May 4, 2008

No Iranians for Yahoo! and Microsoft

I've never this day would come, that I would seriously consider life without Flickr, and to move somewhere else like Google's Picasa. I consider Flickr one of the best social websites out there, it combines good tools and great community better than any other website. But my problem now is with Yahoo! itself.

I found out, unfortunately little too late, that Yahoo! which owns Flickr doesn't include Iran in its country list. That means that if I was an Iranian registering with Yahoo! for any email account (which is a must to get a Flickr account) I won't be able to specify Iran as my country. For Yahoo! Iran as a country doesn't exist. And It isn't only Yahoo!, Microsoft is doing the same for its Hotmail email registration.

The two companies are saying that they're complying with US administration's restrictions on doing business in Iran. But does that include free email, I don't think so. And does anyone have a right to deny the existence of an entire country.

The US State department doesn't deny the existence of Iran, in fact it has a whole page(s) on it. And Google doesn't think so either, anyone can register with a Gmail account and be from Iran.

Bloggers and online activist (specially from US), who're usually noisy when companies like Google works with government like China have conspicuously been silent on this. Though these companies are disarming millions of Iranians from their nationality - you can be an Iranian or a Yahoo! user but not both. The internet is suppose to be a free space for all, but some don't think about it that way.

Many Iranian's and non-Iranians have started boycotting Yahoo!, Microsoft and other companies that deny Iran's existence as a country. Germán Vogel, who's from Chili, is one of the people switching from Yahoo's Flickr to Google's Picasa, a difficult move but one that he felt strongly about.

I hope those who feels strongly about big cooperations abusing people's rights in having free access to the internet will make their disagreement heard: Iranian people shouldn't be discriminated against on the web simply because the US government is in conflict with the Iranian government.

1 comment:

Vigilante said...

Yahoo & Microsoft? How pathetic. Useful idiocy and midwives to totalitarians amongst us. What is needed is more communication. Not less.