A Catholic high school in Omaha, Nebraska has filed suit over an entry about the school in Wikipedia. Among other things, they didn’t care for this characterization:
“It’s (sic) tuition is ridiculously high, too. Not to mention you get an awful education there. They put more emphasis on sports than they do education. No wonder almost all kids there are complete idiots.”
However, since the article was edited anonymously, administrators are naming a John Doe in the suit and will try to obtain a subpoena to have the local internet provider identify the writer.
Even if other edits included “sharp criticism of Skutt principal Patrick Slattery, obscene language and a note about drug use by students” is a lawsuit the best way to handle the issue?
It’s pretty clear that none of the staff members at the school have a clue about how Wikipedia works. Why didn’t they correct the entry themselves?
The current article has been locked by Wikipedia administrators and there’s no sign of any vandalism. Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia founder wonders why officials at the school didn’t contacted him when they discovered the entry. Good question.
When/if they find the students who posted the material, they will probably be expelled from school.
But is that the best way to deal with a problem like this? I doubt the students will learn anything from such a punishment.
And it’s already clear that the school administrators haven’t learned much in this case.