British tech site The Register reported that Linda Callahan was trying to sign up for an email account with Verizon and was not allowed to because her name was blasphemous to Yahoo, which is in partnership with Verizon.
Yahoo banned any name that has "Allah" in it, including Callahan or Kallahar. The blasphemy policy didn't, however, cover God, Jesus or Buddah.
After reporting on Linda Callahan's failed attempt, the next day The Register reported that Yahoo contacted them and said they have now changed their policy.
Claimed Yahoo in a prepared statement:
"We continuously evaluate abuse patterns in registration usernames to help prevent spam, fraud and other inappropriate behavior. A small number of people registered for IDs using specific terms with the sole purpose of promoting hate, and then used those IDs to post content that was harmful or threatening to others, thus violating Yahoo!'s Terms of Service.
"'Allah' was one word being used for these purposes, with instances tied to defamatory language. We took steps to help protect our users by prohibiting use of the term in Yahoo! usernames. We recently re-evaluated the term 'Allah' and users can now register for IDs with this word because it is no longer a significant target for abuse. We regularly evaluate this type of activity and will continue to make adjustments to our registration process to help foster a positive customer experience."
In order to avoid a blogosphere flare-up, Yahoo changed its policy after it was highlighted by The Register. According to Kallahar's Place, the policy had been in place for at least eight months. Yahoo claims that something has happened in the world so that "Allah" is "no longer a significant target for abuse." After the Muhammad cartoon controversy, there must be love all around.