The Internet may be forever.Well, if not forever, for a long time. In a recent piece in the Washington Post, Ellen Nakashima reminds us that Harsh Words Die Hard on the Web. She writes specifically about law school students suffering the consequences of anonymous postings about character and background on an Internet message board. The consequences are many and sometimes severe as prospective employees conduct due diligence using the Internet. In this case, the reputation-maligning came from people other than the prospective employee, but we've certainly seen cases where the evidence is self-incriminating; think YouTube and MySpace.The Washington Post article was a good overview of what was going on at this law-school-student-focused site, AutoAdmit. Yesterday, I stumbled, by mere happenstance on a post by Jill Filipovic at her blog. The post, Hi, I’m Jill, and scummy law school sleazebags have gone after me, too, caught my eye. I wondered if it was related, so I surfed over; there was much at the post, so I decided to print it out for reading in the evening.
It was 96 pages.
Five pages of original post by Jill and 91 pages of comments. And that was yesterday when there were only 362 comments; today's count is up to 556.
Anyway, I encourage you to check it all out; read the Post article; read Jill's post and the ensuing comments; and think about what it means to be a member of a community, what it means to be a member of the Internet community, and what it means to throw vitriol behind anonymous postings.