Spinnaker reported to UNF Police Department (UNFPD) on Wednesday over 250 stories from its website were missing.
Managing Editor Connor Spielmaker said he was notified of the disappearance of several stories from the website on Monday by a former Student Government reporter. On Wednesday, Spielmaker was notified of several other “key stories” missing from the website. A search of the website and archives revealed over 250 stories had been removed.
The stories in question cover an assortment of topics including sports, daily news, Student Government, clubs and feature articles. Although the stories have been recovered through archival storage, they have not yet been restored. Spielmaker said the restoration of articles has been put on hold in order to prevent the disruption of the ongoing police investigation.
Spinnaker filed a report with UNFPD who passed the story to their detective unit. UNFPD informed Spinnaker if investigations reveal the stories were removed by somebody outside the organization the case could potentially be classified a cyber crime.
“This is a modern-day version of dumping papers,” said Spielmaker. “Not only is this an intrusion of privacy but a 1st Amendment issue. These are stories people have the right to read and whoever might be responsible is trying to prevent that access to free speech.”
The Student Press Law Center, who provides legal advice and resources to student media outlets, has been made aware of the situation and is standing by to provide Spinnaker with those resources said Spielmaker.
Spinnaker will continue to update on the investigation.
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