Murphy's Law: One Fired Blogger Later, Web Privacy Sounds Great!

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meat67

When I first joined Facebook last December, I saw I had been tagged in a photo by an old friend. It was a picture taken more than 20 years ago, way before digital cameras, that my friend had scanned and posted. It was me and my brother comparing our asses (not naked, but in shorts) trying to figure out who's was sexiest. What are you going to do?

What drives me nuts is when stuff that has nothing to do with someone's job is used to discredit them. I don't care that ex-president Clinton might have smoked pot or ex-president Bush might have snorted cocaine. Really, it's not important. I do care that they should both be in jail for war-crimes. Again, what are you going to do?

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johnm1971

It seems very simple to me, Murph. Just don't make any statements or exhibit any behavior online that you wouldn't make or exhibit in "real life".  In other words, think before you type!

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essjay22

Would that it were that simple. That would be like playing chess against 2 million ppl every single moment of your day. You up for that kind of paralyzing thought? Me either.How can we know when someone will twist, misunderstand or just downright maliciously missinterpret our words? It is tough to strike a balance in this way too connected world we have wrought.Yes, It is already too late.

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I Jedi

Implying that people think about their actions more than half the time.

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Mighty BOB!

Yeah the people who this affects the most are not well known for their brilliance and foresight.  Like posting about how your boss/teacher sucks when he's one of your facebook friends.

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Mark17

It's unfortunate that things happen to people simply because of a comment they made on the Internet at some point in time. It seems it doesn't even occur to many people that anything they say on the Internet will be there forever. For example: when someone makes a post on twitter, how many people actually sit there and think, "Will this post come back to haunt me five years from now?" I would say probably almost nobody.

Maybe people should have to read and accept something like the Miranda Rights before they can do anything on the Internet.

"You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can or will be used against you (and probably be taken out of context) in the court of teh Internets. If you say something stupid on the Internet that you later regret, too bad. You should have shut the heck up when you had the chance. Do you understand these rights?"

 

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imagonex

Great article! Agree. Unfortunately, those that should be reading this article aren't the ones reading it.

The internet's a bit like Vegas: What happens online, stays online...and...unfortunately, spreads online. Where it differs from Las Vegas is that it doesn't stay in Vegas. It goes out for the world to see.

Add gossip behaviour to the internet and it gets even worse. For example, The Murph could write some off-hand comment about some anecdote and...next thing you know he's a pornstar living in a mansion on top of K2 with a white persian cat, 12 latex clad body builders and building (him, not the cat) a mind-controlling lazer he controls with his iPhone4 while having lunch with Steve Jobs in his secret lair. 

Okay, I know, sounds far fetch. He'd probably have an evil goldfish, not a cat! Ha! Ha!   

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TheMurph

My cat, Colbert, is very upset by this remark.

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imagonex

OH NO!! Tell Colbert I love him and I shall sacrifice two goldfishes in his name. Make that a tri-fin and one of those big japanese carp thingies, no make that two. Colbert deserves the best.

Now, I shall go hide in my room in shame.  

XXOO for Colbert.

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TheMurph

He's giving you the serious look, but he accepts your apology.

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PawBear

 Flippancy in life is foolishness; flippancy online, on television, on radio, can be a deathknell.  We're no longer dealing with people one-on-one.  We're potentialy dealing with people in the millions in "soundbites".  We'd better be prepared to defend our every word or action.  The public is watching and judging.

Man, that's serious.  Really, want to get to know a person really well, use the internet.  Murph, I feel like I already know you, maybe better than I want too.  Ha.

*** "Either we conform the Truth to our desires or we conform our desires to the Truth." ***

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BuLLg0d

I teach classes on this very issue. My favorite thing to do is have everyone log in and ask them to Google themselves.

I use an online persona here , post what I feel like but refrain from the stupidities of curse words or arguments I wouldn't have in the open in front of my boss/peers.

Oh, and one good place to find archived articles that you think are dead because they don't show up in Google is http://www.archive.org/web/web.php

Apple still sucks!

 

Oh, and for the record Murph, I enjoy the cases you make for technology and spreading technology to a larger audience. I'm just a fighter in a very old war.  Also, posts after an article are a good thing, they stir debate and allows readers to see the opinions of the readership, not just the journalists.  Articles including curses or calling people stupid excluded.  Keep doing what your doing.

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TheMurph

Fair enough!  I think our discourse about the merits of hating Apple has been respectful and interesting, to say the least!  : )

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lunchbox73

The other day I got to thinking of future politicians who are in their teens now. Think of how current candidate's lives are put under microscopes by the media and enemies. They search for any little quote or picture to make the person look bad.

Think of how easy it will to dig up dirt on the facebook generation. "Congressman Smith, isn't it true that in June of 2010 you posted 'Ima smoke a huuuge bowl and watch sum midget porn. Summer vacation rulez!' on Facebook?"

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TheMurph

I mean, that's essentially what it's come down to.  It's why I let MPC folk follow my twitter all they want (feh), but tend to shy away from opening up the entirety of my personal life to everyone via Facebook.  I can just see it now:

"David Murphy is updating Facebook from his awesome new phone, the 10-out-of-10 APPLE IPHONE 4 WHOOOOOOO" 

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UndeniablyPC

See this is what happens when you let everyone on the internet.  They get stupid.  Real stupid.  See people that have been around computers for a bit, understand how deceptive and risky the computer can be.  And now with all these social networks, it has gone even farther.  If everyone really understood the nature of the internet, they would come to realize that once they post a picture, blog or any manner of too on any site, it pretty much forever stays in the public domain.  Also, I wish people would understand the true nature of Facebook and Myspace.  These services are designed for the sole purpose of capitilization.  These companies make billions off of information that people freely provide, so in other words they are basically stealing. These social networks are like those surveys that they used to give you in the mall and tell you they will give you something free in return.  Well, they took that idea and they basically multiplied it by about a billion.  So as all these Facebookers populate their page they take all that information and sell it to advertisers and the like.  Now if we were all smart enough to understand these concepts, which I am sure most of the readers of MaximumPC are,  we would know that the internet is great for getting your point across whilst staying anonymous.  Now, if your reading this and still think that Facebook is great, realize that a pretty big ass (last name Zuckerberg) has the capability to search your entire facebook account at anytime he wishes, along with his friends, and pretty much anyone he so deems priviledged.

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I Jedi

    I must admit, Murphy, that this article you have made is indeed interesting. A bit long in getting to the point, but you definitely developed clear details to your final point. Anyway, I happen to agree with you that as the Internet grows, we must all work to be more transparent in how we display ourselves online. Reading through your article, I could not help but think about the famous 4Chan, and how its posters can remain anonymous, if they so choose so, to post their thoughts, feelings, and ideas on any matter they wish to discuss with the outside world. I believe 4Chan, even if it is filled with nuts, is an example of how to protect one’s privacy online without any repercussions for speaking one’s mind.

    As time moves forward, I think more and more debate about how people should be protected on the Internet will come into light. I believe protecting people’s privacy online is an important thing; however, I am also someone who believes that it is important that everyone who uses the Internet be properly educated about the risk associated with revealing who you are online. Some ways of revealing yourself that come to mind are MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Heck, posting here on MaximumPC gives me an identity. Sure, I may not have my real name plastered, but for those who regularly post here on MaximumPC, a lot will often see that I, too, comment on a great many articles; therefore, I have even created an identity for myself, and everyone has formed opinions about me: I Jedi

    To hit home, the Internet is a magnificent tool, and one that should be respected for what it is and can do. Once whatever you post is online, there is no guarantee it will ever disappear from the Internet, as anyone can save it to their hard-drive, and so it will forever be in existence in some form or another. My point, before posting something controversial/selective, be sure that you are willing to face the consequences and rebuttal that may come from saying such things.  95% of the time nothing will happen, but that 5% chance is all you need to get slammed by somebody out there, such as Murphy’s friend.

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Rocketpop

This article doesn't address anything new, but it does emphasize the point. Ultimately, the best people can do is tell these social networking sites and blogs and everything to make their stuff private. It's usually not a default option and has to be switched, and virtually everyone doesn't feel it's important enough to change. It's only when we read about stories like this or are hit with the consequences ourselves that we realize it's sort of necessary.

Another big problem with social networking sites is that *other* people say stuff about us, and that information is often more easily accessible than our own, even if we turn our privacy options on. There's nothing we can do about that, and it can be just as destructive as our own pages being made public. Really, the best thing to do is to not participate in any of it.

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ske1eter

The one difference is that Weigel was purported to be unbiased, which was an obvious farce. Maximum PC (duh, it's in the name) makes no bones about being on the side of the PC rather than Mac/Apple.

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TheMurph

Purported to be unbiased?  By... virtue of being a blogger?  I'm not quite sure I follow.

As well, if Maximum PC is "on the side of the PC," shouldn't the iPhone 4 be getting a review of 4/10 instead of 8/10?  MPC reviewers don't do so under any kind of bias--that would be unfair to all involved.

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BuLLg0d

I'm staying out of this one. :)

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Fefe

Very true. The online community can be so brutal and easily pass judements on what others say or share. Ruining them, or benefiting them. Everyone nowadays is so open with sharing info on the web!  Lol, facebook is defninitely a huge one, I try not to get so invloved with sharing every little thing I do on there...while other's treat it like it's their bff. I've known a few people have their jobs and school jeopardized by comments/posts. Pretty ridiculous.

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