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why aol sux America Online is the largest Internet provider in the world but it didnt become one without a fight Originally a closed-in proprietary online service it was pried open by the publics fascination with the global network For all of the companys past glory it is now little more than a big communications company America Online wants to be more than a communications company though -- it wants to be an entertainment network like the MTV of the Internet And that is where its problems set in AOL in a desperate bid to get subscribers in order to make itself more attractive to advertisers went to a flat-rate plan this year making AOL competitive on price but disastrously poor in service Today the company offers feature-poor heavily commercialized and frustratingly unreliable services to its customers AOLs Poor Service AOLs signup kits tell you that they are the fastest easiest most reliable Internet service out there Is that true Not by a million years AOL offers its users horrendous service The company is so ov erloaded with customers -- and is so far behind at installing equipment -- that busy signals have become more common than an actual connection when dialing into AOL In addition if you do connect you are condemned to use badly written AOL software to read and send email and to browse the Web For a service that is still more expensive t han its competition is the sacrifice worth it Censorship on AOL The Internet is a place of free speech where one can discuss any topic without fear of censorship or retalliation This is not the case on AOL Staff known as Guides regularly patrol the service looking for members violating the Terms of Service making use of AOL internal policy including its list of ninety banned words These roving censors have the power to take disciplinary action against violators of
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