Update: Yahoo has made its decision on the fate of Manley's blog.
Martin Manley, a former Kansas City Star reporter, gained worldwide notoriety last week after he posted a website coinciding with his own suicide. The site, MartinManleyLifeandDeath.com, was meant to explain his reasons but also serve as a testament to Manley's life. The tabs discuss his opinions on various topics, career and family history.
Two days later, Yahoo removed the site from the internet, saying it violated the terms of service. They declined the family's request that the site be reposted.
Now, according to Manley's sister, Yahoo intends to take down Sports in Review, the sports blog Manley maintained up until his death because it mentions the suicide.
Before Manley became a famous suicide case, he was a noted sports journalist and statistician. He is credited as popularizing the NBA's standard efficiency rating and worked for the Star for seven years. During that time he created the blog Upon Further Review. Here's how Manley described its birth:
In the summer of 2008 one of my co-editors at the Kansas City Star (Brad Doolittle) and I decided we should create a blog for KansasCity.com - the website owned by the KC Star. We were both heavily into sports stats so it seemed like a pretty good marriage. As marriages go however, it sucked, but it got the blog (Upon Further Review) off the ground which was ultimately the only thing that mattered to me.
After Manley resigned from the paper in 2012, he continued writing about sports on a personal site called Sports in Review. He covered news of the Chiefs, the Royals and Mizzou college ball. Check it out here.
His final entry on the blog went live the day of his suicide, August 15. It was illustrated with a black card that read "The End." Here's part of what he wrote:
I have no doubt that I could still have contributed to the development of statistical data and the interpretation of that data. However, the time has come to draw this quasi-hobby to an end.
The reason for my departure is 100% within my ability to control. You see, earlier today, I committed suicide. I created a web-site to deal with the many questions a person would rightfully have. It's called martinmanleylifeanddeath.com. It went live today. In my opinion, there is no question which you could conceivably ask that I have left unanswered on that site. My goal with this post is closure for SIR.
Yahoo made clear that it considers Manley's suicide site "harmful." As we reported earlier this week, the company returned the five year prepayment Manley made, as well as the domain name and the files he uploaded, to his family. The site is in the process of being rebuilt though it's unclear who will host it.
Now it seems Yahoo is applying the same thinking to Sports in Review. Here's what Manley's sister Barbie Flick wrote to Daily RFT this morning (emphasis ours):
I have learned that in addition to Martin's life and death web site, Yahoo is considering taking down Martin's Sports in Review blog http://www.sportsinreview.com. They have not stated so, but my assumption is that Yahoo finds his last posts offensive. While Yahoo is willing to give us all of the files and domain name for Sports In Review, it would be considerably more difficult to rebuild, than his life and death web site. The sports blog was truly Martin's legacy; and while admittedly will soon become dated, contains a wealth of research, statistics, and excellent articles. For this reason, I have asked them to leave the site up while allowing us to remove his announcement to commit suicide. Yahoo has not yet provided me with their decision.
We've reached out to Yahoo and will update once we have a response.
Meanwhile, Manley's family posted their own memorial site here which includes an obituary and remembrances of him. Together with his own site, it likely makes for the most comprehensive online study of a suicide of all time.
Services will be held next week and, unlike the manner of his death, will be private.
Update: Yahoo is keeping the sports blog up.
"We see no violation of our Terms of Service within Mr. Manley's personal sports blog and we will continue to host the site."