small, furry mammals

Luckily those good people at the US Military had invented us a solution. The internet. Fast, global, accessible, uncensorable. Over a six month period, about twenty core volunteers built ‘McSpotlight‘, a website dedicated to ‘McDonald’s, McLibel, Multinationals’. This time was impossibly exciting for all sorts of reasons: we were in uncharted waters and had free rein over the new media; we were finally going to get the story out the way we wanted to tell it; there was nothing McDonald’s could do; everyone was shagging each other. I guess that last part isn’t crucial (or accurate) were the official story ever to be told. By great fortune, we bumped into the xs4all crew online and they swept us off our feet. Not only did they agree to host the site – which was crucial as it had to be based outside the reach of the UK’s ridiculous libel laws – but they also quickly brought us up to speed on internet law. Fresh from their run-in with the Scientologists, they were full of ideas on how to prevent McDonald’s from ever censoring the story again. In particular, they came up with the then unheard-of idea of using mirror sites – whereby exact copies of McSpotlight would be running from different servers in different countries. If McDonald’s chopped off one head, another could grow somewhere else. Another key idea was ‘the kit’, which is a squashed version of the site available for anyone to download onto their own harddisc and keep safe. After a week or two there were a couple of hundred copies scattered around the world. This must have been pretty galling to McD’s, as their original motivation for suing Helen and Dave way back when was to stop the information in the leaflets getting to the public.

Small, Furry Mammals by Franny Armstrong, the director of “McLibel" documentary, McSpotlight fan. The article is quoted from the rebuilded N5M3 website.


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