[Air-l] Google is watching !

ET et at tarik.com.au
Wed May 19 23:07:45 PDT 2004

apologies for my absence whilst the ethics debate raged - I have been 
engrossed in some heavy research for my website assignment -
"The Nude in Art". Very demanding research indeed :-)

To carry on from Danah's observations about Google....

Let us assume that a researcher comes and asks for permission to 
researcher this list and quote from the discussions.
The group says ok.

The researcher publishes a report and does the "right" thing.
He protects everyone, or so you think, and quotes Person X in discussion 
forum Y as saying...

"Which I guess excludes socialism, fascism, theocracies, authorianism, etc"

Everyone should be happy - right??

Along comes Little Johnny.
He Googles using  "Which I guess excludes socialism, fascism, 
theocracies, authorianism, etc".
Two results are returned and in seconds Little Johnny knows that in fact 
it was Barry Wellman who made these comments in the
AoIR forum on the 30th of January 2004. He even knows what time of day 
Barry posted, which could be important.
And I can see Arts very interesting reply.

There is no privacy.
Changing names of forums or people means nothing. I have seen some 
astonishing efforts made in newsgroups by individuals trying to find the
ID of other forum members. Getting Barry's ID from the above quote was 
chicken feed.

Danah suggested we should think about whether we write to this forum 
intending to have our thoughts made public.
Your intention, obviously, means nothing. You are being Googled for 
everyone to see, and for the future to judge you.

I also found it interesting that Danah had used quotes from our 
discussion here in class.
I dont mind, nor would I expect to be asked, but this forum is a little 
different in that you need to identify yourself to be able to post,
but non members can read what you have written.

Also of interest is the dilemma I find myself in. I started this thread 
on ethics, and the views expressed would be very useful to quote in
my Ethics assignment. But I did wonder whether it would be ethical to 
quote myself from this forum, and whether it would be ethical to quote
all of you from this forum. And should it matter if I can get your 
quotes from Google???

very interesting area - time to go back to the Nudes for less mental 
stress :-)

see ya
Eero Tarik

More information about the Air-l mailing list