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Internet e-ethics in confrontation with an activists' agenda: Yahoo! on trial


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  • Marc Le Menestrel


  • Mark Hunter
  • 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 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.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra in its series Economics Working Papers with number 577.

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Date of creation: Nov 2001
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Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:577

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Keywords: E-business; e-ethics; auctions; legal compliance; internet regulation; freedom of expression; media crisis;

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  1. Marc Le Menestrel, 2001. "Economic rationality and ethical behavior," Economics Working Papers, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra 584, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
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Cited by:
  1. Sergio Roman, 2007. "The Ethics of Online Retailing: A Scale Development and Validation from the Consumers’ Perspective," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, Springer, vol. 72(2), pages 131-148, May.
  2. Frederick Bird, 2009. "The Ethical Responsibilities of Businesses in Developing Areas," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, Springer, vol. 89(2), pages 85-97, November.
  3. Frederick Bird, 2009. "Why the Responsible Practice of Business Ethics Calls for a Due Regard for History," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, Springer, vol. 89(2), pages 203-220, November.
  4. Raphael Cohen-Almagor, 2012. "Freedom of Expression, Internet Responsibility, and Business Ethics: The Yahoo! Saga and Its Implications," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, Springer, vol. 106(3), pages 353-365, March.
  5. Sergio Román & Pedro Cuestas, 2008. "The Perceptions of Consumers Regarding Online Retailers’ Ethics and Their Relationship with Consumers’ General Internet Expertise and Word of Mouth: A Preliminary Analysis," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, Springer, vol. 83(4), pages 641-656, December.


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