Internet Roundup

The Lycos Ministry of Truth
Published: 1998-06-01

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Readers of Smith's Report may recall our announcement of having been the proud recipients of an Internet award in 1996 (see SR 47 "Notebook). The award was a "Top 5% of the Web" rating by Lycos—a web directory of top-shelf sites rated by the Web's most experienced reviewers.

For quite some time CODOHWeb has proudly worn our Lycos award like a badge of honor, displaying it proudly on our homepage. Clearly this honor was a thorn in the side of the self-appointed arbiters of truth and justice on the Internet.

One can imagine our surprise when a certified letter showed up addressed to CODOH from one Jeffrey M. Snider, General Counsel for none other than Lycos. Mr. Snider writes, "...our records confirm that [CODOHWeb] has not been reviewed and rated by our editors, and therefore, the display of the ‘Top 5% Sites’ logo is incorrect and intentionally misleading." Snider continued, threatening legal action; "DEMAND is therefore made that you CEASE and DESIST from displaying the ‘Top 5% Sites’ logo on [CODOHWeb]. If you fail to comply promptly with this demand, legal action will be taken against you."

Initially convinced that this was nothing more than a simple mistake, CODOH associates went to the Lycos Website to find the review that was done. Lycos had not stripped us of our accolade, the accolade no longer existed! The Lycos Website had been wiped clean of any and all traces of their review of CODOHWeb. Some Orwellian "Winston Smith" in the Lycos Ministry of Truth had dialed up the offending review and wiped it clean. In Orwell's 1984 people who were out of step with the ruling regime ran the risk of becoming "unpersons." In the increasingly disturbing year of 1998, CODOHWeb has become what could be the first "unwebsite." According to Lycos the review did not exist, had never existed!

The paranoid among us could easily argue that the Internet, with its constant updating and ease of change, actually lends itself wonderfully to Orwell's nightmarish prophecies. But there is a more positive side as well.

Once CODOH associates recognized what had been done and reflected on the shadowy figures who most likely were pulling the strings behind this one, they jumped into action. Just as it is a relatively simple act to delete information as the Lycos "Winston" did, it is also a simple act to "save" information on a desktop computer. Although Lycos had wiped their files clean, they didn’t know that CODOH maintained a copy of the review on our own computer.

Rather than simply removing the "Lycos Top 5%" logo, CODOH Webmaster David Thomas created a new logo. This one, labeled the "CODOH Bottom 5% Integrity Award," was awarded to one recipient—you guessed it—to Lycos. David Thomas explains the award on CODOHWeb, "We don't know if Lycos has bowed to the censorship pressures of organizations like the Simon Wiesenthal Center and 'sanitized' themselves of us in an act of de facto censorship masked by intentional misrepresentation, or if they're simply disorganized and rude to the point of arrogance. But their claim that they did not include us in the Top 5% listing and reviews is patently incorrect, as is the false charge of CODOH's ‘intentionally misleading’ use of the Top 5% logo." The Top 5% Review was located at: The review is a mixed bag, of course, containing all the obligatory derisive dismissals. Still, the review was of a CODOHWeb still in its infancy. That early CODOHWeb was but a mere glimmer of the lightning bolt that it has become. The number of people who accessed the site during one month in those days is today exceeded by the number of those who access us in a single day. As CODOHWeb and cyber-revisionism grows stronger, brighter and more powerful, Big Brother barks commands at his Thought Police to stop this tidal wave of revisionism. It is very clear that CODOHWeb and its band of thought-criminals are a target of those who would choose what we can read—and think.

"Bradley Smith offers this well-written yet still nearly incomprehensible set of pages on the revisionist version of The Holocaust. To get an idea of what’s going on here, read David Cole's "46 Important Unanswered Questions Regarding the WWII Gas Chambers." Cole, an "independent researcher," attempts to show that the gassing of Jews by the Nazis either didn't take place or took place on a much smaller scale than "mainstream historians” would have us believe. ...”

Additional information about this document
Property Value
Author(s): Richard A. Widmann
Title: Internet Roundup, The Lycos Ministry of Truth
Sources: Smith's Report, no. 55, June 1998, pp. 6f.
Published: 1998-06-01
First posted on CODOH: Oct. 28, 2015, 4:12 a.m.
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