[Air-l] query about commercial regulation of internet chat

Jonathan Marshall Jonathan.Marshall at uts.edu.au
Mon Jul 25 22:56:20 PDT 2005

I wonder if anyone knows of any academic writings on the commercial regulation of chatrooms, mailing lists etc. 

I remember and can find heaps of annecdotal evidence of AOL regulating the use of posts with 'vulgar' terms in them.  This has supposedly lead to the discontinuance of serious discussion on homosexuality, breast cancer and so on. However i've not yet found any academic discussion of this, or articles which put this in historical context.  For example, does AOL still behave in this kind of way, if it ever did.

I also remember that Prodigy was accused of obliterating complaints against itself.

In one book i saw mention that one supplier simply replaced any word it did not like with a series of #s, but the source does not mention either where or when this occured.

I've also heard of companies attempting regulate comment about them in internet groups by threatening legal action over the use of trade marks, but cannot remember any details, and again don't know anything about the historical trajectory.

thanks for any help with this.


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