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Google introduces new online reputation management tool, Vancouver riots

June 17th, 2011
Dilbert Google logo

This seems like big news.  Big enough news that I got out of bed to write about it.  Usually an announcement like this does not go unnoticed by me but what with the riots, the hockey game, requests from strangers, networking, and guest blogging, lets just say I’ve not been following every news story that I come across.  After I did some more investigation, this is more a rebranding of an existing feature and a plug to get people to join Google’s social network in the making by setting up a profile.

If you already had Google alerts set up for your name, Google added little that will be of use to you.  Supposedly they plan to offer advice on how to approach websites and webmasters to ask them to remove content people don’t like that is being found online when people search for someone’s name. Good luck with that! The reason this is such big news in Vancouver, British Columbia is we just had a very large riot where a lot of dumb people did a lot of stupid stuff.  To make matters worse lots of people filmed it, professionals, amateurs, bloggers, teenagers, the cops.  Even worse for those involved was the use of social media to both spread the pictures and to identify the people in the pictures.

For some it is even worse than that as they were moronic enough to update their own social network status bragging about smashing and looting stuff in downtown Vancouver.  Some people don’t think civilian surveillance should become the norm. There are already a lot of security cameras in most urban centers even if the cities themselves aren’t watching you, private businesses are. But what really removes privacy is phones in cameras, people take their phone everywhere.  It’s obvious that not many people read this blog.  I just don’t promote it that much and I don’t write that sensationally.  I also try to respect intellectual property rights and be somewhat fair and balanced, though I do speak my mind.

That said, there are definitely going to be some individuals who need to use Google’s new service and heed warnings about the dangers of electronic communication.  Some of them live in the Greater Vancouver area and go to high school.  Or at least used to as some people got arrested/expelled today and more arrests will likely follow after the asinine behavior exhibited for the entire world to see.  Websites have been set up both by the police and by irate citizens to name and shame those that participated in the riot.  No new tool from Google or well worded email is going to get these people’s names and faces off all the places they’ve ended up now.

Greater Vancouver Dumbasses

You have to wonder why people do the things they do. I know I’ve spent uncountable hours wondering just that and there just is no answer for some people’s behavior. Jason Li is a common name in Vancouver.  I remember the Micheal Crook fiasco, another Micheal Crook from another country took unnecessary abuse over that.  It has now been about 24 hours since I published my original post-riot blog entry.  I’ve kept adding links to it and there are one or two more I’ve been meaning to add, but it will be interesting to see where the blame gets placed, the Mayor’s Office, the Police Department, the Downtown BIA, Granville Street Entertainment District, Surrey…

More Links

Update

WordPress notified me that this was the most popular thing I wrote and published last year on Muskblog.  My cursory examinations of keyword referrals wouldn’t have led me to guess this, but maybe this post got a lot of hits around the time of the 2011 Vancouver riots. It didn’t generate as many comments as some other posts such as my wonderful experience upgrading to Mac OS X Lion.

I came across another cautionary tale of youth posting stuff on the internet, in this case photos of themselves wearing skimpy outfits. The girl in question, Angie Varona, regrets her actions and claims it ruined her life.  She recently turned 18, apparently she posted the pictures when she was 14 to an image sharing site and claims her account was hacked.  Now the photos are all over the Internet.

Warning the link to the story is on ABC News and that website has to be the worst behaved major media website I’ve ever visited. It will start playing video, pop up adds for Microsoft, and generally load and render annoyingly on my computer and likely yours.

If I am part of Generation X and those that grew up with the Internet always available are Generation Y, then the next generation, Generation Z, well lets just say the Z will stand for “zero privacy”.


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  • More Canadian teens involved in criminal activity are being outed by their friends and classmates online.  In this case it is an underage driver who went stopped by the police tried to escape, killing the officer in the process.  Drug use was supposedly involved but in Canada we don’t allow names or pictures of young offenders to be published, but I’m sure someone could Google it.  What strikes me is how none of the youths seems to have learned any lessons from the Riots of 2011 and the dangers of social media.

    http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Canada/2011/07/01/18361841.html

    Google has a new social network, where privacy is supposedly a bigger and more well thought out feature.  I don’t see all 750 million Facebook users switching at once, especially those that have posted many many pictures and such to Facebook.  I post my pictures here or to Flickr that I want to share.  I can then link to them easily in the case of Flickr, not at all in the case of this blog thanks to all the hotlinkers I was infested with a while back.  The point is, what you say and do matters.  You may think no one knows, or no one cares, and maybe they don’t right now.  But down the road, say you’re unemployed like me and badly in need of a job, your social media profiles and your electronic communication can come back and haunt you.  I’ve never done anything as stupid as steal a car, kill a cop, or riot on national TV.  I have been very upset at some people and I wasn’t affraid to let them know it.  I also made some things public as I was trying to clear my name, or make things better, or maybe I was just mad…  I don’t know.  I’ve put it behind me mostly.  But my MBA was more than marred by electronic communication and online gossip, it was completely ruined.  And five years later I’m still paying for it.  Some people still don’t believe me, but what people said and did, including myself, cost me more than I’ll ever hope to repay or gain from finishing my Sauder MBA.

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