Sunday, May 13, 2012

Two Halves of the Same Information Coin

Digital assets are extremely portable and once posted last forever. Wrote that in this space way back in 2006 -- what seems like an internet generation ago. Years ago a line of thinking about the oversharing at the start of networked media was in the future, no one will care because EVERYONE will have an embarrassing youth moment captured on-line. Hey kids, remember MySpace? The cassette tape to the CD that is Facebook. You bet George Zimmerman wishes that he'd been a little more diligent in deleting old social media accounts. The Miami Herald first discovered the old page, which includes a lot of personal anger toward an ex and lots of Hispanic slurs. The Washington Post. So do you just run out and delete, delete, delete? No, they'll still find you somewhere with enough diligence -- just ask Cortney Fortson who lives to this day with his tweet (SI now lists it among the 20 worst) even though he deleted it. Call it the 21st century Rosemary Woods moment. You did it, and 18 1/2 minutes of erasing won't make it go away. Or today from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, as the former president of Central Arkansas is called out for asking for the destruction of records that led to his ousting. How do state employees think that aggressive deletion of business correspondence syncs with the state (sometimes federal) law on preserving official records? Many justify daily deletion of all email under the guise that there is no policy or guideline in place (or the ones in place somehow don't apply to their agency or branch within an agency). As bad as it is to overshare in the social world, is it worse to violate the public trust by obfuscating your official actions by sanitizing records?

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