why we got kicked off
Whether we got kicked off AOL for a legitimate reason is still in question by us, and some others. So, what follows below is a log of events that happened before and after the incident.
Couple of Days Before Releasing Devil Shat Four:
We had gotten email from AOL giving the TOS rules for hosting a business through AOL. Much of what the "rules" said was garbled and full of a bunch of different interpretations. So, we sent email back to them asking for clarification and further answers and ruling. Since the TOS was only sent to the Morbus account instead of the actual "master" account, that indicated that it was not actually a TOS violation but more of a reminder. We never received any email back from TOSGeneral.
At this time, the idea of doing the PAWM thing popped in our heads. We knew it would be controversial, but we didn't see anything legally wrong with any of the TOS rulings. So we went ahead with it. We did our best to make it as obvious and blatant as possible that what we felt about this was only hatred and worse. We even entitled the piece "this is sick". Indications could not get any more clearer than that. FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO STILL DON'T GET IT, WE ARE NOT RACISTS. IN FACT, WE ARE QUITE THE OPPOSITE. WE MIGHT BE CONSIDERED LEFT WING RADICAL ANTI RACIST TERRORISTS.
Release of Devil Shat Four:
The mailing went well, no hitches or complications. We got the expected "you nazi bastards" back and "unsubscribe me, you aryan pig." We also got the (surprising) support of what we had said, and how many people agreed with us. Any doubt about whether releasing this was a bad idea left our mind.
The Day After Releasing Devil Shat Four:
Couldn't get on our account today. Hmmmm. Called up AOL. And here is where it get's interesting. The person on the other end of the line was some Southerner (no prejudice here) who seemed to be confused about the whole thing. He said we had gotten terminated for "malicious mischief" which I assumed he meant for Devil Shat Four. He later confirmed that, and then said that we would never get our account back.
So, since this guy didn't have his act together, we called the service line again, waited fifteen minutes to be connected to this other guy. We talked and eventually he came around to telling us that we had been terminated for "racist propaganda" and too many "TOS violations". Well, we had a field day with this one. Firstly, we tried to get more info about this racist propaganda thingy doo. He quite simply told us that "spreading hate mail" was a violation of TOS. Wha? After more discussion, we came to the following conclusion. Someone (whom we are going to take the liberties of assuming was an Aryan) took Devil Shat Four, removed all of our comments regarding the PAWM and other articles and began distributing it himself, portraying disobey as a nazi party. We almost laughed at this, and then we realized how angry it made us. We would love to find this guy. If you have any more information, then send it on over to us.
And then we got to the "TOS violations" part. We had violated it too many times, huh? Well, we asked for what. Two times for being in "illegal rooms", which we were well aware of, and then a third time for massmailing, and then finally the "racist propaganda" (which we still couldn't convince him otherwise of). So we backed up. Massmailing? Apparently, he continued, TOS had sent us information on what we could and could not do for a business online. Yes, they did send us that, we argued, but not to the master account, which is the only one (if any) TOS violations should be sent to. We argued this up and down with no avail. Quite simply, the guy was being an asshole. So we hung up in rage.
Well, the next day, we tried again. We called them up, and attempted to have all our email rerouted to our new address. No deal. Hmm.. this is a family community? Ah twell. Really no big deal. We could adjust.
Couple of Weeks Later:
AOL calls us up and offers us 50 free hours to renew our account. Lady starts crying as we proceed to vent all our frustration at her. We do not like AOL.
And Now The Moral Of The Story:
We used to like AOL. See, we never understood why people could hate it so much. AOL has some great features, and a much friendlier environment then the "harsh" internet where very often all you get is a "RTFM" (read the fucking manual). AOL had its advantages (chat rooms, message boards, the games, and the file directories) and its disadvantages (busy lines, slooow internet, cheesy graphics, shoddy workmanship, and a tendency to attract hackers) but it was never something of dislike for us.
Yet because of this little episode, AOL has lost a great trust in us. Sure, we'll still use it if the opportunity comes along (right now, we're beta testing their AOL Instant Messenger software at their website) but their really horrible administrative services have left us a little disillusioned with how great they once were.
send us an email
The aol thingy....well...I dunno...I wasn't really surprised, to tell ya the truth. Really...were you?? You're telling me you didn't expect something like that? I don't really get the letters at the end saying how (in my ever so polite words) crappy aol was, cuz they didn't seem to do anything that was REALLY wrong... what'd you get kicked off for? The room thingy (you did that, right?) and the massmailing thingy...wait...they sent you a letter but they sent it to the wrong account? uhmm...so? You still GOT the letter, right? k..maybe they're kinda at fault for not making the letter easier to understand, but still...does it really matter?? I dunno... seems like picking up on that "they sent it to the wrong account!" thingy was just nit-picking at a technicality and sorta distracted from the original point...I don't really know where I'm going with this, except that I didn't really get the "OMG AOL IS LIKE SOTOTALLYMEAN! [hair flip]" impression...more like the "well that wasn't very nice. [adjust glasses]" vibe...k...they weren't fair...oh well...moving on...(is there even such a thing as being fair? Nevermind...not gonna get into that...)
HOLY SHIT!!!!!!!!! That was a cool fuckin Issue!!!
You made good points in there about the "ethics" of AOL... and their TOS rulings. I have taken 2 TOS classes and the things you have gotten "terminated" for are ridiculous.
Hey Morbus! Thought I would drop a line telling you how pissed I am that AOL is a bunch of hypocritical prejudging assholes. However, I do believe you all touched on the subject of people... and how they just judge a book by it's cover without getting to really know what that book is about. You have proved it time and again and here you proved it with one (if not the) top online service in America. Again, my opinions towards the general population is once again strengthened. That opinion is that a large portion of our population has their head crammed up their ass and only sees what they believe is ok to see... as someone once put it... a bunch of sheep, following the herd. Anyway-I tried a few of those "keywords" and most of them I did not get into... no surprise there as I do not have a guide account or what have you... but some of them I did get to. My question on that topic is... what can I do with them? Please bear with me as I am not entirely knowledgable on computers and their abilities... ever since I crashed my computer last year... I have been a little hesitant to start messing around in unknown waters again. Most of the stuff I found seemed like information... for instance... chat classes? If there is some thing I can do to AOL or have AOL do for me, please enlighten me. I took that statement, "since AOL has been so nice to us..." as a sort of "f*** you AOL". If that is the case, oh please do let me know how I can indeed f*** with them. If not, thank you for the insights anyway. Keep those newsletters coming. I truly enjoy them.
Yes, that is definitely what the statement meant. As for letting you know how to fuck with AOL... hmm. Well, you need to get knowledgeable on computers first AND their abilities. However, some of the different little hacks that have been performed on AOL have appeared at www.aolsucks.org and Internet Underground magazine. What can you do? Take the nude keywords at the bottom of the list of keywords and print out the pictures and then send them into your local newspaper along with how to get to them. Let them know what this family channel has done. Keep abreast of what AOL is doing. If you don't like it, go do something about it. Send a letter to Steve Case and complain about it. Have your friends complain about it too. And don't forget to mention Devil Shat.
NOTE: The nude keywords mentioned were removed from this issue shortly after it was released. Seems like AOL got word of all of the listed keywords and decided to make all of them obsolete.