Yahoo rejects free speech as China blocks Flickr images

Flickr officials believe that China is blocking their photo sharing site's images and the company is trying hard to figure out why this is happening and how it can be resolved.

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Flickr officials believe that China is blocking their photo sharing site's images and the company is trying hard to figure out why this is happening and how it can be resolved.

"We're still investigating. There isn't an '800' number you can call to register your complaint," Flickr co-founder and general manager Stewart Butterfield said.

Butterfield's team has ruled out all possibilities that the problem is technical in nature, and speculates that the reason behind the block is the discovery of images the Chinese government found controversial.

It's a peculiar position for a Yahoo unit to find itself in. Yahoo and other internet companies like Google have been sharply criticised for self-censoring their search engine results in order to stay on the Chinese government's good side.

Human rights groups have taken Yahoo to task over the company's decision to turn over to the Chinese government information on members' internet activities, like e-mail messages, that have played a part in the conviction and incarceration of journalists and dissidents.

Shareholders, at Yahoo's annual shareholders meeting on Tuesday, rejected a resolution calling for the company to adopt a policy that opposes censorship on the internet. The defeated proposal would have required Yahoo to implement a series of policies, such as not hosting individuals' data in countries where political dissent is considered a crime.

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