AOL has announced that it is to not charge legitimate non-profit organizations and advocacy groups to have their e-mails authenticated and delivered to consumers. There was a recent outcry from political and civic activist groups, who claimed that it was unacceptable that AOL planned to reduce junk mail by charging fees to senders of mass e-mailings; the move was dubbed an attack on the free exchange of ideas online.

The company said it is seeking to make it "crystal clear" that nonprofit groups would have all their e-mails delivered, including images and working Web links, contrary to what advocacy groups had charged in recent media reports.

"There will be no requirement, ever, for not-for-profits who deliver e-mail to AOL members to pay for e-mail certification and delivery," said Charles Stiles, AOL's postmaster.