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Tricia
11-02-2009, 09:50 PM
NEW RULES ON SEX OFFENDERS. WHAT YOU CAN AND CANNOT DO ON WEBSLEUTHS

It seems there is a legal consideration concerning whether we are allowed to bring information to Websleuths from the actual sex offender registry.

It is illegal to use the sex offender register information to harass anyone. We would never condone this at Websleuths.

It is not illegal (in my opinion) if when a child goes missing or is harmed we look at the sex offenders in the area and post their information, along with maps to show how close they live to the victim.

In every case we have local people reading and posting here. Therefore we are within the guidelines using this info for local information.

Again, we are not EVER going to even hint at harassing anyone on the sex offenders list. Any posting we do about a sex offender will always be within the law.

If any of you have other questions about what you can and can't post please ask them here and we will do our best to clear things up.

I would like to add that any confusion on the rules is totally my fault. I am so sorry if my lack of recognizing problems has caused you any problems.

************************************************** *****

NEW RULES ABOUT POSTING OUT AND OUT RUMORS.
Many posters have been requesting Rumor Threads on several cases. We do have a Rumor Thread in the members only part of WS about Haleigh Cummings. The reason we did this was because an overwhelming amount of locals who knew both families wanted to post. The best way to handle that situation was to have a rumor thread in the private area. However, I don't want rumor threads on all the cases. Too much time is needed to moderate a rumor thread and it can get very weary.

It would be naive of me not to recognize the aspect of rumors in cases like Elizabeth Olten and Somer. Therefore we are going to try something different.

If you are a local and you have heard a rumor that is not ridiculous post it clearly as a rumor.

I won't check if you say you are a local. This is different than saying you know the family.

If this doesn't work out because people start relying on rumors or repeating rumors as fact we will change it back.

If anyone has any questions go ahead and ask me, PM me or email me at tgrif@xmission.com

Tricia
11-02-2009, 10:04 PM
I have to run out for a bit but go ahead and post any question about the rules of posting.

My friends,
The rules fall in the the grey area a lot. We have to judge as we go along what is appropriate or not. Like in life nothing is black or white.

Our Admins and Mods work so hard to make sure Websleuths is a safe and decent place to all of us to post. For their hard work I can't thank them enough.

If there is confusion I take full responsibility for it.

Back later.

eyes4crime
11-02-2009, 10:07 PM
Thank you so much for that clarification - there are some great sleuthers who make fantastic maps, take great pics, and provide important information for discussion. Important information lends to productive and interesting discussion, far more so, than trashing mom and family for the sake of something to do and say. Thanks again!!! I'm relieved. :blowkiss:

mom_of_five
11-02-2009, 10:29 PM
Whew.

Thanks for the clarification, Tricia.

I'd also like to give kudos to all the mods. I do not envy the work you do (and do SO well).

MommaD
11-02-2009, 10:37 PM
Thank you Tricia .. For all you do at WS and that is for everyone also..

So if said missing child is found we can still post pics and info on RSO's ??? and if said missing child is harmed in anyway we can still post pics and info on RSO's ???

Thanks again...

doggies
11-02-2009, 10:42 PM
Thank you! That makes a lot more sense.
It's the initials that get to me. So many in the Somer case begin w/the letter "D".
While you are clearing things up, would you please address this part of it?
Minors, I can see the point. Adults? Perhaps first names w/last names linked but not listed? Possible?
And Google Earth maps of the areas? That's OK, too?
Thank you again. A lot! I feel a lot better now. Seriously.

Tricia
11-02-2009, 11:07 PM
Thank you Tricia .. For all you do at WS and that is for everyone also..

So if said missing child is found we can still post pics and info on RSO's ??? and if said missing child is harmed in anyway we can still post pics and info on RSO's ???

Thanks again...

Yes, BUT, you have to use your common sense.

Although this sounds like a black and white question it is not really.

You can bring over the information found on the RSO site but if you start bringing over RSO's with absolutely no type of connection possible to the case then that would not be allowed. Again, kind of a grey area.

Let me also stress one more point:

You can bring over the info that is on the sex offender registry because it has all we need. Name, address, age, and offense.

Please DO NOT start digging up more info on the sex offender because you run the very high risk of naming innocent people who are, through no fault of their own, connected to this guy. Or, heaven forbid, you get into a search and all of a sudden you are looking up an innocent man with the same name as the perp and you inadvertently mix them up and before you know it, an innocent man's or woman's name is splashed out all over the Internet.

You have to be very careful when doing background searches. Just because it is public information does not give us the right to post it here on Websleuths.

Each situation is different and must be judged by the facts. Again, a very grey area.

not_my_kids
11-02-2009, 11:35 PM
Thank you Tricia.

I think it is great that you are willing to let us do this, and thank you even more for making the stipulation about further info and innocent parties, as that spawned a good deal of debate, as well.

elle1919
11-02-2009, 11:52 PM
Thank you very much for the clarification on that! I have a question though and I think I might know the answer but I want to be 100% clear.

Does this apply to an accused Sex Offender( offense against child under 12) that is out on bond awaiting trial and under an ankle monitor or perhaps in jail awaiting trial? Thank you very much!

eyes4crime
11-03-2009, 01:26 AM
One last question: What about peripheral information regarding the perp in question (SO or other)? Like linking a picture of his car to a question; posting a pic of his house to help make a point; taking a walk via Google in the neighborhood; and/or discussing past criminal history. TIA

Tricia
11-03-2009, 03:41 AM
Thank you! That makes a lot more sense.
It's the initials that get to me. So many in the Somer case begin w/the letter "D".
While you are clearing things up, would you please address this part of it?
Minors, I can see the point. Adults? Perhaps first names w/last names linked but not listed? Possible?
And Google Earth maps of the areas? That's OK, too?
Thank you again. A lot! I feel a lot better now. Seriously.

Google earth maps are fine as long as it is not just to show where someone lives. You have to make the connection as to why you are showing where they live.

As far as the first part of your question, We need to use the initials for the adults unless they have been named by a major media outlet. We just have to. Most of these people are totally innocent.

Again, every case is not the same so we need to look at the exact situation.

Tricia
11-03-2009, 03:45 AM
Thank you very much for the clarification on that! I have a question though and I think I might know the answer but I want to be 100% clear.

Does this apply to an accused Sex Offender( offense against child under 12) that is out on bond awaiting trial and under an ankle monitor or perhaps in jail awaiting trial? Thank you very much!

I know what you are talking about and this is an intersting situaion.

The man is only accused, not convicted, yet, a crime against a child happened near by where he lived IIRC.

Let's do this. If this does happen come to me and let's talk about it before anything is posted. This is a real tough one.

If someone has not been convicted, and only arrested, is it right for us to start accusing him of other sex crimes? Arrrgghhh. Tough Tough Tough question for me anyway.

Tricia
11-03-2009, 03:48 AM
One last question: What about peripheral information regarding the perp in question (SO or other)? Like linking a picture of his car to a question; posting a pic of his house to help make a point; taking a walk via Google in the neighborhood; and/or discussing past criminal history. TIA

Off the top of my head I would say yes but we have to be careful not to invade the neighborhood's privacy too.

I would say as long as you don't give the house numbers or the names of the owners of the other houses by the perp you could do a "google walk through."

As long as you are not pulling something out of the air and making it fact.

As far as past criminal history if it is pertinent to the discussion then yes go ahead.

Again, each situation can be different.

CarrieBean
11-03-2009, 11:03 AM
Sounds good. Thanks for the clarification.

momtective
11-03-2009, 11:25 AM
Hey Tricia :wave:
Can we post on Somer's thread the information we have gathered on the RSO arrested yesterday on a violation of not registering a change of address? This man lived on Gano Ave. which is the area where Somer was last seen. Using google maps his new address is within a few yards of a dumpster...Somer was found in a landfill and it is suggested that she was placed in a dumpster. Can I post the map of the man's new residence in relation to the dumpster? Thanks.

doggies
11-03-2009, 01:41 PM
Thank you, Trish, for taking the time for a personal reply. Your common sense is so very uncommon. :)

Tricia
11-03-2009, 04:02 PM
Hey Tricia :wave:
Can we post on Somer's thread the information we have gathered on the RSO arrested yesterday on a violation of not registering a change of address? This man lived on Gano Ave. which is the area where Somer was last seen. Using google maps his new address is within a few yards of a dumpster...Somer was found in a landfill and it is suggested that she was placed in a dumpster. Can I post the map of the man's new residence in relation to the dumpster? Thanks.


Yes, Please do.

Tricia
11-03-2009, 04:03 PM
Thank you, Trish, for taking the time for a personal reply. Your common sense is so very uncommon. :)

Thank you Doggies. I am going to make my 13 year old son write your quote over and over until he agrees. LOL.

Very sweet, Thank you.

Tricia
11-04-2009, 07:46 PM
************************************************** ************************************************** **********

NEW RULES ABOUT POSTING OUT AND OUT RUMORS.
Many posters have been requesting Rumor Threads on several cases. We do have a Rumor Thread in the members only part of WS about Haleigh Cummings. The reason we did this was because an overwhelming amount of locals who knew both families wanted to post. The best way to handle that situation was to have a rumor thread in the private area. However, I don't want rumor threads on all the cases. Too much time is needed to moderate a rumor thread and it can get very weary.

It would be naive of me not to recognize the aspect of rumors in cases like Elizabeth Olten and Somer. Therefore we are going to try something different.

If you are a local and you have heard a rumor that is not ridiculous post it clearly as a rumor.

I won't check if you say you are a local. This is different than saying you know the family.

If this doesn't work out because people start relying on rumors or repeating rumors as fact we will change it back.

If anyone has any questions go ahead and ask me, PM me or email me at tgrif@xmission.com

doggies
11-05-2009, 10:34 PM
************************************************** ************************************************** **********

NEW RULES ABOUT POSTING OUT AND OUT RUMORS.
Many posters have been requesting Rumor Threads on several cases. We do have a Rumor Thread in the members only part of WS about Haleigh Cummings. The reason we did this was because an overwhelming amount of locals who knew both families wanted to post. The best way to handle that situation was to have a rumor thread in the private area. However, I don't want rumor threads on all the cases. Too much time is needed to moderate a rumor thread and it can get very weary.

It would be naive of me not to recognize the aspect of rumors in cases like Elizabeth Olten and Somer. Therefore we are going to try something different.

If you are a local and you have heard a rumor that is not ridiculous post it clearly as a rumor.

I won't check if you say you are a local. This is different than saying you know the family.

If this doesn't work out because people start relying on rumors or repeating rumors as fact we will change it back.

If anyone has any questions go ahead and ask me, PM me or email me at tgrif@xmission.com
***
See? There ya go again-perfect solution. Give your 13-year old my phone #!

Salem
11-06-2009, 06:25 PM
I have a question about myspace, facebook and topix links. My understanding is we can link to perps and/or major players in a case providing they have been named in the mainstream media. We may also link to topix discussions regarding the case. We may never link to a minor's social website. We may never cut and paste posts from other sites - only link and provide a brief description of what we will find there. And of course, we may never, ever take another's WS post and put it somewhere else.

Do I have this right? The myspace and facebook links seem to cause a lot of discussion in a lot of cases.

Thank you!

Salem

eyes4crime
11-07-2009, 01:49 AM
I continue to be confused regarding guidelines for - TRASHY SPECULATION! I'm wondering if rumors and trashy speculation are considered to be one and the same?

My example of trashy speculation: Mom's Facebook had *** sex on it! No wonder her daughter is dead - she's at the survival stage of sex, food, and excretion.

I would appreciate a guideline regarding such comments! Thanks so much.

ETA: Just to clarify - I understand the "guilty" verdict for no tears and such - many aren't aware that underlying disease states and medications can all but put a stop to tears. My concern is regarding the few who make pejorative comments over and over, taking a bit of information and whipping it up into a a trash portrayal of mom. I find such comments deeply offensive! mho

Tricia
11-07-2009, 02:05 PM
Salem and Eyes For Crime,

Let me double check everything before I answer your questions. I want to make sure I don't confuse anyone more than I have.

Thanks for your patience.

Tricia

Tricia
11-09-2009, 12:22 AM
I continue to be confused regarding guidelines for - TRASHY SPECULATION! I'm wondering if rumors and trashy speculation are considered to be one and the same?

My example of trashy speculation: Mom's Facebook had *** sex on it! No wonder her daughter is dead - she's at the survival stage of sex, food, and excretion.

I would appreciate a guideline regarding such comments! Thanks so much.

ETA: Just to clarify - I understand the "guilty" verdict for no tears and such - many aren't aware that underlying disease states and medications can all but put a stop to tears. My concern is regarding the few who make pejorative comments over and over, taking a bit of information and whipping it up into a a trash portrayal of mom. I find such comments deeply offensive! mho

You have really brought up a couple of great points. After thinking about it I am going to have to say it all depends. I am sorry to be so vague but I can't get more specific than that because each situation is different.

If any of you want to post something you think might be too trashy or too whatever just PM or email me or one of the mods. Let's look at each situation separately.

Thanks,
Tricia

Salem
11-20-2009, 12:31 PM
Okay - here's another question. When snipping info from the media (and providing the link of course) are we required to change the name of the innocents to initials and/or asteriks? What if the person is being directly quoted in the media? That means they brought the attention on themselves, right? So we can leave their name as is?

For example, the media quotes Jane Doe, a neighbor of the crime scene and she says blah, blah, blah. We would not have to reduce her name to initials would we?

TIA,

Salem

hoppyfrog
02-27-2010, 09:31 PM
Okay - here's another question. When snipping info from the media (and providing the link of course) are we required to change the name of the innocents to initials and/or asteriks? What if the person is being directly quoted in the media? That means they brought the attention on themselves, right? So we can leave their name as is?

For example, the media quotes Jane Doe, a neighbor of the crime scene and she says blah, blah, blah. We would not have to reduce her name to initials would we?

TIA,

Salem

No. No need to reduce the name to initials. However, there is also no need to sleuth the neighbor and post his/her personal information at WS. Just thought I'd mention that because, unfortunately, it has been tried at WS.

hth,

Hoppy

Salem
03-01-2010, 02:45 AM
Thank you Hoppy!

Salem

mysteriew
05-15-2011, 09:33 PM
I understand the rule about the sex offender registry. And I also understand about no proposing, encouraging or otherwise harrassing sex offenders.

But how about Family Watchdog? It isn't a government site and it contains the same info. Not for harrassment, but only as it relates to a case.