Monday, April 30, 2007

Your name's too Gay!

A WOMAN'S email to the help desk of Telecom New Zealand was rejected by a computer system because her name was Gay and "inappropriate for business-like communication".

Gay Hamilton, from the northern South Island town of Nelson, said while she was actually gay, she was concerned that the country's biggest public company was spending its time and resources on trifling issues, the Herald on Sunday reported.

"If they do have to put content filters on, then maybe they should ensure that it only gets genuinely abusive words," she said.

Telecom's automated reply to her email said the message "was identified by our content filtering processes as containing language that may be considered inappropriate for business-like communication". It confirmed that the offending word was "gay".

Telecom spokesman Lenska Papich said the response was triggered by the company's internal email monitoring system, which prevented "misuse of email technologies in the workplace and act as a deterrent to harassment".

"Our systems internally detect a number of words, including both the words gay and heterosexual, that could be deemed as inappropriate for use at work," she said.

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