I checked Jesus Christ was not a banned term. And we all know that "Jesus Christ" is never used as an expletive or in an offensive way. Whatever.

    Now they've realized the idiocy of what they did, and again, rather than admit "Wow, we didn't realize how many words contain the letters 'allah'" they put out some garbage about how "Allah is no longer being used abusively on our sites."

    • by nizo (81281) *
      Luckily you can use still use Yahoo to find out how bad Yahoo sucks [yahoo.com](Results 1 - 10 of about 7,280,000 for yahoo sucks)
    • "Allah is no longer being used abusively on our sites"

      When will companies/politicians/anyone ever learn? All Yahoo has done now, by banning and then unbanning, is bring way more attention to the issue than it ever deserved. I never use Yahoo, but now I want to test this out.

      Btw, if anyone would like to further discuss this issue with me in private, I can reached at AllahSucksBalls@yahoo.com
    • by deacon (40533)
      Yes.

      Now all this thread needs is some hoser to chime in with "Cue the Islamophobics and Muslim Haters" as a transparent attempt to shut down valid debate or criticism, (in the same way that "RACIST!!" is used on campus to shut up those who would dare to question the dominant orthodoxy) and this thread will be complete.

      Interesting how the vast majority of the MSM has voided their flaccid bowels rather than actually publishing the cartoons, leaving the only source of, you know, actual relevant information, to

    • Props to the Christians. I've been using this screen name for quite a while. Yes it was done to provoke, since I'm agnostic. However I don't see them coming after me. Now imagine if I had used Muhammed's name instead?

      So how's anyone going to tell us that Islam isn't a violent religion?
      • "Islam isn't a violent religion?"
        Islam isn't most followers of Islam are not violent people and have done nobody any harm.
        If a gay man molests a little boy would you say "So how's anyone going to tell us that homosexuals aren't sexual predators?"
        If an African American commits a crime would you say "So how's anyone going to tell us that African Americans aren't a bunch of criminals?"
        • by Distinguished Hero (618385) on Thursday February 23, 2006 @08:07PM (#14789513) Homepage
          If a gay man molests a little boy would you say "So how's anyone going to tell us that homosexuals aren't sexual predators?" If an African American commits a crime would you say "So how's anyone going to tell us that African Americans aren't a bunch of criminals?"
          And if a member of the KKK kills a "black" man would you say "So how's anyone going to tell us that the KKK don't hate black people?"
          Islam is not a race, or a sexual preference. Islam is an ideology, and deserves to be scrutinized as such.
          Furthermore, the statement "Islam is a religion of peace." is a hypothesis, and deserves to be treated as such. At the moment, the experimental evidence (including the Quran) seems to contradict that hypothesis.
      • Some differences, first you are living in a society, where most of the religious provocation and rioting has already happened. In previous decades, rock bands and others have reveled in such provocations, but nowadays, such a provocation is boring at best.

        Another one is, that you are a very likely a Christian. Well, not a believer, but raised in a christian society. Have a look at what kind of responses criticism at the US from the outside of the US elicits, and you'll see that people are more sensitive to
        • "Another one is, that you are a very likely a Christian. Well, not a believer, but raised in a christian society." != Christian!

          When is this going to sink in with people? Everything that happens in a "Christian society" should not be put on the shoulders of the Christians. I scoff at the idea that we're even a Christian society considering that many things that would be banned (and worse) in a fundemental Christian society are normally accepted.

          If we were still burning witches at the stake (by letter of t
    • Last I checked Jesus Christ was not a banned term. And we all know that "Jesus Christ" is never used as an expletive or in an offensive way. Whatever.

      It is used that way, of course. But last *I* checked, there are no riots going on because somebody dared draw a cartoon Jesus with a bomb for a hat. Dozens of people are not dead because of said cartoon.

      I don't see the problem with what they did. As nice as it sounds to say you have to treat everybody and everything identically, it's just not the case.

    • by Guuge (719028)
      I said this in the previous article and I'll say it again: The prospect that Yahoo banned the use of "Allah" in fear of being blown up is utterly absurd. Not even Yahoo is that stupid.

      According to your theory, recent events have led Yahoo to believe that muslim extremists aren't really that violent after all. Gee, I would think that the cartoon riots would give the opposite impression.

      I'll restate something I said in response to the previous article: If Yahoo were to ban "Jesus" the christians would t
  • Huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thegrassyknowl (762218) on Thursday February 23, 2006 @05:13PM (#14788412)

    We recently re-evaluated the term

    Looks to me like a typical management-induced knee jerk reaction to a minor problem and the subsequent FUD to try and hide the fact that management were in error.

  • by DemingBuiltMyHotRod (836463) on Thursday February 23, 2006 @05:16PM (#14788438)
    Allah-eluiah
  • by Bananatree3 (872975) on Thursday February 23, 2006 @05:18PM (#14788459)
    "Osama" and "bidladen" are still banned from usernames. Their explination as trying to qwell "hate crimes" seems very onesided, as they still allow usernames like "Hitlerhatesjews". I don't see why they think only hate crimes happen with Muslims. I mean anti-semitism is still as much a hate crime as any other.
    • Are they gonna keep banning terrorist nicknames? Osama is sometimes called Abu Abdullah; should that name be banned too? How about abumusabalzarqawi_iz_a_rockstar@yahoo.com? Or aymanalzawahiri_suckz@yahoo.com... abunidal@yahoo.com... somebody quick register SeifAlAdl@yahoo before it gets banned too. When they run out of Islamist terrorists will they move on to banning bomb-hurling anarchist nicknames? louislingg@yahoo.com... ravechol@yahoo.com... when does the silliness end?
    • It doesn't make a lot of sense to ban "Osama" and "binladen" to me, unless they were taking a much more aggressive approach on the issue of hateful usernames.

      Now, if I were running Yahoo, I would certainly see the value of blaocking "Allah," assuming I wasn't even willing to set up an actual review of usernames. The words that are probably the most subject to abuse in Yahoo screennames and on the internet generally would all make my list, if I were going to have one. Probably (assuming I made such a list
      • By the way, this will be shown NOT to work at all or actually DO ANYTHING. Just as "hate crime" legislation has only allowed judges/juries to impose stiffer penalties on the basis of a "feeling" or "subjective" judgement, the banning of "hate speech" has been shown to lead to more hate speech. Yahoo, as a major provider, is still a company/corporation with shareholders and open to legal action, however, so they must keep their content clean. That's the main problem with the internet--although it is a "fr
    • I think they're only filtering out stuff that's being heavily abused.

      To argue by way of analogy... I'm getting bombarded with comment spam (on the blogs I run) about Cialis, so I added a quick filter to reject any comments that contain "Cialis," and my spam comments fell off a lot. Cialis is known in medical circles as Tadalafil. A spammer could post about Tadalafil, and it'd get posted fine. But by banning just a couple of the common phrases, 95% of the spam getting posted is being rejected as soon as they
  • by TubeSteak (669689) on Thursday February 23, 2006 @05:19PM (#14788472) Journal
    I just made a comment in this thread, and when I hit submit, this ad popped up at the top of my page

    http://a.as-us.falkag.net/dat/bgf/200506/10/hojoho jo0001aa(8).gif [falkag.net]

    Catapult Your Career
    OSTG
    powered by
    YAHOO! hotjobs
    Not sure if it's relevant, but the coincidence is worth mentioning.
  • In other words, they've had some time to disallow a boatload of specific usernames like "ilikeallah", "allahistehl33t", and negative ones like "allahsux"? Just a theory - I haven't actually tested it.
  • This proves our Jihad was successful defeating the EVIL!

    We should raise our eyes now at the equally evil practices of MSN Search!

    In the name of the holy Google, A beatiful mind
  • by MarkusQ (450076) on Thursday February 23, 2006 @05:26PM (#14788531) Journal

    Yahoo Reverses Allah Ban

    I think I've finally snapped from all the loonie news lately. My first thought was: "What!? Now you are required to have 'Allah' in your name? That's even worse!"

    --MarkusQ

    And before you give me grief, in just the last few weeks:

    • Hundreds of people have killed each other over a bunch of cartoons.
    • The vice president of the US shot someone
    • Bell South wants to charge Google for using its bandwidth when Bell South's customers use Google's services for free and already pay Bell South for the privilege.
    • We are engaged in a huge debate, not over the fact that the control of our nation's ports has been turned over to foreign governments in the first place, but rather over the fact that it may be racist to suggest that a nation that funded Bin Ladin, passed sensitive information to him, had top level meetings with him, recognized the Taliban, and was home to two of the 9/11 hijackers might not be trustworthy
    • People have been caught distributing free software in accordance with the license, and had their CDs seized to protect the rights of the Authors who gave them permission in the first place
  • Well, NOW it is. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rdmiller3 (29465) on Thursday February 23, 2006 @05:28PM (#14788543) Journal
    "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."

    Well, now it probably is.

    Leave it to Slashdot to fan the insignificant into flaming stupidity.

    • by un1xl0ser (575642)
      What they should have done is say that it will be able to be used sometime in the next two months. By then, maybe some people would have forgotten about it.
  • Nab Halla?
  • "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."

    Now that this hit slashdot, that will change.
  • by Jesus IS the Devil (317662) on Thursday February 23, 2006 @05:55PM (#14788761)
    That's the difference between us and them. In our society, we can protest all we want, but in the end we're still civilized about it.

    With them, you post a cartoon and next thing you know all hell breaks lose and there's a bounty on your life.
    • That's the difference between us and them. In our society, we can protest all we want, but in the end we're still civilized about it.

      Yep, we only riot about important things. Super Bowl champs, Stanley Cup winners, black guys getting beat up by cops....
    • yes, you hit it right on the head. That is precisely the difference between slashdot and yahoo.
  • it's popular enough already.
  • by Bahrani (956807) on Thursday February 23, 2006 @06:15PM (#14788923)
    Allah is just the Arabic word for God. Arab Christians use it to mean 'Jesus' and Arab Jews use it too, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allah#Usage [wikipedia.org]
  • I'm disgusted by some of the responses I've read to this story. Grow up.
  • it is no longer a significant target for abuse.

    Wow! It stopped being that the day after the complaints!? What a coincidence!
  • "The policy reversal, announced Wednesday, came too late for Linda Callahan of Ashfield, Mass., who set up a Google Gmail account after being rejected by Yahoo Mail because of the presence of "allah" in her name, said her son, Ed Callahan."

    I think they meant that the ruling came too early for the rest of the Callahans, who will be denied the opportunity to be made aware that Yahoo sucks, and discover G-Mail as a result. Linda Callahan has a bit of the luck of the Irish going for her on this one. She
  • "Hate" is a strong word.

    There are people who want to "promote hatred" in the world, no doubt. The organizers of the KKK (especially present-day ones; the originals might get at least some product-of-their-times credit), recruiters for angry, retributionist separatists of any stripe, etc, qualify as intending to promote hatred. But that's a pretty harsh and specific charge, and not everyone will qualify (to our great benefit).

    A lot of other people though, no matter how repugnant their views might be to you o

Pohl's law: Nothing is so good that somebody, somewhere, will not hate it.

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