Friday, April 25, 2008

This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

A 15-year-old boy, arrested last Friday in conjunction with criminal threats made on Wikipedia, was charged Thursday with seven felonies in Pomona Juvenile Court in Pomona, California. Prosecutors stated that the teen posted two threats on Wikipedia, saying that six named students as well as members of his school’s badminton team would be shot. The court arraignment had initially been set for Tuesday, but was continued until Thursday. Wikinews interviewed the Wikipedia administrator who contacted police after the threats had been made on the site.

Though officials had said the boy made a full confession that he had made threats to other students via the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, he denied the charges at the Thursday court petition. The court ordered that he remain detained pending a May 9 scheduled appearance before Pomona Juvenile Court. He has remained in custody since his arrest.

The threats were made via two separate edits to the Wikipedia article about Glen A. Wilson High School in Hacienda Heights, California on April 16. Wikipedia administrators were made aware of the threats in a post to the “Administrators’ noticeboard” on April 16 by Wikipedia admin Dreadstar. Another Wikipedia administrator, John Reaves, contacted the police in Los Angeles, California, and helped them work with the Internet service provider to find more information on the IP address that made the threat. A third Wikipedia administrator, Persian Poet Gal, removed the threats from the edit history of the article after finding out that the student had been arrested.

Students’ backpacks were searched prior to entering Glen A. Wilson High School on April 17 and all after-school activities were canceled that day. All classes were canceled April 18, and classes resumed on Monday.