“The Right” to be “Forgotten”: An Orwellian Dystopia from the Bottom Up!

I don’t know to what extent it’s necessary for me to express this thought, but.. what a load of crap.

See, you don’t get to tell people what actual facts they can and cannot speak of.  We’ve already got plenty of laws against defamation, so that’s not the issue here.  The issue here is that some people have pasts consisting of misbehavior which has been made public in accordance with relevant laws and they want that past wiped from public records.  Because search engines such as Google contain some of the largest public records around, these people have gone after them and actually secured legal authority for their demands.

That’s insane.  You don’t get to do things which legally become part of the public record and then demand that people “forget” (which is actually here used as a euphemism for “be inhibited in knowing or discussing”).  Can Europe not see what sort of dangerous precedent this sets?  I mean, damn, this sounds just like 1984, except the government is going to wind up with the power to redact history as it sees fit after it’s demanded by the insane population over which it exerts its totalitarian rule.  Who knows what facts will be declared unworthy of consideration and therefore stricken from our records?

Have people become so full of vice that they’re willing to set a precedent and means by which anyone, including those in power, might obscure records of their past so long as they can secure such obscurity for themselves?  This isn’t about ridding ourselves of records which were inappropriately generated, or those which bear false content.  This is about removing from public observation and discussion actual facts which certain people believe should no longer be considered.

And that’s scary lunacy right there.  Should we be more forgiving of those who genuinely turn themselves around after having committed misdeeds?  Almost certainly.  Is the way to become more forgiving to wipe from our recollection those events in need of forgiveness?  No.  On the contrary, that’s likely to make us even less forgiving about that which is not erased.

We can’t shield ourselves from reality and expect ourselves to retain the ability to deal with it properly.

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