The internet never forgets

In March, The Age published an article on how any minor crime or perceived misdemeanor, once reported online, can follow us around forever:

Back in 2010, the newsdesk at The Age received a desperate plea from a man who wanted to be forgotten. Let’s call him Alan. A young and foolish businessman, he was arrested 10 years ago at Melbourne airport when a baggage check found cocaine and another banned drug.

The Age published a simple, factual story in the paper and online, reporting his arrest, his contrition and his sentence – a good-behaviour bond without conviction. Alan promised the magistrate he would mend his ways.  But Google never forgets. Today, if you Google Alan’s real name, his past is exposed at the top of the search results: a link to The Age‘s report with a damning headline.

”This story still haunts him,” a close friend and colleague of Alan tells The Age. He is now ”a sober man who has learnt from his mistakes” trying to get back into his former industry. But everyone Googles potential employees these days. ”It has been eight years,” the friend said in an email. ”Let’s try and give him a shot …rather than have some headline cut down his chances.”

The article goes on to say that it is not in the interests of behemoths like Google and Facebook to remove information as this is where they make money. There is also an interesting debate about our privacy vs the right to know. Read the whole article here.

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