AOL is an acronym standing for America Online as well as the NYSE stock symbol for AOL Time Warner Inc., a United States media giant. The stock symbol AOL derives from AOL Time Warner's ISP business called America Online; the term "AOL" also refers to this service.
AOL were amongst the first service providers to give customers from outside academia and the military access to the internet. As such, they were primarily associated with the influx of new users, unversed in netiquette, who came online from 1993 onwards, and in some quarters such as Usenet, their name is synonymous with impolite and ignorant new users. They have found this (now largely undeserved) reputation difficult to shake.