At the January 2023 Quarterly Board Meeting, the Board upheld the following policy interpretation request from the Society Seneschal regarding the use of online petitions.
‘Corpora I.C.7.e, “Communications with the Board of Directors of the SCA, Inc.” reads:
The Board does not accept anonymous communications, and electronic communications with no identifier of the sender other than an email address will be considered anonymous.
By extension, this policy applies to SCA officers as well. Unsigned emails are not considered legitimate communications with either the Board or SCA officers.
Further, the Corporate Policies of the SCA regarding electronic communications with officers state that
“Messages posted for general attention on any public electronic communications forum are not regarded as formal communications to an officer…”
Since online platforms, including web-based opinion or petition sites, do not contain a way for the SCA to verify the identities of those posting, they are considered anonymous and may not be regarded as official communication to an officer.’
Excerpt from Society Seneschal Report
This policy interpretation was geared toward the massive online petition sites such as change.org, where it’s pretty easy to sign with a fake identity or even anonymously. In a recent test, the ability to generate a fake account to register with such sites was done in less than 3 minutes.
The Society continues to welcome petitions where a level of authentication can occur for participants as per Corpora. This ruling specifically does not address ‘pollings’ for items such as changes to group arms for example, as these matters are entirely separate.
It should be noted that while anonymous communications are not formally accepted, all correspondence received is read.
You can contact the Society Seneschal at [email protected]
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