>Hmm...I just saw AOL's announcement, in several Usenet groups, that (roughly)
>a dozen users were nuked for email/Usenet abuse. In that announcement, they
>apologized for being unable to reach every complainant. If memory serves, it
>was this diet thing...it sounds as if you just didn't get the word. (Interes-
>tingly enough, AOL *immediately* started taking a PR beating for nuking the
>Keep in mind that they received, in all likelihood, hundreds of complaints
>about that email/Usenet spam. I'd like to get a personal reply to every-
>thing I send them, but I see the reality of email floods as well...8)
They were also quick to hunt down the perpetrators of the "Good Times" hoax
late last year and may have suffered unfair press over the false claim that
one of their own users could have started up a real virus just through email.
Amazing how many people actually believed that ;-)
>>AOL is a for-profit business that needs to clean up its public relations act.
>I agree; however, I also see great improvement from their original positions
>and actions. This sort of thing doesn't just happen overnight. They could
>just as easily tell us to go find a corner; I, for one, am glad that they've
>begun participating in managerial forums like this...
AOL, along with other commercial providers, is also getting involved in the
Internet service provider business. Those of you who worship the notion that
the Internet is an anarchy are in for a big surprise 5-10 years from now. The
commercial greed aspect *IS* a fact of life. Complaining about it is not going
to make a bit of difference. The Internet is moving in that direction.
Everyone who provides a free service has to deal with the fact that some are
going to use it and not give anything in return. They either decide that they
can live with that, or else they realize that they aren't really as interested
in providing a free service as they thought they were so they withdraw.
I understand the sentiment that it would be nice if Internet users and
commercial service providers gave back something for what they are getting,
but it's a pipe dream at least as far as the latter are concerned. And not
all users contribute in addition to leaching. But if reciprocity is required
from Internet users, then that requirement effectively changes the Internet
from an open community to a closed community. The commercial service providers
like AOL would be irrelevant to such a picture.
MDA Center for Software Engineering