Associated Press/Photo by Paul Sakuma (file)

Let’s play ‘What’s Inappropriate?’


Anyone for a new game called “What’s Inappropriate?” It could be like “Where’s Waldo?” Find the reason a Christian isn’t allowed to post a particular statement on a website that usually cries out for more content in the hope of gaining more eyeballs.

The Yahoo Contributor Network says it allows “writers, photographers, and videographers to share their knowledge and passion with hundreds of millions of people worldwide. … Reach for the stars. Contribute as many articles, photos, and videos as you’d like. The more you publish, the further our platform can take you.”

Pastor Steve Ellison has published more than 300 articles on the Contributor Network. But in January he submitted a piece and received this note from Yahoo: “We cannot publish this content, because it contains language, references or ideas deemed inappropriate by Yahoo Contributor Network.”

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Ellison sent me what Yahoo in January deemed inappropriate, an article titled “Created in God’s Image” (which he posted on his own site). Since then he’s asked Yahoo at least three times to tell him what’s inappropriate but has received no response. So I’ve been trying to guess the key words Yahoo flagged as inappropriate.

Could it be that “God created humans and gave them His very breath, the spark of life”? The statement doesn’t show reverence for the Lord Darwin, but I don’t think that would spark excommunication, not yet. Could it be that “Human life is sacred in God’s sight”? Maybe that statement of speciesism implies a lack of reverence for animal rights.

No, I suspect this is the culprit: “Abortion mills slaughter babies by the millions. Our society creeps toward killing the unwanted in our society after birth. Granny-dumping and pro-euthanasia support indicates that we are moving toward eliminating older people who have become a problem to us.”

The first of those sentences is a fact. Yes, “slaughter” is a harsh word but an accurate one. The next two sentences are strongly stated but reasonable summaries of trends, but Yahoo apparently deems that paragraph inappropriate.

I suspect Yahoo would allow this: “Women’s health centers help women deal with unwanted pregnancies.” Ellison could drop his sentence about “eliminating older people” and say, “We are moving toward compassionate support of the right to die.” But tell the truth straightforwardly? That’s inappropriate.

Marvin Olasky
Marvin Olasky

Marvin is editor in chief of WORLD News Group and the author of more than 20 books, including The Tragedy of American Compassion. Follow Marvin on Twitter @MarvinOlasky.


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