If I were to receive poor service from a school, then I would not have a problem saying it publicly. I think that if I were to speak the truth in a polite manner, then my comments would be above reproach. If I were to use faulty logical or inflammatory language, and it caused schools to treat me in a negative way, then I see no problem with that.
Even if you would it's obvious that it would deter others from even saying negative things politely. Just in the same way many people wouldn't say negative things about their boss (even in a polite fashion) if their boss was right there listening. That type of deterrence would significantly decrease the utility of the message board.
Looking at your story I think we're on two different tracks. What is good for law schools is not necessarilly good for applicants. It may very well be good for law schools to track people down, collect whatever information they can find and use that information accordingly. That however is not good for law school applicants. Something can be well within someone's rights yet still have an overall negative effect. Applicants benefit by being able to freely discuss law schools and the general admissions process.
don't think the collection of the information creates the bad consequences. I think the original people saying things in a negative way creates the "bad" consequences. It is likely that the collection amplifies the consequences, but it did not originate them.
But what is a negative way? Do you know? Does anyone but the admissions people themselves know? Have you ever had a frustrating experience with a bureaucracy but rather than argue with them simply politely walk away? If you have ever done this often times it's because you know you aren't getting anywhere and the people just aren't listening and you can only make things worse by pressing the issue. How is someone supposed to express that type of situation in a non-negative way when the very same person they had to walk away from is the person who's going to be reading their message? Bending over backwards so as not to offend admissions people creates a default setting of less information for other applicants and less honest information. Maybe an admissions person was extremely rude. Would you expect someone to say that when they knew that very same person would not only be reading the message but know specifically who was saying it?
Increasing consequences has a distinctly negative effective on communication. I don't want people to be careful about what they say. If anything someone might say could have extremely negative consequences what are people going to say except whatever they think is politicall correct? This board and those like it are about helping applicants.
Someone else pointed out that we want to be professionals, so we should act in a professional manner.
But this isn't a professional setting. If you go to an alcoholics anonymous meeting (which is quasi-public) and complain about your job and say how you think your boss is an idiot I think a company would be absolutely wrong to fire you for being, "unprofessional" even though in other settings making such statements would certainly fall under "unprofessional" behavior and a justifiably firing offense.