On Tuesday morning, we documented that Yahoo was censoring emails that contained the domain name of one of the web sites supporting the Occupy Wall Street web site. Yahoo has now admitted that the censorship did take place, but suggested that the censorship was accidental.
A Yahoo statement on the censorship stated that, “the domain ‘occupywallst.org’ was being caught by one of our spam filters when some users tried to send messages containing it”.
This language is passive, implying that the spam filters automatically executed the censorship all on their own, without any human decision to censor the Occupy Wall Street web site. The statement doesn’t absolutely state that it was an accident, however. What’s left up in the air is the question of whether the spam filters prevented messages containing ‘occupywallst.org’ were blocked because someone at Yahoo programmed the spam filters specifically to block communication about that site.
It’s been over a decade that I’ve used Yahoo email, and in all that time, this is the first instance I’ve had of any email being blocked. Many other veteran Yahoo users confirm that email blockage is not at all a common experience.
The Occupy Wall Street activists who are still out there, sleeping in “Liberty Plaza”, assert that “Yahoo lied about occupywallst.org being in spam filters.”
What do you think? Given the evidence, what is the most plausible explanation?