Internet e-ethics in Confrontation with an Activists' Agenda: Yahoo! on Trial
Marc Le Menestrel
Henri Claude de Bettignies
A prolonged confrontation between Yahoo! Inc. and French anti-racism activists who ask for the removal of Nazi items from auction sites as well as restricted access to neo-Nazis sites is analyzed. We present the case and its development up to the decision of Yahoo! Inc. to remove the items from yahoo.com following a French court’s verdict against the firm. Using a business ethics approach, we distinguish the legal, technical, philosophical and managerial issues involved in the case and their management by Yahoo! We conclude on the difficulty of governing relations with society from corporate and legal affairs departments at the headquarters level, and on the clash of two visions over the regulation of social freedom.
E-business, e-ethics, auctions, legal compliance, internet regulation, freedom of expression, media crisis
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