In the aftermath of the bomb blasts in Mumbai, India on 11 July 2006, IBN Live (in partnership with CNN) offered users of the WWW to "light" a candle on their webpage.
The original URL was http://clients.ibnlive.com/features/mumatt/index.php
The text read:
"Mumbai came to a shocking standstill on July 11 when serial blasts ripped through its local trains, killing and wounding hundreds. But the city of dreams stood fearless and fighting fit.
Salute Mumbai's never-say-die spirit and Light a Candle for those who succumbed to the blasts or got injured. For every candle you light, CNN-IBN and Channel 7 will donate Re 1 for the relief of the victims."
All very well - but they also asked for name, email and phone number.
I wrote a letter to the editor (editor AT ibnlive.com) on 17 July 2006:
_______________start quoted letter_______________
Will I be correct in assuming that the email addresses and phone numbers you solicit during this "candle lighting" will not be used by you to promote your website or for other marketing purposes, or sold (or bartered, leased, donated etc.) to any other third-party organization? I wonder why you request this information (for the apparently randomly generated text image seems to be an effective enough deterrent against automated "candle lighting") and how long you intend to store this information and if you will strive to keep this information private?
> For every candle you light, CNN-IBN and Channel 7 will donate Re 1 for the relief of the victims.
I congratulate you on your humanitarian gesture. May I ask how you intend to pass this money on to the victims? Will you donate to a private charitable organization or organizations, or to the State, or undertake the task of dispensing it yourself?
Thanks for your kind attention.
_______________end of quoted letter_______________
I haven't received any response so far. It's been two weeks.
I wonder if I made a difference.