I’m Sorry, Dave, I Can’t Do That

Stanley Kubrick’s great film, “2001: A Space Odyssey,” remains one of my favorites. It’s also one of the cultural icons that has been at the core of my thinking since I first saw it more than three decades ago.

More in my Wednesday column.

Yahoo Caves Under Pressure

Mercury News: Yahoo bans auctions of Nazi memorabilia, other hate items. Although Yahoo said its decision to remove hate-related items from its auction site was not made because of the French case, the decision still could have implications for the case that is being closely watched by free-speech and Internet-rights advocates.

Raise your hand if you believe this had nothing to do with the French case, where Yahoo had been ordered to keep French Web users from accessing the auction items in question. No hands? I thought not.

The Nazi memorabilia may have been disgusting. It offends me, so I don’t look at it.

But Yahoo’s lack of backbone is disgraceful for an outfit that claims to be a media company. This move is a flagrant cave-in to a bullying government, and a foreign one at that.

What will Yahoo do when the French or Germans come back to the trough, demanding that the company pull from its discussion boards any postings that praise the Nazis or some other offensive material? Here’s betting that Yahoo will find some unbelievable reason to comply even as it pretends it’s sticking up for free speech.

A sad day.

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