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AOL shuts out some AIM users

AOL mistakenly deactivated an undisclosed number of screen names on its AOL Instant Messenger service.

America Online mistakenly deactivated an undisclosed number of screen names on its AOL Instant Messenger service, the company confirmed Friday. The incident occurred earlier this week when a batch of active screen names were mixed into a group of screen names that have not been used for the past 12 months. AOL periodically recycles inactive screen names so they can be picked up by new customers.

AOL spokeswoman Krista Thomas said in an e-mail that the company will reinstate all affected screen names no later than Monday, Dec. 13.