Eveline Lubbers on Tue, 26 Jan 1999 17:45:42 +0100 (CET)

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nettime-nl: Search engine wipt milieubeweging

(Dit komt via & van Eveline Lubbers)
Misschien beetje oud nieuws maar toch:

Georganiseerde zware jongens krijgen het voor elkaar dat zoekmachine Lycos
haar contact & contract met de milieuclub Environlink opzegt.

Korte samenvatting: De Sahara Club blijkt in de V.S. in staat d.m.v. 
grote aantallen "hate e-mails" Lycos te beinvloeden om geen door hen als 
radicaal gedefinieerde milieuorganisaties op te nemen in hun search 

De Sahara Club is een groepje zware jongens met motorfietsen die zich 
sterk maken voor het recht om te mogen off-road racen waar ze maar 
willen. Liefst in Nationale Parken, natuurlijk. Worden/werden gesponsord 
door motorenfabrikanten e.d. 

Ze hebben een speciale divisie die "The Sahara Clubbers" heet en die 
gaan bijeenkomsten van bijv. Earth First! af om deelnemers daaraan te 
intimideren met honkbalknuppels en kettingen en dergelijke. En vaak 
blijft het dan niet bij intimideren. 

A Clear View is de nieuwsbrief van CLEAR, een Amerikaanse consumenten 
research groep op gebied van media en milieu.

A CLEAR View, Volume 5, Number 11
     September 1, 1998 



          Off-Road.com declares slam a success, Lycos cancels EnviroLink contract. 

          Norm Lenhart, managing editor of Off-Road.com (visit there now), an on-line
          nexus for motorized recreation enthusiasts, took a stab at a green web host in an
          August article. His attack appears to have had a dramatic effect. Lenhart described
          EnviroLink, which is home to hundreds of environmental web sites, as a "radical
          environmental web haven." Lenhart went on to criticize Lycos, the popular internet
          search engine, for partnering with EnviroLink. A handful of web sites on
          EnviroLink advocate direct action, including Earth First and Animal Liberation
          Front, which according to Lenhart, promote "ecoterrorism." Lenhart's article called
          for a barrage of letters to Lycos demanding cancellation of the contract with

          Just ten days after the Off-Roaders began their mail campaign, Lycos ended its
          contract with EnviroLink, only three months after the two joined forces. Lycos
          denies any connection between the series of events. However, Lycos' attorney
          Jeffrey Snider, told CNET NEWS.Com that the Off-Road letters "pointed out to us
          some things about certain sites being served up under the EnviroLink domain that
          we didn't know about and we felt were misleading to our users. We will admit that
          it's misleading to our users to have those kinds of sites available [under a button
          that says] 'save the planet.'" (brackets in original, "Lycos ends environment site
          alliance," August 19, 1998. CNET NEWS.Com) Reuters News Service was a little
          more blunt, publishing the lead, "Lycos wants to save the planet -- but only if it can
          also pull in the hits and not generate any negative press." ("Lycos unplugs enviro
          group," Reuters, August 19, 1998). 

          What Lycos doesn't know is that Off-Road.com has a long-standing beef with the
          environmental movement. Articles posted on the site often refer to
          environmentalists as "Nazis," "eco-Nazis" and "eco-nuts." Off-Road.com is tied to
          anti-environmental groups through overlapping membership and interests, some
          with violent messages. 

          Off-Road.com hosts a monthly column from the Blue Ribbon Coalition, which
          should be a familiar name to regular readers of A CLEAR View. Funded in large
          part by mining interests, the Blue Ribbon Coalition was an original sponsor of the
          1988 Reno Wise Use Leadership Conference and is active in the Wise
          Use/Property Rights circuit. 

          More disturbing are the associations with the Sahara Club, an anti-environmental
          organization with a demonstrated hatred toward environmentalists, animal rights
          activists, and gays and lesbians. Sahara's newsletter has published articles
          advocating violence against environmental activists. Issue #35 suggested "If
          approached by enviro-Nazi protesters who attempt to loot your [logging truck] cab,
          or chain box, or damage your vehicle, apply pepper spray liberally to their faces,
          then demonstrate the proper dental technique using your 'swede' as a teeth
          extraction device." Rick Sieman, president of the Sahara Club, is listed as a regular
          contributor to Off-Road.com. Pat Martin of the Sahara Club reportedly "keeps the
          [Off-Road] files burning with chunks of data on our enemies, who the vermin are,
          and how to 'contact' them." (Sahara Club Newsletter #34). 

          Though Lycos claims there is no connection between Lenhart's article and the
          contract cancellation, Off-Road took initial responsibility for the outcome. In an
          August 13 web posting, they stated, "...the factual article by Off-Road.com on the
          radical groups housed and supported by EnviroLink.org has affected Lycos'
          decision to associate with and or provide support for EnviroLink" and offered
          "Congratulations to Lycos!" If the article and letters were a factor in the contract
          cancellation, Lycos has been unduly swayed by a small interest group with a bitter
          and extreme anti- environmental agenda. 

          The loss of Lycos' support has resulted in what EnviroLink's Executive Director,
          Josh Knauer, described as "a major budget shortfall." ("Internet firm drops Oakland
          Service," Tribune- Review, August 18, 1998). EnviroLink provides mailing lists,
          bulletin boards, chat rooms and web sites for environmental groups, often free of
          charge. Knauer defended the diversity of the site to the Tribune Review: "As with
          any community, there's going to be radicals, conservatives and people in the
          middle. EnviroLink takes no position on any of the issues, we just want the
          dialogue to be heard." 

          For more information and copies of all press articles referenced, see the web site
          put together by Friends of EnviroLink, http://www.waste.org/oak~/. 


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