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ripley
08-04-2008, 11:02 PM
In the light of a few recent developments, which led to someone wanting their entire history of participation removed from the board... I'm struck by what an interesting idea that is.

I understand removing your current presence. But removing your past presence, that's something else again.

I'm curious what people think of the idea (NOT OF THE INDIVIDUAL WHO CHOSE THIS) - what rights do you have or want to have over your web presence in various forms?

Especially things like this - voluntary participation in group discussion?

I'm curious because I think in genuine interpersonal exchange, the whole is more than the sum of the parts, but also that means removal of the part (i.e. one voice) after the fact kind of destroys the whole. In some cases, that's a shame (it depends on how valuable you think the whole/discussion is)

I realized that I just assumed if I didn't like participating in dissensus any more (enough to quit), it would not have occurred to me to try to remove my past posts. Then again, I did go through an old weblog/online journal and make "friends-only" a lot of my more explicit posts I wrote 10 years ago when the Web was smaller and less searchable.

What about y'all? if you decided you wanted to leave, would you take your past with you? would it be different for a blog than for a board?

Mr. Tea
09-04-2008, 12:29 AM
I remember thinking about this sort of thing a few years ago, about how the old Nazi-style book-burnings could never achieve anything like their intended goal these days since pretty much any document that some authority decided it wanted to erase would probably, by the time said authority became aware of it, exist on the hard disks of servers and PCs all over the world. Thanks to the Internet, any information you put into the public domain, that is of interest to at least one other person, will probably exist for ever and ever.

booky
09-04-2008, 12:37 AM
<object width="425" height="355"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/iwBz-hxjSLU&hl=en"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/iwBz-hxjSLU&hl=en" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="355"></embed></object>

mistersloane
09-04-2008, 12:39 AM
I really like this area of thought, I think the beauty of the net is such that one can - in theory - take control of ones thoughts and then delete them, erase oneself from the presence one had, I wish the rewind were possible in real life.
I'm personally, nowadays, into leaving traces, but for years, had the possibilty of walking in the snow without leaving a trace been possible, I would easily have chosen that, a self-deleting biosoft.

Mr. Tea
09-04-2008, 01:10 AM
<object width="425" height="355"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/iwBz-hxjSLU&hl=en"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/iwBz-hxjSLU&hl=en" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="355"></embed></object>

Haha..."Anyone can take your image...even middle-aged men who do unskilled labour!!!!11"

nomos
09-04-2008, 02:12 AM
I'm curious because I think in genuine interpersonal exchange, the whole is more than the sum of the parts, but also that means removal of the part (i.e. one voice) after the fact kind of destroys the whole. In some cases, that's a shame (it depends on how valuable you think the whole/discussion is)

I think you're exactly right, and if we're talking about removing several thousand posts from a few hundred discussions then the intelligibility of the whole starts to be eroded, especially if it becomes the norm. It's different from someone having second thoughts about a few specific posts for particular reasons and deleting or editing them themselves (or asking a mod to). As a rule I ask myself if what I'm typing seems worthwhile enough and whether I'm comfortable with it being online the next day and in a few years. I've probably aborted half as many posts and I've made here.

Plus there are some related implications. We've just had a furor over the forum's integrity following the moderators' collective decision to remove a single thread. Now the mass, retrospective gutting of hundreds of threads by individual request is being proposed.

Also, from a technical standpoint the software's documentation cautions against intensive pruning like that because it taxes the server (making it slow or prone to crashing) and poses a risk to the database structure.

would it be different for a blog than for a board?
I think so. You've only got yourself to think about with a blog, in the sense that it's a private expressive space. But if you're taking part in a public discussion then I think it comes with resignation to the fact that what you choose to post is out there and potentially beyond your control. Exceptions might be a once-private forum made public, or a listserv that has been publicly archived without the prior knowledge of contributors.

nomadthethird
09-04-2008, 02:20 AM
Just to be clear, I do not regret anything I have ever posted and do not want to take anything down because any one particular post or part of one is problematic in my own mind or by my own standards for what is "internet appropriate."

I would like to take all of them down because I prefer not to be associated with this forum in any way. I think there are people who make it an ugly place and I've had enough of the bullshit. If there's no possible way for all of my posts to be deleted, so be it. No big deal, just thought I would give it a shot.

(Re whether it is technically possible-- I asked a friend who is good with these things and he said he could probably easily do it himself because Dissensus does not have a very secure server, apparently...)

nomos
09-04-2008, 02:48 AM
so you're proposing to get someone to hack the server then?

nomadthethird
09-04-2008, 02:54 AM
Not at all. I asked a friend who is a web developer whether it would be technically possible to delete all of a member's post from a message board. He looked at this one and said yes, and said it doesn't have a secure server. That's all.

God he has better things to worry about I'm sure.

nomadthethird
09-04-2008, 02:59 AM
We've just had a furor over the forum's integrity following the moderators' collective decision to remove a single thread.

Much of that "furor" (mine at least) had everything to do with there being yet another allusion to the fact that stelfox wanted to start banning "at least 10" posters because he didn't like their style of posting. It had nothing whatsoever to do with deleting Jaie's misguided thread, in my mind at least.

nomos
09-04-2008, 03:09 AM
See the other thing is that every time your posts were quoted by someone else your username and words were reproduced in their posts. It would be virtually impossible to remove every trace of that username.

Also, I just checked, and because the original username has been deleted it's no longer possible to perform any actions on it in the admin interface. It doesn't show up.

(Sorry for going OT Ripley)

nomadthethird
09-04-2008, 03:11 AM
Well, I know you can't get rid of the quotes, but I think my friend was talking about getting rid of the rest on a really basic level of programming somehow not from the control panel...but I know nothing about that stuff so I'm not really sure.

Anyway, it's ok--thanks for giving it a try! I sincerely appreciate it.

ripley
09-04-2008, 05:03 AM
I really like this area of thought, I think the beauty of the net is such that one can - in theory - take control of ones thoughts and then delete them, erase oneself from the presence one had, I wish the rewind were possible in real life.
I'm personally, nowadays, into leaving traces, but for years, had the possibilty of walking in the snow without leaving a trace been possible, I would easily have chosen that, a self-deleting biosoft.

Yeah, the rewind. But of course it can never happen, because you are not alone in your life. So you're talking about erasing parts of other people's experience.

But it's a little creepy (even for an anti-individualist like me) to realize that other people have claims to make on you and your past. I don't think this is universal, though. I would imagine people in different cultures are more or less comfortable with the idea that your being is collectively owned..

that's part of what's so interesting online - these "traces" that used to be so ephemeral, are saved. To some extent we may be conscious of creating those histories, but even so, it's hard to imagine what it means.

again, this is all aside from the REALLY creepy data privacy aspect (i.e. when your health insurance can build a profile of you from your web presence. ugh)

noel emits
09-04-2008, 11:13 AM
I don't think this is universal, though. I would imagine people in different cultures are more or less comfortable with the idea that your being is collectively owned..
What about that old supposed superstition about how some pre-modern tribes used to feel about cameras? Actually I don't like having my picture taken possibly for reasons a bit like this.

that's part of what's so interesting online - these "traces" that used to be so ephemeral, are saved. To some extent we may be conscious of creating those histories, but even so, it's hard to imagine what it means.
At least it's good to see that dissensus has opted out of being filed on the amazing but sometimes quite scary wayback machine.

john eden
09-04-2008, 12:01 PM
It is an interesting subject - it looks like we may be the last generation to have our teenage years completely undocumented on the net, for example.

The young 'uns seem much less hung up on privacy also - having photos of yourself online seems de rigeur whereas most people I know (and indeed people here) don't do that.

It's one of those strange things about the internet - if you fall out with someone in real life you can't erase all traces of yourself from their life...

Blogs are different I think - a few people I've know have deleted theirs in their entirety, I think because they didn't want to bother with them any more and needed to remove the self-imposed pressure to post.

martin
09-04-2008, 12:17 PM
I what rights do you have or want to have over your web presence in various forms?

I think it's a cop out to blog or post on forums and then complain about rights, privacy or attachment - it's not as if anyone held a gun to your head and forced you to write / participate. I think people take Dissensus more seriously than I do (which isn't a judgement), I personally never look at old threads, I can't remember most of anything I've written here and it doesn't bother me - it was just something to while away dull moments at work. Though K-Punk and Woebot probably had other ideas when they set it up.

Anyway, isn't Dissensus google-proof?

UFO over easy
09-04-2008, 12:17 PM
It is an interesting subject - it looks like we may be the last generation to have our teenage years completely undocumented on the net, for example.


I started posting on boards when I was 14 or so I think. I only posted on one forum till I found subvert central when i was 17, and I thank christ that it was deleted years ago. You can probably still find it on the web archives though, and the same is true I'd guess of deleted blogs? When gutterbreakz was down I found it on an archive somewhere. I'd be interested to know if you can find old archived versions of message boards too. For example, can you find dissensus on web archives as it appeared a week ago, with all Nomads posts intact and including that controversial thread? I don't really know how it all works.

Definitely interesting though.

RE: the photos thing, most people my age (early 20s) do have photos on facebook and stuff, but they're always set so that only certain people can see them. That's quite a recent thing though, after all the fuss about net privacy in the media. I'm kind of surprised it took so long for people to cotton on.. From my own experience I reckon people really do treat the internet as an outlet for who they imagine themselves to be truly, without social constraint, and maybe that develops slowly into the exaggerated personas you find on message boards and blogs. I don't think the fact that it's all public is really something that factors into peoples actions on the web - it may even lead them to exaggerate their personalities more if anything.. like screaming who you really are off the rooftops to anyone that'll listen before you have to get dressed, go to work, pay the bills and do all the mundane shit everyone goes through every day.

It just becomes a problem, and rather embarassing, when who you really are changes daily, and you're confronted regularly with an outdated model of yourself which you can't alter. The lack of control over which model of yourself others are exposed to is the thing that gets me.

yours,

UFO over easy v. 1.6785030583

IdleRich
09-04-2008, 12:17 PM
"In the light of a few recent developments, which led to someone wanting their entire history of participation removed from the board... I'm struck by what an interesting idea that is.
I understand removing your current presence. But removing your past presence, that's something else again."
Interesting topic and something I've thought about in the past. On another board I lurked on I read about someone being banned and then sending more and more over the top emails insisting that s/he owned everything that they had typed including private messages and demanding that all traces of them be destroyed and threatening legal action.
Of course, even if all posts by a particular person were deleted from the forum there is absolutely no guarantee that someone else hasn't backed up the whole thing so you can never totally be sure that all trace has been eliminated. On another forum someone created a character for a joke (maybe wind-up would be a better word) and deliberately coopied all the threads where the character posted knowing that they would almost certainly eventually be deleted. When this did indeed occur s/he created a website and blog (I think) documenting what had happened for posterity.

Mr. Tea
09-04-2008, 12:38 PM
Of course, even if all posts by a particular person were deleted from the forum there is absolutely no guarantee that someone else hasn't backed up the whole thing so you can never totally be sure that all trace has been eliminated.

Yeah, this was just my point about how you can never be sure now that information that's been in the public domain at some stage has ever been completely erased - all it takes is for it to be archived on a single hard disk somewhere and it can, if someone knows it's there, be duplicated and propagated indefinitely.

Slothrop
09-04-2008, 12:45 PM
Interesting topic and something I've thought about in the past. On another board I lurked on I read about someone being banned and then sending more and more over the top emails insisting that s/he owned everything that they had typed including private messages and demanding that all traces of them be destroyed and threatening legal action.
The dubstepforum admins claim that they can't tell you why someone's been banned because if they did they'd run the risk of getting sued for libel. Which seems pretty weird - it's hard to see how someone could sue you for libel for a) quoting something you actually said or b) saying which of their forum rules they think you breached. And it gives the place a weirdly Kafkaesque feel at times...

Pestario
09-04-2008, 01:37 PM
I can't remember, does dissensus have a terms of use agreement? Wouldn't that say that anything posted is subject to the moderators or something - basically you agree that you are participating in a public arena?

UFO over easy
09-04-2008, 01:42 PM
And it gives the place a weirdly Kafkaesque feel at times...

lol.. well do you remember when one of the moderators on dubstepforum posted as the omnipotent, omnipresent dystopian figure of THE MODERATOR, referred to himself in the third person, and was generally attempting to portray himself as a benevolent inhuman presence? Unintentionally Orwellian, and completely hilarious :D

It's to the credit of dubstepforum that this was pointed out as being totally ridiculous and patronising by more or less the entire user base at the time, and THE MODERATOR ceased to exist.

john eden
09-04-2008, 01:49 PM
I can't remember, does dissensus have a terms of use agreement? Wouldn't that say that anything posted is subject to the moderators or something - basically you agree that you are participating in a public arena?

Everyone signs up to this when they register:


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Jaie Miller
09-04-2008, 01:52 PM
In the light of a few recent developments, which led to someone wanting their entire history of participation removed from the board... I'm struck by what an interesting idea that is.

I understand removing your current presence. But removing your past presence, that's something else again.

I'm curious what people think of the idea (NOT OF THE INDIVIDUAL WHO CHOSE THIS) - what rights do you have or want to have over your web presence in various forms?

Especially things like this - voluntary participation in group discussion?

I'm curious because I think in genuine interpersonal exchange, the whole is more than the sum of the parts, but also that means removal of the part (i.e. one voice) after the fact kind of destroys the whole. In some cases, that's a shame (it depends on how valuable you think the whole/discussion is)

I realized that I just assumed if I didn't like participating in dissensus any more (enough to quit), it would not have occurred to me to try to remove my past posts. Then again, I did go through an old weblog/online journal and make "friends-only" a lot of my more explicit posts I wrote 10 years ago when the Web was smaller and less searchable.

What about y'all? if you decided you wanted to leave, would you take your past with you? would it be different for a blog than for a board?

http://oregonstate.edu/groups/kendo/dojo/f-ippon.gif

petergunn
09-04-2008, 09:28 PM
Anyway, isn't Dissensus google-proof?

doubtful. it's how i found the place... googling some grime song and... BAM!

ripley
11-04-2008, 12:00 AM
I don't think the fact that it's all public is really something that factors into peoples actions on the web -

Yeah, I used to want to come up with a name for this concept - the number of people you are capable of imagining reading/watching you online. I think there's an ingrained limit on our imaginations. I can imagine a few people writing, but mostly I have to imagine specific people in order to really keep the concept of being watched foremost. MOst of the time the audience either drops out or collapses into a manageable mental number



It just becomes a problem, and rather embarassing, when who you really are changes daily, and you're confronted regularly with an outdated model of yourself which you can't alter. The lack of control over which model of yourself others are exposed to is the thing that gets me.
UFO over easy v. 1.6785030583

I agree, but I also feel slightly different about that control depending on what you're talking about. I think criminal, job-related, or insurance-related judgments should be prevented, but social judgments.. It's hard, because we are judged on lots of things we can't control. THis may be a new set (our past acts online), but is it really so different?

Maybe our mental models of people will have to be historicized. Or maybe that's not possible?

UFO over easy
11-04-2008, 11:54 AM
I agree, but I also feel slightly different about that control depending on what you're talking about. I think criminal, job-related, or insurance-related judgments should be prevented, but social judgments.. It's hard, because we are judged on lots of things we can't control. THis may be a new set (our past acts online), but is it really so different?


yeah I see what you mean.. maybe the difference is that in the case of people making social judgements about you based on an archived form of yourself, even if you don't have control over that archive now, you did at some point or other. In real life obviously people do make judgements based on past actions too, but generally for someone to make a negative character judgement based on a past action that they never saw at the time, that action would have to be pretty serious in order for it to take precedence over how they see you in the present.

On the internet, you read something incredibly petty that someone wrote a year ago, and make a judgement about who they are in the present based on that, whereas in real life if it really was that petty, a year later in would be totally forgotten about, and certainly wouldn't affect any social judgement of your present self.

I think ideally we could compensate for this somehow, but at the moment I don't think people are generally aware enough of the implicit social differences between real and virtual..

blahblahblah.. :eek:

elgato
11-04-2008, 12:47 PM
From my own experience I reckon people really do treat the internet as an outlet for who they imagine themselves to be truly, without social constraint, and maybe that develops slowly into the exaggerated personas you find on message boards and blogs.

I don't think the fact that it's all public is really something that factors into peoples actions on the web - it may even lead them to exaggerate their personalities more if anything.. like screaming who you really are off the rooftops to anyone that'll listen

Something which I increasingly feel a tendency towards is misinformation, and misrepresentation (something I have seen develop in particular on facebook). The trend towards this massive availability of personal information and personal representation (and our strong tendency towards fora of which this very public surrender is an integral part) stokes something which not only wants to retain some kind of restricted understanding, but wants to subvert these means of understanding. Ultimately I do not want places like the public realm of facebook to be a place where someone can feel comfortable making judgements, and if they do then I want those judgements to be misinformed, although I don’t know what that says about me. Also I think that there are significant implications for what I am saying created by me articulating it somewhere as public as this. But consciously at least the reason I engage with and read dissensus is to gain the insight of people with interesting and different minds on issues I want to better understand, not because I want to broadcast myself.

I also don’t think that necessarily who someone ‘really’ is comes across at all in online discourse, especially in the form of forums, blogs etc… firstly text is an incredibly impersonal form of communication, and I for one struggle to assert any real personality over it. But also I think that people use online space to explore possibilities of being someone they feel that they are not. But then how do we define who someone ‘really’ is in any case…

UFO over easy
11-04-2008, 12:51 PM
I was using the really thing to be more like who they'd really like to be I guess.


Also I think that there are significant implications for what I am saying created by me articulating it somewhere as public as this. But consciously at least the reason I engage with and read dissensus is to gain the insight of people with interesting and different minds on issues I want to better understand, not because I want to broadcast myself.


I think at some point or other I was desperate to broadcast myself. It's very likely anyway, although at this point where doing stuff like this has become just an everyday habit more than anything else it's quite difficult to tell.

elgato
11-04-2008, 01:04 PM
yeh to be fair i got drawn into posting rather than reading by being so incensed by various things being said that i felt compulsed to respond, so that probably is about broadcasting myself, or at least my thoughts. and that still plays a part elsewhere. but my relationship with dissensus is definitely distinct from elsewhere on the web

john eden
11-04-2008, 01:05 PM
I'm very interested in the misinformation angle. It's perhaps the opposite of what wikipedia is trying to achieve.

IdleRich
11-04-2008, 01:39 PM
"...although at this point where doing stuff like this has become just an everyday habit more than anything else it's quite difficult to tell."
I think that that's an important point, my guess is that once something becomes habitual people tend to slip back to being themselves. I suspect that even if it's not difficult to maintain a persona constantly boredom is likely to set in and the norm reassert itself.


"But then how do we define who someone ‘really’ is in any case…"
Also very important obviously, the only way we can judge someone really is on how they behave and presumably someone could deliberately perform contrary to their personality in actual interactions with people (although obviously it's harder than when separated by the internet).

elgato
11-04-2008, 02:14 PM
I'm very interested in the misinformation angle. It's perhaps the opposite of what wikipedia is trying to achieve.

kind of yeh, if applied in a different area. i was thinking more in terms of personal information and profiling though

UFO over easy
11-04-2008, 02:17 PM
there's a nice tension between people for whom the net is more 'real' than others as well, especially on forums, where sometimes it feels like a battle - eg trolls trying to draw people into sharing some ridiculous virtual unreality


I suspect that even if it's not difficult to maintain a persona constantly boredom is likely to set in and the norm reassert itself.


that's what I tend to think as well :) it's still problematic though - although whilst people tell me I am fairly similar on the net and in person I don't think the net gives a particularly accurate picture even if I am attempting to get one across.

IdleRich
11-04-2008, 03:03 PM
I think that what I'm assuming is that the more you go on a board the more normal it becomes to you and the temptation to pretend decreases just as the effort necessary to maintain a facade would increase.


"it's still problematic though - although whilst people tell me I am fairly similar on the net and in person I don't think the net gives a particularly accurate picture even if I am attempting to get one across"
I feel that on this board my lack of linguistic dexterity and lightness of touch means that I come across as slightly more stiff than I do in real life but I also think that I come across as quite similar in a way although that sounds like a contradiction. I've got a feeling that that's something like what you're saying isn't it?

ripley
14-04-2008, 04:37 AM
I think that what I'm assuming is that the more you go on a board the more normal it becomes to you and the temptation to pretend decreases just as the effort necessary to maintain a facade would increase.


I sometimes think engaging with people online is helpful because it's another way to perform yourself or certain aspects of yourself. In a way, I think of my self as something that meaningfully exists through how I relate to other people. (not that I don't exist alone, but that all the stories I tell myself about what kind of person I am aren't really meaningful unless they are acted on).

So I get to practice, in online settings.. (in the sense partly that it's a "practice run" because people are probably not as emotionally engaged as they would be IRL and partly that I am "practicing" what I preach)

I think what you do in relation to others online is clearly part of who you are, whether you are conscious of it or not. How it's the same or different from interacting with other people is what's fascinating - what do I make of the signals I can read form others, and how do I make myself read?

Chef Napalm
14-04-2008, 07:30 PM
Anyway, isn't Dissensus google-proof?
How does one make something "google-proof"?

noel emits
14-04-2008, 07:51 PM
http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=35301

It's actually an interesting question because it's really down to the 'good will' of google to allow sites to opt-out of being indexed.

martin
15-04-2008, 11:39 AM
How does one make something "google-proof"?

Not a clue, but look

Your search - chef napalm how does make google-proof? dissensus - did not match any documents.

Your search - stelfox nando's middle class dissensus - did not match any documents.

Your search - dissensus nomadologist devil mask rapist - did not match any documents.
Did you mean: dissensus nematologist devil mask rapist

While a search for - 'dissensus john eden giraffe tall dalston' generates:

Thinkmap Visual Thesaurus
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www.visualthesaurus.com/?ad=about.com - Similar pages

petergunn
15-04-2008, 12:52 PM
Your search - dissensus nomadologist devil mask rapist - did not match any documents.
Did you mean: dissensus nematologist devil mask rapist


jesus, i remember the devil mask rapist... all my roommates were freaked out...

mistersloane
19-04-2008, 02:51 PM
Yeah, I used to want to come up with a name for this concept - the number of people you are capable of imagining reading/watching you online.?

Objective super-saturation or something mebbe.

Transpontine
28-04-2008, 11:36 PM
I once asked for a post of mine to be deleted from a (weird pagan) discussion board because I accidentally posted it with my real name on it. Didn't particularly want people at work to google and then start making probably wholly accurate assumptions about me. It's still up there now, and even if posts are deleted (or whole blogs commit hari kari) it's all still out there filed away somewhere. Try clicking on cached when you google something and the page has been taken down.

I am continually wrestling with this privacy/identity border, I don't put my real name on my blogs (except occasionally in the third person, which is silly) because I know that it could affect me at work. But its virtually impossible to prevent leakage as soon as you start stepping out of the blogosphere into the fleshworld. For instance as one of my blogs is South East London-focused I got invited along to a Lewisham Bloggers drink, got to know people some of whom I found I had real world connections with (kids, neighbours etc) so now quite a lot of people know my real name and occasionally mention it on Facebook etc.

ripley
29-04-2008, 03:59 AM
I'd kind of mentally been keeping my worlds separate but practically intertwining them for the past few years, and now it doesn't take much googling to get my real name. Oh wait now its on the bottom of my blog too.

now the main problem is it will be harder to travel across national border for gigs because (at least the canadian border guards) check google and myspace.

but it's weird - I miss the license one had when one was anonymous. even if I would own up to what I said, if pressed on it, somehow it feels different to know it can all be traced so easily.