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Claim Y2Kdth - >=200 deaths caused by Y2K bug

Category: Science & Technology:Computer Industry News:Disasters JUDGED at 0
Owner:723, Mario Hilgemeier
Judge:396, rwdaniel
created:1998/02/26
due date:2001/03/23

The Claim

The Year 2000 problem (also known as Y2K bug) will cause 200 or more human deaths.


The Y2K bug in short: computer programs that use only the last two digits of the year number cannot distinguish between centuries (e.g. 1900 and 2000) and therefore could malfunction on 2000-01-01 and later.

This claim will be judged true if 200 or more human deaths are caused by Y2K bugs before the end of the year 2000 (2001-01-01, 00:00 UTC):

The deaths may be caused directly by accidents in transportation, manufacture, telecommunication, electrical power generation, military systems or other fields of human activity. Only deaths inflicted by an accident shall count.

The judge of this claim shall not count deaths from

  • prevention measures (e.g. downing all planes of an airline for 36 hours) or during other preparative actions.
  • rebuilding, clean-up, rescue missions, bug-fixing and other actions after an Y2K-bug-caused accident.
  • diseases (whether their spread is connected to the Y2K bug or not).

This is a global claim. Relevant deaths for this claim may happen anywhere on Earth, in space or other heavenly bodies. Only events that come to public attention before the judging date count.

If different death counts exist, the judge shall estimate the most probable number.

The claim shall be judged using reliable public information sources (i.e. not the sensation press claiming the deaths were caused by Y2K) that report a specific cause (e.g. "The malfunction was due to the use of the C tm_year function in the operating program.").

more info about Y2K

Judge's Statement

I will count deaths from exposure to cold due to utility outages.

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