In my book, The Future of Reputation: Gossip, Rumor, and Privacy on the Internet, I write about how members of the current generation — what I call “Generation Google” — are increasingly spreading gossip and rumors about their private lives online. Some people have few inhibitions, especially one woman who decided to break up with her boyfriend by posting it on Facebook.
Can’t a girl publicly humiliate her boyfriend by dumping him via her Facebook status message anymore without getting harrassed by a horde of social news readers? Nope. New York videoblogger Sandra [lastname] tried to get away with it. The image above got over 1,600 votes on Digg.
Over at Wired’s Underwire blog, Jenna Wortham writes:
Since the story hit Digg on Dec. 4, the count (at the time of posting) clocks in at 1,878 Diggs and 482 comments. In addition to an onslaught of scathingly harsh comments denouncing “her” actions, a litany of low blows were slung, mocking her looks and ridiculing any bit of personal information scavenged from the web, adding up to the thinly veiled conclusion: The crowd agrees that Sandra [lastname] got exactly what she deserved. If the real Sandra [lastname] is indeed suffering at the expense of a jilted lover or a Punk’d-style prank gone horribly awry, one has to wonder at the long-term ramifications of this alleged hack and subsequent Digg-villification. Will future friends, boyfriends and employers remember this murky quagmire and steer clear?
One blog refers to the breakup as “Dumping 2.0.”
Meanwhile, it’s time for Facebook to snap into action with the appropriate Social Ad.
Hat tip: Guilherme Roschke
Originally Posted at Concurring Opinions
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This post was authored by Professor Daniel J. Solove, who through TeachPrivacy develops computer-based privacy training, data security training, HIPAA training, and many other forms of awareness training on privacy and security topics. Professor Solove also posts at his blog at LinkedIn. His blog has more than 1 million followers.