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America Online's Web Of Deceit (Part 3)

jtfarchive.org exposes the greed, deceit and left-wing political tyranny of America Online (AOL), the world's largest Internet "service provider."

AOL's Bolshevik intrusions are not confined its chat rooms. Its unjustified meddling in the private business of its customers has included monitoring their e-mail, as one victim learned when he received a written warning against using the AOL service "improperly." He was cautioned not to "impersonate an AOL staff officer" even though the flagged e-mail had been a private and perfectly legitimate communication -- and even though AOL's own terms of service supposedly forbid it from conducting unwarranted surveillance.

The warning letter read in part: "Our records show that on 95-06-13, the FrankP3897 screen name sent an e-mail which stated...."

When FrankP3897's attorney contacted AOL's corporate office, he was told that his client's account would be reinstated if FrankP3897 sent a notarized letter agreeing not to send any more e-mails implying that "there exists a list of words prohibited on AOL."

In another incident demonstrating AOL's Bolshevik arrogance towards its customers -- the reporter was the late Jew-hating columnist Mike Royko, who wrote for the Chicago Nazi Tribune -- a customer whom we will call John Smith telephoned AOL's customer service denying its accusation that he had tried to buy products using a fraudulent AOL account. The conversation with the customer service representative, quite likely a Negress, became heated and in revenge for Smith's "snottiness," she amended his database record to read "F*****g John Smith" (rather than plain John Smith). A few days later, a letter appeared in the Smith mailbox addressed from AOL to "F*****g John Smith."

The letter was found by Smith's 10-year-old daughter. She asked her father what the obscenity meant. Smith was never able to obtain satisfaction from AOL despite repeated attempts by his lawyer to contact Chairman Case -- who obviously tracks private AOL e-mail with greater care than he does the hateful computer keystrokes of his savage employees.

Lest any jtfarchive.org readers object that the foregoing incidents occurred in the "bad old days" of AOL -- that, thanks to increased scrutiny, the company has since "cleaned up its act" to a greater or lesser degree -- we reiterate that our report on the left-wing Bolshevism of AOL's chat rooms produced an overwhelming response from our supporters, many of whom are AOL customers and, consequently, themselves victims of its latest abuses of power. Unfortunately, we lack space to repeat every incident here. So we will simply mention how a supporter named Howard requested that AOL set up a forum for grieving over lost relatives. (Howard's mother died recently.) His request was summarily denied by the AOL staffers, no doubt because bandwidth was needed for yet another chat room dedicated to commiserating with the victims of AIDS, nearly all of whom are completely responsible for their own suffering.

Scroll through the directory of AOL's chat rooms to see that, in AOL's belief, nobody can spend enough time grieving for the "two daddies" of some unfortunate adoptive toddler.

Not only are AOL's present-day customers subject to the same warnings, censorship and disconnections which plagued their predecessors for daring to utter the "politically incorrect," the company continues to reserve the right to squelch you in its contract, whose terms of service it will not allow you to read until you let it read your credit card number. ("We reserve the right to refuse service to any politically incorrect customer.") Anything denigrating to Negroes, homosexuals or Muslims, or complimentary to America, Kahanism or G-d, will very likely result in your expulsion from AOL's putative garden of earthly delights. As will, often enough, "denigrating" AOL itself or promoting alternatives to AOL service, a public-spirited practice which Chairman Case, practicing his own twisted logic -- truly twisted in light of his well-documented taste for mendacious hucksterism -- regards as forbidden "advertising."

In an incident immediately preceding the recent AOL-Time Warner merger (about which more next week), AOL blocked delivery of the latest e-mail edition of the AOL Watch newsletter, published by an anti-AOL group. The publication has 25,000 willing AOL subscribers who suddenly found themselves "protected" by AOL's spam (junk e-mail) filter. By no coincidence, the issue in question was the first of its volume to publish the telephone number which disgruntled AOL customers must use to discontinue their shoddy, deceptive, thieving "service" from the evil giant. (Signing up online with AOL is a breeze, predictably the smoothest and most reliable aspect of the whole AOL experience. But to sign off, you must jump through the hoops of a "toll-free" telephone call, or take the trouble to write or fax the company, to make your disconnect official.)

There are a bunch of people who believe that it's their manifest destiny to put AOL out of business. And it's my job to see that they don't. -- Steven Case

Giving Chairman Case good reason to monitor the thought processes of his enemies, AOL Watch and other anti-AOL watchdog organizations have informed their readers about such evil AOL practices as:

False advertising. AOL claims to have improved its Internet connection service. But even at a modem speed of 33K (AOL's numbers), the download transfer rate of files is rarely more than 2K, much too slow to take full advantage of a modern modem's capabilities. Some users suspect that AOL is simply lying about its connection speeds, rather than providing the technology to make the doctored numbers reality.

More false advertising. In another campaign of disinformation, AOL's online documentation disingenuously describes the AOL shell browser as "up to three times faster than any other browser." The statistic seems based on the assumption that only a single AOL customer will ever be online at once. In reality, millions of users compete simultaneously for attention from the company's Virginia mainframe, slowing responses to a crawl, and often to a standstill, during peak hours.

Still more false advertising. In an infamous incident of August 1996, AOL's "service" suffered a 19-hour blackout after AOL, without implementing the infrastructure to deliver the goods, promised its prospective customers "unlimited access." The New York Nazi Times front page headline read "CHAOS@AOL.COM." In response, Chairman Case "magnanimously" rebated all customers for their one-day loss, which averaged about 49 cents per head. Meanwhile, he pleaded with the masses to curtail their "unlimited" usage and to contain it to the evening hours -- only to find himself deluged by thousands of irate e-mails slamming him for AOL's busy signals and signal losses, a direct result of his deceptive bait-and-switch tactics.

Financial chicanery. Again shortly before the AOL-Time Warner merger, AOL was caught red-handed "creatively" manipulating its account ledger to keep AOL investors in the dark about their recent losses.

Criminal attempts at monopoly. The deliberate corruption of e-mail attachments (pictures, audio files, video files and the like) sent to and from competing Internet services was a blatant effort by AOL -- not unlike the monopolistic shenanigans of Microsoft's "software wars" -- to force non-AOL users into the AOL sheepfold.

Much to Chairman Case's fear and anger, the anti-AOL organizations have recommended retaliating against his criminal duplicity and arrogance in the following practical ways:

Complain directly to Chairman Case via e-mail. His e-mail address is stevecase@aol.com.

Demand the advertised refund for bad service. The watchdogs recommend that you keep a record of your e-mails, including when they are read. As an AOL customer, you can ask an electronic "return receipt" from other AOL addressees, including the apparatchiks in AOL's corporate office. Given Chairman Case's arrogance, you will probably not get much of an answer. But the record of your correspondence will be ammunition if you take more serious action.

File a formal complaint with the Better Business Bureau for false advertising.

Dispute AOL charges with your credit card company. You should not pay for unreceived services. And many AOL users have reported excellent success when hitting Chairman Case where it hurts the most.

As we will explain next week, we had better learn how to fight AOL now. Because thanks to its recent acquisition of the dangerous media behemoth Time Warner -- to form the multinational corporate monster known as AOL-Time Warner -- we will surely be fighting it later on, when it will be more powerful than ever.

To be continued.


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