ANTI-SEMITISM DETOURED ON THE INFORMATION SUPERHIGHWAY
New York, NY, February 24...Anti-Semitic messages no longer have a free
ride on Prodigy's information superhighway, the company has assured the
Anti-Defamation League (ADL).
Jeffrey P. Sinensky, director of the League's Civil Rights Division, recently
lodged a complaint with the computer online service regarding two messages
on Prodigy bulletin boards which charged that ADL and Jews in general were
responsible for the shootout at the Waco compound of the Branch Davidians,
as well as the assassination of President Kennedy. Sinensky was delighted
when he received a prompt response from Prodigy president, Ross Slatzer,
which said in part:
"You'll be pleased to know that the individual was reported to us by
our members. In addition to removing the note, the individual was warned
and subsequently suspended from using the boards. Any further infractions
will result in immediate account termination."
ADL focused national attention in 1991 on the growing use of online bulletin
boards by Holocaust deniers and bigots. After an exchange of letters between
ADL and Prodigy and a barrage of publicity, the firm amplified its guidelines
concerning bulletin board messages to include blatant expressions of bigotry,
racism and hate in its definition of what is "grossly repugnant."
Sinensky said, "We are very pleased with the company's sensitivity
and good judgment in implementing and enforcing their prohibition of statements
that are grossly repugnant to community standards." He said ADL has
received considerable fewer complaints regarding bigoted messages on Prodigy
bulletin boards since the firm clarified its guidelines.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.