In 1991 Prodigy management decided to censor content. It probably began as an idea for reducing message traffic, but Prodigy started banning negative comments about advertisers and then any public comments about advertisers. Additionally, Prodigy banned profanity and anything else that might offend anybody. Next came a ban on flame wars among members. Soon the service literally outlawed postings that mentioned another member by name.
Eventually every message was examined by censors, and any that violated the rules were deleted. It was a Sisyphean task, and they overdid it. For example, members couldn't use the word "bitch" in a dog breeders' forum. And supposedly discussions of the Roosevelt dime were deleted from a coin-collector's board because there was a member whose screen name was "Roosevelt Dime."
Prodigy members were incensed. Thousands fought back by organizing users into underground e-mail groups. Conversation threads were picked up from the boards and circulated in listserv fashion, with each participant adding comments and passing them on. It was like having to send USENET newsgroups to thousands of recipients several times a day. E-mail traffic swelled to staggering proportions.
Prodigy returned fire with a limit on e-mail messages. If you sent more than 30 messages per month, you had to pay five cents per message. Carbon copies cost a quarter. And the flat rate went up to $14.95. Some members wrote Prodigy advertisers in protest and had their accounts cancelled.