Press Release



Company Receives Threats due to FoxNews Story
A Case of Mistaken Identity

Ithaca, NY, September 17, 2001

MCCI, a software company based in New York state, was flooded this morning by phone calls and emails from irate citizens, as a result of mistaken identity. Early this morning, Fox News nationwide morning show, “Fox & Friends” (http://www.foxnews.com/foxfriends/index.html) ran a story regarding a company in Boca Raton, Florida, “NCCI Holdings”. The story said that the company refused to allow its employees to display American flags at their work stations. The company promptly changed its policy (see http://www.ncci.com/nccisearch/news/pressrel/flag.htm).

Unfortunately, many people heard “MCCI” – not “NCCI” – and rushed to their phones or computers to send irate messages. “The office called me at home shortly after 8AM to tell me that something was going on,” said president Terrill Moore. Within the first hour, they received about 50 messages. Some were thoughtful, but many were irate, and a few threatened MCCI with unspecified acts if MCCI didn’t change its policy – which it never had. After notifying the local sheriffs department about the threats, the company started trying to respond and protect its reputation. “It was an Orwellian situation,” said Moore. “We immediately posted a statement on our web page; and the first response was, ‘we don’t believe your denial’.” As the day went on, however, NCCI and FoxNews both posted statements of their own, which added credibility to MCCI’s statements.

As with most companies, MCCI’s web site has a lot of information about the company. “One person looked at our list of overseas sales agents, and sent abusive email to each of them,” said Moore. Others, including the people sending threats, found personal email addresses and sent messages to people directly. The web is great for distributing business information, but it’s hard to balance against this type of situation.”

Moore was uncertain as to the long-term effect on the company. “Unfortunately, we’re in the computer business, and we know all too well how things can become established as internet legends. We’re a small company, self-funded, and it really taxes our resources to reply to this. We’re trying to respond to the messages personally, but we simply can’t reach everyone.”

Fox News’ senior producer Matt Singerman expressed dismay that this had happened, and Fox moved to try to limit the damage by posting a brief note on their website. “With all the news events today, it wasn’t possible for us to get an on-the-air clarification today. But we really understand MCCI’s situation, and we’ll do what we can to help.” Fox promised to run a clarification during the morning segment on September 18.

About MCCI:

MCCI supplies system software to computer device manufacturers, such as cable modems, ADSL adapters, and PDAs. A privately held New York Corporation, MCCI has headquarters in Ithaca NY and offices in Bundang, South Korea (near Seoul), and 17 employees. MCCI is a registered trademark of Moore Computer Consultants, Inc.


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