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LRN2INTERNET, dearest APA.

[00:21] Azz: My day is not complete without sending a cranky email to the APA.
[00:27] Azz: compare and contrast the section on "domain name extension" here: http://www.apastyle.org/elecmedia.html with http://www.pir.org/index.php?db=content/FAQs&tbl=FAQs_Registrant&id=1#q4 and http://www.pir.org/index.php?db=content/FAQs&tbl=FAQs_Registrant&id=1#q7
[00:27] Azz: note that pir.org is the place that ICANN tells me is in charge of .org domains.
[00:28] Azz: in conclusion, the APA article can kiss my domain-atrix behind.

Yes, this is the American Psychological Association, mother of the APA Style, that I'm cranky with today.

Accessed 2009 06 15:
The domain name extension (in the preceding example, ".org") can help you determine the appropriateness of the source for your purpose. Different extensions are used depending on what entity hosts the site. For example, the extensions ".edu" and ".org" are for educational institutions and nonprofit organizations; ".gov" and ".mil" are used for government and military sites, respectively; and ".com" and ".biz" are used for commercial sites. Domain name extensions may also include a country code (e.g., ".ca" for Canada or ".nz" for New Zealand).


Ditto:

4. Can I register a .ORG domain name?
Yes. .ORG always has been -- and will continue to be -- an open and unrestricted domain. Anyone is allowed to register and use .ORG domain names.

.ORG is the home for millions of nonprofit Web sites, including charitable, artistic, scientific, personal, educational, social, cultural and religious sites.

.ORG sites are run by clubs, incorporated and unincorporated not-for-profit organizations, industry associations, families, individuals, schools, foundations, and more. Even for-profit companies have .ORG sites devoted to their noncommercial activities, such as charitable or volunteer programs.

Many noncommercial organizations conduct commerce to support their activities. Examples include clubs that raise funds, hospitals, noncommercial Web sites that run advertising to support their operations, etc.
...

7. I found a .ORG Web site that is commercial in nature. Is this allowed?
Yes. .ORG is an unrestricted top-level domain, and anyone can register.

8. Why isn't .ORG strictly limited to not-for-profits?
.ORG has been an open and unrestricted domain since it was created in the 1980s. It would be difficult, expensive and sometimes unfair to impose new restrictions. For example:
  • It would be difficult to determine what is a not-for-profit and what isn't. Every country has different laws and definitions about what a nonprofit is.
  • Verifying the site and credentials of every applicant around the world could multiply the cost and time for registering a .ORG domain name. Verification would require many staff people who read different languages and would slow down the registration process from minutes to weeks or months. PIR receives just $6 per year for each .ORG domain name, most of which goes to running and improving .ORG's infrastructure and technology.
  • Because .ORG has been unrestricted for so long, it would be unfair to take domain names away from people who registered them under old requirements.


Why do I care when someone is wrong on the internet? Because this is the APA. They are one of the definitive style sources that other organizations and educational institutions require in formatting academic papers. They are wrong on the internet and in print. People are using their wrong as an authoritative reference material. People are teaching their wrong to impressionable teenagers and non-technical adults.

It is irresponsible of the APA to imply that all .org websites are owned by non-profit organizations; it is irresponsible to imply that there is the same screening infrastructure in place for owners of .org domains that there is in place for .edu domains. This is not true. Anyone who has access to a credit card and telephone may lawfully purchase a .org domain name, and put whatever they like on it. The contents of .org domain websites are only as reliable and authoritative as the organization that owns the website. The sooner this myth gets busted in schools the better.



Cross-discussion.
Gone away, gone ahead,
Echoes roll unanswered.
Empty, open, dusty, dead.
Why have all the Weyrfolk fled?

Where have dragons gone together
Leaving weyrs to wind and weather,
Setting herdbeasts free of tether;
Gone, our safeguards, gone, but whither?

Have they flown to some new weyr
Where cruel Threads some others fear?
Are they worlds away from here?
Why, oh why the empty weyr?

-- "The Question Song", Anne McCaffrey
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