The Expectation Of Privacy In A Very Public Chatroom

from the paper-makes-a-difference dept

Is there anyone who doesn’t yet realize that anything you write online can (and will) be found at some later date via a search engine? Apparently, even when that’s the case, people still seem to mentally cling to the idea that there’s some sort of privacy online — even in very public spaces. E-Media Tidbits points to just such a situation, where the UK newspaper The Guardian used its own chatrooms as fodder for a print story, and the people in the chartroom freaked out, as if their privacy had somehow been breached. They had posted information in a chatroom that was run by The Guardian, and yet they were still quite upset to find the same info they posted online, and which could easily be found via Google, was put into a story that was printed on paper. Part of the problem may have been one of expectations. Even though the Guardian had stated that items on the boards could be reused, they didn’t clearly state that they planned to use this content in an article. Still, it’s a bit odd to think that someone could complain about their privacy being violated after they were the ones who proactively posted the info themselves in a crowded and well-read user forum.

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Comments on “The Expectation Of Privacy In A Very Public Chatroom”

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billie adams (user link) says:

Re: Shocking

hi john i have a website called dear billie i,d like to know more about this then i can help you tell your friends about me i can help them to i,m on the internet everyday if you want to e-mail me i,m i,ll answer all your questions that you have trouble with my website is dear billie i can help you & your friends thanks john billie

Rikko says:

Props to the Wayback Machine

I remember the first time I saw an old (and actually embarrassing) web page of mine very well archived on

I confess to having had a moment of indignation at this “invasion of privacy”… But only a moment. What is happening here is people are getting a taste for what celebrities go through and they don’t like it one bit. With luck people will stop buying crap like People and try living their own lives.

From now on I live like anything I say or post might come back to haunt me – and if it does.. Well, that’s why we have the word “doh”.

billie adams (user link) says:

Re: Props to the Wayback Machine

hi my name is billie i have my own website called dear billie i believe you you should be your own person do what you want to do come to my website or e-mail me i,ll solve your problem any problem that you have family problem anything come to me i,ll solve your problem nice talking with you have a happy holiday billie

DazedTech says:

Privacy is attainable.

Privacy is attainable, how far are you willing to go?
When I was working on my first chat program for a friend’s project, I actually went out of my way to make sure the text was encrypted on the client side before it was transmitted to the network. Only a client, currently logged in to a scheduled chat event, could decrypt the messages. The scheme was pretty and I never logged chats. (That was up to the client-side user.) – So it’s possible to keep things private to a degree that will satisfy the end-user, besides if they gave personal information…that was never the fault of mine or of my friend.

billie adams (user link) says:

Re: posting messages

hi my name is billie i can help you solve your questions i have a website called dear billie i can solve everyone problems just come to me billie e-mail me i,ll solve your problem about anything thank but you are right you should not post nothing in the paper until you really know its right you really know more about it thanks billie

private squirrel says:

Privacy in chat room

I would think that the expectation of privacy would be similar to what you would expect from a discussion in a public forum. One would not expect that transcriptions of what you would say in a grouping to be published elsewhere by a newspaper, unless someone in the group said “I’m a reporter” and then put everyone on notice that could happen. I wont go thru the implications of people pulling out camcorders, tape recorders, etc.

It is illegal in some states now to surrepticiously record and publish with tape recorders and video tape as well w/o public notice. that is why many dept stores have signs somewhere stating that video recording of the area is being done.

If the people had to go thru some signup, and it had a notice that the discussions were the property of the publisher, then they have absolutely no basis to be surprised at all.

Obviously common sense (which seems to be totally lacking now days everywhere) would make one think the saying anything anywhere, would be subject to being repeated, if not recorded.

Provoke says:

It happen to me...

In a newly opened community forum, run by a profit organization with among a bi-weekly magazine, I found to my surprise that one rather long article I wrote, was copied and pasted into the printed copy.

First of all, it was unedited, and questions I asked in the article, was left in the printed text and it just seemed so out of context as it was purely intended for an online forum.
Secondly, they had removed my signature from the article, and just left my initials. (For good and bad…)
Third, there was no reference where it was taken from.
Four, in the Terms of the forum, there were no indication that this could happen.

I was offended, as I didn’t expect it to be printed, I was not asked if I wanted it printed, and I was not asked or given the chance to edit/complete the article.
If they liked what I wrote, I would preferred that they got in contact with me, telling me that they were interested, giving me a chance to complete the article and adapt for the correct medium and maybe give a small compensation for the work.

I posted my dissatisfaction on the forum, and my message got deleted. Re-posted – deleted…

After several mails to the company, I got an answer, not really happy with it, and at the end… I haven’t been there since. I post my articles elsewhere.


billie adams (user link) says:

Re: It happen to me...

i pronoke my name is billie i have a website called dear billie i,d like to here more about your article then we can talk more send me your articles that you wrote them to see how you did i can help you fix it a different way come to me with any problem family problem, or anything that disturbs you don,t take it out on yourself let me help contact me a.s.a.p. i,m here to help you have a nice holiday provoke. love billie

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