Ryan, to answer your original question:
What are the rules about plagiarism here at the OAC? The real answer is that we don't have any rules about plagiarism. In fact, we do not have any explicit rules at all. Keith posted a draft of some rules back in June on the OAC Policy Forum group, in hopes that members could discuss them prior to implementing some rules for this place. Since then, only one member has replied. Anyone interested can read them in the OAC Policy Forum, but I'll provide a quick summary of these proposed rules here:
1. Don't be a jerk.
2. No spamming.
3. No porn.
4. No soliciting.
5. Comply with the Ning Terms of Service.
The sanctions for the above would be a progression from warning to account deletion, with the rapidity of the progression depending on the circumstances.
Should there be an explicit rule about plagiarism? I would say yes, now that a case has presented itself. But we're getting ahead of ourselves, because we have no rules for anything.
Even though we still do not have any rules in place, the admins have sent warnings to people when their abusive or otherwise inappropriate behavior was brought to our attention. We have also deleted accounts of people who are clearly joining the OAC to sell something and have no interest in anthropology. But it would benefit us all to have some clear and explicit rules that are made available to everyone, and for which clear consequences exist.
I will be posting some follow-up comments with a few ideas for us to kick around.
For this reason I started a new discussion by the title WORLD ANTHROPOLOGY number 2. Get a look and you will understand.