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Definition: ASCII ribbon campaign

An effort to eliminate HTML email in the days of analog modems. When Internet-based email became prevalent in the late 1990s and HTML email made its debut, the ASCII ribbon campaign attempted to encourage people to use only plain text in their messages. In those early days, not all email servers and email programs could render HTML email or attached files, and the campaign tried to discourage their use. See HTML email and ASCII.

An ASCII Ribbon
The "ribbon" comes from the ribbon logo created in ASCII text. See ASCII chart.