Observer-Reporter - Aug 19, 1998
Environmental site cut from Internet
PITTSBURGH (AP) - The director of a Web site devoted to environmental groups is feeling dumped on.
Joshua Knauer's EnviroLink.org was severed from the home page operated by the search engine Lycos, and he believes Lycos did so because EnviroLink hosts organizations that advocate extreme ideas.
Lycos has received e-mail critical of its association with EnviroLink, spokeswoman Madeleine Mooney confirmed, but the link was severed as a business decision that adheres to its contract with EnviroLink.
"It was not related to any pressure by any interest groups," Mooney said.
Until last week, Lycos had EnviroLink on its home page as part of a two-year contract that included identifying logos for both organizations and the search engine's slogan, "We care about the planet."
"If a link says 'save the planet,' we want it to connect to something relevant to the environment, which we care about," Mooney said.
Knauer created EnviroLink in 1991 as a class project at Carnegie Mellon University. The site was a free host to home pages for any group that advocated environmental ideas, no matter how far out. About 400 signed up.
The Church of Euthanasia's satirical site, for example, purported to favor population control through suicide, abortion and cannibalism, which Knauer said he found "abhorrent."
That site, he said, was excluded from EnviroLink's main page and couldn't be accessed from the Lycos link.
"We tout ourselves as the environmental community on the Internet. 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," Knauer said.
Knauer said the contract called for Lycos to pay EnviroLink $40,000 and a $60,000 bonus if hits on the site exceeded a certain number. EnviroLink also was to share in proceeds from selling advertising on the joint Web page, he said.
He said the contract with Lycos was a major part of The EnviroLink Network's $180,000 budget for 1990. The firm employs three people, he said.