|Subj:||Boycott Time ???|
|Date:||11/15/01 7:59:05 AM Pacific Standard Time|
Post-No.: conflight-l/2001-11-15/4783 (digest-marker)
Subject: RE: [conflight] AOL 70
-- Note: the article is old, but there are some recent comments at the
bottom. -- paul108 -
IS AOL CENSORING LIBERAL INFORMATION?
AOL's "youth filters" protect kids from Democrats
By Brian Livingston
April 24, 2000
America Online provides "youth filters" that are supposed to keep kids
out of dangerous Web sites--but they seem designed to eliminate creeping
liberalism. For example, if you've set up AOL to restrict your children
to "Kids Only" Web sites:
. Your children can easily view the site of the Republican National
Committee, but the Democratic National Committee is blocked.
. Children can call up the conservative Constitution Party and
Libertarian Party, both of which are promoting their own U.S.
presidential candidates. But if they attempt to view Ralph Nader's Green
Party or Ross Perot's Reform Party, they see only a "not appropriate for
AOL's "Young Teens" filter, designed for older children, allows a few
more Web sites to be viewed. The apparent political bias, however,
remains the same:
. Sites promoting gun use are available, including Colt, Browning and
the National Rifle Association. But prominent gun safety organizations
are blocked, including the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, Safer Guns
Now and the Million Mom March.
None of the blocked sites contain depictions of nudity or even models in
"It's not just indecency that AOL is trying to keep away from children,"
says Susan Wishnetsky, a Chicago librarian.
As a board member of a youth rights organization, Wishnetsky feels the
dominant Internet service provider is "eliminating the scope of
experience kids have access to."
AOL spokesman Rich D'Amato said today that he was "unaware of any
conservative bias" in the youth filters used by the service.
The software firm that produces the filtering rules is The Learning
Company, a unit of toymaker Mattel, which the toymaker says it plans to
Susan Getgood, general manager of The Learning Company's "Cyber Patrol"
division, said her group "uses a 'whitelist' approach," in which a
specific list of sites is approved for young children.
Getgood denied that the list has a deliberate slant.
"We have a regular process of reviewing sites that are submitted, and if
they meet our criteria they are added," she said. "If some sites are
included, it's probably because someone submitted them."
AOL's latest software, version 5.0, was tested by viewing more than 100
political sites over a period of several days. AOL's filters for
children consistently allowed the viewing of far more conservative sites
than Democratic and liberal sites. The selection remained consistent
throughout the testing period....
about the writer
Brian Livingston has published 10 books, including "Windows 2000
Secrets" and "Windows Me Secrets." He has been a contributing editor at
PC World, Windows Magazine, InfoWorld and other magazines for more than
10 years. Before his work as an author, Livingston was a management
consultant advising financial institutions on computer technologies. In
1991, he received the Award for Technical Excellence from the National
Microcomputer Managers Association for his efforts to develop standards
in the computer industry.
It goes without saying the following information is anecdotal and may or
may not relate to the above. However, many of my online friends who
belong to liberal or progressive-oriented email lists have written to me
complaining that *only* the list members who use AOL as their email
server fail to receive all mail from the lists. List subscribers using
Internet email servers other than AOL have reported they receive all
Both my brother and I subscribe to Online Journal. Lately, my brother
always receives Online Journal via his Internet email server, however he
doesn't always receive it through AOL, and he often receives only a few
but not all of the articles via AOL. In recent weeks, though I
subscribe, I almost never receive Online Journal through AOL, not even
at the times when my brother gets his Online Journal articles via his
Internet server. Needless to say, the problem appears to be from AOL's
end and is no fault of Online Journal's.
This week I signed up for a new email server. I've set aside time to
write this brief message on behalf of other Online Journal readers and
any other online liberals who may happen to know AOL members who are
having trouble receiving their progressive-oriented email from various
email lists. If you know any such AOL members, you might suggest they
find another email server, even if they want to keep their AOL accounts
for other purposes.
--Mike, Political Sanity Digest, 10/16/01
I find it interesting that I received an email this afternoon re:
censored liberal email. For weeks now I am not able to open the Bush
Watch emails and have to go directly to the site to get the info. I am
being censored from opening my emails. Before I even try to open the
email, I get a message stating illegal operation and my computer
automatically shuts down. Needless to say, I am very aggravated! --Jill,
Have had consistent access troubles with my site, American Liberal, on
AOL, Yahoo, MSN and Metacrawler for about six weeks (coincidentally
started about a week before w/ 9-11). I doubt that my site gets 1/10 the
hits you do, even so, I've had e-mails from people wondering if Am Lib
had gone away. Some days even left me wondering...
There have been some server issues w/ host, WebSeed, so I tried not to
be too paranoid. My site seems to be back in biz w/ Yahoo and
Metacrawler, but not MSN or AOL. Just tried to access Am Lib @ AOL,
seached "american liberal, it came up #4 in the listing but when I
clicked on it, got message "you are not authorized to view this page..."
Yet I'm authorized to get into other sites, including search: "bush
watch." This search brings BW up, but only after scrolling through 2
pages to page 3 (26th of 29 entries and past two old geocities bw
listing which no longer exist.
The Regime is hammering us from every direction...I'll bob and weave,
but I won't run. -Susan, 10/16/01
If true, I think a nationwide boycott of AOL is in order. --Dennis,
(Say AAAMEN !!! ~ L ~ )