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September 3, 2010
Article Summary

In the New York Times article, “The Web Means the End of Forgetting,” author Jeffrey Rosen recounts that the modern day Internet is nothing short of a permanent record of everything you and anyone else has ever posted. Unlike real life where many people forget what happens in their lives or in the world over time, the Internet serves as a way to keep up with everything that has ever been made public; there are no deletions therefore there are never any forgets.

The author uses many examples of people whose dreams are ruined by the simple and overlooked things they post on the internet. One case in point that is used in the article is of a soon-to-be graduate of college who planned on becoming a teacher. She was not only fired by the school where she was doing her teaching training, but was also not allowed to graduate or receive her teaching degree from her college due to a picture she posted of herself holding a plastic cup. The caption she used for the picture implied that she was intoxicated, which was completely legal for her due to the fact that she was over the legal drinking age of 21. The dean of the university she attended and was enrolled in stated that the photo encouraged the students she worked with (who were all under the legal age) to drink. She then attempted to sue the schools as she believed the picture of her behavior fell under her First Amendment Rights as freedom of speech. At a later date, a judge denied her declaration due to the fact that she was a public employee and her caption of the photo was not of public concern, therefore her words of choice for the picture was not protected speech.

In other cases in which the internet ruined people’s hopes, an elderly Canadian was denied entry to the United States permanently after a border patrolman researched the person on the internet. The guard found an article the person wrote which spoke of their use of L.S.D. 30 years prior to the incident. Also,...
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