Yahoo! has done a volte-face on its decision to ban users from registering IDs that include the word "Allah".
Yahoo! has done a volte-face on its decision to ban users from registering IDs that include the word "Allah". In effect, netizens can once again start registering usernames with letters "allah" contained in them.
Yahoo! on its part has issued a statement attempting to explain the ban and its subsequent reversal.
The company said it continuously evaluates abuse patterns in registration usernames to help prevent spam, fraud and other inappropriate behavior. In the course of its evaluation, Yahoo! discovered that a small number of people register for IDs containing specific terms with the sole purpose of promoting hatred, later using these IDs to post content which is harmful or threatening to others, thereby violating Yahoo!'s Terms of Service.
Yahoo! found "Allah" to be one such term, and hence imposed the ban. However, post re-evaluation of the term, the company found that it no longer constitutes a major target for abuse.
Yahoo! might have undone its action, but some people found themselves in the thick of Yahoo!'s ban - at least for the while it lasted. For instance - one Linda Callahan from Massachusetts actually set up a Google Gmail account after being rejected by Yahoo! Mail because of the presence of "allah" in her username.
Mrs Callahan thinks Yahoo!'s policy is discriminatory, but her son - Ed Callahan isn't complaining. Apparently he has even devoted an entire Web page to the temporary ban.