Reg victim of blasphemy hoax

Hook, line, sinker. Plus two smoking barrels for the perpetrators

Well, it all looked like it was going to get a bit nasty this morning when 'Net Authority Investigations' threatened us with action over alleged blasphemy. To be frank, we thought that they were having a laugh. We did, however, fall for it completely.

Then, within about 15 minutes of the story going up, we received alerts from readers that the whole thing was a hoax. While we were checking, we got a missive direct from Net Authority Investigations noting the following:

You have been added to the following databases:
- Hate Literature Offenders
- Pornography Offenders
- Child Pornography Offenders
- Bestiality Offenders
- Homosexual Pornography Offenders
- Interracial Pornography Offenders
- General Blasphemy Offenders

The email went on to explain:

While the individual who reported your actions to us will remain anonymous, he or she wished to pass these words on to you: "This is a joke email generated by a joke website. Just thought I'd point that out to you before you get too worried about imminent court action."

Yes indeed, the Net Authority site is a spoof perpetrated by www.mikeycomics.com. We could have put stop to the whole thing right then and there, but by this time the emails were flying around as loyal Reg readers rallied to our defence. This proved far too entertaining, and we'll be running the best of the correspondance tommorrow in the Vulture Central Mailbag. In the meantime, here's an example of what can expect when you offend the mighty Reg:

I read on "The Register" today that they have been 'blacklisted' by you as purveying Blasphemous Content. I wish to register a complaint with you as to you behaviour and conduct. While I am sure you are going to receive many complaints about this act - many of them heated, but I wish you to take note of them all.

Firstly my credentials - I have been an active evangelical Christian all my life, and have seen God do many marvellous things in my life. I work in the Computing industry as a programmer and regularly read "The Register", however I am no way connected to the website or its publishers.

From my perusal of The Register I take it to be a site that reports both serious and not so serious IT Industry News. It tries to take a different viewpoint on everything - which is usually of a humourous nature, usually resulting in well observed and funny comments. Unfortunately, as with everything the humour doesn't always work and sometimes offends and baffles people, and I will admit to being offended by some of what they have written in the past. However, they do try to be balanced and will post up letters from readers which moan about their articles. So I am not denying that they have in the past, have now or even in will probably write something that is blasphemous by the strict biblical definition of the word - this I cannot deny.

So if I can't deny that they have posted blasphemous texts what do I want to complain about? The fact that you claim to be able to judge this site, and everyone that reads it, and that you call them all sinners. Let's get down to some theology:

1) "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23) - you, me, everyone - but we "are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus." (Romans 3:24)

2) We are instructed to: "Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven." (Luke 6:36-37)

So we have all sinned, and I for one have blasphemed many times in my life. But we can't judge.

Now I can see where you are coming from, there are many things on the Internet that I think shouldn't be there, but I do not think that you are approaching it in the right manner. As I have said above I believe that the Bible shows us that we have all sinned and that we can't judge others - in fact we are instructed to be merciful and compassionate. Your policing methods do not show mercy or compassion, in fact I believe that the email that you sent to The Register will entice people to write Hate Mail directed towards you and other Christians, but most definitely not cause The Register or its staff to change its ways - in fact they seem to be treating it as a bit of a joke. In fact I don't blame them - as you seem to be claiming to be able to do things that you actually can't - how can you prosecute them - where? Under who's law? And under who's authority do you act anyway - your website is very, very sparse with names of actual people who are part of your organisation. And anyway who's authority are you acting under in the Church (and if the response is God can you please give me a detailed argument as to why you report directly to God and not through the organised Church).

I have many more comments to make about your site and your general hypocrisy and lack of sensible argument, but I feel very angry with what you have said and so any further comment in my current frame of reference is going to be inappropriate.

I look forward to seeing your reply.

While we thank the above reader for his excellent and reasoned assault on these bigots, we also salute the cheeky monkeys behind this scam. We'll also slap 'em if we ever get hold of 'em. That's if the readers don't get there first... ;-) ®

Late-breaking conspiracy theory

Even as we post this story, we are beginning to receive emails that Net Authority is not in fact related to Mikeycomics, but is using the name as a front for their witchhunt. The truth is out there somewhere...

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