Yahoo! in the news

Photo from Creative Commons.

Yahoo! has been in the news heavily for the past few weeks. None of the news has been good for the Internet company. Topics in the news range from it looking for a buyer, to accusations that it has been filtering emails being sent by account holders.

A leaked memo started this chain of news events around Yahoo!. The leaked memo indicated that Yahoo! was to be undergoing some major changes in the coming weeks. This leaked memo stated that the company was in the process of seeking out a new CEO and gave indication that the corporation would potentially be up for sale.

The need of a new CEO is no surprise since the company has been without one since previous CEO, Carol Bertz, left on less-than-polite terms earlier this year. The firing followed Yahoo!’s rejection of a massive contract from Microsoft which would’ve given the company an injection of new capital.

All this past information is what is helping fuel the rumors that Yahoo! may be back on the market. An interested party is Alibaba, the Chinese Internet company that’s currently one of Yahoo!’s partner companies. Yahoo owns a 40% stake in Alibaba. Alibaba CEO Jack Ma is attempting to buy that stake back from Yahoo!, but the recent leaked email gives Alibaba an interesting option to just outright buy Yahoo! and get their stocks back that way.

Yahoo! filter options. Photo from screen capture.

Yahoo! has also been in the news recently due to a recent number of accusations that claim that Yahoo! has been censoring emails in regards to the current protests on Wall Street. Specifically, Yahoo! has been accused of intentionally filtering out Occupy Wall Street. Any emails containing the website URL receive a message informing users that suspicious activity had been observed on the account and no email would be sent.

Following the accusations, Yahoo! released a statement that an error in their spam filtering software was responsible for the failure to send emails containing the URL for Occupy Wall Street. Recent reports indicate that the issue has been taken care of, but many users claim it was an attempt by Yahoo! to silence the movement that is currently targeting Wall Street. The movement is targeting Wall Street as a means of protesting the large amount of influence the stock market has on American politics.

This would not be the first time that Yahoo! has been accused of censorship. Yahoo! co-founder Jerry Yang has appeared in front of Congress to discuss the role his company played on the jailing of a civil rights activist. The company also has been cited for not following the required censorship practices for any company operating email in China.

Yahoo! looks to be in a state of flux with the company appearing to face some rough times ahead. With an apparent need for new funds, this latest accusation of censorship can’t be good for the Internet company. It will be interesting to see if Yahoo! is still around in the coming years.