Those of us who have been using the internet for a number of years recognize that, despite the commercialization of it all, the internet is still is a bit of a wild west. Most folks, particularly younger folks, don’t have a problem with posting information about themselves and their every movement. Tracy just checked into Starbucks. Johnny is having pizza at Momma’a Pizza. Privacy policies mean little to these younger folks. Yet, do we really know what the facebooks and the googles of the world are doing or plan on doing with this information? Facebook’s new profile encourages people to put up as much information about themselves as possible, (education, age marital status, likes, dislikes, etc). Why do they ask this? Well, this is information that advertisers and marketers would die for. Am I making the connection for you?
And remember, each and every bit of information that is searched for on google or entered into facebook is indexed for ever. So that photo of you in that embarrassing pose that a friend posted 4 years ago is still out there and will be out there, forever. As recruiters increasingly include checking potential candidate’s online ‘behaviour’ as part of their background checks, this type of information may come back to bite the as* of that candidate one day.
So back to the wild west portion of the story. The internet also provides ‘cover’ for those who wish to do things ‘anonymously’. Such as commenting on stories. Take the commenting system on Yahoo!. While Yahoo! forces you to sign in to comment on their stories, running through some comments makes you realize just how completely ridiculous the internet has become. Forget correct grammar or spelling. Some of these folks should consider becoming comedians.
On a photo of the alleged mastermind behind the Moscow airport attack: “He also looks like Captain Highliner or even one of the Smith Brothers on the cough drop box.”
On a story that the asteroid Apophis will hit the earth in 2036: “2036 ??? I better start stocking up on Viagra, I’ll be 80 then and if it’s my time to go and there is going to be a big bang…it better be me…”
On a story about talks breaking down between North Korea and South Korea: “This was a charade orchestrated by the moral midgets in China. North Korea is a notch below Sudan if thats possible.”
And finally, on a story about an alleged mobster who was hiding out in rural Idaho for many years, but was recently found: “Why do all derelicts and wasps and antisocial people move to Idaho? There has to be a reason, the place give me the creeps. All shaved heads and stuff, people like the klan and white supremist etc. Makes the state look bad….”