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“What community leaders did was very essential to the service in terms of what [Aol was] selling to the public,” their lawyer, Leon Greenberg, .“The minimum-wage laws require people get paid a minimum wage.
Then, two chat room monitors, Kelly Hallisey and Brian Williams, charged that they had worked as undercompensated employees and launched a class action lawsuit against Aol to seek back wages.
This author is only 25 years old, yet he finds himself dated by the prospect of explaining to young people the excitement of entering a chat room operating under the title “Sports.” Aol’s chat rooms were new, intriguing, and a draw.
But people had not yet accepted that the Internet was a Wild West, always a bit out of control, so Aol worried about how to keep chat rooms safe.
So Wales turned Wikipedia into a nonprofit, himself (earnestly, one hopes) as an activist trying to democratize access to the world’s knowledge, and began joking about his missing millions.
Aol’s chat rooms and message boards had the same community/pioneering feel, but they were hitched to a company whose main business was Internet connectivity and looked poised to dominate the Internet age. Aol finally ended its volunteer program in 2005 and In some ways, the Aol chat room monitor program seems very quaint.