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Should The Media Voluntarily Embrace A 'Right To Be Forgotten'?

from the difficult-questions dept

It should be no secret that I'm not at all a fan of the right to be forgotten, which is a European concept, as currently employed, that allows people to get old news stories about them removed from search engines (there's more to it than that, but that's the basic explanation). To me, it seems like an attempt to bury history and facts, and that's dangerous. We've also seen too many cases of people trying to abuse it to hide spotty historical records that deserve to remain public. However, the excellent Radiolab podcast a few weeks back had a fascinating episode exploring the idea of the news media voluntarily agreeing to "forget" certain stories. More specifically, last year, Cleveland.com adopted a policy that would let people apply to be "forgotten" by the online news publication. They invited Radiolab folks to be present for one of the meetings where the staff debates applications.

And it was a lot more interesting and challenging than I initially thought. Indeed, it brought back the conundrum I faced a few years ago, in which we weren't sure how to deal with someone who made a very compelling case why we should delete a story about them. We refused, and were also troubled by the fact that that story involved a federal court case that was then disappeared by the court itself. Courts shouldn't be disappearing public dockets like that. But, in reporting on that, given the compelling argument that had been made to us, we didn't highlight what the original story was or who the person was -- because of an inherent recognition that this person didn't deserve any more trouble.

I'm still quite uncomfortable with the idea that a media organization would agree to go back and change stories to remove names (or, in some cases, to delete entire stories), as that is (again) a rewriting of history. Because that can certainly cause lots of other problems down the road as well. But the Radiolab episode is still worth listening to, as it does a really good job of laying out the difficult choices and tradeoffs, and the challenges that Cleveland.com takes on in making those decisions -- weighing a bunch of different factors.

In many ways, it's another side of the whole "content moderation" debate, and how various platforms should make decisions on moderation. There are many, many difficult choices and no easy answers. I still find the overall concept of the Right to Be Forgotten quite troubling -- especially when it's enforced by the government. However, it's interesting and informative to learn about Cleveland.com's thoughtful approach to the matter, even if I'd probably come down in a different end position.

Filed Under: history, journalism, memory, permanent record, right to be forgotten
Companies: cleveland.com


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  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    M. Emory Hole, 20 Sep 2019 @ 10:54am

    Sure. It'll be necessary when Big Brother Google "malreports".

    Or when Neo-Nazi Eric Schmidt is running around with yet another in his "open marriage".

    Entirely necessary.

    Just won't be done for the proles.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Gary (profile), 20 Sep 2019 @ 11:07am

      Re: Sure. It'll be necessary

      So you are pro-censorship via mandatory "Right" to be forgotten laws?

      Or you'd voluntarily take down articles from your website no matter who asked?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 21 Sep 2019 @ 6:56am

        Re: Re: Sure. It'll be necessary

        Con missed..."It should be no secret that I'm not at all a fan of the right to be forgotten, which is a European concept, as currently employed, that allows people to get old news stories about them removed from search engines (there's more to it than that, but that's the basic explanation). To me, it seems like an attempt to bury history and facts, and that's dangerous."

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 20 Sep 2019 @ 11:14am

      The “right to be forgotten” is censorship. Do you decry it or do you support it?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Bobvious, 20 Sep 2019 @ 3:29pm

        Re: RTBF

        Our favourite commenter is simply exercising his Right To Be FLAGGED!

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 20 Sep 2019 @ 3:56pm

          Re: Re: RTBF

          Could we get a Right to Forcibly Forget instead? Like a global wipe of someone's electronic existence and banning their right to own any device capable of posting to the internet?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Sep 2019 @ 11:02am

    A right? I don't think so.
    One has a right to regret their actions, one has a right to attempt making up for their actions. One does not have a right to skip out on their responsibilities and others should not just look the other way.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 23 Sep 2019 @ 5:53am

      Re:

      Agreed. Everyone requires a second chance sooner or later (can we PLEASE stop pretending that "requires" = "deserves"?); if you take that away from someone just because you don't like them, what happens when you need it? Not a world I want to live in.

      Besides, it gives hope to others in similar situations to see how other people overcame a dodgy past. Isn't it better to be an inspiration and a Good Example than a jerk with a lot of skeletons in the ol' closet?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 26 Sep 2019 @ 1:23am

        Re: Re:

        " Isn't it better to be an inspiration and a Good Example than a jerk with a lot of skeletons in the ol' closet?"

        The "right to be forgotten" was just too big a godsend for every shady politician who discovered the hard way that their past misdeeds would, in the information age, only be a single google search away.

        That the EU commission and parliament so wholeheartedly embraced a concept more appropriate for a nation such as china or the old DDR should have had half of the current member states seceding if they'd had any sense.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 20 Sep 2019 @ 11:17am

    Multiple parties involved, so no

    The problem with 'right to re-write history' requests is in the name, in that they allow people to change the narrative of what actually happened, if not eliminate evidence entirely, something that could have effects beyond just the person making the request. The fact that someone might want to bury historical information(for good reasons or not) does not change the fact that what they are trying to bury did in fact happen.

    There's also the issue of precedence, in that if companies start engaging in memory-holing information like that voluntarily you can be damn sure that there will be people/groups arguing that making it a legal 'right' is only a tiny step farther, and therefore not a problem. Bad enough the EU is already infected that that problem without spreading it elsewhere and allowing others to use it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Michael, 20 Sep 2019 @ 11:26am

    I could have sworn I read a similar article to this one last year, but I cannot seem to find it anymore.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    MathFox, 20 Sep 2019 @ 11:27am

    The 'right to be forgotten' should be seen in the context of EU privacy and data protection laws. It's not a right on its own, but a consequence of privacy laws that say that information about a person may only be distributed with a valid reason. The general interest of the public is one of those reasons.
    The importance for the public of knowing something depends on the role of the persons involved, and may change over the years... Sexual misbehaviour of someone as a student may become very relevant when that person becomes a candidate judge (for the supreme court.)

    A report on an active court case can be relevant for a few weeks from the time of writing and after that gradually decay into the area of boring writings on legal issues. But the same piece can become relevant when one of the parties involved becomes involved in related legal issues. (Being accused of violating a settlement.)

    So, for reasons of completeness of the archive; I am against removal of the original article. But that should not mean that irrelevant articles should be promoted. (Mike, I notice that you do not mention names!)
    Google claims that the most relevant search results should be on the first page (under the AdWords advertisements). If the 'right to be forgotten' story really is as irrelevant as the requester claims; it should have been demoted to page nn of the search results. But deciding on the general relevance of an article is hard and both computers and humans will make mistakes.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Sep 2019 @ 11:33am

      Re:

      Google relevance s based on how often a page is being viewed, so if something someone wants forgotten stays high in the listing, it is because it is being looked at frequently, and therefore of interest to one or more people.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        MathFox, 20 Sep 2019 @ 11:42am

        Re: Re:

        Google's relevance is largely based on the "value" of the websites linking to the page and the number of incoming links. The value of a website is based upon the value of the websites linking to this site and the number of incoming links (recursively.)

        So, if you find a number of somewhat relevant blogs linking to an (old) article about a fraud at a company; that article may show up high when searching for the company name. An article that was relevant when the blogs were written 10 years ago, but should be forgotten by now.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 20 Sep 2019 @ 12:00pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          The problem is - how do you decide whether an article/issue is still relevant? I might be very interested in fraud at a particular company, even if it was 10 years ago, especially if I'm considering doing business with them. Finding out about that information would allow me to investigate further. Are the parties responsible for the fraud still with the company? At what level were they in the management structure? What was the outcome? Fines, firings, prison time?

          Finding that the CEO was responsible and he's still there might prompt a very different decision on my part, compared to finding that a technician was responsible, he was fired, and the company voluntarily made the victims whole.

          And without that 10 year old article, I might never know... but I should.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Jordan Chandler, 20 Sep 2019 @ 11:54am

      Re:

      Who gets to decide what the valid reason is? You? The government?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 20 Sep 2019 @ 11:40am

    No..

    NOPE, history is in the books...
    Truth is seldom there, and much is over looked.
    Thinking eveyone is an ANGEL, is stupid. trying to HIDE that you arnt, is even worse.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ladyattis (profile), 20 Sep 2019 @ 11:41am

    I think the forgetting aspect is something private companies shouldn't be afraid to employ if it's dealing with victims of crimes, children, and the like who are most vulnerable to harassment and exploitation. I'm not a fan of the "right to be forgotten" laws since it's hard to discern what's a matter of public record and what's a matter that's not relevant to said record. For example, knowing the name of a victim of a crime isn't the same as knowing the demographics of the victim and the crime itself. The name isn't all that relevant but other facts might be. Aside from that, I think the idea of privacy is going to have to adjust here as long as demand an ever growing system of indexes that are suppose to be accurate for personal and commercial use.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jordan Chandler, 20 Sep 2019 @ 11:53am

    Truth

    THe day the Truth is not a defense is the day I leave this country. The truth is not a defense in many countries.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Sep 2019 @ 12:13pm

    I see little Johnny telling his fifth grade teacher that he has a right to have his grades forgotten.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    SirWired, 20 Sep 2019 @ 12:14pm

    Of course it's complicated

    "And it was a lot more interesting and challenging than I initially thought."

    "I'm still quite uncomfortable with the idea that a media organization would agree to go back and change stories to remove names (or, in some cases, to delete entire stories), as that is (again) a rewriting of history."

    Surprise! The real-world is a nuanced and complicated place with a lot of grey areas.

    Lets say you've been arrested for a crime for which you are unambiguously innocent. (Not "Innocent Until Proven Guilty"-Innocent, but "Mistaken Identity/Frameup/Complete Stupidity by Police or DA"-Innocent) If it's a lurid crime, it can be extremely harmful to one's personal life if the first two pages of Google results for your name is a mugshot of you in Jail Orange and "John Doe Arrested for {PMITA-Prison Crime]", complete with a boilerplate statement from the police or DA, and maybe even a video clip of you doing the perp walk.

    I don't think it's a tough call at all for such a story to be memory-holed from a newspaper's website. Even if a follow-up story was posted saying "Doe innocent of all charges" (that doesn't always happen), it might be buried deep-down in the search results.

    Yes, the original story is "history", but it's also something that can cause real harm to the subject of the story.

    I agree that a law mandating the deletion ranges from problematic to nearly-impossible. But a private process for such a thing? Sounds like a great idea to me.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Gary (profile), 20 Sep 2019 @ 1:21pm

      Re: Of course it's complicated

      I don't think it's a tough call at all for such a story to be memory-holed from a newspaper's website

      I think that wouldn't be holding the cops accountable. Sounds like a bad idea.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Sep 2019 @ 2:41pm

      Re: Of course it's complicated

      Everybody I talk to in jail say they are completely innocent.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 20 Sep 2019 @ 3:56pm

        Re: Re: Of course it's complicated

        You're in jail. We can't trust what you say.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 21 Sep 2019 @ 8:40am

        Re: Re: Of course it's complicated

        I realize that was a joke, however - there is a significant prison population that does not belong there, many of whom are innocent of the charges they agreed to in a plea bargain.

        Plea bargains are bullshit and they save us nothing, a case could be made that they cost us a lot but big business needs the prison population in order to compete with China.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 23 Sep 2019 @ 6:01am

      Re: Of course it's complicated

      I get where you're coming from, SirWired. What about a note of some kind, perhaps an interstitial, that comes up when the link is clicked, that states that the person was exonerated?

      This is why I don't like the idea of publishing the name of the accused: the "innocent till proven guilty" principle goes flying out the window the minute the mugshot appears in the media. If you look guilty, chances are you'll be found guilty in the court of public opinion, if not by an actual court.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 23 Sep 2019 @ 6:20am

        Re: Re: Of course it's complicated

        I think that even a headnote saying "Update: the charges against so-and-so where thrown out, see our continuing coverage of this story here" (with an appropriate link, ofc) would be far better than nothing at all...

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Sep 2019 @ 12:19pm

    I hope the internet archive does not cave to this bullshit.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    aerinai (profile), 20 Sep 2019 @ 12:32pm

    Heard the Radiolab Piece -- Same boat as Mike

    I just heard the podcast this weekend and was hoping TD would write something up like this. The podcast talked about some of the nuances of this and I have to say Cleveland.com had a pretty compelling case for why some of these cases should be 'forgotten'. I'm not saying I would make the same decisions they did, but there were some things that I liked about it.

    • It was voluntary - no one forced Cleveland.com to do this.
    • They annotated that an article had been changed (possibly allowing you to look it up via internet archive)
    • They treated every case as different -- no automatic censorship.
    • Thoughtful debate between multiple parties and view points
    • Accepted that it was an experiment and that the rules can change over time.

    However, there is no way to 'legislate' this. EU's right to be forgotten completely takes the nuance and debate out of this. That is nice for automating things, but for small platforms that care about niche issues, telling them they have to remove an article because the government said so.... eesh.

    P.S. Complete aside -- I do think that there are cases when sites SHOULD take things down. A preacher friend of mine was wrongfully accused of being a pedophile (arrested, name ran through the mud, the whole bit) and the local papers covered it, as they do (and should), but never issued that the case was dropped. That page is still up there to this day with no correction or update. That is the travesty of keeping things online forever; sometimes rumors are the bits of history that leave a trail.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      TFG, 20 Sep 2019 @ 3:05pm

      Re: Heard the Radiolab Piece -- Same boat as Mike

      P.S. Complete aside -- I do think that there are cases when sites SHOULD take things down. A preacher friend of mine was wrongfully accused of being a pedophile (arrested, name ran through the mud, the whole bit) and the local papers covered it, as they do (and should), but never issued that the case was dropped. That page is still up there to this day with no correction or update. That is the travesty of keeping things online forever; sometimes rumors are the bits of history that leave a trail.

      This is where a "right of response" or "right to correction" could be a valid idea. I don't like the idea of memory-holing anything - but in a case like this, having a process to ensure that these articles get an update to them noting that at on such-and-such date the case referred to was concluded and the person was acquitted etc. would be, in my mind, justice.

      Far less abusable than the right to be forgotten, as well, since all that could be forced would be an update to present additional facts.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 20 Sep 2019 @ 3:58pm

        Re: Re: Heard the Radiolab Piece -- Same boat as Mike

        Seems reasonable. If media wants the right to report on anything then they should have the responsibility to ensure their reports are accurate and kept that way even when they are shown to be wrong. And it shouldn't take a lawsuit to make that happen. Rather, it should take a lawsuit to seek compensation when media fails to fulfill their responsibilities.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 21 Sep 2019 @ 8:43am

          Re: Re: Re: Heard the Radiolab Piece -- Same boat as Mike

          Would their responsibilities include responding to every claim of fake news or would there be some sort of filtering?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Annonymouse, 23 Sep 2019 @ 9:26am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Heard the Radiolab Piece -- Same boat as Mike

            We definitely don't want to go down that Troll hole .

            Just need to add the requirement of citations with links to appropriate sources.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        urza9814, 23 Sep 2019 @ 10:12am

        Re: Re: Heard the Radiolab Piece -- Same boat as Mike

        I had similar thoughts, but also foresee a pretty big problem with that. What if an article involves two people with two different perspectives of what is the "truth"? Whose "right to correction" wins? Does the newspaper just have to keep updating old articles every time the other person sees the latest correction and submits one of their own? Does the newspaper decide who is right? Are they liable for the effects of that decision?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      ECA (profile), 20 Sep 2019 @ 10:07pm

      Re: Heard the Radiolab Piece -- Same boat as Mike

      If you are willing to report an Uncritical story(no personal opinion) then you MUST do the Whole story..

      If you add the opinion part, you must apologize ALSO..

      PS...on the FRONT PAGE..

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Sep 2019 @ 12:38pm

    Even if is is voluntary, I can see lawyers making a lot of money as con artists try to have their history expunged, or sites caving to demands because they cannot afford a legal fight.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Glenn, 20 Sep 2019 @ 2:27pm

    I forget... did Chuck Yeager break the sound barrier?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Sep 2019 @ 2:33pm

    Search engines censoring search results that the government wants to dissappear? That's bad. Forgetting that this and that celebrity stood nose to nose with some cranky old judge in a traffic court? That's GOOD!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    tkmitchell (profile), 20 Sep 2019 @ 6:37pm

    Justifying your earlier decision?

    You say it is a connumdrum. But I don't think it is. Journalism has always supposed to be impartial. Report what happened. Now people are deciding that is not so good an idea. Since the internet has changed things people thing the rules should change to. Yes I understand that in the past, nobody knew what was in a docket, or in a paper in some town 2 states over. And people are constantly trying to figure out how we can use this technology only for good. Try to minimize the bad. But I agree with some of the others. And with what Mike has said many times. The answer to speech you do not like is not censorcism. It is more speech. Makeing sure people can post responses to articles and have that found on the search engine as prominently as the original is the answer.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    laminar flow (profile), 20 Sep 2019 @ 7:39pm

    It's complicated

    I think in making "forgetting" decisions, some basic journalistic rules should be applied. WHO is posting the original story/allegation and whom are they targeting? WHY are they creating the story? HOW are they selling it or framing it, including how both sides are presented? WHAT are their motivations and what are the repercussions to the creators, or reporters, or target(s) of the story if they're wrong?

    The monolith of "law enforcement" smears people all the time and various media organizations amplify those relentlessly, yet I very rarely see retractions or exonerations published with the same prominence or urgency, if they're published at all. Bullshit accusations can ruin lives just as much as not warning of or detaining a criminal can. It's complicated.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 23 Sep 2019 @ 7:00am

      Re: It's complicated

      Not really. Eye-catching headlines and dramatic images sell copies, it's as simple as that. These days it's clickbait. More speech, as I've pointed out before, is only as valuable as the volume compared to the initial speech.

      As I stated earlier, where someone can get a court order, or sufficiently make the case, an interstitial can be overlaid on the damaging article with the retraction or update added. That way, selective clicking doesn't damn an innocent person.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    John Snape (profile), 20 Sep 2019 @ 10:52pm

    A couple of decades ago, unless you were a newspaper hoarder or spent a lot of time browsing the microfiche of old newspapers at the library, most stories would be effectively "memory-holed" to oblivion.

    Now, with massive databases online, you can find out the smallest minutia about almost everyone, going back decades, even if that information is outdated or just plain false.

    I would support a "right to be forgotten" if it only removed information online, and someone could still go down to the library (for newspaper stories) or the courthouse (for legal information) and read the information.

    There are a lot of people who made stupid mistakes as young adults, and, years ago, it would be forgotten a few weeks later and not come back to haunt people decades later. With the internet, you can have a minor mistake from twenty years ago continue to destroy your life without recourse.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Sep 2019 @ 12:45am

      Re:

      "...minor mistake from twenty years ago continue to destroy your life..."

      Doesn't sound minor if it is destroying your life twenty years on.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 23 Sep 2019 @ 7:02am

        Re: Re:

        Agreed. Now look to a future in which people who are more open about the daft things they did when they were younger are more likely to get the best responses than those who seem to be too good to be true.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Annonymouse, 23 Sep 2019 @ 9:41am

          Re: Re: Re:

          A good example of this is Trudeau during this latest election cycle in Canada.
          Much air time on his dumb as rocks behavior two plus decades ago but not actually insulting at the time yet hardly a peep about the oppositions ongoing slew of isms.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 24 Sep 2019 @ 3:36am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Precisely. He can either admit it, apologise, and move on or get really defensive about it. His response to the coverage reveals his character.

            It seems he meant no harm at the time and didn't consider that his actions may have been offensive.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Sep 2019 @ 3:47am

      Re:

      The counter to that is to research those who would hold your past against you, as they almost certainly have similar incidents in their past. Those who hold minor past incidents against other are usually being hypocrites, while those who are more honest will reminisce about their own misspent youth.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Sep 2019 @ 6:59am

    Imagine what the elderly, obese, orange eunuch in the White House would do with the "Right to Forget"!
    Everything from his refusal to rent to qualified Black applicants in the 1970s to faiulre to pay vendors/workers to his promise to make Mexico pay for the Wall would disappear from history!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Ho Chi Minhi-me, 21 Sep 2019 @ 8:48am

    I think the juxtaposition of "voluntarily embrace" and the "right to be forgotten" is causing some confusion - if I have a right to be forgotten it doesn't really matter whether you embrace it or not. It's my right. The press has a general rule about not revealing the names of rape victims, and some now refuse to mention the names of mass shooters on the theory that these people are doing it just for the notoriety, but that's not a "right" to not be mentioned, it's just a generally-agreed upon courtesy.

    So the question really is whether or not the press should extend the general courtesy of not naming people who don't want to be named, and that raises the problem of balancing their concern with "the public's right to know" and an individual right to privacy. It would be nice to think they could develop a clear set of guidelines for such a thing rather than simply deciding on a case-by-case basis, but you know as soon as a news outlet begins picking and choosing who gets forgotten and who gets remembered there will be howls of outrage over their obvious partisanship and bias and slanted news coverage.

    That's a general problem with justice and the law - drawing a bright line between what is allowed and what is forbidden is fair in that it allows everybody to know the rules beforehand, but there are times when there may be a good reason for crossing the line and it seems unfair to enforce the line. (Think of a speeding motorist who is trying to get the victim of an unfortunate gardening accident to the hospital before he spontaneously combusts - is it right that he be pulled over and ticketed for speeding when it's a matter of life and death?) On the other hand, if everything is decided on a case-by-case basis, is it fair or just that one can never know beforehand what is to be allowed and what is to be punished? It's a difficult question.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 23 Sep 2019 @ 7:08am

      Re:

      Eh, I'd be looking at the likelihood of further harm to an innocent party.

      RE: the motorist rushing someone to hospital, surely to goodness that would come up in the report.

      The public need to step up to the plate, too, voting with their money for the way forward -- deny some evil creep the publicity he craves or get his name out for ogling purposes later on. While I'm on the subject, the current spate of true crime TV, which seems to glorify killers, etc., by referring to their nicknames is just sickening. So I voted with my eyeballs by looking at other things. Unfortunately, where there is a market for this kind of thing it will proliferate.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    nerdrage (profile), 21 Sep 2019 @ 2:14pm

    forget that

    Forgetting or not is in someone else's head. You have the right to forget things (I certainly do, more than ever all the time) but what happens in someone else's head is their business, not yours. Just worry about your own damn head and leave others' alone.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Tsunku, 22 Sep 2019 @ 6:06pm

    I strongly believe that while criminals are alive they should have no right to be forgotten, only after they are dead should they be forgotten entirely.
    remember, dying isn't the worst thing, being forgotten is.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 23 Sep 2019 @ 5:49am

    Compelling Reasons

    I repeat my comment of 2016: we all do stupid things, only some of us get caught.

    I've also argued that it's possible to make lemonade out of situations where you've fouled up so completely it's hard to see a way back to where you were before. Basically, explain what you've learned and show how you've moved on. I've had to, given the crap I've had flung at me in the last few years.

    What I'm saying is, you don't have to get stuff disappeared from the internet to improve your reputation, you have to demonstrate what kind of person you are NOW as opposed to the person you were THEN.

    We all do stupid things sooner or later. Anyone who can't accept that truth ought to take a look in the mirror.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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