When I made this picture, I naively thought I was being original. My use of it was merely a comment on Atos’s behaviour in shutting down a forum, and their record of making atrocious decisions many of which are overturned on appeal to a tribunal.
In fact, the phrase “Atos Macht Frei” has been in use for some time, and even my alteration to the picture had already been done.
The website that was linked to in a post at the Carer’s Watch forum, which led to the forum being taken down, was certainly using the phrase in February. This was in response to the news that Atos had teamed up with Siemens, the company that made gas chambers for the Nazis.
Highlighting that company’s history in that way may have been a little unfair, but it was true, so where was the libel? For a statement to be libellous it has to be untrue. Satirical comment is, by its very nature, a caricature, and the only sensible response, from a PR point of view, is to say that the company isn’t like that any more, or to point out the exaggeration.
Acting in a way that is reminiscent of the Nazis is not a good move.
The image at the “offending” website comes from another satirical site. Atos don’t seem to have bothered with that site either.