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The Future of Reputation: Gossip, Rumor, and Privacy On the Internet  (View post)

Steve Baldwin [PersonRank 0]

Monday, October 15, 2007
15 years ago6,014 views

I foresee widespread name-changing and identity-scrubbing in the future for today's Google-loving generation. There may well be a lucrative market for firms who can create blank online persona's for those, like the Dog Poop Girl, who find it impossible to escape the universal Panopticon.

David T [PersonRank 7]

15 years ago #

This is an excellent article thank you very much for posting it.

Veky [PersonRank 10]

15 years ago #

In the Net age, Net yourself. If somebody uses the Net to put dirt on your name, you use the Net to clean it. If somebody digs deep trying to find bad things about your life, you make sure that he finds your side of story first.

Michael, of course you don't have to _constantly_ justify yourself and explain your past. You just have to do it once, on your personal site. I know it's hard, but not as hard as what you face right now. Then interlink that page. Net it. SEO it. Make yourself known as someone who isn't trying to escape from his past, but acknowledges it, embraces it and learns from it. Then you won't have to worry "does he know?". You'll know that he knows, and you'll know exactly what he knows. It's still possible that he rejects you, but then it's his problem. And you'll feel much less helpless anyway.

pacificdave [PersonRank 10]

15 years ago #

Moral of the story is: Clean up your dog poop if your dog uses a public place as his back yard. :D

JeffJonez [PersonRank 1]

15 years ago #

Sorry, Dave, but that's exactly *not* the moral of this story. Has there been no moment in your life that someone with a camera and a mean streak couldn't have caused you serious public humiliation?

If not, then you're doing something wrong! :)

Satan [PersonRank 6]

15 years ago #

"If not, then you're doing something wrong! :)"

Well put, JeffJonez!

God knows, Satan has been guilty of some doozies in the past!

Dennis [PersonRank 0]

15 years ago #

This is very interesting. First, Forbes magazine puts a story out on its Oct 15, 2007 cover:

"Hiding Behind the Net
Anonymity Lets Creeps, Criminals and Malicious Mobs Run Wild.
Here is How to Stop Them."

Now, this book by Daniel J. Solove.

Do I see a Hegelian problem/solution coming our way soon? Unfortunately, my prediction is that the solution will involve total infringement on our privacy. My problem with that is that this does NOT have to be the solution.

So, what is really the problem here. We have laws in place that address stalking, harassment and vandalism...they apply to other mediums, so why not the Internet?

Unfortunately, Congress added a splash of impunity to the mix in 1996, when it passed a pro-Internet law known as the Communications Decency Act. The law insulates electronic middlemen from libel suits. The Web site that passively furnishes a vehicle for online postings is deemed to be no more responsible for the resulting content than a phone company is for any criminal conversations that takes place over its network.

The solutions exist.... but lawmakers deliberately prevent these existing remedies from being enforced. Why is this the case?

L Zoel [PersonRank 0]

15 years ago #

You realize, of course, that in the book the Scarlet Letter became a badge of honor for the woman. Perhaps what those who have been "victimized by the norm police" need to do is stop feeling sorry for themselves and take advantage of the possibility that any publicity is good publicity.

Mysterius [PersonRank 10]

15 years ago #

[put at-character here]Dennis: Are you saying that Philipp should be held responsible if I use this forum to organize a heist?

Satan [PersonRank 6]

15 years ago #

[put at-character here]L Zoel – Easier said than done. I really don't think you'd like to be dog-shit-Zoel.

Tadeusz Szewczyk [PersonRank 10]

15 years ago #

Veky is right. You need a reputation manager ;-) Many SEOs already offer that service. You must actively fight for your reputation on the net. Most companies will sue you for the slightest criticism already.
As a SEO my reputation management is kind of a side effect of my optimization tactics and my presence in the blogosphere. But it's not only about your name. Most people insult me for doing SEO as they can't distuinguish SEO and spam. I have to fight them too.

pacificdave [PersonRank 10]

15 years ago #

[put at-character here] JeffJonez: I seriously was just kidding.

Kidding aside. She seriously should have just picked up her dog poop.

Larry Swanson [PersonRank 0]

15 years ago #

There's an article on the power of gossip in the science section of the10/16/07 New York Times –

The upshot of the study that is covered is pretty depressing: Folks will believe gossip even when they are given hard facts that contradict it. I guess the up side is that this means employment security for reputation managers ;>

Trogdor [PersonRank 6]

15 years ago #

"Folks will believe gossip even when they are given hard facts that contradict it."

Only too true. There have been 9 proven major factual fallacies in the Algore movie, and yet it's still shown in schools, usually without caveats, and homie just got a Nobel for it.

Lamont Cranston [PersonRank 0]

15 years ago #

That's because gossip is more interesting than facts.


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