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Queens Chronicle

Content taken down from fake website

Despite free speech, action threatened

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Posted: Thursday, April 4, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 10:33 am, Thu Apr 11, 2013.

The mystery writers of the fake Community Board 1 website have temporarily taken down their content, citing threats of legal action as the cause.

“Cb1queens.org is a parody and protected free political speech. Needless to say, it does not have any relation with any actual community board or governmental agency,” according to the only information posted on the site. “But based on the threat of legal action from the City of New York, the site is temporarily being taken down.”

The bogus website took many jabs at the ages of the board members who serve on the volunteer advisory board for Astoria and parts of northern Long Island City, their policies and their alleged primary interests, saying the members’ voting record shows a pro-business and pro-car bias.

The site, which is the second result when searching Queens Community Board 1 in Google, looked almost identical to the real CB 1 website, with a similar logo and color scheme. The mock site even listed the correct contact numbers and agendas and minutes for the board.

However, it also mixed in comments and opinions such as; “Four of our members are nonagenarians! Maybe it’s something in the air.”

Weeks ago CB 1 District Manager Lucille Hartmann called the site “bogus,” adding “it definitely has somebody’s opinion. It’s very slanted. It’s incorrect.”

CB 1 Chairman Vinicio Donato said the writers should voice their disapproval of the board to the members’ faces.

Hartmann did not respond to recent requests for comment about legal action.

Welcome to the discussion.