Do you have a 'right to be forgotten' online? | The Tylt

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Do you have a 'right to be forgotten' online?
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Supporters of the right to be forgotten say the law is meant to prevent a person from being defined by a singular moment. No one wants to become a meme—people should have the option to opt out if they so choose. 

So we have to warn our children not to post anything about themselves online that might cause an employer to raise an eyebrow decades hence. But this is an impossible standard. Our children can’t stop their friends (or enemies) from posting drunken photos or a heedless rant, barnacles that will cling to them for years.
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You can beg people to take down offending images and text. If you really work at it and spend money on a lawyer, you might be able to get a court order. But all of the effort will be wasted if the telltale content has already been copied and pasted elsewhere and then swept into Google’s servers. That’s why the European court’s focus on search results is key—the problem isn’t the continuing online existence of the information you want to hide. It’s how easy it is to find.
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Critics argue companies like Google and Facebook should not be the gatekeepers of what will and will not be found on the Internet. It is a bad idea to open the Internet up to censorship—people will abuse it.

Rosen says that this law is too vague and that Internet companies, faced with fines or criminal prosecution, may feel compelled to yank pictures from customer sites, erase images that should be public because the law's main aim is to protect people who've done dumb things and don't want to be haunted all their lives by one stupid moment.

But there are other values: the public's right to know, freedom of the press, the right of artists to appropriate images. And then there's the Don't Be Such a Wuss school, represented by this Internet comment from someone called "Undying Cincinattus":

"To be honest, if people are stupid enough to give their entire life story and every private detail over to the public domain of Facebook, across all of their friends' profiles and into dozens of groups run by private businesses, they should not be surprised if there is some trouble getting rid of the evidence."

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Here's why people are worried about their online privacy. No one wants to become a meme, and no one wants to be defined by a permanent record of everything they have done. Who hasn't done something they regret? 

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Critics of the right to be forgotten law say as much as it sucks, becoming a meme is small price to pay to preserve freedom of speech on the Internet. 

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FINAL RESULTS
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Do you have a 'right to be forgotten' online?
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A festive crown for the winner
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