Privacy, social networks, and our online selves

Cynthia CloskeyGeneral

Two interesting discussions of personal privacy and online social networks.

First, this article about the permanence of online information and its implications for an individual’s reputation: “The Web Means the End of Forgetting,” by Jeffrey Rosen, New York Times Magazine.

We’ve known for years that the Web allows for unprecedented voyeurism, exhibitionism and inadvertent indiscretion, but we are only beginning to understand the costs of an age in which so much of what we say, and of what others say about us, goes into our permanent – and public – digital files. The fact that the Internet never seems to forget is threatening, at an almost existential level, our ability to control our identities; to preserve the option of reinventing ourselves and starting anew; to overcome our checkered pasts.

Second, a presentation about designing online networks: “The Real Life Social Network v2,” by Paul Adams. This is intended for designers of web properties, but I believe there’s value here for any organization that’s working to create an online community, including for customer interactions or referrals.