The history and pitfalls of defending the faith online

It wasn't fair.

In the mid-1990s, Scott Gordon, Juliann Reynolds and other Mormons were under constant danger of losing their Internet provider privileges if they attempted to defend The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

They navigated the rough-and-tumble world of America Online Internet message boards, places where people could post comments on various topics such as religion. AOL used volunteers to monitor comments. These volunteers could give out warnings for what they considered poor behavior. Three warnings and a person could be banned.

Mormons who defended their religion, however, were subject to warnings and electronic excommunication.

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