Browns fans flood Internet, but Md. officials not overwhelmed

January 12, 1996|By Brad Snyder | Brad Snyder,SUN STAFF

"Internet Day," sponsored by the Save Our Browns campaign in Cleveland, failed to overwhelm Maryland lawmakers and media outlets yesterday.

The governor's office reported 400 messages on its computers, and the comptroller's office received more than a thousand.

"We're equipped to handle that," a spokesman at the governor's office said.

Neither The Sun nor the Maryland Stadium Authority received any messages, which were designed to protest the NFL team's planned move to Baltimore.

Internet users could send e-mail to as many as five special address lists created by the campaign. A message sent to all five lists would be forwarded to a total of nearly 2,000 addresses, Internet Day organizer Gary Christopher said.

The exercise targeted government officials in Maryland and Ohio, media outlets and NFL owners and sponsors.

Several NFL sponsors responded.

"Wal-Mart and BF Goodrich asked us to stop," Christopher said. "You have to guess their systems got more than 10 pieces."

Local officials said they were forced to read some of the messages -- which featured deceptive titles such as "Important Education Alert" -- before they could delete them.

"We can't just delete them because we have some other mail in there," said Greg Stiverson, a comptroller's office spokesman.

Christopher said at least 10 million messages were sent by his organization, and he declared the day a success.

"We wanted to show people that he had the capacity to do whatever we wanted," he said. "We had a conscience on this."

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