Resolutely unable to take a joke...
Date: Sun, 18 Dec 94 13:33:12 PST
Subject: Resolutely unable to take a joke...
[You couldn't ask for a better straight man, er, ... company... -psl]
Forwarded-by: bostic@CS.Berkeley.EDU (Keith Bostic)
Forwarded-by: Dan Wallach <dwallach@CS.Princeton.EDU>
SEATTLE, Dec 16 (Reuter) - In one of the oddest items yet
to come spinning out of cyberspace, software giant Microsoft
Corp. issued a statement Friday denying it was seeking to
acquire the Roman Catholic Church.
Such is life on the information superhighway.
Microsoft, the largest software company in the world, fell
victim to an electronic hoax that showed the much-ballyhooed
superhighway can just as easily carry nonsense as well as
The company was forced to deny the report circulating on
the Internet that it planned to acquire the Roman Catholic
Church. The Internet is the global web of computer networks,
reaching 20 million users.
``The story has no truth and was not generated by the
company,'' the Microsoft statement said. ``The company is not
aware how the electronic message originated but maintains
strict policies internally concerning the proper use of
A Microsoft spokeswoman said the false report, written in
the guise of a news article supposedly issued by a major news
organisation, was first noticed a little more than a week ago.
Since then, it has has bounced around on the Internet,
generating a flood of angry telephone calls and electronic
mail messages to the company.
The item was even picked up and mentioned on the air by
nationally syndicated radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh, the
The Internet is envisioned by Microsoft Chairman Bill
Gates as a foundation for the information superhighway. It is
also an important selling point of Microsoft's upcoming
Windows 95 operating system and of the company's planned
But some Internet users have recently come under fire for
turning it into an electronic free-for-all of unregulated
communications, where the unwelcome are ``flamed'' with profane
e-mail and pornography has sometimes been disseminated.
© 1994 Peter Langston