Does Yahoo Q & A violate it's own guidelines?

Venting, ranting or using hate speech:
Yahoo! Answers isn’t a soapbox to vent personal frustrations or rant about issues. We are a community of people with diverse beliefs, opinions, and backgrounds, so please be respectful and keep hateful and incendiary comments off Yahoo! Answers.
The following question appeared in Yahoo Q&A

Question: Was “god” in favor of the Spanish Inquisition?
Question Details: The Spanish Inquisition began in 1478 when Jews, Protestants, and non-believers were driven out. Later, nearly 32,000 heretics were burned at the stake, nearly 18,000 burned in effigy, and 291,000 made reconciliations. This incredibly cruel reign of terror was finally suppressed in Spain in 1808. Pope Innocent II (1198-1216) had actually begun the Inquistion in Rome. Later, in 1233 Pope Gregory IX instituted it in France. By 1255 it was in effect in Cenrtal and Western Europe. In 1531 Pope Leo X extended in the Inquisition to Portugal. Is this what a kind, loving and merciful “god” instructed Catholic Popes, and followers to do? After all, Popes say that they communicate with “god”, and accept and obey his will.


The BBC did a good TV documentary on the myths widely believed about the Inquisition. Accurate scholarly investigation from many sources also disproves the post-reformist propaganda, largely coming from the Black Legend. No serious historian accepts the ridiculously exaggerated numbers by anti-Catholic bigots.

…But in recent years the Inquisition has been subject to greater investigation. Pope John Paul II wanted to find out just what happened during the time of the Inquisition’s (the institution’s) existence. In 1998 the Vatican opened the archives of the Holy Office (the modern successor to the Inquisition) to a team of 30 scholars from around the world. (many non-Catholic) Now at last the scholars have made their report, an 800-page tome that was unveiled at a press conference in Rome on Tuesday. Its most startling conclusion is that the Inquisition was not so bad after all. Torture was rare and only about 1 percent of those brought before the Spanish Inquisition were actually executed. As one headline read “Vatican Downsizes Inquisition.” The amazed gasps and cynical sneers that have greeted this report are just further evidence of the lamentable gulf that exists between professional historians and the general public. The truth is that, although this report makes use of previously unavailable material, it merely echoes what numerous scholars have previously learned from other European archives. Among the best recent books on the subject are Edward Peters’s Inquisition (1988) and Henry Kamen’s The Spanish Inquisition (1997), but there are others. Simply put, historians have long known that the popular view of the Inquisition is a myth. So what is the truth?

I received the following in an email from Yahoo moderators:

Hello no fixed address (pdjclemens)
You have posted content to Yahoo! Answers in violation of our Community Guidelines or Terms of Service. As a result, your content has been deleted. Community Guidelines help to keep Yahoo! Answers a safe and useful community, so we appreciate your consideration of its rules.

I appealed the decision with the following:

I posted the source of my answer: a professor of history, a middle age era specialist, and I posted the source of a prestigious news outlet. I gave the links.
In the question, the definition of bigotry is applicable, and it is the question itself in view of my evidence clearly violates the community guidelines.
The Human Rights Commission of Canada (and probably other nations) are currently discussing the possibility of banning certain types of hate speech on the Internet. The question is not really that that vile, but promoting contempt and demonizing ANY religion with falsehoods has no place in YQ&A. Do I need permission from Yahoo to post the details with your response to this email on any forum? I look forward to your decision of my appeal.
Peter Clemens

Next in my inbox came this decision:

Hello no fixed address(pdjclemens)
You have posted content to Yahoo! Answers in violation of our Community Guidelines or Terms of Service. As a result, your account has been suspended.
If you feel you were not in violation, please contact our Customer Care and tell us why.
Yahoo! Customer Care

My appeal on the deletion has been turned down, I am waiting for a decision of my appeal for the suspension of my account. The question is this: which should be deleted according to the given guidelines, the question itself or my answer?

I certainly don’t see anything wrong with your response, and I’m dissappointed that someone at Yahoo does.

Still, I suppose it could be re-written in an even less confrontational style, pointing out the general misconception about the size and scope of the Inquisition without any speculation on the why this has happened, etc.

Basically though, I think they dislike your viewpoint, not your means of expressing it.


Hello Peter,
Thank you for writing to Yahoo! Answers.
We appreciate your inquiry about your suspension from Yahoo! Answers
and/or the deactivation of your Yahoo! ID. We reviewed your case, and
have decided to reinstate your account.
We appreciate your continued compliance with the Yahoo! Terms of Service and the Yahoo! Answers Community Guidelines:
Thank you for using Yahoo! Answers, and we hope that you will continue
to be a valuable contributor to the community.
Thank you again for contacting Yahoo! Answers.
Yahoo! Customer Care

Case closed.

It would seem to me that the questions is quite antagonistically worded. I believe the question itself, worded in the way it was, is a violation. (As if anyone can read the mind of God. I have enough trouble trying to figure out what my cat wants.)

I found your response, at least the part of it that you posted, to be very evenly stated and and actually fairly scholarly in your working. I am sorry they suspended your account. THAT was unfair.

Not only has my account been reinstated, but it appears the question has been deleted. :smiley:

Shortly after I posted on this thread, I went to the question. After looking at it and a number of responses, I reported what I felt. That the question contained several factual errors, asked people to read the mind of God and was worded in a pejorative and offensive manner. I reported the question as inappropriate and said that it just invited anti-Catholic and vitriolic responses. Which it did. I guess between what happened to you, my reporting it, and doubtless the complaints of many others, they quite rightly pulled the question.

The topic of the inquisitions is certainly a topic worth discussing. However, I would like to see the questioned asked in a more neutral manner. Like, “Why did the Church start the Inquisitions and what really happened?”.

Thanks for your support, rpp.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit