Lately I’ve been working on a plan for stepping up my creative activities, which includes making some adjustments to my online presence. I’ll spare you the tedious details, and only mention that one step of the plan involved creating a new Yahoo Mail account that I could associate with an already existing Flickr account.
Well, my plan has been foiled, thanks to a new and very stupid Yahoo account creation policy: It turns out that, as of recently, Yahoo will no longer allow someone to set up a mail account without providing a mobile phone number. I don’t have one of those damned things, nor do I want one. Even if I could get one and keep it running for a reasonable price, having it would make it easier for people to bother me, which I don’t want. And (seriously people) – text messages??!?! No way.
I may be able to work around this problem some other way, involving using an existing, unused Yahoo Mail account instead of creating a new one. That is assuming there is no further demand for cell phone information when I set up the association with the already-existing Flickr account—an assumption which, as of today, I no longer consider safe.
An additional, worrisome question is whether Yahoo plans to extend their Nazi-esque mobile phone policy to existing users in general. As of today, they have not done that—I just successfully logged out of my primary Yahoo Mail account and then logged back in. They do pester with the “what’s your mobile phone number” thing at every single login now, though. If they make that mandatory, I’d be faced with the very unwelcome choice of abandoning my old accounts entirely, or shelling out the damn money to buy one of these goddamned phones. (I notice WordPress is getting pretty pushy about mobile phone authentication as well, although I don’t believe they require a number just to create an account.)
It actually makes me wonder if Yahoo! is getting a kickback from the phone companies to do this. It wouldn’t be at all surprising, would it? I can certainly believe that the large phone companies, all of whom are scum, would stoop to this sort of strategy.