Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Good-Bye to All That

I recently had an experience which made me rethink my relationship with the internet.

A news story was published about me, against my will and without my consent. The newspaper included a photo of me. This they got from an article I had consented to a few years ago. Little did I know then that the photo would be forever on their hard drive, to be reused years later.

Little did I realise, either, that these things spread faster than a nasty rash. Out of paranoia or narcissism, I googled myself -- and found that the same story, and picture, had been reproduced in blogs and news feeds all over the place. I've emailed the ones I could, asking them to remove the picture. It helps that the paper removed the picture from their website under threat of legal action -- and that the picture is copyright (even if the copyright isn't mine).

This set off a rather unpleasant train of thought. If one of the journalists involved had stumbled upon my blog, what excellent fodder it would have provided! Family photos, unguarded comments: it's all written as if all my readers are well-disposed friends, but that's not necessarily so. I also wondered how my remarks about home education would come out if read by a belligerent inspector. I'm not writing an educational report, and I don't give an exhaustive account of everything we do, so my casual asides about 'not much going on with home ed' might play extremely badly...

So, it's goodbye to all that. I've deleted all posts but one -- that's the one that is linked by some donor conception blogs.

Thanks for reading! Thanks for all the comments which I've much enjoyed.

I may start a new blog at some point, although I'll be much more circumspect. If you would like me to send you the link in due course, drop me a comment (I won't publish your email) or email me.

Oh, by the way, in case you're wondering -- the newspaper article wasn't about my ill-spent youth, a lottery win, or my life of crime. I don't want to perpetuate the invasion of privacy by linking to it. Suffice to say that I really didn't have any say in what the story was about.