A Ghost from the Past

Bad Taste
Case Western Reserve University in Ohio publishes an excellent thought leadership publication, aptly called think.
I was interviewed  in a round-up story  with a tantalizing title:  Is Bad Taste the New Taste? and addresses how social media is changing our sense of what’s acceptible — and what’s not.
We don’t all have the gift of perfect pitch — what is the right tenor and tone for behavior and opinions as conveyed in social media web sites.
And even if we’ve developed a sense of savvy as we’ve matured, what about the lively mementos of our earlier, carefree ”off the record” days, pre-Internet?

Can you spell t-o-g-a  p-a-r-t-y?

Case in vivid point from the magazine article:

A highly successful Ohio executive, now in his mid-40s, told his story on the condition of anonymity. It starts with a fraternity party some 25 years ago. The executive—then a student—imbibed too much and passed out. He remembered that much, no more, until he got a Facebook notification that, nearly a quarter century later, a friend had posted a photo of him in a drunken stupor from that fateful night.

“I call on clients. I cannot have them seeing me in that state,” he says.

So, what can a person do when an unflattering photo resurfaces? Facebook at least allows users to “untag” themselves, essentially deleting their names from the images. But the photos themselves will remain, and options stop there.

Jacqueline Lipton, a social media researcher at Case Western Reserve’s School of Law says this is because the photographer— not the subject—owns the copyright to a photo. That’s why services like Facebook do not respond favorably to complaints that are based on the contention that “I’m in that picture, so it’s my picture.”

The likely solution:  Groveling, not going to court!

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Copyright © 2012 Nancy Keene