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.


Clare@ BattlementsOfRubies said...

Waah! *Sob sob*.
A pox on the press!
Why not just go private? What about all those sweet little videos of the bubba? Are they gone forever when you delete them, or can you retreive them later? It seems such a shame to lose all that you have chronicled here.
I undestand though. It is a little creepy. It's already yesterdays news though. Everyone else moves on, but you are left feeling as though a tornado just blew through your front room.
It's not fair.

Jax said...

Very sorry to lose your blog - hope you won't be a stranger though.

Lucy said...

Oh please let me know if you blog again. I am so angry at the idiots who did this to you - but I often wrestle back and forth with whether to blog, to be private or public because my family never sign up for a private blog, and how "real" to be. I have googled myself and cringed at some of the things I have written and which are stuck online forever. It is a strange thing. God bless you and your family. May you have a profitable Lent and joyous Easter.

Sally Thomas said...

What a rotten thing! (them, not you)

I'll miss you on the web. Let me know if you consider the private blog option.

And yes to everything Clare said about the shame of losing your chronicles, and the aftereffects which you feel even when the rest of the world has changed the channel.


Anonymous said...

Oh no!! I am an avid reader and long time lurker from Hampshire. I'm so sad that this has happened to you, however I do understand. Sorry you are closing your blog.

Kaje x

Anonymous said...

I'm so sad! I have enjoyed being a lurker- alas- no more. I understand, though.


Lins said...

How horrible for you. I too wonder about the wisdom of being public so do understand. How about password protecting it?
I shall miss reading your blog...
All the best x

HelenHaricot said...

if you ever do set up again, as someone who has met you irl, and also he's and blogs, i would love an invite!

Hartbeeps - Chesham said...

What a shame that both you and the rest of us have to miss out just because of the ruthless invasions of the press :o(

Ben Trovato said...

This is precisely why I blog under a pseudonym and take care not to reveal the identity of my wife and kids. Only a few people know who I really am (though i guess a really good investigator could put the pieces together if any could be bothered - but I'm really not that interesting unless some one wanted to persecute me for my 'homophobia' or something....)

So that may be a way forward: adopt a pseudonym, drop the personal photos, and keep blogging!