Date: Thu, 9 Jan 1997
Subject: Re: Abuse of the Palace Chat Program
Sorry not to have replied to you earlier about
your complaint. We dealt with it immediately - as
an emergency issue - but my exteme busy-ness has
prevented me from replying to you earlier. (In
fact, it has taken over 24 hours just to complete
this e-mail, what with constant interruptions and
my inability to stay late for two nights running.)
The morning after we received your complaint our
IT director identified the culprits - not just the
two you were forced to evict this week, but we
think we've found the earlier offender as well.
This incident highlighted for us something that
everyone knows, but which is too often forgotten.
When a large company makes Internet access
available to all personnel (which is what we are
in the process of doing), it is important to
establish guidelines and even an education
programme for Netiquette.
At 9.51 on 7 January we issued a company-wide
Netiquette memo. In it (among other things) we
explained what the culprits had done, and offense
caused. We deliberately did not identify them in
the memo, and the resulting buzz about who did it,
and what they did, has made everyone pay more
attention to the issue than if we had simply
embarked on a Netiquette programme on its own.
And, yes, the culprits have also been dealt with
individually. And, yes, we're going to have to do
more than just issue one memo.
Leaving aside the question of Internet abuse,
accessing Palace Chat servers during working hours
is, from the company's point of view, an abuse of
the privilege of Internet access on the part of
the particular employees in question. Even if they
were behaving properly, they should not have been
chatting away on the Palace during working hours.
If our company were a furniture manufacturer or an
insurance broker, I would not worry about your
barring our domain from access to the Palace
servers. I would probably welcome it.
As a web developer, I've followed the development
of Palace software with keen interest. I bought
it. I experiment with it. I urge my subcontractors
to experiment with it. When appropriate, I
consider its suitability for use on behalf of
clients. Indeed, this autumn, we came very close
to recommending development of a Palace server.
Those of us concerned with web development would
like continued access to the Communities.com Palace servers
for the purposes of research and demonstration
(and interest and amusement, after hours). I would
be very grateful if you could not recommend
barring our domain.
Once again, I'm deeply unhappy and mortified about
what has happened, and apologize unreservedly on
behalf of Wentworth & Associates. Please do not
hesitate to contact me at once if there are any