If you Google the name Philip Martin Jr., the principal of Norman Thomas High School in midtown Manhattan, the first result is for a defamatory, and very offensive, blog declaring him to be not only a pedophile, but incompetent at his job. The same goes for Neil Monheit, an assistant principal at the school, who is anonymously accused of sexual assault, as well as “missing meetings daily, arriving LATE to work every day, leaving early (right at 2:50 pm!) and always taking a day off right before a big school holiday.” Both men are now suing Google in hopes of unmasking their brutal, relentless online enemy.
The Smoking Gun has the court affidavit filed by both men, along with another assistant principal and a former Norman Thomas High employee, in which they practically beg for information about the blog’s author from Blogspot, a subsidiary of Google. The Google search casualties claim they have suffered “embarrassment and humiliation” as a result of the websites and deny all of the sloppily written — by high schoolers, perhaps? — accusations again them, which run the awful gamut from racism to STDs.
Both blogs borrow the tactics of the legendary Spreading Santorum campaign, including the definition for the notorious “frothy mixture,” which successfully sullied every “Rick Santorum” search for years.
Google is in the habit of releasing transparency reports detailing all of its data requests from governments and courts worldwide, and depending on how it turns out, this one could easily make the most-notable list.