MikeNoLastName - 12:01 am on Jul 15, 2004 (gmt 0)
My totally honest opinion, from working in many similar companies, is that SOMEONE, relatively high up at Y!, sold them on this "bright idea" of buying and using the Inktomi database to speed up and reduce their own in-house effort of, as you just said, manually cleaning up their own existing database, rather than re-creating all the labor (i.e. "just throw money at it"). Someone was probably under pressure to get it done FAST as possible without having to hire more people so they could compete with Google. In the process they inherited all these banning errors from Ink which noone really cared about previously since "it was only lowly Ink after all". Now they basically are stuck "living with it" either because that high-up person is still trying to hide it and save face, or they know about it and are afraid to fire him and tell the shareholders how stupid they were and back-out the whole Ink input. They are, perhaps manually, backing out the myriad of errors inherent in the Ink data, one by one, which is probably going to wind up being a bigger job than if they just re-created it themselves manually in the first place. Remember they didn't have the manpower to do it in the first place. In the meantime, as you pointed out, they are causing economic problems for others and causing major bad-sentiment which in the end will be what does them in. In biz it's always a trade-off, I just hope in this case protecting the high-up's butt is worth bringing down the whole company. That's why I got sick of it and run my own company now and am the boss so I have noone to blame but myself if something doesn't work out.
As you pointed out they definitely should be giving EVERYONE the benefit of the doubt when challanged and remove bans IMMEDIATELY until they can get around to being verified one way or the other, NOT the other way around. That's the way any sane business would handle it. So my guess is this certain inexperienced high-up is simply hiding the whole mess from their superiors and keeping the iron fist on those below them.