E-MAIL INSULTS

Catalyst June Issue 1999

Given the ubiquity of computers in the workplace, the use of electronic mail (e-mail) is widespread. Regrettably, some of what is being disseminated these days is offensive to Catholics. Here are two recent examples.

A “chain letter” that insults Catholics has found its way into the internal computer network of the financial company, Bear Stearns. The letter is gross and has no business being transmitted by any corporation. We have brought this to the attention of Bear Stearns and hope to get this matter resolved soon.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has a Daily Digest of e-mail subscribers. On May 7, one of the subscribers posted a joke that poked fun at nuns. It wasn’t the most offensive joke we’ve seen, but it also wasn’t the kind of joke that is told at the dinner table.

In any event, Catholic subscribers let the FCC know what they thought of the joke, and on May 10 the FCC apologized for its accidental transmission. Indeed, the FCC’s Director of Public Affairs, Joy Howell, labeled the joke “inexcusable,” and promised that “Appropriate disciplinary action is being taken.


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Written by Bill