Protest, Yahoo

Is Yahoo Mail blocking emails that mention Occupy Wall Street? #OccupyWallStreet

Update: Since this was written, Yahoo has admitted the problem, said it was an error, and fixed it.

Here’s something a bit odd. Earlier today we got an email from someone (not sure if he wants his identity revealed here) who claimed that Yahoo Mail blocked him from sending any emails with ‘Occupy Wall Street’ or the occupywallst.org URL in the body of the message. I thought I’d try it out and, guess what, I got the following message:

Suspicious activity has been detected on your account. To protect your account and our users, your message has not been sent.

I tested this and played around with it. Every time I put ‘Occupy Wall Street’ or the occupywallst.org URL in the body of a message, I got the same ‘suspicious activity’ warning. I tried using other URL’s to see if it was some kind of anti-spam thing, but they all got through. The only thing that seemed to block emails from getting sent was using this particular combination. Try it yourself and see.

I tried the same thing with Gmail, Hotmail, mail.com and Facebook’s message system. In all those cases, the emails went through just fine. And my Yahoo account is hardly some new, potential spam account. I have had it for longer than I care to remember, and have been happily sending and receiving emails for a very long time with no problems at all.

I sent a query to Yahoo and have heard nothing back so far. I’ll post an update here when / if I do. But it does seem odd that putting ‘Occupy Wall Street’ and occupywallst.org into the body of a message, Yahoo Mail declined to send the ‘suspicious’ message. I’d really like to know why this happened, but I am starting to wonder if I really want to be using Yahoo Mail anymore…

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About Yin Tse

I am a second year architecture student studying in Berlin. I am originally from Beijing, China, where many of my family still reside, apart from my father, step-mother and step-sister, who reside in Cologne in Germany.

Discussion

19 thoughts on “Is Yahoo Mail blocking emails that mention Occupy Wall Street? #OccupyWallStreet

  1. WOw, I tried it too and it was like you said. Ths is werid.

    Posted by Henry | September 19, 2011, 10:40 pm
  2. From Canada, if you send a mail to yourself via yahoo with that URL you get a pop up captcha. However, even after passing it, the email is not sent.

    Posted by Test | September 20, 2011, 12:35 am
  3. I tried it also with several email accounts as receivers and re-senders to and from mail.yahoo.com and my emails went through both ways *shrug* not saying it isn’t happening to some people. I’ve posted the results here: Netpolitik

    Posted by Miso Susanowa | September 20, 2011, 1:25 am
  4. My AIM instant messenger will not allow me to sign in, either, maybe because I’ve had emails with “Occupy Wall Street” in them, or because I’ve posted on FB about it???

    Posted by MagicStarNetWorks | September 20, 2011, 1:27 am
  5. I will be emailing my other accounts from Yahoo all day long with that exact combination in an attempt to crash the server. Please join me!!!

    Posted by Drift | September 20, 2011, 7:23 am
  6. Same problem using yahoo.es from France, has been happening since I tried to use ‘takewallstreet’ about one week ago or so…

    Posted by Patricia Posadas | September 20, 2011, 10:44 am
  7. I am deleting my Yahoo! account, and Yahoo Messenger, and I will email them and tell them why. I have used it for more than ten years. I urge anyone and everyone else to do exactly the same thing. We will NOT tolerate rights abuses such as this.

    Posted by Drift | September 20, 2011, 11:35 am
  8. I can confirm this as well.

    Posted by Guest | September 20, 2011, 2:46 pm
  9. I’ve just tried it too with my german mail.yahoo account, also got the suspicious activity message. My account is like 10 years old, never had problems. Will cancel the account now.

    Posted by Nicho Las | September 20, 2011, 2:47 pm
  10. http://tiny.cc/8bnpc <– This is quite geeky, and a bit of a tangent so apologies. But some people have been claiming that Twitter was blocking #occupywallst from trending. I did a volume comparison with Google wallet which was one of the lower rated trending terms. #occupywallstreet came out nearly double the volume. I took screen grabs of this (see link) but i'm not sure exactly how trending works, does that mean #occupywallstreet should be trending or not?

    Posted by Guest | September 20, 2011, 3:47 pm
  11. I just tried it from my german account, too. Message got thru with no problems at all. Not sure what’s going on.

    Posted by nerdcoreblogené | September 20, 2011, 6:24 pm
  12. Just started various Tests, sending another Mail with URL and Term, sending a Mail from one (german) Yahoo-Account to another… everything got thru.

    Posted by nerdcoreblogené | September 20, 2011, 6:28 pm
  13. I tried this about ten times last night, now today i literally cannnot send anything from my account – and i too have been using this accohnt for years without trouble. Last night only occupywallst.org was blocked but i could sens anything else. Today, nothing, not even a reply about completely unrelated stuff will send. Instead: http://twitpic.com/6nx7u0
    On another note, for the first time ever, 2 frienda received weord garbled texts from me that i didn’t send.

    Posted by Sam | September 20, 2011, 7:43 pm
  14. Im in southern california and I had the same issue. It is a total infringement on my personal intellectual property! I have the right to send anything i want as long as its not against the law! Im really livid right now and ready to do something about it!

    Posted by J. Efstathiou | September 20, 2011, 8:39 pm
  15. Please, update this post? Yahoo! responded on Twitter.

    Posted by Kristy | September 21, 2011, 12:45 am
  16. I tried this and can NOT confirm this – all mails go through just fine, no matter what mention i put into them, clear text or URL or other.
    21 sept, 7 am, UTC

    Posted by sbg | September 21, 2011, 5:46 am
  17. Yes I have two accounts with Yahoo my main account I cannot send emails the other account is O.K
    I will have to change my email provider but I cannot move my contacts.

    Posted by percy | October 3, 2011, 3:13 pm
  18. Me, too, AFTER they claimed a fix. bugger this.

    Posted by Rogi Equality Riverstone | October 8, 2011, 1:08 am

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