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[Ars] Facebook ordered to out kids behind principal's fake profile

post #1 of 15
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By Jacqui Cheng | Published: May 11, 2008 - 08:35PM CT

Quote:
Anonymous pranksters who made a fake Facebook profile for a high school dean and used it to send out messages may soon be exposed, thanks to a court order issued late last week. Dean Tim Puntarelli of Roncalli High School—a Catholic prep school on the south side of Indianapolis—sued the social networking site in an attempt to find out who is behind the profile, citing harassment and identity theft. Marion Superior Court Judge Robyn Moberly's order is meant to identify the still-anonymous individuals so that Puntarelli and the Archdiocese of Indianapolis (which operates the high school) can hold them responsible for what they perceive to be character defamation, even though the profile is no longer up.

Dean Puntarelli first complained to Facebook a month ago, when he caught wind that those behind the profile had sent out inappropriate messages and images to Roncalli High students. While the lawsuit is short on specifics, it referred to "pictures and messages inappropriate for a Dean of Students to send to a student." Facebook removed the profile after it was deemed to be fraudulent, but refused to hand over the IPs or any other identifying information about those who created it.

That's why Puntarelli has now resorted to filing a lawsuit in hopes of forcing Facebook to hand over the information. The social networking site has been ordered to preserve the details of the profile for further review. Archdiocese attorney Jay Mercer told the Indianapolis Star that the school was waiting to learn more details before deciding whether to move forward with the lawsuit, and that the archdiocese was unsure of whether a student or someone unrelated to the school was responsible.

"The archdiocese hopes to resolve the issue as quickly as possible in order to restore damage done to Puntarelli's reputation and to prevent this type of identity theft from happening again," the archdiocese said in a statement sent to the press on Friday.

If you're getting a feeling of déjÃ* vu reading this story, it's probably because the case is reminiscent of numerous fake principal/teacher profiles created on social networking sites like MySpace using less-than-flattering information. In some cases, such as that of Hickory High School principal Eric Trosch and Clark High School assistant principal Anna Draker, the students who created the profiles have represented their school officials as drug addicts, alcoholics, and sexual predators. This ultimately resulted in the school officials filing suit against the students (and their parents).

Although judges have shown sympathy for students' right to free speech and parody in some similar cases, Indiana University School of Law professor David Orentlicher told the Indianapolis Star that full-on defamation is another story. "If it really is defamation, then students are subject to that," Orentlicher said. "Your right to freedom of speech doesn’t give you the right to break the law."


[SOURCE]


It's obvious why Facebook wouldn't willfully give up the IP's and subsequently identifying information... They would risk alienating a huge portion of their user base, idiotic high school kids.
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post #2 of 15
facebook needs to go back to college kids only. let high schoolers have their myspaces. I want old school facebook back, no apps, and the "is" in every status update.
post #3 of 15
I disagree. I don't think the guy has the right to get the IP's and identities unless a CRIME was comitted. This is why, not because alienating idiots (although that is true), the logical reason i can see is that people could get other's IP addresses for malicious intent with a well planned out framing of this incident.....
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post #4 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by amd0freak View Post
I disagree. I don't think the guy has the right to get the IP's and identities unless a CRIME was comitted. This is why, not because alienating idiots (although that is true), the logical reason i can see is that people could get other's IP addresses for malicious intent with a well planned out framing of this incident.....
Quote:
Dean Tim Puntarelli of Roncalli High School—a Catholic prep school on the south side of Indianapolis—sued the social networking site in an attempt to find out who is behind the profile, citing harassment and identity theft.
Both of which are against the law
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post #5 of 15
yes. go back to college only facebook which only EDU email addresses can sign up for. have you seen the marketplace and the ridiculous amount of scammers there are now?
    
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post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by amd0freak View Post
I disagree. I don't think the guy has the right to get the IP's and identities unless a CRIME was comitted. This is why, not because alienating idiots (although that is true), the logical reason i can see is that people could get other's IP addresses for malicious intent with a well planned out framing of this incident.....
lol did you know that just posting a picture of your friend on facebook without there permission is grounds for a lawsuit? Im sure impersonating somone is well on the way up there on the list.
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post #7 of 15
Weird...I have a ton of friends at Roncalli.
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post #8 of 15
Lol typical. High schools will infringe and ignore the student's right to free speech but as soon as something the students do affects them they just S*** a stick. I'm glad I'm out of high school, college rox!
    
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post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by X-Ravin View Post
Lol typical. High schools will infringe and ignore the student's right to free speech but as soon as something the students do affects them they just S*** a stick. I'm glad I'm out of high school, college rox!
Defemation is not protected speech.
    
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post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by X-Ravin View Post
Lol typical. High schools will infringe and ignore the student's right to free speech but as soon as something the students do affects them they just S*** a stick. I'm glad I'm out of high school, college rox!
congrats, your better then us all.
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