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Iranians Take On Yahoo
Iran reappears on list of supported countries for Yahoo mail
Kourosh Ziabari (Persiangul)     Print Article 
Published 2008-08-18 05:02 (KST)   
This article was only lightly edited.  <Editor's Note>
In November 2007, Yahoo attempted to remove Iran from the list of countries it supported on its signup page and ban Iranian users from creating new accounts using the pretext that the United States had imposed sanctions on the country.

It did this even though it had already been announced officially that US exports to Iran had increased tenfold despite the sanctions imposed under President Bush.

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Many journalists and experts believe that the issue of Iran sanctions is more media propaganda than practical solution. Statistics for 2008 show that Iran is currently the largest economic partner in the Persian Gulf region of France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Portugal and Australia. Iran is also the fourth largest economic ally in Asia of Netherlands, Denmark and the United Kingdom -- following South Korea, China and Japan.

After the removal of Iran's name, waves of protest ensued in Iran and among Iranians residing in other countries.

The first step was debuting a Google bomb called "Hello Yahoo mail" with the aim of introducing Iran to global opinions, Internet users and Yahoo directors.

A young Iranian cyber activist, Mohammad Tavakoli, established Helloyahoomail.net with the slogan "Culture is our weapon, the weak impose sanctions," calling for international attention on the 7,500-year history of Persian culture and civilization.

The main goal of this Google bomb, which targeted the "Yahoo mail" keyword, was to provide users searching for "Yahoo mail" in search engines with some unbiased and realistic information on Iran and its people, culture, arts, sciences and history so as to express that Yahoo was quarrelling with an ancient and peacemaking nation.

The Web site interviewed many outstanding personalities, including university professors and political figures, regarding the issue, and all condemned Yahoo.

"Hello Yahoo mail" also commenced a national movement in order to encourage existing Iranian users of Yahoo to remove their accounts from the site.

It is estimated that five million Iranian users of Yahoo removed their accounts from the Yahoo database after this national call. This called huge damage to the international credit of Yahoo.

Anyhow, Yahoo mail once again included Iran in its list of supported countries three days ago, without any announcement or apologizes.

It is not clear why Yahoo removed the name of Iran unexpectedly and why it was added again, but it is clear that "Hello Yahoo mail" was a simple reflection of Persian talent and power.

The cyber influence of Iranian bloggers, journalists and activists lead to an unforgettable failure for Yahoo and proved that hostility, atrocity and animosity are not proper ways for dealing with ancient nations and civilizations.
©2008 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Kourosh Ziabari

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