Conservapedia talk:Commandments

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Just something I noticed: 18 USC § 1030, specifies penalties for fraud, damage, hacking, etc. to government, financial, and medical computers, or those that would cause physical harm to someone if tampered with. However, however important Conservapedia is, it doesn't seem to be included in this? Am I misreading (as I have no legal training, and only skimmed parts of it), or is the section in error? Umlaut 08:55, 28 February 2009 (EST)

Instead of having "only skimmed parts of it," how about actually reading it before spewing nonsense about it? It's not long and I don't think it uses any big words: [1].--Andy Schlafly 11:42, 28 February 2009 (EST)
I meant "parts of it I only skimmed", not "the only parts I read I skimmed", and this was simply because I really didn't need to see every detail of, say, the punishments. I read enough of the law to see what it in general listed; I was merely expressing that, while the general thrust of the law seemed to not mean what this page said, there might have been some minor technicality or precedent that extended its scope or changed its meaning. Also, was it really neccessary to assume that I was unable to understand it or had not read it, and accuse me of "spewing nonsense"? You are right, though. It is not terribly long, and uses few words that could be considered "big". Umlaut 14:06, 28 February 2009 (EST)
I think it's a fair question, Mr. Schlafly. I found the grammar and style next to incomprehensible. It's not a matter of any one word being big. It's legalese and cries out for a translation.
Please, counselor, be patient with us lesser mortals. --Ed Poor Talk 11:50, 28 February 2009 (EST)
'Umlaut' appears to be correct Mr. Schlafly. The kind of 'vandalism' that occurs on this site would not fall under the legal definition of vandalism in so much as this site is a wiki which any person can potentially edit, and indeed the site actively requests that people do edit it. The whole basis of a wiki is that it can be edited in such a manner and so even if an edit is indeed not conducive to the aims of the site, such as if factual material is deleted, then annoying and unhelpful as it may be to yourself and other users, it would not legally be vandalism. Besides this, the specific legal code in question, 18 USC § 1030, does as the original poster points out, refers to actual damage resulting from unauthorized access to a computer. For one thing, access to this website as I have mentioned is available to all, and secondly if someone does delete material from a page or add something to it then in virtually all cases no actual damage will result. Of course, the nature of any material that someone may add is still subject to the other two legal codes you mention and so you are right in pointing them out, but simply adding or deleting material from wiki pages that does not contravene these two aspects would not be vandalism in the strictest sense (although I accept that it is within the context of this site) and as such would not violate 18 USC § 1030. RobertWDP 13:02, 28 February 2009 (EST)
My objection to Umlaut was with his attempt to interpret a statute, and even claim that Conservapedia is wrong, without actually reading the statute. As I explained, the statute is not long and does not use big words, so there is no excuse for Ulmaut's sermonizing about it without reading it first. A look at Umlaut's other edits here reveal a similar lack of substantive contributions.
Good faith discussion of the statute is welcome. It prohibits vandalizing a site and thereby harming it. When I get a chance, I'll pull some cases that use this statute.--Andy Schlafly 14:05, 28 February 2009 (EST)
Umlaut, your statement that started this thread remains nonsensical, and you still haven't corrected it. "Playing dumb" is not as entertaining as you may think. Read the statute, study it, and correct your prior statement if you want to discuss further.--Andy Schlafly 16:07, 28 February 2009 (EST)
Please check my post below your first one, as I feel that it responds adequately (and is posted there as it was a direct response). I in fact did read the law; I was merely stating that I had not thoroughly read absolutely every section, and might have missed a minor detail. While I personally don't find "legalese" hard to understand (it's like reading math), such an attempt would have been futile, as I don't have the kind of training or experience needed to actually catch every detail. I was merely expressing that the law didn't seem to apply here, and was asking if anyone with more knowledge could clarify. Umlaut 07:20, 2 March 2009 (EST)

I agree with Ed Poor: It's written in legalese which makes it hard for us non-lawyer types to follow.

But thanks to Andy for providing a link, so I've now reach much of it for myself. You could, Andy, also help our understanding by pointing out which parts are applicable here. This is what I found:

  • Section (a) lists the offenses.
  • Section (b) says that the punishments in section (c) will apply.
  • Section (c) lists the punishments
  • Section (d) refers to government investigative agencies' powers.
  • Section (e) defines terms
  • Section (f) allows legal investigations
  • Section (g) says that civil actions can still apply.
  • Section (h) says that investigations are to be reported to Congress.

So the relevant parts seem to be section (a), the offences, section (c) the punishments, and section (e) for defining terms.

Section (a) is broken up as follows:

  • Subsection (1) applies to national defence and the like.
  • Subsection (2) applies to financial institutions, government department, or "conduct involved in an interstate or foreign communication".
  • Subsection (3) applies to government departments and agencies.
  • Subsection (4) applies to knowing intent to defraud.
  • Subsection (5) applies to protected computers where certain actions are carried out.
  • Subsection (6) applies to trafficking of passwords and the like.
  • Subsection (7) applies to extortion of money or other things of value.

Of these, only (4) and (5) seem like that might be applicable.

Subsection (4), however, doesn't apply if the person doesn't obtain anything of value, or the thing obtained is use of the computer and such use is not more than $5,000 worth in any one-year period. So this doesn't seem to apply in Conservapedia's case, at least not for any vandalism that has occurred so far or is likely to occur.

Subsection (5) is where it became less clear to me, at least initially. It is divided into two sub-sub-sections. The first (A) specifies what is done and the second (B) specifies what the result is.

Sub-sub-section (A), in three different ways, basically says that the law is applicable if someone knowingly/intentionally causes "damage" to a "protected" computer.

However, according to section (e), a "protected" computer is one used by or for a financial institution or the government or one that is used on interstate or foreign commerce or communication.

Because I can't see how Conservapedia can claim to be a "protected" computer according to section (e), subsection (5) appears to also be inapplicable, in which case, no section of this statute seems applicable.

Now, because of the legalese, perhaps I've missed something, in which case I invite Andy to point out what I've understood incorrectly or to point out which section(s), subsection(s), and sub-sub-section(s) are applicable.

Philip J. Rayment 22:02, 28 February 2009 (EST)

Thank you for posing a more thorough analysis. What I found was the same- the law applies to "protected" computers, which a wiki isn't. Umlaut 07:23, 2 March 2009 (EST)
  • And a wiki isn't used in international communication? One would have to find the many amendments and definitions of the applicable laws. In any event, this is another liberal deceit, a distraction from our purpose here, which is building an encyclopedia, NOT discussing if common vandals and cyber terrorists will be punished. Umlaut, you are in violation of the Conservapedia Commandments with your endless talk, talk, talk. I invite you to make substantive contributions here, or busy yourself elsewhere. --₮K/Admin/Talk 07:39, 2 March 2009 (EST)
Whether vandalism and "cyber terrorism" to this or any other wiki or site is illegal is not the question (though I think it isn't). My point was that 18 USC § 1030 appears to be an inappropriate citation. Pointing out such an inaccuracy (or perceived inaccuracy) is certainly a contribution to Conservapedia. Umlaut 08:02, 2 March 2009 (EST)
  • Well, you are certainly entitled to your own opinion (no matter how wrong it is), Umlaut. You will now have lots of time to argue that at some liberal site, as it is more than clear you are dedicated to talk, talk, talk, argue, argue argue, and have been for many months here contributing absolutely nothing. Thanks for stopping by, Godspeed to you! --₮K/Admin/Talk 08:15, 2 March 2009 (EST)
Almost any web site could be claimed to be "used in international communications", so no, I can't see that being applicable. How on Earth is this a "liberal deceit"? And are you saying that the commandment's reference to a law is a distraction? Perhaps you'd better point that out to Andy so that he can remove the distraction. Philip J. Rayment 08:11, 2 March 2009 (EST)
The whole of 18 § 1030 section (a) subsection (2) reads:
(2) intentionally accesses a computer without authorization or exceeds authorized access, and thereby obtains—
(A) information contained in a financial record of a financial institution, or of a card issuer as defined in section 1602 (n) of title 15, or contained in a file of a consumer reporting agency on a consumer, as such terms are defined in the Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. 1681 et seq.);
(B) information from any department or agency of the United States; or
(C) information from any protected computer if the conduct involved an interstate or foreign communication;
As can be seen the subsection in question wouldn't apply to any form of wiki. Subsection 2 applies only to those instances when somebody attempts to obtain information from a computer (or equivalent record) when they don't have permission to access that information. It's an objective test of both actus reus and mens rea (i.e. Is it a reasonable that the average person would know in any particular case that the information is a) protected and b) not to be accessed by those who do not have permission to access it, and, then knowing both those things then makes an attempt to obtain that information). This subsection obviously does not apply to any wiki as a) wiki's are designed to have publicly accessed information and b) that information is not protected from being obtained. The subsection also doesn't apply to vandalism as the subsection deals with the obtaining of information not the depositing or removal of information. The subsection would apply however, if somebody hacked or attempted to hack a wiki's site in an attempt to gain protected information (i.e. any information that it is reasonable to assume would be protected, such as a user's private details). Now that isn't to say that other parts of 18 § 1030 wouldn't apply to vandalism (basically because I haven't checked the rest of section (a) yet) but section (a) subsection (2) certainly wouldn't cover it.--Ieuan 11:27, 2 March 2009 (EST)
And what is the application here of outright harrassment of an individual(s), up to and including cyber-terrorism? Karajou 12:53, 2 March 2009 (EST)
Interesting question, by the looks of it 18 § 1030 section (a) subsection (5) might cover harrasment of an individual(s), but only if such a harrasment caused physical damage and the harrasment didn't occur through authorized access. To be honest it looks like this is the wrong piece of legislation if you are looking to prosecute harrasment. It might be worth looking at legislation that covers harm to an individual. As to cyber-terrorism 18 § 1030 does cover it, but only in section (a) subsections (1), (3), & (5); at a federal level it seems that US Government only considers cyber-terrorism to be something that occurs against itself and its own interests. Attacks against private computers don't seem to be considered acts of cyber-terrorism, instead it seems to be considered to be attempts at theft, fraud or disruption of commerce, all of which cause monetary harm. Again I need to emphasize that is the point of view solely from 18 § 1030. It could be that other pieces of legislation are more appropriate.--Ieuan 13:28, 2 March 2009 (EST)
The case of the teenage girl who committed suicide in Missouri as a result of online harrassment; what laws were applied in that? Was it federal or state or both? Karajou 13:34, 2 March 2009 (EST)


Well, I've gone through the whole of section (a) of 18 § 1030 and this is what I've discovered:
Subsection (1): having knowingly accessed a computer without authorization or exceeding authorized access, and by means of such conduct having obtained information that has been determined by the United States Government pursuant to an Executive order or statute to require protection against unauthorized disclosure for reasons of national defense or foreign relations,…— obviously doesn't apply in this case as wiki's shouldn't contain information that breaches this part of subsection (1) (and if they did the wiki itself would be in violation of this part of subsection (1))
Subsection (1) cont.:…or any restricted data, as defined in paragraph y. of section 11 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, with reason to believe that such information so obtained could be used to the injury of the United States, or to the advantage of any foreign nation willfully communicates, delivers, transmits, or causes to be communicated, delivered, or transmitted, or attempts to communicate, deliver, transmit or cause to be communicated, delivered, or transmitted the same to any person not entitled to receive it, or willfully retains the same and fails to deliver it to the officer or employee of the United States entitled to receive it;— Again this part of the subsection obviously doesn't apply to the vandalism of wikis, unless the purpose of the "vandalism" was in fact to transmit information that could be used to the injury of the United States or the advantage of any foreign nation.
Subsection (2) See above post.
Subsection (3): intentionally, without authorization to access any nonpublic computer of a department or agency of the United States, accesses such a computer of that department or agency that is exclusively for the use of the Government of the United States or, in the case of a computer not exclusively for such use, is used by or for the Government of the United States and such conduct affects that use by or for the Government of the United States;— Again doesn't apply to wikis, as they aren't nonpublic, or for either the exclusive use or non-exclusive use for the official business of the Government of the United States. Again the objective test applies here: is it reasonable that the average man would know that any particular computer is a)non-public or b) for the exclusive or non-eclusive use by the Government of the United States.
Subsection (4): (4) knowingly and with intent to defraud, accesses a protected computer without authorization, or exceeds authorized access, and by means of such conduct furthers the intended fraud and obtains anything of value, unless the object of the fraud and the thing obtained consists only of the use of the computer and the value of such use is not more than $5,000 in any 1-year period;— Doesn't apply to Conservapedia on multiple grounds. The only way somebody can add or delete material to this site is with authorization. That authorization gives the user the right to add or delete material as he wishes. A user cannot be said to have exceeded his authorized access unless he acts or attempts to perform an act that is greater than his auhtorized access (i.e. a user that has only edit rights on Conservapedia would exceed authorized access if he deliberately made an attempt to access users IP addresses, or deliberately made a personal attempt to block other users. However, a user cannot be said to have exceeded authorised access by deleting or defacing an entire page of information, as the granting of editing rights to that person grants him the authorised access to be able to do these things {i.e. the ability to edit is granted in the authorized access, the user hasn't had to hack the site to gain the ability to delele or add information}). That such changes are undesirable are immaterial as to whether somebody has exceed authorized access, as it is the granting of full editing rights, whithin the focus of this law, that grants the user the authorization to make those changes. Vandalism of wikis also fails to fall under the protection of subsection (4) as the mens rea of subsection (4) is the intent to defraud. When used in such a manner the term defraud has a legal rather than a dictionary meaning, and the legal interpretation of fraud or defraud is applied to those acts which seek to obtain that which has monetary value and to do so in an manner deamed illegal. Vandalism isn't an attempt to defraud (i.e. the vandal isn't seeking to make monetary gain), rather it is an attempt to damage or cause harm.
Subsection (5): It is this subsection that probably comes closest to addressing the problem of vandalism.
(A)
(i) knowingly causes the transmission of a program, information, code, or command, and as a result of such conduct, intentionally causes damage without authorization, to a protected computer;
(ii) intentionally accesses a protected computer without authorization, and as a result of such conduct, recklessly causes damage; or
(iii) intentionally accesses a protected computer without authorization, and as a result of such conduct, causes damage; and…
This would cover vandalism on Conservapedia except for two problems;
i) '…intentionally causes damage……recklessly causes damage……causes damage…'— Again it is a pecularity of the law that damage is that which is considered to have incurred harm, be it physical or mental, or monetary costs. Vandalism to Conservapedia wouldn't fall into this category because it doesn't incur damage involving monetary cost to a protected computer as any such vandalism can be repaired by a volunteer, thereby incurring no cost as the volunteer isn't charging to repair the vandalism. Nor does such vandalism add more to the running costs of the site compared to a user making a legitimate edit of the same length.
ii) '…without authorization…'— As discussed in subsection (4) the fact that a user has to apply to Conservapedia and be accepted as a member before he can gain editing rights means that his access to articles and his right to edit them in any way that he sees fit is authorized by the owner of the site. If the owner doesn't want a user having full editing rights there are many ways to ensure that a user doesn't have those rights, ranging from not granting those rights, restricting those rights (i.e. the user is not being able to delete or add material directly, but instead the user has to make submission for consideration for inclusion in Conservapedia), or removing those rights completely. The fact that the owner grants full editing rights means that authorization is given for the user to make full edits, whether they are helpful or unhelpful.
…(B) by conduct described in clause (i), (ii), or (iii) of subparagraph (A), caused (or, in the case of an attempted offense, would, if completed, have caused)—
(i) loss to 1 or more persons during any 1-year period (and, for purposes of an investigation, prosecution, or other proceeding brought by the United States only, loss resulting from a related course of conduct affecting 1 or more other protected computers) aggregating at least $5,000 in value;
(ii) the modification or impairment, or potential modification or impairment, of the medical examination, diagnosis, treatment, or care of 1 or more individuals;
(iii) physical injury to any person;
(iv) a threat to public health or safety; or
(v) damage affecting a computer system used by or for a government entity in furtherance of the administration of justice, national defense, or national security;
And it is this part of the subsection that ensures that subsection (5) wouldn't apply to Conservapedia. Obviously subparagraphs (B/ii), (B/iii), (B/iv), and (B/v) wouldn't apply and that just leaves subsparagraph (B/i) (loss to 1 or more persons during any 1-year period (and, for purposes of an investigation, prosecution, or other proceeding brought by the United States only, loss resulting from a related course of conduct affecting 1 or more other protected computers) aggregating at least $5,000 in value;). Any vandalism to the site in terms of editing (as opposed to a (D)DOS attack) doesn't incur monetary costs as such vandalism is easily repaired by volunteers at no cost to the site (i.e. when a user repairs vandalism to the site that user doesn't invoice the owner of the site for monetary compensation for work done). Nor does such vandalism cost the site's owner any more in costs than an legitimate entry made of the same length.
Subsection (6): knowingly and with intent to defraud traffics (as defined in section 1029) in any password or similar information through which a computer may be accessed without authorization, if—
(A) such trafficking affects interstate or foreign commerce; or
(B) such computer is used by or for the Government of the United States;— Again this is a section that doesn't apply to Conservapedia as a) vandalism on Conservapedia isn't attempting to defraud traffics, b) Conservapedia isn't involved in commerce through www.conservapedia.com and c) isn't a computer used by or for the Government of the United States.
Subsection (7): with intent to extort from any person any money or other thing of value, transmits in interstate or foreign commerce any communication containing any threat to cause damage to a protected computer;— Again doesn't apply to vandalism on Conservapedia as the vandalism isn't an attempt to extort money or items or goods that have a monetary value.--Ieuan 13:28, 2 March 2009 (EST)
Perhaps I'm talking through my hat not being a lawyer, but I would disagree with a couple of points there, although not enough to change your overall conclusion.
"That such changes are undesirable are immaterial as to whether somebody has exceed authorized access, as it is the granting of full editing rights, whithin the focus of this law, that grants the user the authorization to make those changes.": No, granting full editing rights does not grant the user the authorisation (as opposed to ability) to vandalise.
"Nor does such vandalism cost the site's owner any more in costs than an legitimate entry made of the same length.": Perhaps not, but it does cost the site's owner, in that there is extra bandwidth involved and extra disk storage space (assuming both are being paid per quantity used). True, the cost would be nowhere near $5,000, so the law would still not apply, but because the cost is small, not because there is no cost.
Philip J. Rayment 21:05, 2 March 2009 (EST)
After reading through this discussion again, it seems to me like various posters have made a strong case that 18 USC § 1030 does not apply here. This discussion has been very worthwhile, and I, for one, have learned a lot. Some posters have raised valuable questions about certain language that might apply, which has spurred us on to examine the law more deeply, but upon further examination it seems like this is not the case. Unless someone else has points to consider, it seems like we're coming to the conclusion that the reference to 18 USC § 1030 should be removed from the article. In addition, if any of the editors who brought this to our attention have been sanctioned because of their participation in this discussion (and I'm not sure if this has been the case or not), it may be wise, upon reflection, to review that decision. Thank you so much to everyone who has participated - your contributions have all been useful. --Hsmom 09:41, 4 March 2009 (EST)
Aha, we're back. I've noticed that four questions have been raised. I think that in an edit summary somebody wanted to know whether I have any legal training. Yes, plus years of experience working in many specialties including US federal law (although not State level laws, too many States and not much call for that kind of specialty in the UK).
Karajou asked:"The case of the teenage girl who committed suicide in Missouri as a result of online harrassment; what laws were applied in that? Was it federal or state or both?". If it was up to me, given that I know only the basics of the case, I would look to prosecute under 18 § 1030 s(ection):(A), s(ub)s(ection):(5), s(ub)p(aragraph): (A/iii) & sp: (B/iii), and, by a quick look it appears that the state law of Missouri at the time didn't seem to cover this situation (this excellent article explains a bit more, as does this one {tenth paragraph down}). I won't go into exacting detail why I would choose 18 § 1030 but the basic argument I would have used in a prosecution would have been i)The messages were sent and received through My Space, a site that fulfills the requirements to be a 'protected computer' through virtue of the fact that access to any relevant service that MySpace offers can only be enjoyed when a someone signs up for an account. If somebody doesn't sign up to an account then the services that MySpace offers can't be accessed. You will notice that a different system of operation applies to a wiki however. The main service of a wiki is to provide information, and access to that information is given freely to the public, thereby removing any argument that the site is a private or protected computer. ii)Acquiring an account at MySpace means signing up to a legally binding contract that specifically delineates the exact authorisation that a user has to access and use the services available, that would mean that behaviour such as harrassment of another individual would be considered a breach of the terms and conditions imposed by the contract. Breaching the terms of the contract means that the user is acting without authorization. Again this is different to the current setup of Conservapedia where a user creates an account to acquire the ability to edit it as this signing up procedure doesn't meet the requirements to be considered a contract (I won't go into details about why not, but to use legal jargon the procedure that the user goes through to become a volunteer at the site doesn't meet the consideration test for a contract, plus it fails to meet the requirements to form a legally binding contract in other ways as well). Without a contract that sets out the exact level of authorisation that a user has in terms of editing it becomes a lot more difficult to say exactly where that authorisation begins and ends purely from a legal point of view. iii)The last part of sp:(A/iii) reads "…causes damage". I think it is this part that causes the most problems if you wanted to bring a prosecution in the above case. If you read sp: (A/i) it clearly states "intentionally causes damage…to a protected computer", whereas sp: (A/ii) & (A/iii) just talk about causing damage, it doesn't specify what too. However A/i, A/ii and A/iii are all part of the same paragraph and therefore obviously linked, so that raises a quandrey within the courts about how that part of the statute should be read. The court could decide that given that A/i states that the damage must be done to a computer then the intent of the framers of the law was that the same applies to the rest of the subparagraph (i.e. any damage caused would have to be done to a computer). Or the court could decide to take a literal interpretation of the law (i.e. parts A/ii and A/iii don't state that the damage has to occur to a specific object). Again, if it was me arguing the case I would try and argue the latter, and that the damage caused in A/iii was the severe psychological trauma caused to the victim, but I wouldn't be confident of winning that argument. And finally iv) sp: (B/iii) requires that "physical injury to any person" occurs. In this particular case that, obviously, would be the suicide of the teenager.
And the last two questions were Philip J. Rayment's. On the first question, as I mentioned above, I see your point, it can be very difficult to see how a court would decide on the question of 'without authorization' when there is no legal binding contract to point out the exact extent of a user's authorisation. But the basis of US law is the same as the basis of English and Welsh law, Scottish law, Northern Ireland law and I'm guessing Australian law (given the shared heritage), in that the whole foundation of the law is that it is designed to define what is forbidden, and what isn't forbidden is allowed. That sounds obvious, but other legal systems (such as France's) often work on the principle that the law is there to define what you are allowed to do (i.e. what isn't allowed is forbidden). There is no specific US federal law that prohibits making unhelpful edits to Conservapedia, as long as those edits aren't furthering terrorism or in some way violate 18 U.S.C. § 2425, so without some way of saying that those edits are specifically illegal (i.e specifically violate laws preventing terrorism or those sections covered by 18 U.S.C. § 2425, or violated the terms and conditions laid out in a legally binding contract) it would, at best, be extremely difficult to argue that those edits were made without authorisation. As to the second question, that of cost, again it all comes down to how the law is argued in court. Obviously this specific law was never designed to cover wikis, but instead was designed to protect online businesses, businesses that rely on computers, or the US Government. Obviously, monetary damages to all of those are relatively easy to qunatify (how much did it cost to repair the damage, how much did it cost you to lose that information, how much did it cost you to make relevant changes to your security systems, how much did it cost you in lost business). Wikis on the other hand, it becomes very difficult to determine how much damage has been done monetarily when an unhelpful edit is made. Reverting that edit requires time, certainly, but that time is given freely by a volunteer, so no cost. Extra bandwidth and storage space? Well, if the edit removes 2000 words from a page and replaces it with 4 then the edit has actually reduced the cost of running Conservpedia, based on storage costs.--Ieuan 12:08, 4 March 2009 (EST)
Thanks for the response to my points. On the first one, the authorisation issue, I accept your point about there being no law nor legally-binding contract regarding what is and what is not authorised.
On the cost of the vandalism, I'd still argue that you are wrong (but still in the context that the cost would be very minor), as if the edit removes 2000 words from a page and adds four, to use your example, the storage requirement is increased, as the database still stores those 2000 removed words, as well as the four new ones. This is obvious from the mere fact that you can view the history of the article and see those 2000 words in the history. And from the fact that any editor can revert back to those 2000 words, thereby creating yet another record in the database (although whether that new record duplicates those 2000 words or simply points to the older record I don't know). Even deleted pages and deleted ('oversighted') edits are still in the database taking up room unless specifically removed by someone with required rights.
Philip J. Rayment 03:56, 5 March 2009 (EST)
Ah, boss thinking there. Didn't think of it in terms of storage costs re retention of deleted material :-)--Ieuan 14:33, 5 March 2009 (EST)

Seeing as the majority of users in this discussion support changing this, could it be changed? Or, could those who support keeping the current state of the page (notably Andy) provide their legal analysis? Sorry if it seems like I'm too new to suggests this- I've been using Conservapedia for a while, but didn't actually create an account till now.NSchneider 11:54, 11 June 2009 (EDT)

  • No. --ṬK/Admin/Talk 14:27, 11 June 2009 (EDT)

Please un-archive the current discussion

I have been interested in following the recent discussion here, and would prefer that it not be archived for a little while. Many of the posters provided food for thought, including PJR. It can only benefit us to better understand our situation, and one way to do that is to dig into the text of the law and discuss it with others, who may see things differently. Listening to others' points of view can help us see our own blind spots, and/or can help strengthen our understanding as to why we are in fact right. Both of these are good outcomes. --Hsmom 09:16, 3 March 2009 (EST)

Done. Philip J. Rayment 01:05, 4 March 2009 (EST)
Thanks. --Hsmom 09:41, 4 March 2009 (EST)

Proper Citations

"This actually happened" is not in any way, shape, or form, an actual citation. Can we please, please stop this practice. -- 19:07, 11 March 2009 Deuce

  • Could you offer a citation that will illustrate your point, Deuce? --₮K/Admin/Talk 23:17, 11 March 2009 (EDT)

Certainly! Bad example: President Lincoln was born on the moon.(1] (1] This is proven to be true. Really? Proven? Where? Any ridiculous statement can be made to sound official when you add that "citation." Good example: At least ten people were killed in a shooting spree in Alabama on Tuesday. (1] (1]http://www.reuters.com/article/bondsNews/idUSN1036167920090311 Here I've linked a news article reporting on the event. A citation needs a source other than the author's own word. That's the entire point! —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Deuce (talk) -- 05:28, 12 March 2009

  • But you are not showing an example that caused you to make the post. And not all statements need a citation. If I were to make an edit saying "95% of all liberals practice deceit" it wouldn't need a citation or reference, because it is a truism, so apparent to anyone with common sense and an open mind, that it is obvious. --₮K/Admin/Talk 09:52, 12 March 2009 (EDT)
I can't say I agree with your "truism." By adding a finite value, (95%) you're establishing a measurement. Something other than "common sense." Saying "liberals often practice deceit" seems closer to a truism. The finite value of 95% would need some sort of citation, like a study that came up with such a result. (not that anyone could really measure something like deceit. Imagine the inaccuracy of a survey that asks "Do you lie?") Of course, that's off-topic. I looked for the previous poor citations, but the strong examples that came to mind seem to have been edited already. Keep up the good work people!
  • In the future, just post to my talk page if anything strikes you that strongly. Thanks. --₮K/Admin/Talk 00:47, 13 March 2009 (EDT)

Just a suggestion

I'm noticing that several "trolls" have been banned after posting to an admin's talk page. Maybe it should be an official rule: Do not annoy the admins. Especially since I have not seen a lot of warning before banning. Userafw 23:15, 8 November 2009 (EST)

Notability

Are there any rules with respect to notability requirements for article topics? Tisane 12:38, 16 July 2010 (EDT)

BCE/CE vs. B.C./A.D.

Just a minor nitpicky point which I can't change because it's protected. But you mention that "B.C. or A.D." should be used instead of "BCE or CE". However, while styles differ on whether they should be writtedn BC/AD/BCE/CE or B.C./A.D./B.C.E./C.E. we should be consistent with where we put or don't put periods in the abbreviations. Gregkochuconn 16:06, 27 June 2011 (EDT)

Spam Warning

It comes up whenever I try to edit something, says that I have blacklisted sites, which I don't. Anyone have an explanation? -RaymondW

Legal Threats section

I noticed it isn't on the page itself. Perhaps that could be added? brenden 13:51, 3 June 2013 (EDT)

Proposal for non-public figures

Dear Mr. Schlafly,

I would suggest adding the following commandment (feel free to tweak my wording):

Except for comments pertaining to a user's activity on this wiki, no content may be added about or directed at a specific living person who is not a public figure, in any namespace.

GregG 01:27, 19 July 2013 (EDT)
Are you suggesting that Mr. Schlafly abandon his thoughts on the best of the public and become a liberal elitist? Your attempt to change the commandments reminds me of the story of Haman and Esther! Yet, the VivaYehshua article is safe from destruction and safe from your evolutionist machinations!
By the way, VivaYehshua would handily win a debate against Kenneth Miller on the 15 questions for evolutionists. Why don't you ask Mr. Miller to debate him? Mr. Miller could use the publicity given the public's boredom with evolutionary indoctrination and their loss of interest in Mr. Miller's pseudoscience.[2][3][4] Creationists are quite pleased with the rise of global creationism even in secular Western countries while evolutionists grow increasingly glum, frustrated and resort to desperation tactics such as scientific fraud.[5][6] Conservative 18:20, 19 July 2013 (EDT)
First of all, the proposed commandment would not prevent any contributor from making edits to Conservapedia. The best of the public would still be able to add their own insights to any of our articles, debates, or essays. My proposed commandment is simply a natural extension of our commandments requiring content to be "true and verifiable" and barring gossip (commandments which are very difficult to follow when adding content about non-public figures), as well as our privacy policy. Legally, it's probably also a good idea to prevent content from being added about non-public figures, as we have better protection against defamation claims from public figures.
I should also point out that our article VivaYehshua does not adhere to our high verifiability standards. All the "sources" provided are anonymous articles using the same screen name on the same blog, which has no reputation for fact-checking or accuracy. And yet you think this is such a paragon of encyclopedic achievement that us mere mortals cannot edit nor even discuss proposed edits to it. Words fail me. GregG 16:53, 19 July 2013 (EDT)
You are free to go to Shockofgod's chat room to find VivaYehshua or contact Shockofgod. Better yet, just have Fergus Mason and you debate VivaYehshua on the 15 questions for evolutionists! Conservative 17:19, 19 July 2013 (EDT)
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