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MEMORANDUM TO Glenn Miller CEO of Prodigy FROM ABC Consulting Group SUBJECT ADL Press Release DATE October 23 1991 PURPOSE The purpose of this memorandum is to analyze the situation Prodigy faces as a result of Anti-Semitic messages found on one of Prodigys electronic bulletin boards Feasible courses of action will be provided along with recommendations as to which actions should be taken PROBLEM Problems began for Prodigy when a subscriber to the interactive personal on-line home computer service complained to the Anti-Defamation league regarding several anti-Semitic notes which had allegedly appeared on Prodigys electronic bulletin boards Prodigys electronic bulletin boards are areas where Prodigy users can read and add to long sequences of messages that are either addressed to an individual or all Prodigy members who may wish to read them The complaint to the Anti-Defamation League triggered a number of events Prodigy attempted to resolve the issue directly with the ADL through an exchange of correspondences over a three-month period but failed On October 18 1991 the ADL releases a press release charging Prodigy with allowing subscribers to post anti-Semitic and vitriolic anti-Israel messages on its bulletin boards while disallowing responses to them The ADL argued that Prodigy did not adhere to its guidelines that bar personal insults and offensive messages on the electronic network The Wall Street Journal covered the story four days after the ADL press release The next day New York Newsday covered the story The newspapers headline read HIGH TECH HATE The one-page story highlighted several anti-Semitic notes that the ADL of Bnai Brith said had appeared on Prodigys electronic bulletin boards The widely circulated Newsday reaches a great number of Jews in the New York area By mid-morning phone calls began pouring into Prodigy making it clear a big problem exists Prodigy has described 1991 as its turnaround year With a membership base of over 11 million people
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