Silly, childish lies from companies that should know better
I subscribe to a number of paper.li dailies. I use them to aggregate news stories for me that I probably wouldn’t find on the BBC – Anonymous, civil liberties, censorship etcetera.
So I was a little perturbed when I couldn’t access them yesterday. I got the emails with the links alright, but the links didn’t work. Rather than my selected Daily, I got this:
My first thought, naturally, was that some sinister, subtle censorship was underway – perhaps one of the dailies included a proxy for The Pirate Bay and BT felt it necessary to ‘block’ it. Far-fetched, maybe – but the society we now have makes such thoughts inevitable. It turned out not to be censorship, but (or so I understand) ‘DNS issues’ at paper.li.
But I’m still concerned. Look at the page that BT/Yahoo sent me to. Did I mean ‘gap.co.uk’? Now by what stretch of the imagination does mis-typing ‘paper.li’ end up with ‘gap.co.uk’?
Gap Inc, says Gap, “is a leading global specialty retailer offering clothing, accessories, and personal care products for men, women, children, and babies under the Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Piperlime, and Athleta brands.” Yeah, well, I guess that can easily be confused with an off-the-wall news aggregator.
Then there’s the ‘related searches’. Now, how can there be a related search when I haven’t made a search?
The simple fact is that these are all paid-for adverts. I don’t actually mind that. But what I seriously object to is BT/Yahoo trying to pretend that they’re providing me with a service when they’re simply accepting money from advertisers. It’s this low-level petty deceit that I find both disturbing and frankly pathetic.