Techdirt Podcast Episode 178: Old Tweets & Your Permanent Record

from the dangerous-history dept

There has long been anxiety around the “permanent record” of the internet, and recent public shamings based on old tweets have brought that fear to the forefront for many people. But the mass deletion of old tweets also means throwing out huge amounts of potentially valuable information. Is there a technological solution? A cultural one? This week, we’re joined by returning guests Cathy Gellis and Parker Higgins to discuss a proposal for fixing the problem without sacrificing the permanent record.

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Comments on “Techdirt Podcast Episode 178: Old Tweets & Your Permanent Record”

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Broam says:


If there were any more pandering in this podcast someone would be arrested for solitication of prostitution.

This podcast was a good drinking game: drink when you hear the word “Context” or the phrase “bad faith” and they’ll be pumping your stomach before the audio stops.

Why yes, “If one would give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest man, I would find something in them to have him hanged.” can apply to pretty much anyone.

But when there’s a large pile more than six lines, and when there are other stories and examples of the way an individual acts, it’s not “bad faith” to mine a twitter feed.

A lot of the frustration around the Tweets has to do with the fact that “context” doesn’t seem to matter – Sarah Jeong gets all the excuses and defenses from everyone claiming that it’s okay that she said these things, but, oh, Quinn Norton doesn’t get this treatment.

Honestly I think you’re all biased. You’re too close to her and unwilling to reconcile her actions with how she treated Naomi Wu (my favorite being her thoughts on how South Korea and China have the same culture when it comes to marrying foreigners) and the bile she splashed on Twitter.

If the “bad faith” (sip) miners were finding the sporadic tweet here and there, then “context” would be understandable.

Unfortunately the volume of bile people have pulled up has been followed with a whole pile of salt.

This is what some people want in society – for people to be held to their statements. The bed has been made, I’m sorry you don’t like the sheets.

Mason Wheeler (profile) says:

WRT the question "when is a person fully baked?", the answer is kind of surprising if you haven’t looked into the research on the subject. Of course, it depends on which researchers you listen to, and also on how exactly you define "fully baked," but if the question is "at what point does a person stop being a blank slate and exhibit well-defined, defining personality traits that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives," there’s reason to believe the answer could be as early as age 8.

And yes, obviously people continue to change after that point, but the style of change is more "growth" than "metamorphosis." Barring the effect of unpredictable, extremely impactful (and usually traumatic) events, as a general rule, preteen children are recognizably the seed of the fully-formed adult they will grow into.

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