May 12, 2011

FIRST THEY CAME FOR THE YELLOW PAGES: “San Francisco may be 1st city to cut Yellow Pages:”

“Let your fingers do the walking” could be replaced with “let your finger do the clicking” in San Francisco. It’s poised to become the first U.S. city to restrict delivery of Yellow Pages business directories.

The Board of Supervisors cast a 10-1 first vote on Tuesday to ban unrequested home and business delivery of the hefty telephone directories. There will be a second reading and final vote next week.

The idea is to protect the environment, fight neighborhood blight and help the economy. And advocates say the Internet makes the directories unnecessary.

That last item may be so (12 years or so ago when we got our first cable modem, it seemed obvious that the Yellow Pages was suddenly superfluous) but that’s not the role of the government to decide. If I was the publisher of one of the city’s myriad free and/or alternative newspapers, I’d be worried.

Of course, if San Francisco actually does want to fight neighborhood blight, they’re really doing it wrong.

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