Why Nothing Is Really "Private" On the Internet

By The Mortals of Questa Volta in Etiquette, The Mortals of QuestaVolta on , ,

On average, every 60 seconds on Facebook 510 comments are posted, 293,000 statuses are updated, and 136,000 photos are uploaded*. That means that a lot of people are constantly putting out a torrent of information onto the Internet and into the world for everyone to see. People tend to be under the misconception that if you post something and then immediately delete it, then it is gone forever and there is no reason to worry.

Today, unfortunately, that may or may not be the case. When you post something online you are putting it out into the world, everyone is able to see it because the Internet is public, so there really is little privacy to be found online.

According to DigitalTrends.com there have been many cases, including a lawsuit against Facebook, due to the site resurfacing old information that people claimed to have deleted long ago. This would seem to suggest that Facebook stores all information once it has been posted to your account. When this occurs, there is no way to actually “permanently” remove something. Many people have had a difficult time “deleting” their Facebook accounts because it technically stays active, just hidden, as though you signed out of the website for a long period of time. If you sign back into the account, everything will go back to normal and become live again. And in fact, your profile stays public and as though you are using it even when you haven’t been active. People can message you, and when you don’t respond they often assume you are ignoring them, when in fact you are just not on Facebook.

This may seem odd but Facebook isn’t the only site like this. Many websites keep data backups and store so that if something happens to it they can recover whatever was lost. This seems like a feature, but to a lot of people, it can actually prove to be more of a problem. This privacy issue is basically nothing in comparison to people on the Internet who like to save things at very inconvenient times. There are people, Internet trolls of the worst kind, who screen shot and copy and paste and save everything they can possibly find on the Internet.

These types of people are the reason that there are laws against releasing video and photography of someone without their express permission, aka the “Revenge Porn Law” which is a misdemeanor in California, and can be a felony in such places as Florida. Privacy on the Internet is taken very seriously because it is a huge issue. When you are posting things online remember that it isn’t only you who will see it and that they may be more permanent than you think. The Internet is very useful, but put into the wrong hands can become somewhat of a tricky burden.

When you are posting things on the Internet it is crucial that you make sure you know what it is that you are posting and that you are interested in having it on the Internet possibly forever. Think twice before you hit send, post, etc.

* Source: The Social Skinny

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