Search Browse On This Day Map Quotations Timeline Research Free Datasets Remembered About Contact


Thu 3 May 2007 In: New Zealand Daily News

A spokesperson for Telecom says the ‘technical glitch' which led Nelson woman Gay Hamilton to receive an email saying her first name is ‘inappropriate for business-like communication' has been rectified. Lenska Papich, public relations manager for Telecom's broadband and online division, says Hamilton's original e-mail to Xtra broadband services was delivered, not blocked. “She was mistakenly sent an internal company response designed for staff using the Telecom corporate email system – not customers,” says Papich. The email response said Hamilton's inquiry contained "language that may be considered inappropriate for business-like communication. "The content which caused this to happen was... 'gay' eight times, at two points each, for an expression score of 16 points,” the email continued. “This technical glitch has since been rectified and we have apologised to Ms Hamilton for the mix up,” says Papich. “Customers do not generally receive such a notification and should not do so again in the future.” Like most businesses, Telecom has a corporate email policy, continues Papich. “This policy is designed to prevent misuse of email technologies in the workplace and act as a deterrent to harassment. Our systems internally detect a number of words, including both the words gay and heterosexual, that could be deemed as inappropriate for use at work. Employees are made aware of our e-mail policy when they join Telecom and can contact us as any time to query any issues they have with the system. "It must be noted that this is an automated system which does need tweaking and adjusting from time to time based on different variables." Any Telecom employees with the name Gay are exempted from messages such as the one Gay Hamilton was mistakenly sent, explains Papich. The story has appeared in newspapers around the world, with the Sydney Morning Herald dubbing it ‘A Gay by any other name', the UK's Metro saying ‘Email system catches the Gay', and the Bangkok Post proclaiming ‘NZ Telecom denies right to be Gay'.     Ref: (m)

Credit: News Staff

First published: Thursday, 3rd May 2007 - 12:00pm

Rights Information

This page displays a version of a article that was automatically harvested before the website closed. All of the formatting and images have been removed and some text content may not have been fully captured correctly. The article is provided here for personal research and review and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of If you have queries or concerns about this article please email us