Matthew Steeples shares his views on those who tweet, comment and like
The world is a poorer place in the wake of Sally Bercow losing the libel action brought against her by Lord McAlpine. Those who know me will know that I don’t especially care for the Speaker’s wife or approve of her behaviour, but nonetheless that “the gift that kept on giving” (as some newspapers have referred to her) has been silenced is indeed a shame.
This weekend a lady who very briefly worked for me some years ago wrote to me expressing her anger at being mentioned in an article I wrote about the ASmallWorld social network on 19th March this year.
In it I praised Erik Watchmeister, the founder of the site, for having created a forum that was fun (well, it was just that back then in 2004, it isn’t anymore). I listed the names of the main characters that made it such and received countless messages that reminded me of those fun days.
The aforementioned “lady”, however, plainly must have been Googling herself this weekend as she wrote to share her fury at having been mentioned. Said individual took offence that I described her having “talked about camels, chocolate and basements” in the forums. Members of ASW will indeed recall that she did indeed bring these strangely linked properties (rather wittily I thought actually) into many of the posts she wrote but now, she plainly wants to forget what she actually said.
In her emails, which were paranoidly signed off with a rather ludicrous confidentiality clause, this woman told me she’d report me to the police and her MP, Mark Field if I did not remove her name and the passage mentioned.
Out of kindness, I generously removed her name and wished her all the best but still she came back ranting about the Metropolitan Police and Mark Field MP. She copied both parties in and I laughingly told her to “grow up” (copying them in).
I’d argue, that this lady ought to take stock and stop pestering people about things that will remain on the Internet back in 2004 and 2005. She wrote these things and they’re still available for all to see.
The lesson is clear: If indeed you think you might not like something you’ve written on the Internet at a later date, you shouldn’t have written it in the first place.
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