Diana's funeral observed in cyberspace
September 6, 1997
Web posted at: 2:02 p.m. EDT (1802 GMT)
From CNN Interactive Writer Kristin Lemmerman
(CNN) -- For almost as long as personal Web pages have existed on the Internet, fans have posted pages dedicated to Diana, the Princess of Wales. Now, in the wake of her tragic death, many of Diana's admirers have turned to creating Web sites mourning her loss, remembering her life and, in some cases, condemning the paparazzi some blame for her death.
Yahoo! has set up a special section, "Princess Diana
1961-1997," including a chat room dedicated to discussing her death. The section links to various news service reports on her death and funeral arrangements.
Other sites offered visitors the opportunity to sign condolence and memorial books for the princess. Some of them were accessible through the Princess Diana Memorial WebRing.
Web rings are not so much sites as simple lists of links joining sites of related subjects to each other.
Many of the 140 sites linked by the Memorial ring featured poems and photographs of Diana. On a few sites, digitized songs written in her memory were available for download.
Other sites encouraged action against the tabloids under the premise that boycotting tabloids would prevent similar tragedies in the future. Paparazzi following the princess's car to get a picture of her and her companion, Dodi Fayed, together, have been accused of contributing to Sunday's fatal car crash.
The "Stop the Paparazzi!" site was among several that posted lists of tabloids, urging a boycott of the publications; suggested that visitors ask their grocery stores to stop carrying tabloids; and asked that they petition their legislators for stricter limits on photographer "stalking."
Visitors to the site were also encouraged to sign an online petition on another Diana-dedicated group of pages, urging legislation shielding celebrities from media intrusion into their private lives. By Saturday morning, it had been signed by some 2,000 people from countries all over the world, including South Africa, Japan, Indonesia, Australia, the United States and Britain.
On one site, mourners could participate in an online funeral for Diana. The Royal Network Online Memorial Service featured a guest book for visitors to sign before entering the site's "cyber chapel," in which a brief biography of her life was illustrated with pictures.
Mourners could chose prayers from eight religions, including the Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu and Buddhist faiths. They also could post tributes to Diana.
The operators of the unofficial site wrote that they hoped the princess would find peace and that the service would be the beginning of a healing process.
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