Fresh twist in nthellworld protest site saga
Rival samizdat site launches )
The long-running saga of disgruntled NTL users seeking a forum to express their displeasure at the cable operator has taken a fresh turn.
For a months up until April 2002, nthellworld.com acted as a forum where disgruntled customers of NTL could let off steam or seek help from other users on discussion forums.
Then, in a surprise move, NTL made an offer to buy the site. Even more surprisingly, nthellworld.com's owner, Frank Whitestone, accepted the offer and sold nthellworld.com to NTL for an undisclosed amount last April. At around the same time, Whitestone also took up an offer to work for the cablco.
Last Friday, NTL announced plans to sideline nthellworld.com and close all NTL product-related discussion forums on the site from the start of next month. nthellworld.com will essentially become a jumping off point for a new ntl Community site which "will serve as the definitive source of product advice, news and technical support".
The move, or something like it, had been expected for some time. In response, dissident NTL users set up a rival protest site within hours of cable operator's Friday announcement.
The new site nthellworld.co.uk (obviously NTL's domain name folks didn't see this one coming) has pledged itself to carry the flag of protest following the 'sell out' and subsequent sanitation of nthellworld.com.
Backers of the new site explain why they feel the site is necessary in a manifesto here.
"It is strongly believed that no criticism of ntl, its products or services will be permitted on the 'community' site, so the closure of NTL related forum areas on their .com Web site effectively 'gags' any customers unhappy with the service received from NTL," the dissidents explain in a press release accompanying the launch of the site.
"The aim of www.nthellworld.co.uk is to provide a place where customers of the cable and internet company, ntl, can continue to gather and exchange views with each other, whilst providing peer to peer support regarding technical problems, queries, product and pricing information."
"We will, in effect, be providing everything that the NTL owned site had to offer, but without the heavy censorship and dislike towards criticism of NTL and their products or services," the people behind nthellworld.co.uk add.
Registered members of nthellworld.com who "have watched the corporate sanitation of the site since the cable and internet company took over control" are been encouraged to defect to the .co.uk site. After three days of operation, nthellworld.co.uk has attracted "350+ registered members and many more interested guests to the site".
"Our members already include NTL employees who have told us they are ready and willing to help assist customers on the site whenever possible," nthellworld.co.uk's statement adds. ®
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