Sunday, April 09, 2006

Persistence

The thing with the information age that we now live in is that it is becoming increasingly difficult to get away from the past and have a new beginning. In the old days if for whatever reason something bad happened and your name had some unwelcome associations you could move areas and start again. However, now that we have this online identity, it has this persky persistent quality to it.....

Further to this article, here are some other developments:
  • Someone I know found out they were working with a believed ex-mobster.
  • Some MySpace teenagers are finding out that what they are putting on MySpace is coming back to haunt them legally.
  • Employers are googling people before they hire them; and also it seems googling them whilst they are hired and then firing them if they don't like what they see.
  • The social photo sharing sites have some content on there that I am sure some people would rather not have made public (but are now easily searchable through the tags - riya.com seems to also put a box around the face and ask "Who is this?" !!).
Now, the latest one seems to be DontDateHimGirl.com. This site is apparently really catching on. It looks like the submitted data is anonymous and unverified which means that it is going to be easy to submit false reports - either to get at people you don't like, or bury any real write-ups about yourself in the middle of a lot of obviously crazy ones thus making the it-is-obviously-just-some-crazy-person-out-to-get-back-at-me-for-something story seem more believable.

This whole online persistence (particularly, persistent links between content/rumour and identity) thing is basically why I am keeping no easily searchable online linkage of this blog with my name - I have no idea what direction this might go in the future, nor what other people will forge in my name, and nor (perhaps most importantly) what people (with power) in the future will think of any today-considered-innocent content (see for example this). I don't mind my friends knowing I write this but I do mind anybody being able to find out (=> don't post my name in the comments or any links please).

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