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Posted: 5/9/2004 3:27:41 PM EST
I know I have seen some posts in the past about AOL being anti-gun but I would like some concrete information or links to pass on to AOL when I cancel my (so far free) subscription. Can you guys help me out? Also, any word on political contributions would be helpful. Thanks!
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 3:36:29 PM EST
First hand experiences:
They delete pro-gun messages on their internal AOL-users-only bulletin boards and even issue "warnings" and account cancellations for posting such. Good thing it wasn't /my/ account ;)

scopeny.org/aol.html

www.thegunzone.com/rkba/antigun-aol.html

www.cipherwar.com/news/00/aol_anti-guns.htm

www.google.com/search?q=aol+anti-gun
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 3:49:20 PM EST
Was the fact that AOL sucked in the beginning, sucks now, and will suck forevermore not enough per se to make you cancel?
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 3:53:05 PM EST
The company AOL does alot of there support through is Sitel Corporation. Sitel has the no weapons in car policy. They busted someone for it where I worked.
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 3:53:56 PM EST
I use the multitude of AOL cds that come in the mail as targets at the range.
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 3:55:53 PM EST
AOL is absolte ass! I hate that shit.
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 3:57:52 PM EST
NRA used to have them listed as antigun.
Assume they still do.
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 3:58:32 PM EST

Originally Posted By LARRYG:
I use the multitude of AOL cds that come in the mail as targets at the range.



I had the trunk of a crown vic full of them. Over 5000 free targets.
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 4:00:50 PM EST
[Last Edit: 5/9/2004 4:01:11 PM EST by ScrubJ]
I try to forward a weekly FINANCIAL news letter to a couple of friends, and AOHELL treasts my mail as spam and rejects it. Try to quit, I forever see people fighting for months to get them to quit charging your card. Happened to me once, and it took three months to get them to stop. This was years ago, and I STILL here about it being a problem.

Fuck it, I just hate them.
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 4:17:52 PM EST
Thanks guys! I just want some info to give them. The only reason I have it is because I got a 6 month free trial. I plan on getting rid of it but want some links to give them. I can't find the NRA listing against them.
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 4:46:20 PM EST
If everybody hits this at once, it's gonna be slow.

www.btammolabs.com/aol.mov
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 5:19:01 PM EST
AOL DECLARES GUNS PORNOGRAPHY
Sharp G&A; readers have noticed that Jim Supica, owner of the Old Town Station Dispatch Ltd occasionally loans us an antique firearm for our photo layouts. He is a Federal Firearms License holder and runs an honest, above-board business. It must have come as a complete surprise when America Online summarily removed his Web site from its system and sent the following e-mail to his account address.

AOL wrote:
"We have become aware of a web page site that is part of your account. This web page violates Hometown AOL`s Community Standards, which prohibits sexually explicit graphics, links to other sites which Hometown deems offensive, harassment, the use vulgar or sexually oriented language, discussion of illegal activities, and /or other activities that may impair the enjoyment of our community members. We have placed a note of this incident on your account history and consider this a first warning. We have removed all the files from your web page / ftp site. A second occurrence will result in termination of your account with no chance of reactivation".

Although AOL has a right to say yes or no to the types of web pages it permits, it seems a bit strong to call gun dealers pornographers. I've heard from other dealers who got the same form letter and no-warning boot from AOL. Supica said: "I mainly want to get on with my business with the least possible hassle. AOL decision to dump gun dealer sites did not bother me as much as the manner in which they did it."

Thanks to Bill Clede of the Shotgun News for the story and to the Hodgdon Powder Co. for forwarding the information.

Guns & Ammo / February 2000 issue.

Link Posted: 5/9/2004 5:19:38 PM EST
AOL Calls Guns Pornography
(from articles by Bill Clede)


A SHOTGUN NEWS columnist found himself put in the smut merchant category by the Internet colossus.

Jim Supica, a SHOTGUN NEWS columnist familiar to readers of this publication, operates Old Town Station Ltd., a dealer in antique and collectable firearms. He holds a Federal Firearms License for this purpose. In short, he runs a clean, above-board, and legal business. That is, he thought he did until America Online (AOL) summarily removed his web site from their system and sent e-mails to his account address, which is shared by his wife and children.

AOL wrote, "We have become aware of a web page site that is part of your account. This web page violates Hometown AOL's Community Standards, which prohibits sexually explicit graphics, links to other sites which Hometown deems offensive, harassment, the use of vulgar or sexually oriented language, discussion of illegal activities, and/or other activities that may impair the enjoyment of our community's members.

"We have placed a note of this incident on your account history and consider this a first warning. We have removed all the file(s) from your web page/ftp site. A second occurrence will result in termination of your account with no chance of reactivation."

Huh? I looked at Jim's site, now housed at www.armchairgunshow.com/, and the only obscene thing I saw were the four-figure prices these guns carry. I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice, but calling an innocent person a pornographer sounds a lot like libel to me.

"I've heard from other dealers who got the same form letter and no-warning boot from AOL," Supica said. "I got a bunch of e-mails from litigious types who suggested a lawsuit, plus an equal number from folks saying AOL has a right to edit their service as they see fit." He's right there. Services such as America Online, Microsoft Ntwork, Prodigy and CompuServe are not common carriers, nor publications in and of themselves, although they provide the means by which others publish web sites and periodicals. At about the same time as Jim's site was scrubbed by AOL, he got a messge in CompuServe's Firearms Forum that CompuServe had decreed the sale of firearms, even the legal sale of firearms, would no longer be allowed on the system. GoOutdoorsGroup Administrator Tony Mandile said, "The move was basically CYA. Obviously a headline reading, "Student Kills 10 With Online Purchase" wasn't something their legal department would like to see."

When I asked CompuServe what they had actually said, they refused to comment. They referred me back to the Forum Administrator. You should know that CompuServe is owned by AOL, but is operated separately. Yeah, right! Since these servies are private businesses they have the right to conduct their business as they see fit.

I think Tony Mandile is entirely right. The radio station I used to work for has a Sunday "Tag Sale" program that has run for many years. They prohibit automobiles and devote one whole show every couple of months to nothing but automobiles. They prohibit firearms and do not dedicate a special show to guns. Preston Spaulding of Knoxville, Tenn., tells me his local newspaper refused his classified ad when he tried to sell his gun. Gary Connor held a garage sale and the Seattle Times refused his ad that mentioned a handgun. The two daily newspapers in Madison, Wis., will no longer accept classified ads for guns from anyone other than a licensed dealer.

I wrote a newspaper column several years ago reporting how the National Rifle Association was refused in many of the print media when they tried to buy space for their ads. We all know there are people with rabidly anti-gun ideas. That is their right. But it is not their right to force their beliefs onto others or to interfere with the transaction of legal business [at least, not legally, not yet]. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and State of New York are reported to be suing the firearms industry for not controlling the distribution of their products. But to do so is called "restraint of trade" and is illegal. As for Supica, "I mainly want to get on with my business with the least possible hassle. AOL's decision to dump gun dealer sites did not bother me as much as the manner in which they did it."

You know from this column that there are literally thousands of web sites dealing in guns on the World Wide Web. I didn't think this blatant censorship exists on Internet. John R. Clarke of Thomasville, Ga., is in the business of developing and maintaining web sites. His is at www.outdoorwriter.com/. As the developer of The Ballistic Program in 1986, guns are his specialty. He said, "I am not aware of any Web Presence Provider dumping a firearms web site because of its firearms content. However in this day and time anything is possible." But it has happened. Rob Robles of Morgan Hill, Calif., touts his web site as the place for serious gun collectors at www.antiqueguns.com/. His site is on a new server. He sends notices to some 3,800 people who have asked to be included on his mailing list, just as I do. "Suddenly my domain was turned off by my Internet service provider," he said. "They had received a complaint that I was sending out Spam. This company figured I was out advocating the use of illegal weapons, and simply will not listen to anything I say. They have not looked at the letter I sent and have not looked at my site to see what I am selling. "My mailing was perfectly legal, it had a statement telling people that they could respond and be removed."

"I was in shock. What kind of idiot would completely shut down a legitimate business because of a complaint? They would not even let me talk to them and explain my side, I was completely shocked."

It's only conjecture whta the company's response might have been had Robles been selling religious icons. The left palen of Robles' auction area categorizes guns so you can focus your window-shopping. To the right are featured items. Click on one and it takes you to a form where you can see more about the particular item and enter a bid, if you want. There is a search utility. Many experts will respond to questions within their expertise.

There's one way you can be sure your web page won't ever be turned off. SHOTGUN NEWS will host your page as part of www.shotgunnews.com.

For more information, see http://www.shotgunnews.com/dealerhome.dog.

Link Posted: 5/9/2004 5:20:53 PM EST
Perhaps you're aware of the policies of the world's biggest Internet Service Provider (ISP), America Online, where both the First and Second Amendments are routinely ignored and gun-owning AOL members and employees alike are seemingly terminated upon the flimsiest of excuses.

But if you haven't caught up with any of this, please let us refer you to two other websites which detail those abuses AOL has heaped upon firearms owners.

First, read staunch gun rights defender Dr. Sarah Thompson's shocking online report, AOL Fires Gun Owners!, about an event which occurred at an AOL facility in mid-September, 2000.

He was a bit late, but GOA's Larry Pratt finally acknowledged this issue and addressed it publicly.Next, there's AOL Censors Out 2nd Amendment Rights in which Lisa S. Dean, vice president of the Free Congress Foundation's Center for Technology Policy, documents the First Amendment abuses of AOL in censoring the legal activities and pursuits of law-abiding firearms aficionados.

Read this page and the provided, independent links carefully, and ask yourself: Why would I possibly want to stay on AOL?

5 February 2002 Item:
Judge rules in favor of AOL in case of employee gun ban
Decision extends workplace to 350 parking stalls
A 2nd District Court judge has ruled America Online was within its rights when it fired three employees for violating a ban on guns in the company's leased parking lot.

The ruling in effect extended the workplace to the 350 stalls AOL leases at its Ogden call center at 2261 Grant Ave. Judge Roger Dutson said in delivering his decision that places of employment are known to be volatile places.

"I don't think a worker should have to face the prospect of getting up to go to work in the morning wondering if a co-worker he's had some friction with is armed," Dutson said.

...
AOL lawyer Gregory Stevens said after the hearing that company policy does not allow employees to talk to reporters. (From www.standard.net/; story no longer on-line.)
16 May 2001 Item:
AOL Shuts Down Members' Personal Pages
Keith's Sporting Goods was shut down because it was not up to "AOL community standards." (Link no longer operative)

In a separate but related matter, David Fulton of Hoosier Gun Works advised:
I run a business on the internet and have been using AOL as an ISP. We have a host that we use and have e-mail forwarded to us from them to our screen name at AOL.

In last month our business e-mail dropped from 100 or so a day to less than 5 messages a day. Started to check this out with our host, we can get results of e-mails refered from the web site and they were still forwarding the same amount of messages. Talked to AOL tech support and they couldn't find any problem with their system. He did say that my screen name was experiencing an abnormal amount of e-mail with the word "gun" listed in title, and as such it is against AOL guidelines, to use AOL for business purposes to barter, offer for trade, or sell firearms! (How do they do this and are they really able to read my mail?) He said some of these messages were being filtered out as they were against AOL Guidelines.
Prohibited activities, per AOL Guidelines:
...advertises and/or promotes the sale of products or services on AOL, including, without limitation: lotteries, ammunition, firearms, fireworks and other explosive materials, tobacco, alcohol, adult products and services, such as phone sex and escort services, illegal products and services, and other products and services AOL deems inappropriate....
14 January 2001 Item:
Dismissal Denied in AOL Case, Employees fired
for having guns in parking lot can sue
A judge in Weber County's 2nd District Court has refused a request by America Online to dismiss a lawsuit filed by three former employees of its Ogden call center who were fired for possessing guns in the company's parking lot.

Judge Roger S. Dutson said too many questions regarding the termination of Luke Hansen, Paul Carlson and Jason Melling remain for him to grant the request filed by the nation's largest Internet service provider.
28 December Update 2000:
Ex-AOL employees' lawsuit could hinge on ownership of parking lot
Attorneys for three men fired by AOL for having firearms in their vehicles parked at work are challenging the company's contention that the parking lot belongs to AOL.

Luke Hansen, Paul Carlson and Jason Melling sued AOL for wrongful termination after the company dismissed them in September for violation of company policy which bans guns in the orkplace. Two of the men were off-duty and the third was on a two-hour approved break when they met in the parking lot at 2261 Grant Avenue and transferred guns to Hansen's car. The men planned to go target shooting in Eden later.

Attorney James D. Vilos argued against AOL's motion to dismiss the suit in 2nd District Court saying the company does not own but merely leases space from the city in the public parking lot, and further states that AOL may have had only a right to a certain number of spaces but no right to park in a specific or identifiable area.

The case will likely become a historic fight over a company's ability to restrict its employers' rights to bear arms, and Vilos, author of the book Utah Gun Law: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, is asking for a jury trial because he said Westerners understand the value of gun ownership:

Westerners have a right to have their state legislature establish the public policy and not a 800-pound gorilla Internet provider trying to enforce East coast values on Westerners.
Vilos' motion hinted that AOL's no-gun employment policy is part of a company bias against gun ownership:

This strong "anti-gun" policy has drawn wide comment
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 5:22:21 PM EST

Originally Posted By AR15:
Thanks guys! I just want some info to give them. The only reason I have it is because I got a 6 month free trial. I plan on getting rid of it but want some links to give them. I can't find the NRA listing against them.



Don't even use the free trial! Installing any kind of AOL related software on your computer is about the same as repeatedly dropping it out of a driving car.
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 5:25:14 PM EST
What alternative to AOL is there?

Hoppy8420
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 5:27:03 PM EST

Originally Posted By Hoppy8420:
What alternative to AOL is there?



Only about 7,000 /real/ Internet Service Providers.
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 5:29:44 PM EST

Originally Posted By Hoppy8420:
What alternative to AOL is there?

Hoppy8420



Broadband through anyone.


Link Posted: 5/9/2004 5:30:02 PM EST
[Last Edit: 5/9/2004 5:31:15 PM EST by mikejohnson]
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 5:32:36 PM EST
Install AOL and you will never be free again.

You can delete that shit until the cows come home and it will still make your life miserable.

It attaches itself to everything you have installed on your computer and leeches DLL's and other files.

If you try to uninstall it it will affect the operation of everything else and the only way to truly get rid of it is to wipe the HD clean and start over.
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 5:35:05 PM EST
.
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 5:49:38 PM EST

Originally Posted By Kar98:

Originally Posted By Hoppy8420:
What alternative to AOL is there?



Only about 7,000 /real/ Internet Service Providers.



Whats the best in your opinion/ what do you use?

Hoppy8420
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 5:57:23 PM EST
My best experiences so far have been with Qwest. Had them back since 1999 until we moved to Texas in August 2002. What they basically did was give you the connection, and you could do with it whatever the hell you wanted, as long as you didn't break it.
Currently on SBCGlobalnet, pre-Yahoo.

I dunno what's available in your area, and what you expect from an ISP, but any ISP who forces you to install /any/ kind of software on your computer is already out.

For broadband options, check here.
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 6:08:39 PM EST
Thanks. Sorry for the hijack, back to the AOL bashing. I'll get the ball rolling.

Ain't AOl a bitch?

Hoppy8420
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 6:09:06 PM EST
Go find a mom-n-pop ISP that tells you they will walk you through the setup, no software required. You'll be supporting a fast-dying breed of business, and your computer won't choke to death on the crappy 3rd party offal AOL litters all over the drive. Hell, at the end of the day, dialup is dialup is dialup. All three suck. Talk to your cable guy, it really is faster than DSL ;)
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 6:11:00 PM EST
If youre going the dialup route I cant speak highly enough of Copper.net
$9.95 a month and you get INTERNET ACCESS and nothing else!
No Bullshit, No popups, No ads And best of all nothing installed on your computer!
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 6:25:30 PM EST

Originally Posted By Hoppy8420:

Originally Posted By Kar98:

Originally Posted By Hoppy8420:
What alternative to AOL is there?



Only about 7,000 /real/ Internet Service Providers.



Whats the best in your opinion/ what do you use?

Hoppy8420



Just flip open the phone book to Internet and start calling. And that 7,000 is probably far too low.

AOL sucks hard long before you even get into their anti-gun policies. Last I checked (which was kinda long ago since AOL products are not allowed on any of my computers), they make you use the crappiest interface imaginable for most of the internet services (mail, newsgroups, FTP, etc). Their web browsers are generally way behind what's current. You can get better service cheaper with any local or national dialup ISP, and they won't make you install out of date software that hijacks your computer.
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