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I've been writing a lot about so-called 'content farms' in recent months - companies like Demand Media and Answers.com which create thousands of pieces of content per day and are making a big impact on the Web. Both of those two companies are now firmly inside the top 20 Web properties in the U.S. , on a par with the likes of Apple and AOL. Big media, blogs and Google are all beginning to take notice. Chris Ahearn, President of Media at Thomson Reuters, recently published an article on how journalism can survive in the Internet age. TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington also riffs on this theme , mentioning AOL's "Toyota Strategy of building thousand of niche content sites via the work of cast-offs from old media" and quoting a Wired piece on Demand Media from October.
Last December, when Andrew Emitt starting looking for college scholarships, he turned to his high school library, hoping to find Web sites that would guide him . But the Tennessee 17-year-old is gay, and when he searched for organizations that might be friendly to LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) students, he hit a firewall. What he discovered is that 107 schools in Tennessee -- including his, Knoxville Central High School -- use software that can block Web sites catering to gay issues . Emitt couldn't find any education sites, but he could find those that promoted "reparative therapy, " which promises to change homosexuals to heterosexuals. "I wasn't looking for anything sexual or inappropriate," said Emitt.
Aeropolowoman, a journalist who was live tweeting the Mumbai terror attacks from her home in Florida, says that Twitter disabled her direct messaging and @reply facility for an hour citing excessive use. Can twitter temporarily shut you down for excessive use?