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I have had problems setting up email accounts on OptimumOnline, my new ISP.  After a couple of hours wrestling with their online account management tools, finding (with difficulty) a phone number that would eventually (after a journey through an annoying menu) reach a live tech support person, and several long periods on hold while he investigated the problem, I learned the reason.  More below the fold.

I have a long, Polish last name with the letters "jew" embedded within it.  I finally learned that OptimumOnline does not allow email addresses including certain "bad" words, and "jew" is one of them.  The tech support person (who was quite competent and as helpful as possible) had asked his supervisor to override the system, but this apparently was not possible.  I reluctantly set up a primary email address using a variation which did not include the offending letters.  But this is not satisfactory.

Today I tested the system, by setting up subaccounts using various words.  I wondered whether they did not allow the names of religions.  No, that's not it.  I was able to set up accounts using "catholic,"  "presbyterian," and "buddhist."  Is it national/ethnic identities that they block?  Apparently not.  I was able to use "irish," "german," "italian," and "hispanic."

Does anyone know how to find the email address of someone in authority at OptimumOnline?  I would like to send a message saying that if they do not change their policy, and allow me to use my name, I will inform the NY Times and various Jewish outlets of their policy.

Originally posted to ScientistMom in NY on Sun May 06, 2007 at 07:26 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  A Jewish colleague went for a job interview... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wiscmass, jhritz

    ...and the interviewer, just making small-talk, mentioned, in a thick German accent:  "I could tell by your face, I knew you vas a Jew."

    Bush doesn't listen to anyone but the competing voices in his head. The winner he calls "God" and runs with it.

    by dov12348 on Sun May 06, 2007 at 07:25:45 AM PDT

    •  I hope he/she didn't take the job (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wiscmass, dov12348

      that is pretty disgusting.  Not only is it blatent anti-semiticism, but it is pretty insulting to germans, a lot of whom don't even identify as germans but rather europeans and are extremely anti-war.  I can't stand ignorance and intolerence, jesus!

      The law was made for one thing alone, for the exploitation of those who don't understand it, or are prevented by naked misery from obeying it. -Bertolt Brecht

      by Jeffersonian Democrat on Sun May 06, 2007 at 08:02:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  In the wrong context the use of the word Jew (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wiscmass, dov12348

      is indeed pejorative. One merely needs to read the first comment to this diary to appreciate this fact.
      Yes, in your case it would see silly to disallow the use of your name and an expection should be allowed, but the protective screen, it seems appropriate.

      roman catholic by birth---- thoroughly confused by life

      by alasmoses on Sun May 06, 2007 at 08:13:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  hey, I have a few of my own . . . (7+ / 0-)

      When I was interviewing for an ENT residency position at Baylor in Texas, at lunch (with a bunch of residents and a few attending physicians), one of the residents asked me, "Are yew Jeeewish?"

      Bemused, I said, "Yeah."

      The resident turned to his attending. "Hey, Dr. Coker! He's Jeeewish! We could have another Jeew in the program!"

      It was, I should add, a friendly exchange -- he seemed very happy about his discovery.

      Flash forward a few years. I'm done with residency, looking for a real job, and I've got a midwestern headhunter on the phone with me. He's rattling off all these great opportunities, and every single one of them are from some state NOT on an ocean or major body of water (hey, I likes my beaches) and every one "is a good Christian community, why, they have 32 churches" yatta yatta.

      Then he mentions, briefly, something in New Orleans, but jumps ahead to something in Ohio.

      "Hey, wait," I say. "I like New Orleans!"

      "No, that's not right for you. There's too many Nigerians there."

      So I'm scratching my head, wondering about this ethnic enclave I hadn't been aware of. And anyway, what's wrong with Nigerians? I'd had a few friends in residency who were from Nigeria. They seemed like perfectly normal people.

      A few minutes later, he does the same thing -- glances over a New York opportunity because of the Nigerian problem. And that's when it dawns on me: Nigerian is code for the other N word.

      When he starts telling me about the next small town with 38 Southern Baptist churches (or whatever), I ask him, "So. How do you think these nice Christian white folks are gonna like a little hairy Jewish doc and his little Japanese wife?"

      He stammers a bit and eventually comes out with this corker: "Jewish? Jewish? Uh, that's okay. I think there's a Jewish church about an hour away."

      Subtle antisemitism is alive and well.

      We drew our heavy revolvers (suddenly in the dream there were revolvers) and exultantly killed the gods. -- Jorge Luis Borges, Ragnarok

      by Hobbitfoot on Sun May 06, 2007 at 08:57:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I hear ya. (0+ / 0-)

        In a few years I might be retiring to Virginia or thereabouts.  Definitely a college town -- maybe Charlottesville -- those are usually safe bets for tolerance and acceptance.

        Even where it's a good, small non-college town -- unless there's some culture within driving distance, I'd probably go frickin' crazy there within a month; or just die early.

        Bush doesn't listen to anyone but the competing voices in his head. The winner he calls "God" and runs with it.

        by dov12348 on Sun May 06, 2007 at 09:07:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  when I interviewed at Wake Forest (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dov12348

          (near Winston-Salem, another good college town) they made sure one of their Jewish faculty interviewed me -- ya know, to make sure I knew I "wouldn't be alone."

          Funny thing is, I'm not that religious. In fact, next time this happens to me, I think I'll fluster the pants off of them by saying, "Hey, wait, guys -- I'm Buddhist!"

          We drew our heavy revolvers (suddenly in the dream there were revolvers) and exultantly killed the gods. -- Jorge Luis Borges, Ragnarok

          by Hobbitfoot on Sun May 06, 2007 at 09:10:22 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  It's part of Cablevision (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ScientistMom in NY, wiscmass, KenBee

    According to its corporate page, it looks like the big enchiladas for this matter would be John Bickham or Tom Rutledge.

    Next challenge is procuring their email addresses/contact info. Not easy, but here's a site that will give you the info for $25.00.

    Jigsaw

    Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change. - Tennyson

    by bumblebums on Sun May 06, 2007 at 07:35:20 AM PDT

  •  sorry (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jxg, ScientistMom in NY, litho, wiscmass

    but the first thing I thought of when I saw your title was this:http://www.youtube.com/....  

    More seriously, your tech question is beyond my capability, but maybe "jew" is censored to keep someone from doing an anti-semitic account name.  Only thing I can figure out.  Sorry you are going to have to be on the phone with tech support for a few hours over this.

  •  It is like the story awhile back (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wiscmass, buddabelly

    About people trying to order jerseys from NFL.com, and there are lists of words you cannot put on the jerseys, like Gay, even though the Dallas Cowboys had a player named Gay.

  •  I'm trying to figure out how to retag (4+ / 0-)

    your diary ScientistMom. OptimumOnline is not a tag and not useful for categorizing this. I'm going with anti-semitism, because I can't think of anything else and I agree with mcfly's posited explanation.

    The inflexibility is stunning. I'd not want to give them my business. They will probably be equally inflexible when other problems present.

  •  Nothing new... (4+ / 0-)

    Jews are used to being treated like "bad words." Bill O'Reily tells us we should "move to Israel" if we object to American being an officially Christian nation. In Delaware a Jewish and a Muslim family were forced out of a town for objecting to publicly funded Christian ceremonies. Many Republicans think we ALL should move to Israel so that the second coming can occur...after which we need to convert or go to hell.

    And even on dKos there are some (a minority of dKos people) whose fear and hatred of Israel lead them to say things that lump all American Jews together into a "bad" category.

    I know my history well enough to know in almost every Christian society in history, "Jew" at some point becomes a bad word. It is one reason why I feel the existence of Israel may well be important for my family's survival some day.

    •  I agreed with you up until the last sentence. (0+ / 0-)

      But if Israel weren't such a cookie-cutter imitation of our own corrupt government, I would feel the same way.

      We drew our heavy revolvers (suddenly in the dream there were revolvers) and exultantly killed the gods. -- Jorge Luis Borges, Ragnarok

      by Hobbitfoot on Sun May 06, 2007 at 09:00:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  But it isn't! (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ScientistMom in NY, TiaRachel, KenBee

        It has it's OWN problems, and deserves criticism for its OWN problems, but it is NOT a cookie cutter of our government. First of all, it is a very different system where third parties have far more say. This isn't always good since many of the third parties are religious and right wing, but it is a big difference. Also, the left is more left than here. Likud has close similarities with our own right wing nuts, but people forget that even Arial Sharon, no angel himself, HATED Bush and thought the BUsh foreign policy was flawed and bad for Israel...and he supported Kerry.

        Now look at Olmert. He screwed up and almost up and down the society people are calling for his resignation. Even the leader of Hezbollah was impressed with the way the Israeli government would honestly investigate its own mistakes and hold its highest officials accountable. THAT is radically different than the way our "cover up" government has been working recently.

        Now...I will say that my support for Israel as an entity is separate from the nature of its government. My opposition for what its government does, however, is very much tied to the government.

  •  there was a story... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ScientistMom in NY

    ...about yahoo.com doing the same 'editing' to people with the word 'allah' in their names...  seems all rather silly, but, at least yahoo reversed the policy.

    if this offends you, and it seems it does, perhaps you can send the provider the information about yahoo similarly banning religious-related words in the accounts and they too will reverse...

    good luck.

  •  "Jew" is only a dirty word to Nazis (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Alice in Florida, kpardue

    Like "liberal" is only a dirty word to right-wingers.
    Same kind of language manipulation.

  •  I suspect this was done to avoid anti-semitism (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jxg, TiaRachel, mcfly

    They're probably afraid of someone coming up with a screen name like "dirtyjew" or something similarly odious.  "dirtybuddhist" wouldn't really have the same connotation, since unfortunately, "Jew" can be considered a pejorative in and of itself.  Nonetheless, while the intentions are probably good, they're obviously going about it in a stupid (and potentially hurtful) way.  Certainly worth bringing it to their attention.  

  •  so dirtywhiteboy is out? (0+ / 0-)

    Between Foreigner fans and horny republicans, it's probably very popular.

    the blue sea seethes with reason

    by howth of murph on Sun May 06, 2007 at 10:47:03 AM PDT

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