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PAGE SIX MAGAZINE



PAGE SIX MAGAZINE
Debate: Is it Pointless to Defend Your Online Reputation?
By Julia Allison

I don’t believe the internet should be a state of nature – but it is.  There is no justice here, and it’s futile to seek it within the traditional confines of a bricks and mortar court of law, not because it’s morally acceptable for people to defame you – for the record, it’s not – but because it’s a waste of time.  The legal system is just no match for the internet: you’ll lose.  And then what?  Your google cache will be reloaded with regurgitations of the same defamatory comments that got you to the courthouse in the first place!

Practically speaking, once a story is up, it’s there forever. Attempting to get it removed legally is expensive, time consuming and – and, ironically, your protestations can take on a life of their own, snowballing what may have started out as one rumor, hidden on page 673 of your google search, into a much bigger story, dominating your first ten pages.

The only answer then, is to flood the net with good stuff.  Or at least, other bad stuff.  You know, better bad stuff!  I’ve been on the receiving end of more internet vitriol than I care to remember, and the more I fought against the negativity, the more negativity I got.  The most effective response? Treat the haters like small, belligerent children: ignore them, and go play with someone else. Or just laugh at it, like George Clooney, who, confronted with websites branding him “GAY GAY GAY,” quipped, “No, I’m gay, gay. The third gay – that’s pushing it.”

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