The 11th Doctor: Oh and delete your internet history
Doctor Who The Eleventh Hour 2008
Yesterday when I woke up I found that once again the meme of “Zilla the non-existent” had spread again.
As I have met Zilla in person, visited her in the Hospital and interviewed her the meme was quickly proven wrong.
To his credit, on seeing this evidence the person in question apologized and deleted tweets to that effect as his honor demanded but the entire topic raises an interesting point concerning the net.
Everyone makes mistakes and although search engines make the internet smaller it is impossible for one to see everything on it.
It is also true that even if you have corrected a mistake your old posts might bite you back. Here is an example.
Pat Adkins has a blog I check occasionally called The Thinking Americanist
Well he had a few things to say about my friend Zilla last year(all emphasis mine)
….and yes, you are faking your illness, a well-known and well respected professional blogger, who gets PAID to do write and blog told me so.
The only thing I said about Zilla, was that I heard, from a good friend of mine; who is a Conservative, who gets paid rather well to blog; that Zilla was faking her illness. I know nothing about, nor have I ever said anything about her husband. If someone is saying anything about her husband, it is not me at all. Furthermore, I have never said anything about Zilla taking a trip anywhere either. If my friend was wrong and he could have very well been misinformed, so be it. But I simply told what I heard from what, I believe was a very good source.
Considering Pat’s source was not only a friend but a “paid journalist” one can certainly see why he would believe it, after all I have several sources of my own that if they told me something I would believe it at once.
However after interview in the Hospital with Zilla went up and he was made aware of it Pat did the right thing in style with a post I will reproduce here in full.
Now that I have actually seen the video. I am convinced. To my defense, I just repeated what I was told.
Well, someone was full of crap and I now, and rightly so, feel like the world’s greatest asshole.
If I had the extra hundred bucks; I would pop it in her tip jar and in Dan’s ; but I do not have it, so I can’t. But those who read this blog can.
Public retraction, public apology mea culpa and tip jar request for Zilla. One can certainly not fault Pat’s efforts he went above and beyond a simple correction in a very honorable way. He also proved himself a loyal friend as he didn’t burn his pal who burned him.
He did however, make a basic mistake that I didn’t notice until today and I’ll wager he hasn’t noticed it either: He forgot to update the previous posts linking to the correction post.
Now perhaps he figured regular readers who saw the old posts he linked to would naturally see the new. he might have counted on the trackbacks from the correction post to show up in comments or he might have been busy calling his friend for giving him bad info making him look bad.
The problem becomes if another blogger saw the old post and quoted and linked to them, those other blogs now become the primary source for other people and search engines who see the old mistake uncorrected and take it from there.
The point being I suspect this kind of thing happens all the time, it’s the nature of the internet and the blogosphere, there is not much a person can do about it, whether it is a bad post or a porn video shot years before, it’s almost impossible to permanently correct the record on the net, bad info is going to get out there and it is impossible to completely purge it.
So take that as a lesson the next time you prepare to upload a photo, repeat some gossip or say something that might embarrass you or someone else on the net. Take care and be aware.
Because no matter what the Doctor says you simply can’t delete your internet history.