The Web mutes its colors on Sept. 11

The Associated Press
Thursday September 12, 2002

NEW YORK — Yahoo.com’s home page was devoid of its usually vivid colors Wednesday, its white background replaced with gray. Amazon.com carried drawings, essays and poetry from New York City schoolchildren. 

“I’ve learned that you should always leave loved ones with loving words,” eighth-grader Stephanie wrote. “It may be the last time you see them.” 

The Internet, already home to some poignant electronic archives, marked the Sept. 11 anniversary in its own way. Some Web gathering spots emphasized the medium’s power for instant reaction to galvanizing events. Others stressed not expression, but reflection. 

Topica, which sends more than 50 million messages a day to about 4,000 corporate and community discussion lists, took down its site and suspended service for most of the day. 

Anna Zornosa, the company’s president, said Topica worried that commercial advertising, could be seen as inappropriate or insensitive on a day of reflection. 

Banner ads at AOL Time Warner sites were replaced with pictures of candles and links to a site where visitors could learn of opportunities to give money, volunteer and remember.