Monday, September 25, 2006


Before he left for Iraq awhile back, Armand had his entire journal uncermoniously expunged by AOL.  

To say the event was a microcosm of AOL's bizarre TOS [TERMS OF SERVICE] practices would not be an exaggeration.  

Basically, if someone accuses you of violating one of AOL's Terms of Service agreements, usually porn or language -- you're guilty. In Armand's case it was a link that someone found offensive.

I was accused of uploading porn to my FTP space once, while I was asleep. I was lucky. They only put me on probation for six months because of that.  Usually you can't even find out what you've been accused of.

The link posted in Armand's journal was actually one that AOL itself had linked to. No matter. They just dumped his journal -- all of it -- without so much as telling him or investigating the accusation.

While the rest of the heart and soul of AOL journalers left over the stupid ads which we were told wouldn't be posted on paid members' blogs, Armand left because of TOS. 

Before his departure he took on the nameless faceless TOS police and won his case. He even got free AOL service out of them, even though he'd moved to Blogspot by then.

Did he get his journal back? Nope. AOL told him sorry, but his journal was gone forever, even though they'd made a mistake, and the entries couldn't be recovered except by searching Google and other search engines. You know they were lying.

To celebrate his victory -- the only one I know of over TOS -- I had this cartoon made to commemorate his efforts.

Now that he's back from the REAL war, I thought it was worth posting again.

To remind everyone nothing is safe here. On the other hand, nothing is sacred either. 

You can link to his off campus blog -- Uncommon Sense -- via my Other Journals listings.

Kudos to my illustrator friend, Chris, who whipped this up in less than an hour.  If you ever need anything from a b/w drawing to a six color poster to a book cover, he's the fastest and one of the best I've ever worked with, professionally. 


ladeeoftheworld said...

Tragic, to throw away someone's thoughts like yesterday's trash.

lanurseprn said...

That sucks that they'd just do away with the journal. He should have been able to copy it first if he'd wanted.  GEEZ.

armandt said...

Thanks, Mrs L!

It's good to be back.

For the record: the "offending" link was a TOS-violating link to an AOL-WebMD link that AOL claimed was a pro-bulimia link.  That... and I still have two months remaining of the 18 free months they gave me.

AOL doesn't give up on screwing their customers though.  I see that advertising is still at the top of our journals.  That's quite an i-d-e-a-l-o-g-y they have going there.

It seems the lord of penetration takes a licking, and keeps on... thrusting.
(Apologies to brother Remo).

~ Armand

psychfun said...

Well you know AOL is FREE so you get what you pay for! HA! Sucky service! Someone will be on a witchhunt & then all their blogs will be gone! HA! Ya, that really helps them.