Posted October 16, 2007 8:18 am by with 3 comments

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Journalists for the Associated Press are suing in the state of Arkansas to learn which state computers were used to make Wikipedia edits. They are suing the governor of Arkansas and others for violating the Freedom of Information Act.

The two who initiated the lawsuit are Arkansas News Editor Kelly P. Kissel and reporter Jon Gambrell. They filed the lawsuit against Governor Mike Beebe, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, and IT officials.

They want the physical locations of five computers that were used to edit information about Republican presidential candidate and former Governor Mike Huckabee, Beebe, and others. Huckabee is a Republican and is a presidential candidate.

The journalists used a Web site called WikiScanner to track changes to Wikipedia. The changes include deleting personal and professional details about Huckabee. He granted a controversial pardon and questions about his personal use of a state-owned airplane. Beebe’s Wikipedia entry was also changed and information about his personal life was deleted.

A hearing date is not set yet.

  • And here I thought the worst that could happen if you edited the Wikipedia was you could be accused of spamming.

    My first reaction on seeing your post title was to think this had to be a frivolous lawsuit, but now I see the issue isn’t the edits, but rather the use of state owned computers to make the edits.

    It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out and you have to wonder how bright someone had to be to make the edits in the first place. You’d think they would know it could be found out, but then again I suppose not.

  • Is this worth a lawsuit?

  • I think that a lawsuit is warranted. This is a HUGE violation of the Freedom of Information Act. It most certainly is worth a lawsuit and I hope the governor of Arkansas and others get what they deserve.

    – Dwayne Charrington.