CYBERsitter Correspondence Round 1

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The MoJo Wire:

To: bmilburn@solidoak.com
From: Eric Umansky
Subject: Why are we being blocked?
Date: Mon, 9 Dec 1996

Dear Mr. Milburn-

It has come to my attention that one of your pieces of software, Cybersitter, is blocking *one* of the domain names of our site, The MoJo Wire. The domain being blocked is www.mojones.com. The MoJo Wire is the online sister publication of Mother Jones, a magazine dedicated to "investigating and reporting on the important social and political issues of our time. " While Mother Jones prides itself on engaging substantive issues, we do not host any pornographic material or material that would be inappropriate for those under 18 (your own criteria).

Please explain why a site such as ours, that has a political focus, is currently being blocked. Or, if our site was blocked unintentionally, please remove the block.

By the way, any explanation for blocking one of our urls www.mojones.com and not blocking the other www.motherjones.com?

Sincerely,

Eric Umansky
Associate Editor
The MoJo Wire

Solid Oak’s response:

From: "Brian Milburn" bmilburn@solidoak.com>
To: Eric Umansky
Organization: Solid Oak Software, Inc.
Subject: Re: Why are we being blocked?
Date: Mon, 9 Dec 1996

Eric,

MoJo Wire was blocked because of our educational customer complaints (9) last year for gay/lesbian issues. I am sorry, I do not have any more detail than that.

I have reviewed both sites. My *personal* opinion of Al Franken is that while he is a comedic genius, he is one of the most illogical, shallow, and overrated dim wits given any creditability whatsoever when it it comes to politics and social issues. I would like to see him blocked until the cows come home. Just because someone is well known it doesn't mean they have the ability to reason.

However, my personal opinions are not the criteria by which a site is included in the blocking list. Upon review, you have (or now have) a magazine format that is totally acceptable (except Al Franken) and I don't believe would be considered offensive to anyone.

I will see to it that the site(s) are removed from the filter file tomorrow and that all updates will reflect the change. I apologize for any inconvenience.

Brian Milburn

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

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