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The Chicago Tribune reports on how Caribou Coffee is trying to put to rest a two-year-old rumor spread over the Internet that the company is linked to Islamic terrorists.

Michael Cole, the company’s chairman/CEO, tells the paper that the rumor hurts the company in communities with heavy Jewish populations, and that these kinds of rumors are hard to kill. "Things on the Internet don't go away,” he tells the paper. Some of the company’s stores have seen sales declines of better than a third as the rumor has gained momentum.

There are some specific issues for Caribou. The company currently has 250 stores, and would like to grow that to 400 by the end of next year – but the existence of the rumor and the innuendo that it creates about the company could threaten those plans.
KC's View:
This is the downside of the Internet – the same technology that makes it possible to spread legitimate news and opinion also makes it possible to spread vicious lies and rumor.

We wrote in a different context yesterday about the problem of differentiating truth from fiction on the Internet, and this is yet another example.

Our sympathies go out to Cole and Caribou. If we knew how to help them, we would.