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*** Please note that this is mainly historical now that Yahoo have solved most of the problems and been forgiven! ***
This Site BANNED by Yahoo?
How to get your website Banned by Yahoo. Internet Censorship and how we risk becoming victim to totalitarian control by corporate power over the World Wide Web
Note: The paranoia in this write-up may or may not be well-founded. Please read the whole page including the updates before making your mind up.
Update: Since writing this, there have been some improvements and some acknowledgement by people at Yahoo that Zyra's website may have been incorrectly categorised and have more merit than had been previously estimated in the search and we are assured that things will improve. Therefore, it's best to remember that most of this page is now historical and represents things that were previously feared, rather than the present situation. As things improve at Yahoo, this page will be further updated!
It's up to Yahoo who they want to list and who they don't. However, as with dictatorships such as North Korea, Turkmenistan, and Myanmar, the way the absolute rulers behave tends to result in people in the wider world having an opinion about them. Yahoo may not like people to speak out against them, but when the response is to take revenge against the writers by banning their sites, it makes Yahoo look a bit bad.
This whole thing started because I complained about someone at Yahoo stealing my pages of content. The thing is, I write original material and publish it on my website, and I think that if someone makes piratical copies of it and Yahoo allows that and makes money from ridiculous splat advertising on it, that needs to be sorted out, as it's not fair. I put the complaint in and got a lot of hogwash coming out of the Yahoo complaints department. You can see the correspondence on the page of Yahoo complaint. Anyway, when Yahoo failed to do the right thing, I felt Yahoo were guilty of corporate plagiarism! I put up a public comment about it. I even suggested people get rid of Yahoo and have their own free choice of homepage
Special note: This previous point, the "Yahoo Plagiarism" problem, has since been remedied. The turning point came when we managed to talk to the people on the phone, rather than conversing in email with fobbing-off robots which Yahoo seemed to use rather too much at the time.
When you look around Zyra's website, you see there are a lot of things being said. Some people may agree or disagree, according to their own ideas, but to ban it and censor it out, surely that is bad form? What about freedom of speech? The right to hold an opinion different to your own?
Plus, up until recently, Yahoo had still failed to address the Yahoo plagiarism problem. I heard DIGG had a similar problem with Yahoo stealing their stuff and failing to respond properly to the complaints. (DIGG are liked here, as people on Digg explore and find interesting pages at Zyra's website and mention them on the forum and (unlike in the initial Yahoo problem), they CREDIT this site and link to it! Well Done to DIGG!) See If Operating Systems Ran the Airlines. Note: As of Feb 2008, the initial copyright violation problem has been SOLVED by Yahoo. See the updates regarding copyright violation reporting issues at Yahoo
Anyway, let's sum of the lesson taught by Yahoo so far: HOW TO GET YOUR WEBSITE BANNED BY YAHOO:
1. Complain when Yahoo people steal your stuff, rather than just put up with it.
2. Make comment on your site in which Yahoo is presented in a less than glorious light.
3. Suggest to people that they may change their homepage to whatever they want.
Well, it could be as simple as that. However, I think there is a much bigger thing going on. It is all to do with the market model, and the way advertising is done. Back in the bad old days of advertising, the way to advertise was to have loads of flashy advertisements which people could not miss. By sheer persistence and by being annoying, people would eventually have to take notice of the ads, even if they were totally naff. This is known as splat advertising, and the ultimate example in modern times is spam. You still see that type of thing in the form of daft and annoying prominent banner advertisements on some websites, jiggling banners, annoying pop-ups, etc. This is the bad, old, outdated way to advertise. People are sick of seeing it, so let's move on! The modern way to advertise is to have select advertising. That's where people decide what they want rather than be told what they want. Now the story is starting to fit into place, because Zyra's website has select advertising, whereas Yahoo has splat advertising. It may be that Yahoo can sense the end is nigh and their marketing model is becoming increasingly outdated and transparently spamlike! Just as the Luddites didn't like to see modern machinery and industrialisation because it would put them out of a job, Yahoo are still attached to the oldfashioned way of advertising IN YOUR FACE and in contrast we are doing things a better way and starting to cast doubt about the bad old way of advertising. It may seem incredible to think that a monstrous corporation such as Yahoo would be in fear of Zyra's website, but these days it is disruptive technology that makes the difference. Linux is replacing Microsoft, and select advertising is replacing splat advertising. Also, you don't have to be big to make a difference and see houses of cards come crashing down. Shouts of "The Emperor has got no clothes!" sometimes catch on, and then what you see is a run on the bank!
Tell your friends. Vote with your feet. Make a free choice. Choose your own homepage. See how to get your own website (note: get a proper hosting, not something cut-down!)
Note: You are reading this at Zyra's website (www.zyra.org.uk), where there are thousands of pages of original content. If you like it, please link to it!
Maybe I have got Yahoo wrong? Maybe they aren't banning this site?! Well, we will see, but at the time of writing, the four thousand pages of Zyra's website were conspicuously ABSENT in searches at Yahoo, and in my opinion that smells of censorship. Of course this may change, and then the page will be updated accordingly. But then, the situation on Police Corruption in Belize may also change!
Extra note: At the time of updating, the plagiarism problem had been resolved and the copyright complaints procedure was still being looked into. The search problem has yet to be solved.
However there is good news on this, as a reasonable response has been received here from someone at Yahoo, with the important sentiment that Zyra's website has indeed more merit in its vast amount of unique and original content than had previously been estimated at Yahoo Search, and therefore it would be re-categorised and might likely improve in position (ie no longer be apparently banned).
Further update 2008/11: After discussion with people at Yahoo, the matter of "Zyra's website being banned" was found to have been a mistake. Zyra's website had been accidentally "classed" as rubbish/spam/seo-nonsense/commercialist-guff and had been banned from Yahoo search results. However, upon this being discovered by the humans at Yahoo, the good things about Zyra's site (for example the thousands of pages of worthwhile content!) were brought to light, and the ban was lifted.
However, it seems that upon the Yahoo ban being lifted, the site had to start to grow a new respect gradually from scratch. It is only now, some considerable time later, that the pages of Zyra's site are starting to appear in Yahoo searches. However, the lateness is not important. What's important is that a GOOD outcome was had in the end. So, that's why this now gets a further Well Done to Yahoo!
There was another paragraph down here, but it has now been obsoleted. However, Amnesty International still get a mention, and the problem in Tibet is still mentioned.
Also see Problems with Google