The Future of Reputation goes into detail about a story of a Korean woman getting the public’s wrath through the internet. She refused to pick up her dog’s poop, and because of the escalation of the internet, she dropped out of University to avoid the publicity. The article then goes into the ethical questions related to this event.
Some people will have this problem more than others. This relies heavily on what the person has to hide or what is said about them, and what the person has to lose. Someone who doesn’t have anything to lose will not be as bothered as someone who has the same thing said about them and something to lose.
We should only ever know what the person is willing to tell us, as well as what we are able to gather from observations of the person. In this way, we can still form our own opinions about someone, but if they really want to keep something hidden we won’t be able to find what that is. This way people will have privacy.
One way we can allow people to control their personal information without curtailing free speech or stifling freedom on the Internet is just be above it all. This is something that has more to do with personal responsibility than anything else. People should know not to spread false rumors or believe that they are true. On the other hand, people should know that they shouldn’t share personal information online, and they should not do anything that they know they’re going to have to keep hidden. However, much like it’s impossible to have a perfect world, it’s impossible to have a perfect internet.
People’s social transgressions should not follow them on a digital rap sheet that can never be expunged. This can be detrimental to not only their social life but their overall health. People should not be tethered to their mistakes, but the internet never forgets. This can make the internet a dangerous tool for those that choose to use it in that way.
It’s a possibility that the ease of inciting moral outrage create a mob driven police state. However, This is an unlikely event, While it’s definitely easier to create moral outrage unless someone takes advantage of people’s willingness to get outraged it will never get bad enough to create a police state.
The Biggest question that this Article has made me ask myself is: how much privacy are we allowed?