I'm divided on this one, so I'm posing the question to my loyal readers to see what you think. Thanks to my friend Alexander Russo over at This Week In Education, I found this over on Facebook and on his very good education blog.
Here's the short version: StLtoday.com, the local daily newspaper, Friday posted an item about obscure things the writer had eaten in his life. He asked what were other strange things others had consumed. Well, apparently someone from a St. Louis area school wrote in a vulgar term about a woman's anatomy. Then deleted it. Then put it back.
The reporter, who monitored the postings, saw the IP address for the post as you fellow bloggers know you can see when comments are made, and noted it was from a local school. The reporter said he called the school's "Headmaster" which leads me to believe this was a private school, and the administrator narrowed down the timing and who might have sent the offensve posts. The person was confronted later that day at school and resigned on the spot.
As can be typical with news reporters, and former news reporters such as myself, the reporter came across as gloating in explaining how all this went down. Now fokes like Alex are calling on the reporter to lose his job, too, as they feel that this was an abuse of the reporter's position. Is that what should happen?
- Does a Web master or forum moderator have an obligation to contact those who make comments on a blog, especially if they're from a government body or school, and let them know that employees are using their equipment to post crude or vulgar comments?
- Should the STLToday.com reporter be fired for having done this? Or is the paper going to look at this as an opportunity to increase readership? Which likely is happening.
- What would you do? Just delete and go on?