Feeds

School sues over Wikipedia posts

Heading North

Security for virtualized datacentres

A high school in Nebraska, USA is suing over entries posted on Wikipedia - the website that "anyone can edit" that's popular with teenagers and the unemployed. Wikipedia itself isn't the target of the lawsuit from Skutt High School, nor are many of the sites that legally or illegally scrape Wikipedia's content.

The school has filed a John and Joe Doe lawsuit to identify the perps behind edits which, AP reports, "... include sharp criticism of Skutt principal Patrick Slattery, obscene language and a note about drug use by students."

"These particular edits were really harmful and mean-spirited," said Patrick Flood, a lawyer for Skutt told AP.

The offending entry for Skutt High School was replaced by a clean stub.

The edits were made between February and June this year, but the offending page was deleted and replaced with a "clean" stub, which was accorded "protected" status on July 22. Protected status means the entry can't be edited by anonymous users, or recently-registered users, leaving it in the hands of Wikipedia's elite.

Delightfully, however - and in true Wikipedia fashion - the new, minimal entry places the school, the town of Omaha, and the entire US state of Nebraska in Canada:

nebraska_moves_to_canada.jpg

So much for protection. To help the elite administrators tending to the revised Skutt entry, we're including this handy reference.

How to tell the USA from Canada

Wikipedia's place in the public consciousness as a source of unreliable information and trivia turf wars was cemented today by satirical site The Onion, which reports how "Wikipedia Celebrates 750 Years Of American Independence" ("Founding Fathers, Patriots, Mr. T. Honored"). Here, or by clicking on the picture below:

wikipedia_onion_parody.jpg

Wikipedia's problems with vandalism have percolated to the top of the hierarchy within the organization. One of the most prominent evangelists for the site, Angela Beesley, recently resigned from the board of the non-profit that runs Wikipedia, the WikiMedia Foundation, in the hope of having her own entry removed from Wikipedia. "I'm sick of this article being trolled. It's full of lies and nonsense," she wrote recently. "Given that this was previously kept on the grounds I was on that Board, there is no longer any reason for this page to be kept. This has already been deleted on the French and German Wikipedias."

(With co-founder Jimmy Wales, Beesley remains on the board of the for-profit corporation Wikia, which recently received $4m in venture capital)

Seth Finkelstein, who recently tried to have his own entry from Wikipedia removed recently, described it as "a pretty stunning vote of no-confidence. Even at least some high-ups can't eat the dog food."

Like all those Romulan peace treaties from Star Trek, once you're in, you're in. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Bono apologises for iTunes album dump
Megalomania, generosity and FEAR of irrelevance drove group to Apple deal
HBO shocks US pay TV world: We're down with OTT. Netflix says, 'Gee'
This affects every broadcaster, every cable guy
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
French 'terror law' declares WAR on the INTERNET itself, say digi-rights folks
Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité: Two out of three ain't bad
SCREW YOU, EU: BBC rolls out Right To Remember as Google deletes links
Not even Google can withstand the power of Auntie
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.