As the webmaster for Fountain Valley High School, I often get questions about our website. A recent question reminded me a lot of 1984. I’ll give you the situation, then discuss in your groups how it relates to 1984 and what you think I should do.

I received an email from a former student who wants me to remove pictures and pages from an old student news site:

The reason why? The alumnus is making career advancements and wants to obliterate their online presence when possible. (I know that last sentence is grammatically incorrect, but I made it so to keep the alumnus anonymous).

Should I respect this person’s request and remove all mentions of their name? Why? Why not? How does this compare or differ from 1984?

A side note. Did you know things posted to the web never really disappear? Organizations archive the web. For example: if you go to the above site you’ll see that there’s a picture missing from that page. But if you copy and past the URL into "The Wayback Machine" you’ll see the picture that has been removed from our servers. So, even if I do remove this person from the site, they won’t be removed from the web. 

How does that fact change your ideas?

  1. double-think1 said: I personally think that you should honor the students request and take down all mentions of him/her from the site. However, you should inform the former student about the permanance of the internet. Scary how you can be tracked using the internet.
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