Posts Tagged ‘Internet’

Once again, somebody is surprised that the information posted on a public MySpace site is not, in fact, private.  Unlike the previous example, however, this case involves a girl’s former principal forwarding her rant about her hometown to the editor of the local paper, who published it as a letter to the editor.  This case highlights the lack of control that we have over our ideas once we make them public, although it seems like a better approach may have been to sue on the grounds that the newspaper did not have the right to reprint the author’s work.

Read Full Post »

While anonymous comments on the internet may allow people to reveal the racist, sexist, homophobic versions of themselves that exist in Goffman’s back stage, a recent case of potential police brutality highlights the importance of realizing where the back stage ends.  Namely, it ends when you give up the shelter of anonymity:

Unsurprisingly, Ettienne claims that his comments online were nothing but locker room talk. “You have your Internet persona, and you have what you actually do on the street,” Ettienne told the New York Times. “What you say on the Internet is all bravado talk, like what you say in a locker room. I’m not going to say it was the best of things to do in retrospect.” It most certainly was not, and the jury in the case eventually acquitted the suspect of the possession charge, which Ettienne admits might have been partially his fault.

This is one of the more extreme cases of bad Internet judgment, but it’s certainly not the first. Experts have been warning people for years to curb the crazy, outrageous, and sometimes incriminating things they post online, as it can affect their ability to get (or keep) a job. Certain professions are more sensitive to it than others, too—in addition to police officers, teachers and other public servants are subject to more intense scrutiny than most. Ettienne’s case is just the latest stark reminder that, when in doubt, keep your questionable photos and snarky comments offline.

I would think most people realize that a locker room is a back stage setting while something viewable to the general public is a front stage setting.  On the other hand, the idea that “the Internet is all bravado talk” may explain the rampant racism, sexism, and homophobia.

From Ars Technica.

Read Full Post »