So Neville Chamberl— wait, sorry, Terry Semel — spoke at D Conference this week, and an attendee asked the Yahoo CEO if he would have cooperated with Nazi Germany. (Terry's answer: Well...yes.) That cheeky attendee is Shervin Pishevar, COO of the Freewebs hosting service. His question, and Terry's cop-out, pissed off bloggers mad at Yahoo's lousy human rights record in China.
Shervin wasn't asking this for kicks — he has a history as a human rights activist. He told Valleywag so, right from his Blackberry while traveling. In an e-mail oh-so-discreetly CC'd to Freewebs' PR firm, Shervin wrote:
One thing you should know about me is that I believe in entrepreneurial activisim.
I was a big human rights activist at berkeley and published in jama when I was 20 re: doctors involvement in torture in turkey which led to the istanbul protocal banning doctors from involvement in torture. Please prep nick at valleywag re: this background. We are big champions of freedom and freedom of expression as an inherent human right.
"Please prep nick"? No, Shervin, forget the PR peeps; we like talking to you. More of Shervin's manifesto is after the jump. Fun activity: guess how much of this makes it into his upcoming newspaper op-ed piece!
I believe that technology must be a force for good and freedom. I believe tech companies need a hippocratic oath never to do harm to their users. I would like our fellow tech leaders to band together and come up with a set of protocals similar to the istanbul protocal banning our involvment in anything that will lead to harm based on the simple right to express oneself.
We had millions of visitors from china. Globally we have 18 million visitors a month and are growing really fast in asia. We are 2nd only after geocities in global pageviews. However, I will never, ever give up on another human being who has trusted me simply because they want to express their opinion. Freedom trumps all other aims.
We have to take a stand.
Earlier: Terry Semel would have appeased Nazi Germany [Valleywag]