January 21, 2017
Beyond Search read a short but interesting “news” item with the interesting title “Yahoo Japan is Refusing to Stop the Sale of Ivory on Its Website.” Like other Internet news items, we believe everything we read online. Yahoo, according to the write up, is selling ivory. The write up points out:
“Even Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo, has tried to stop the trade — but the business argues that so long as no laws are broken, people should be able to trade whatever it wants on the site.”
We love the “even.”
A Yahoo Japan person, quoted anonymously in the write up, allegedly says:
We want to provide an internet auction site where people can trade freely, and at this moment we have no intention of banning legal trading without any reason,” a spokesman for Yahoo Japan said. “We don’t believe the ivory sales contribute to a fall in elephant numbers.”
US Yahoo, I learned:
bans the sale of endangered animal products, says it can’t force Yahoo Japan to change. Mayer has not publicly addressed the issue, though she has let it be known that she has raised concerns internally.
The tireless warriorette, Marissa Mayer, “has met up dozens of times with Yahoo Japan on this issue.” Meeting up is easy because US Yahoo owns more than 35 percent of Yahoo Japan.
Well, Yahoo is trying, using the same management methods which may have contributed to the loss of users’ credentials. Trying. Yes, Ms. Mayer is trying.
Stephen E Arnold, January 21, 2018
January 10, 2017
I read a US government filing which revealed that after Verizon allegedly buys the core assets of Yahoot. Sorry, I meant “Yahoo”, the remaining part of the Internet old timer will be called Altaba.
Darn. I was hoping that the non core assets of Yahoot. Sorry, I meant Yahoo would have a more mellifluous name; for example:
- Marissa Ville
My pick is “Yabba-dabba-doo” in a nice sans serif font. I would probably recall the new name as “Yabba-dabba-hoot.” As I age, my mind plays tricks on me. Kudos to the artist who designed a possible new logo for the company which should be named Yabba-dabba-hoo.
Stephen E Arnold, January 10, 2017
January 9, 2017
The article on VentureBeat titled Yahoo Takes Steps to Remove Content Posted From ISIS and Other Terrorist Groups remarks on the recent changes Yahoo made to its community guidelines. The updated guidelines now specify that any content or accounts involved with terrorist organizations, even those that “celebrate” violence connected to terrorist activity are up for deletion or deactivation. The article speaks to the relevance of these new guidelines that follow hard upon the heels of Orlando and San Bernardino,
Twitter has responded as well, “suspending over 125,000 accounts” related to terrorism. Messaging app Telegram has also blocked 78 channels that engaged in ISIS-related activity. Kathleen Lefstad, Yahoo’s policy manager for trust and safety, wrote that this new category is in addition to other types of content that are flagged, including hate speech, bullying or harassment, and sharing adult or sexualized content of someone without their consent.
ISIS has grown infamous for its social media presence and ability to draw foreign supporters through social media platforms. Yahoo’s crackdown is a welcome sign of awareness that these platforms must take some responsibility for how their services are being abused. Priorities, folks. If Facebook’s machine learning content security can remove any sign of a woman’s nipple within 24 hours, shouldn’t content that endorses terrorism be deleted in half the time?
Chelsea Kerwin, January 9, 2017
December 20, 2016
Since the death of what we used to call “newspapers,” Facebook and Twitter have been gradually encroaching on the news business. In fact, Facebook recently faced criticism for the ways it has managed its Trending news stories. Now, the two social media firms seem to be taking responsibility for their roles, having joined an alliance of organizations committed to more competent news delivery. The write-up, “Facebook, Twitter Join Coalition to Improve Online News” at Yahoo News informs us about the initiative:
First Draft News, which is backed by Google [specifically Google News Lab], announced Tuesday that some 20 news organizations will be part of its partner network to share information on best practices for journalism in the online age. Jenni Sargent, managing director of First Draft, said the partner network will help advance the organization’s goal of improving news online and on social networks.
Filtering out false information can be hard. Even if news organizations only share fact-checked and verified stories, everyone is a publisher and a potential source,’ she said in a blog post. ‘We are not going to solve these problems overnight, but we’re certainly not going to solve them as individual organizations.
Sargent said the coalition will develop training programs and ‘a collaborative verification platform,’ as well as a voluntary code of practice for online news.
We’re told First Draft has been pursuing several projects since it was launched last year, like working with YouTube to verify user-generated videos. The article shares their list of participants; it includes news organizations from the New York Times to BuzzFeed, as well as other interested parties, like Amnesty International and the International Fact-Checking Network. Will this coalition succeed in restoring the public’s trust in our news sources? We can hope.
Cynthia Murrell, December 20, 2016
December 18, 2016
I read “Hacked Yahoo Data Worth $300,000 on the Dark Web.” The Yahoot fumbled bumbled its way to losing more passwords. I have seen numbers ranging from 300 million, 500 million, and one billion. The answer to the question is allegedly $300,000. Seems to work out to about $0.0003. That strikes me as close to the credibility of the Yahoot management team. Those Xoogler led wizards know how to deliver “value.” Yahoo. It’s a hoot. Change that yodel to “yahooooot.”
Stephen E Arnold, December 18, 1016
December 16, 2016
I have a Yahoot (sorry, I meant Yahoo) email account. I have refused to change the password in order to see what nefarious behaviors manifest themselves. So far, the only bad guys in the picture are Yahoot’s merrie band of wizards, lead by the Purple Privacy Eater, Marissa Mayer. Ms. Mayer was a Xoogler. Now I am able to paint a mental picture about why she left Googzilla for the outfit Terry Semel tried to convert to a media company. Prescient guy. Get out of online. Do sitcoms.
I read “Verizon Demands a Better Deal After Yahoo’s Latest Historic Hack.” The main idea of that write up is that the former Baby Bell wants to do the Trump thing: A better deal. That seems reasonable. Yahoo managed to fumble the security ball, delivering an alleged one billion customers’ details to alleged bad actors. There are even “real” journalists who allege that the Yahooligans’ secrets are for sale on the Dark Web.
And what personal data slipped through the former Googler’s fingers? The write up knows and, therefore, reported:
Yahoo said late on Wednesday [December 14, 2016] that it had uncovered a 2013 cyber attack that compromised data of more than 1 billion user accounts, the largest known breach on record. It said the data stolen may have included names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords and, in some cases, encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers.
Fortune, whose journalists do not surf the Dark Web like the clever folks at the New York Times, used “real” journalistic methods and revealed:
Verizon is said to have threatened to go to court to get out of the deal if it is not repriced.
There you go. Verizon may be rethinking its clever move to buy the Purple Haze machine for about $5 billion. Knock the price down, and maybe the Baby Bell will [a] ante up some cash, [b] replace the Xoogler with a person who can keep Yahoot from becoming more of a master of disaster than it is, and [c] blend the wizardry of AOL with the Yahooligans’ approach to technology. In my 73 years, I have not previously witnessed the rubble-ization of a publicly traded Sillycon Valley company in quite this way. Business school case study? For sure.
The real news outfit’s write up adds:
The U.S. No. 1 wireless carrier still expects to go through with the deal, but is looking for “major concessions” in light of the most recent breach, according to another person familiar with the situation.
Will Yahoo enter the online security business? The company now has mind share. Governance? Exemplary management team? Technical chops? That’s a $5 billion dollar question from a company that spurned Microsoft’s even more robust offer. Right, the same outfit which fumbled the pay to play for traffic business. Right now Terry Semel looks like a managerial paragon.
Stephen E Arnold, December 16, 2016
December 13, 2016
Paranoid internet users and people with weird secretive fetishes alike, rejoice! DuckDuckGo will soon be vastly improved. The article does not state an exact date for this new functionality to be revealed, but it is coming soon.
Chelsea Kerwin, December 13, 2016
December 9, 2016
The article on DW titled Germany’s Highest Court Rejects Yahoo Content Payment Case reports that Yahoo’s fight against paying publishers for publishing their content has been sent back to the lower courts. Yahoo claims that the new copyright laws limit access to information. The article explains,
The court, in the western city of Karlsruhe, said on Wednesday that Yahoo hadn’t exhausted its legal possibilities in lower courts and should turn to them first. The decision suggests Yahoo could now take its case to the civil law courts. The judges didn’t rule on the issue itself, which also affects rival search engine companies…. Germany revised its copyright laws in August 2013 allowing media companies to request payment from search engines that use more than snippets of their content.
The article points out that the new law fails to define “snippet.” Does it mean a few sentences or a few paragraphs? The article doesn’t go into much detail on how this major oversight was possible. The outcome of the case will certainly affect Google as well as Yahoo. Since its summer sale of the principal online asset to Verizon, a new direction has emerged. Verizon aims to forge a Yahoo brand that can compete in online advertising with the likes of Google and Facebook.
Chelsea Kerwin, December 9, 2016
December 7, 2016
I read “AOL CEO Tim Armstrong Optimistic about Yahoo Deal.” The book the “Power of Positive Thinking” emphasizes optimism. Looking at the bright side is good. One can sing “Keep on the Sunny Side,” the snappy tune penned allegedly by June Carter Cash.
The write up points out:
AOL Chief Executive Tim Armstrong said he’s “cautiously optimistic” that Verizon’s acquisition of Yahoo will go through despite the internet company’s disclosure this fall that it suffered a significant data breach.
The point I found interesting was:
the digital media veteran said he’s been working closely with Yahoo Chief Executive Marissa Mayer on strategy and structural planning as if the deal will close. And he’s been impressed with some of Yahoo’s plans for 2017 outside of the integration work.
Perhaps the dynamic duo will craft a new local newspaper play with an enhanced weather map. Sound good? Sure does.
Yahoot. Amazing. Former Baby Bell. More amazing. Together. Most amazing.
Stephen E Arnold, December 7, 2016
December 6, 2016
For better or worse, Google and, to a lesser extent other Internet search engines, shape the way many people view the world. That is a lot of power, and some folks are uneasy about allowing those companies to wield it without some sort of oversight. For example, MIT Technology Review asks, “What’s Behind Google’s Secretive Ad-Blocking Policy?” At the heart of the issue is Google’s recent decision to ban ads for payday loans, a product widely considered to be predatory and currently under investigation by the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Reporter Elizabeth Woyke observes that such concerns about gate-keeping apply to other major online companies, like Microsoft, Yahoo, and Baidu. She writes:
Consumers might not realize it, but Google—and other ad-supported search engines—have been making editorial decisions about the types of ads they will carry for years. These companies won the right to reject ads they consider objectionable in 2007, when a Delaware district court ruled that constitutional free-speech guarantees don’t apply to search engines since they are for-profit companies and not ‘state actors.’ The decision cited earlier cases that upheld newspapers’ rights to decide which ads to run.
Google currently prohibits ads for ‘dangerous,’ ‘dishonest,’ and ‘offensive’ content, such as recreational drugs, weapons, and tobacco products; fake documents and academic cheating services; and hate-group paraphernalia. Google also restricts ads for content it deems legally or culturally sensitive, such as adult-oriented, gambling-related, and political content; alcoholic beverages; and health care and medicine. It may require additional information from these advertisers and limit placement to certain geographical locations.”
Legal experts, understandably, tend to be skittish about ceding this role to corporations. How far, and in which directions, will they be allowed to restrict content? Will they ever be required to restrict certain content that could cause harm? And, where do we as a society draw those lines? One suggestion that seems to make sense is a call for transparency. That way, at least, users could tap into the power of PR to hold companies accountable. See the write-up for more thoughts on the subject from legal minds.
Cynthia Murrell, December 6, 2016