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




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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  • Marc Le Menestrel & Mark Hunter & Henri Claude de Bettignies, 2001. "Internet e-ethics in confrontation with an activists' agenda: Yahoo! on trial," Economics Working Papers 577, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  • Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:577

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Marc Le Menestrel, 2001. "Economic rationality and ethical behavior," Economics Working Papers 584, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
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    Cited by:

    1. 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, vol. 83(4), pages 641-656, December.
    2. Frederick Bird, 2009. "Why the Responsible Practice of Business Ethics Calls for a Due Regard for History," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 89(2), pages 203-220, November.
    3. Sergio Roman, 2007. "The Ethics of Online Retailing: A Scale Development and Validation from the Consumers’ Perspective," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 72(2), pages 131-148, May.
    4. Frederick Bird, 2009. "The Ethical Responsibilities of Businesses in Developing Areas," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 89(2), pages 85-97, November.
    5. Raphael Cohen-Almagor, 2012. "Freedom of Expression, Internet Responsibility, and Business Ethics: The Yahoo! Saga and Its Implications," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 106(3), pages 353-365, March.

    More about this item


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

    JEL classification:

    • M14 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Corporate Culture; Diversity; Social Responsibility
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights

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