What is online, stays online

clear2

 

It’s a story as old as the Internet. Some time ago, you shared something you thought was harmless and clever, and now, you want nothing to do with it.

You fear it will be taken out of context, offensive to some, or even detrimental to your career. You were young, reckless, and inexperienced in the age of sharing anything and everything. In walks Clear, an app designed to comb through your social media channels and flag inappropriate content. Created by Ethan Czahor, Clear also looks for content that could be offensive towards racial groups or sexual orientation.

What’s interesting is that we are so focused on deleting embarrassing, offensive past content that we should examine why we felt the need to post these messages in the first place. If it was worth sharing then, shouldn’t we be able to leave it in the past and ask for forgiveness in the future?

On the other hand, if we feel so compelled to share, the rise of self-destructive communication apps might be the best way to go. Apps like Snapchat and Xpire allow users to create content with the mindset that it will leave no trace.

Will apps like this change our behaviour when posting content online, as we feel we now have the opportunity to take it all back?

This originally appeared in Moving World Wednesday 20150422

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