Yahoo: dissident shareholders' anti-censor, pro-human rights move blocked

Snip from a NYT story by Miguel Helft about various conflicts during an annual Yahoo shareholders' meeting:

Yahoo shareholders rejected approximately 2-to-1 a proposal that would have tied executive compensation to competitive performance. They also rejected, by wider margins, proposals to establish a committee to oversee Yahoo's human rights practices and to require the company to fight censorship and protect freedom of access to the Internet in countries with repressive regimes.

Human rights groups have criticized Yahoo for helping Chinese authorities identify dissidents who were later imprisoned. Some of those dissidents and their relatives have recently sued Yahoo in federal court.

Jerry Yang, Yahoo's co-founder and "chief Yahoo," said at the meeting that the company had been actively lobbying the United States government to assist Internet companies in fighting censorship and protecting human rights in countries like China. Yahoo has also been working with academics, nongovernmental organizations and others to create a set of principles to protect freedom of expression, he said.

"Yahoo is committed to protecting human rights globally," Mr. Yang said. His presentation drew a round of applause from many of the estimated 100 shareholders.