The emergence of digital world through the internet is arguably the most significant discovery of the 20th century. The world that existed in yester years where geographical barriers provided huge limitations and challenges among people has been overcome. With a click of a button, nowadays, it has now become possible to connect in real time with other people in any part of the world. Internet and specifically the digital web, commonly referred to as the World Wide Web is a platform for information space where documents and other resources are posted and identified by those who wish to scan the resources. The documents are accessed using uniform resource locators (URLs) which are interlaced using hypertext links via the internet. The World Wide Web has been cited as the most considerable development of the information age era and is the primary tool that billions of people utilize while interacting on the internet (Acar, Eubank, Englehardt, Juarez, Narayanan & Diaz, C, 2014). Many people use the words internet and World Wide Web interchangeably as they are not able to distinguish the two, to note is that the latter is a collection of documents whereas the former refers to the interconnection of computers. The aim of this paper is to analyze the proposition that the web never forgets, this will be achieved by researching how the cloud impacts this, either positively or negatively. The word cloud refers to a communications network which is basically supported by the internet. And it is derived from the words cloud computing, which refers to software and services that allow the internet to operate on a daily basis. To note is that, this cloud can be of a wide area, for instance, the public internet or local area network for example within a small organization.
Once information has been posted online; it becomes very difficult to filter those who access it. For this reason, people tend to be very careful of everything they post and incline to question the same apropos to the morality it elicits. Do we have the right to be disremembered or to privacy once we have contributed on the web? Is a common question that many should aim to answer before they post information online. And if they find their answers inclining to the positive they should reconsider not posting anything as the internet does not guarantee privacy to anybody. A case is recorded of a woman who upon a simple google search, her medical history popped up revealing her medical conditions that she had kept to herself for many years, a true testament to the fact that the internet does not forget. Another woman was perturbed when her daughter was identified as a sex worker during a televised court battle when some random search was done online using her name. Another mother was worried that her son might come to know of the court battle that she fought to gain the right of custody of keeping him. As a response to lack of privacy online, numerous court battles have been lodged, and the European Union and other countries outside the block such as Argentina have emerged as some of the leading jurisdiction that has acknowledged an individual’s rights to be forgotten (Acar, Eubank, Englehardt, Juarez, Narayanan & Diaz, C, 2014). And as a response to this, Google has reviewed two million European Union web addresses and removed 55% of the same, something that has ensured that many people’s lives remain private as they wish.
There is a need to protect our online personalities and to be accountable of the same at all times. In this era, there is nothing like having an online image and a public image. With digital platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, anyone anywhere can follow your past and present life. This is worsened by the fact that, if you post something online, it lasts there forever unless you bring it down yourself. And although this allowance is always there, it is risky for the reason that, people can easily download or save whatever is posted online and remain with it even after the person who posted it has removed it. For this reason, those people who don’t want their children or spouses to know something about themselves should not be quick to post materials online such as images or debatable posts. This is for the reason that some of the things that people have posted online have ended up affecting them negatively in a great way some years back, and this is the greatest threat that internet introduces, that the consequences do not have to be immediate (Eggers and William, 2007). To illustrate; some people have been arrested and charged with hate speech that has been directed against a particular people or to a given company, something that has made some of them to end up serving jail terms while others have had to pay huge fines or both. Such arrests are going on regardless of the fact that some people have gone to the extent of propagating this vices as they hide in the background using pseudo names and accounts with the intention to hide their real identity to the general public. This has however not worked as many of them have however been unraveled and identified; therefore showing that it is almost impossible to hide.
The existence of the cloud has contributed in a great way to the un-forgettability of the internet. We live in a world where many people spend countless hours on the web, and it is okay for one to insinuate that the world is run by technology. For this reason, the easiest way for one to make information explode and spread to other parts of the world very rapidly is to utilize the internet. This is for the reason that, social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are connecting millions of people in the world and have played a vital role in shaping some of the happenstance of recent years, for example, the Arab Uprising. Scholars in different research centers in the world are also exchanging information via the web, although this very commendable, others have however found it very unforgiving as they have ended up finding their research work already published and patented days or weeks before they do the same.
There are a number of reasons why people should consider what they are posting online. This is imperative regardless of the fact that the idea of sharing information with other people is a good thing to do; however, sitting behind a screen should not always make a person or give them the confidence to say or write things that they would not usually speak or write in the presence of other people. Some of the demerits of posting information online without much consideration include the possibility of denying one an employment opportunity. Many potential employees or business owner have a Facebook account, and because of this, during the interviews process, they may at times, require an individual to open their Facebook accounts, and once this has been done, they are able to see the true colors of the person they are hiring. Over and above that, it is very easy for a person’s accounts to be accessed by the employer without their knowledge as they dig deeper to see whether they are representing the image of the company well (Rice, 2015). Some companies will terminate the services of a given employee should they notice inappropriate online behavior.
In addition, it is imperative to reiterate that the internet never forgets, and for this reason, what is posted online can easily cost one to miss an educational opportunity. This is because many colleges and scholarships providers are very keen of the online image of the people they absorb. This is usually done owing to the fact that, most companies want people who will safeguard the image of the organizations. In addition, by analyzing information posted online by an individual, scholarship organizations are able to trace the character of the individual and ascertain whether they have the requisite ability to appreciate the scholarship and work hard to complete their education. This is important if wastage of resources is to be avoided as evidenced by the fact that some few individuals have been abandoning school halfway consequently wasting a scholarship opportunity that would have otherwise been filled by another individual.
The internet has emerged as an external hard drive to the current generation where they store information and once stored; it can easily be accessed by others through the cloud. Instead of relying on one another to solve daily problems, the internet has become the first one-stop for people. Google and Wikipedia are some of the most utilized tools by students and many of them, even when they graduate, some will not remember some of the things they were taught, but within a short search on google and Wikipedia, their minds are juggled and they remember everything. This is done as against asking a friend or colleague, owing to the fact that the internet has an astounding efficiency compared to people in preserving memory
For example, asking a person to clarify something will often require you tracking the person down and waiting for their hawing and hemming as they jog their memories for an answer. But the internet does not forget, and any information sought by person popes out immediately. And for this reason, the cloud and the internet has continued to play a vital role in improving the practice of different professions throughout the world, for instance, some doctors search online as patients prescribe symptoms and then recommend the medicine and drugs they need to take. Moreover, lawyers no longer need to memorize complex intricate of tort laws, as with a click of a button, they can easily access the same. This advantage has simplified the work of these professionals (Eggers and William, 2007). .
With the invention of the cloud where people are interconnected online, the major shortcoming to note is that the internet never forgets nor forgives an individual apropos to the content they post online. And people, therefore, need to always think of whatever they post online before actually doing it. As against this, however, it is important to note that, information posted online has a very short life span, to illustrate, a topic will trend on social media sites such as Twitter for some time, but after two or three days everything will be forgotten. However, with appropriate research, the existence of this information will always be there. And for this reason a mistake done online regarding what is posted is unforgivable and will haunt an individual for the rest of their lives, it is, however, important to note that such information will not remain in people’s minds forever (Haythornthwaite, 2014).
The question to answer now is why the internet never forgets; to start with, the word internet may also be used to refer to the collective memory of people and all other devices that are utilized to access the internet. Anything posted online is saved, either permanently in online archives or temporarily in browsers of those who view the information. And even if one manages to erase all information that was posted online, some traces could remain, for instance, in the minds of those who perused the material when it was available could still remember it and even remember you in person (Rice, 2015). This is very disturbing because of the fact that you can’t delete what is in another person’s mind.
As young ones grow, they develop from teenage life to adult life in the face of the internet that allows them to experiment all they want as they figure out there personal relationships. This is done on the backdrop of social media platforms where numerous communications are made in total disregard that they could easily find themselves in the hands of the general public (Moore, Kearfott & Cloud, 2009). The challenges that ensue as they grow could therefore easily suffice on the internet in the form of careless posts made online. There is, however, a big gap in terms of things that are said as mistakes and those made voluntarily. The manner in which the internet stores information posted by youths for it to haunt them years back is evidenced by the fact that Harvard University, recently quashed admission offer of 10 students it were to admit when the University management authority came to the knowledge that they had made some intriguing comments and posted some memes in an obscene Facebook group. This was done to protect other Harvard students from having to leave in the same space with some student who would make them feel uncomfortable owing to their initial lifestyle.
At times, people end up posting information on the internet for example pictures, and while doing so, they post what they did not wish to. At other times, some private information of an individual could get in the hands of another in one way or another. And if this information is very sensitive and was never intended to be for public consumption, one could easily end up getting bullied online. Cyberbullying, therefore, refers to harassment that takes place over electronic media for instance through texting, email or over social media platform (Anderson & Sturm, 2007). This form of bullying takes place in the same manner as for face to face bullying as the intention of the proprietor is to harm another person, emotionally. The reason why cyberbullying happens is very difficult to fathom, but many believe that, as the abuse is being implemented, the cyber feels more powerful, others feel that the bullying process would end up making them popular finally, some bullies engage on the vice merely for fun without realizing that they are harming other people. Cyberbullying is, therefore, one of the greatest shortcomings of the element that the internet does not forget.
To conclude, the proposition that the web does not forget has been tackled in greater detail, the role of cloud connectivity and specifically the influence of the internet in causing this has also been discussed. The research work comes to a number of conclusions, one, an avowal is made of the need for people to be careful of all information they post online for the reason that, a post made today could come in handy some years back and affect an individual in a great way. Two, this should not, however, curtail peoples interaction on the internet, and this is owing to the fact that there are numerous benefits that the web and the cloud introduces, to illustrate, some people make a living from online jobs such as marketing. Finally, a recommendation is made to investigate and generate statistics in regards to the advantages and disadvantages that eventuate as a consequence of the internet not forgetting anything that comes its way.
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