Shutting the barn door after my “dirty old man/slut” post has made it round the world

Despite this blog, I don’t understand how the Internet really works. I once had a case that forced me to gain a little knowledge about how things really worked but what I leaned was like a 100 level course in remedial math. I can multiply small numbers. So, take what I write next with a huge grain of salt.

Over at Simple Justice, SHG has written an interesting post about the European Court of Justice’s decision to tell Google that if I get drunk and start french kissing Zoey and Elvis, our dog friends across the fence, and if I take a “selfie” of my behavior and post it, not all is lost when I wake up with a hangover and dog breath.  After a certain point in time, I can tell Google to make the image impossible to find.  I think the ruling also requires the same thing for old writings. At least that’s what I think the decision requires.

Here’s a more precise description:

Europe’s highest court said on Tuesday that people had the right to influence what the world could learn about them through online searches, a ruling that rejected long-established notions about the free flow of information on the Internet.

A search engine like Google should allow online users to be “forgotten” after a certain time by erasing links to web pages unless there are “particular reasons” not to, the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg said.

The decision underlined the power of search companies to retrieve controversial information while simultaneously placing sharp limits on their ability to do so. It raised the possibility that a Google search could become as cheery — and as one-sided — as a Facebook profile or an About.me page.

David Steitfield, European Court Lets Users Erase Records on Web, New York Times (May 13, 2014).

Anyway, SHG’s post, and the Times article, got me thinking. (I know.)  I want help from the readers to answer the following three questions:

  1. Is the decision essentially irrelevant to most users here in Amerika?
  2. Is what the “Court” ordered technically feasible?
  3. If what the “Court” ordered is technically feasible, should I tell Google to shit can my “dirty old man/slut” post or should I leave it up as an example of the new age of enlightenment?

If you know anything about the Internet, or even if you don’t, I am interested in your answers to one or all of my questions. For younger readers who need to pad resumes, and assuming you help me out, you and each of you have my permission to add something like “Pro bono adviser to dirty old man about the Internet” to your list of accomplishments.

RGK

 

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