Earlier today I received an email from a reader who wondered if I had any regret about sharing a blog post whose author intended not to be read. It’s a reasonable question and I would be lying if I didn’t admit to thinking twice before posting. But here’s the deal. If the post in question reminded us of anything it’s that the delete button is a myth. You can make information published to the Internet more difficult to find, but, with few exceptions, it cannot be permanently erased. All of us who interact on the Internet through various social media platforms must understand this before leaving a comment, posting an image and before blogging.
We must be willing to take responsibility for everything we upload to the Internet…FOREVER.
The ease with which deleted posts, images, comments, etc. can be retrieved is something that I constantly reinforce in the classroom. Most of my students are woefully ignorant, for example, of the security settings on Facebook. However, even those who do make the effort to secure their pages need to understand that, ultimately, everything is “out there” and accessible.
We are all equally responsible for our online behavior. Hopefully, this will serve as a reminder to take extra care before hitting that publish button.