Someone who saw my information on the Internet Link Exchange wrote to the Link Exchange, asking about their policy. This person sent me the following e-mail, with the message they had received back from LE:
PLEASE NOTE: Jason has now addressed some of my concerns, please see the August 15, 1997 updates for the latest info.
----------Start e-mail message-----------
This is one reason they were all over your site. When I saw it (before I wrote you) I sent them this e-mail, and got this response today:
Re: LinkExchange: Other
Mon, 4 Aug 1997 13:46:51 -0700 (PDT)
I was considering joining, but looking around the net it certainly does appear that you heavily censor political thought that you do not agree with ie: http://www.gargaro.com/banners.html How do I know I won't get censored just because you don't like what I have to say. Please examine the link above if you heaven't already, it really does seem undeniable.
Following is the response from Internet Link Exchange, with my comments inserted in bold. I have not modified, changed, or removed any of Jason's (who wrote on behalf of ILE) statement in any way. I can provide the original e-mail upon request.
---start e-mail from ILE-----
"We do censor an awful lot of banners - but not based on their political content. We also censor out pro-drug, pornography, inflammatory - in other words, out of the 100 banners we reject a day, only 1 or 2 might be political in nature."
" 'Ahhh..' you're saying 'they're admitting that some of the banners they kick out are kicked out because of political content.' Well, sort of. You see, we don't allow banners that we feel are inflammatory. So a banner which said "impeach the first fellons" would not be acceptable, while a banner which says "find out more about how to impeach clinton" would be. The first banner listed was accepted into ILE and advertised for weeks before they decided to quit."
Whoops - the statement "The first banner listed was accepted into ILE and advertised for weeks before they decided to quit" is not entirely accurate. Below is the banner to which Jason refers:
What actually happened was that ILE censored this banner, then ILE suddenly put the banner in circulation, AFTER they told ROTW it was not accepted. ILE also did NOT tell ROTW that it had been accepted. Perhaps ILE sort of "snuck" the banner in as damage control measure, but as of now the reasons for this are unclear. However, about one month later, one of ROTW's webmasters saw the banner one day and was surprised! ILE ran the banner for weeks without ROTW's knowledge (from April 2, 1997 to May 6, 1997 to be exact) or permission. It seems as if ILE placed the banner into circulation so they could do EXACTLY what they did here - say "Gee...we never censored that banner." Amazing! Right on the Web issued an official statement on August 05, 1997 regarding this - please read Right on the Web's official statement regarding the censoring of their banner.
I also have available the e-mail exchange between Internet Link Exchange and ROTW in which the banner was rejected, and then placed back in circulation without notice to ROTW, as described above.
"How do you know your banner will be accepted? In general, if its not inflammatory"
?? None of these are inflammatory? The word "abortion" is more inflammatory that these banners? "Stop the Clintons" is more inflammatory than these banners?
"and follows all the terms and conditions you agreed to when you signed up, it will be fine. If you want to write us first and ask if a particular idea would be acceptable, we'll tell you that too. We'll look at your banner before you submit it to see if its okay. We'll even submit it for you if you want. And if it gets rejected then, and you write asking for an explanation, we'll even write you back and tell you what the hell happened. Of the five banners on http://www.gargaro.com/censored.html only four were submitted to us."
Wait a minute!! This above statement is incorrect, as will be shown in a moment.
"The first one was accepted and adveritised."
Wait a sec...ILE implies that this banner was never censored! Read Right on the Web's official statement regarding this inaccurate statement. ILE is leaving out some crucial information.
"The second one was never submitted."
Below is the banner to which Jason refers:
NOTE Jason has admitted making an error on this banner, and actually admits it should have been admitted. Please see the August 17, 1997 for the statement
"The third one was rejected for being inflammatory."
Below is the third banner to which Jason refers:
Again, "Stop the Clintons" is more inflammatory that these banners? Guess it's a matter of opinion....
"The fourth one was rejected for being potentially libelous."
Below is the fourth banner to which Jason refers:
This explanation I could possibly believe, but considering ILE's track record...
"I had concerns about the fifth banner and personally wrote them asking their opinion."
Here is the fifth banner:
Asking their opinion? No, they wrote and said the banner was not accepted. Please see "How this all Started" to see how ILE "asked their opinion."
"They submitted a new banner and were being advertised within 24 hours."
Yes - but that is not the full story. The censored the banner because, well *gosh*, the word "abortion" is just *too* offensive. Once the word "abortion" was taken out, ILE did accept the banner. Read "How this all Started", for the accurate version of the story, which includes e-mail from ILE, explaining their reasons.
"We have 140,000 banners circulating right now - you can decide for yourself wheather the cases above bear enough weight to constitue a political bias. If you have any other questions, please let me know."
Hey, some people think there is bias - others do not. I agree that people should make up their own mind, which is why I have this information posted. I think my information is necessary, since no one knows what banners have been rejected just by viewing the banners in circulation at ILE. And ILE *has* gotten better at accepting conservative banners - I admitted that when I found the "Impeachment" banner in circulation.