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The Future of Reputation: Gossip, Rumor, and Privacy on the Internet

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Teeming with chatrooms, online discussion groups, and blogs, the Internet offers previously unimagined opportunities for personal expression and communication. But there’s a dark side to the story. A trail of information fragments about us is forever preserved on the Internet, instantly available in a Google search. A permanent chronicle of our private lives—often of dubio Teeming with chatrooms, online discussion groups, and blogs, the Internet offers previously unimagined opportunities for personal expression and communication. But there’s a dark side to the story. A trail of information fragments about us is forever preserved on the Internet, instantly available in a Google search. A permanent chronicle of our private lives—often of dubious reliability and sometimes totally false—will follow us wherever we go, accessible to friends, strangers, dates, employers, neighbors, relatives, and anyone else who cares to look. This engrossing book, brimming with amazing examples of gossip, slander, and rumor on the Internet, explores the profound implications of the online collision between free speech and privacy.   Daniel Solove, an authority on information privacy law, offers a fascinating account of how the Internet is transforming gossip, the way we shame others, and our ability to protect our own reputations. Focusing on blogs, Internet communities, cybermobs, and other current trends, he shows that, ironically, the unconstrained flow of information on the Internet may impede opportunities for self-development and freedom. Long-standing notions of privacy need review, the author contends: unless we establish a balance between privacy and free speech, we may discover that the freedom of the Internet makes us less free.  


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Teeming with chatrooms, online discussion groups, and blogs, the Internet offers previously unimagined opportunities for personal expression and communication. But there’s a dark side to the story. A trail of information fragments about us is forever preserved on the Internet, instantly available in a Google search. A permanent chronicle of our private lives—often of dubio Teeming with chatrooms, online discussion groups, and blogs, the Internet offers previously unimagined opportunities for personal expression and communication. But there’s a dark side to the story. A trail of information fragments about us is forever preserved on the Internet, instantly available in a Google search. A permanent chronicle of our private lives—often of dubious reliability and sometimes totally false—will follow us wherever we go, accessible to friends, strangers, dates, employers, neighbors, relatives, and anyone else who cares to look. This engrossing book, brimming with amazing examples of gossip, slander, and rumor on the Internet, explores the profound implications of the online collision between free speech and privacy.   Daniel Solove, an authority on information privacy law, offers a fascinating account of how the Internet is transforming gossip, the way we shame others, and our ability to protect our own reputations. Focusing on blogs, Internet communities, cybermobs, and other current trends, he shows that, ironically, the unconstrained flow of information on the Internet may impede opportunities for self-development and freedom. Long-standing notions of privacy need review, the author contends: unless we establish a balance between privacy and free speech, we may discover that the freedom of the Internet makes us less free.  

30 review for The Future of Reputation: Gossip, Rumor, and Privacy on the Internet

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jared Della Rocca

    AN ABSOLUTE MUST READ!!!! This book will forever remain on my shelf, as the topics it approaches---reputation, gossip, and "privacy" on the Internet---will continue to be debated for years to come. When the author uses the term privacy, he isn't relating to the idea of protecting your cell phone # or address on Facebook (though both are good ideas!) What he relates is the idea of "privacy" itself. When you do something in public, even if it violates a social norm, for instance scratching your bum AN ABSOLUTE MUST READ!!!! This book will forever remain on my shelf, as the topics it approaches---reputation, gossip, and "privacy" on the Internet---will continue to be debated for years to come. When the author uses the term privacy, he isn't relating to the idea of protecting your cell phone # or address on Facebook (though both are good ideas!) What he relates is the idea of "privacy" itself. When you do something in public, even if it violates a social norm, for instance scratching your bum, you may be slightly embarrassed but you assume only the people around you will notice. But imagine a photo is taken, posted on the Internet, and you are forever labeled, "The Ass Scratcher." Is that a violation of your privacy? Solove argues that our current binary classification no longer is appropriate. We should no longer operate according to "Public or Private," assuming anything we share with any single person, or do outside of our own home, is "Public" and therefore to be shared with everyone. If you have a send a personal e-mail to a friend, should that e-mail be shared with the world? Or do you consider that e-mail to be your private correspondence? Unfortunately, the law currently says anything you share with anyone (few exceptions--clergy, doctors, spouses--but NOT your children or parents) is public. There is no distinction between sharing it with close friends or with the entire world. And yet we instinctively believe there are differences between what we share with different social networks---friends, co-workers, family, etc. But Solove rightly points out that the Internet crosses social networks. Whereas before I could share something with my social network, and while a friend of mine may share with one of their friends that I don't know, it's likely to be of less interest to that person, since they don't know me. IF the story continued to spread, it would be because of the interest of the story, not because it happened to me particularly, and thus my name would likely be left out. But the Internet allows for the sharing of stories WITH the particular details (name) to thousands or millions of people in an instant. And through the use of Google, it is accessible for the foreseeable future. Thus something I share with a close friend, they may blog, and that post may get linked to by a bigger blog, and begins to spread. Thirty years from now, a Google search on my name may turn up this story that I assumed would be private. Think for a moment of an embarrassing moment you had, either in "public" or in private. Even in public, without the Internet the story would only last as long as the memory of the people around you, and if they didn't know who you are, the story wouldn't attach to you. But because of the unending memory of the Internet, the record of that story will remain forever. How do you feel about that? What if the moment captured is taken out of context? You don't have the opportunity to respond to everyone who sees that moment and explain the full context. Your reputation can be ruined in a moment. This book is an extremely important read. It's not a book working to convince you to change your privacy settings on Facebook. Rather, it makes us think harder about what we feel is appropriate to share, and how the Internet is changing these attitudes. More importantly, it's showing how the Internet is changing what is being shared with or without our knowledge, and regardless of our attitude on the topic. We need to seriously question how our reputation can be affected by the actions of others on the Internet, and ways to place limits on what is public and what is private, and understand the gray area between those two poles. AN ABSOLUTE MUST READ!!!!

  2. 5 out of 5

    YHC

    Just like in the book The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement mentioned, people nowadays consider that losing their cell phone (to be connected) is more severe than losing their virginity. They could do whatever to become famous. That explain perfectly why on social media, people keen to share whatever, i mean literally whatever. I am not surprised that these people surely have no idea about "Whenever you leave,trail remains behind." The most stunning things for me is people wou Just like in the book The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement mentioned, people nowadays consider that losing their cell phone (to be connected) is more severe than losing their virginity. They could do whatever to become famous. That explain perfectly why on social media, people keen to share whatever, i mean literally whatever. I am not surprised that these people surely have no idea about "Whenever you leave,trail remains behind." The most stunning things for me is people would actually share their "naked" or sexy photos on social media it's more like showing off in public. This book gave a lot of real examples of modern internet rumor ad gossip actually ruined people's reputations, anonymity is real anonymous ? it could be tracked down actually. Do you need to judge other's privacy on line by pointing our fingers at other's divorce? extramarital love affairs? sexual scandals? In the book, the author brought up "First Amendment to the United States Constitution" but for foreign countries, these won't be applied. Thought: What amazes me is how people are to drawn by gossips, rumors and others' privacy, they are even glad to spread them without confirming if true or not. I personally consider gossip is a waste of my own time, spreading is a crime. I don't have time to create small circle and gossip other's stuff. Life is too precious to focus on these meaningless privacy. Like in Taiwan, many people like to morally judge the celebrities on the personally fan pages on FB if these people got some negative news such as "cheating on spouse", "divorce", "dispute with drunkenness"....etc. I find it funny because that's their business, and mostly privacy, why people as outsiders have the right to use harsh words to insult others on line while they actually don't know the whole picture of certain incidents. ............................................................below to save.. “网络把傻瓜造就成明 星,把明星弄成傻瓜。” ,通过互联网羞辱人的现象也在增长。羞辱不是什么 新鲜事——我们已经做过好几世纪了。但是,互联网式羞辱,却对人们的违法 行为,创造出一个永远的记录。它出自业余的、自封的调查记者之手,而且通 常没有给予目标对象一个自我辩驳的机会。接着许多其他的人加入,并协助 一起羞辱受害者,从而把网络变成了暴徒正义的空间。 互联网式羞辱的主要短处之一,是它永久性的影响。互联网式羞辱,在个 人的身份上,创造出一个不可磨灭的污点。在网络空间遭受羞辱,类似于生命 被做上了记号;类似被强制戴上数字式红字、被烙印或被刺青。人们取得永久 的数字式包袱。他们不能逃出他们的过去,它被永远刻入谷歌的记忆里。对哲 学家马莎·纳斯邦而言,羞辱并非单纯只是对某些特殊的行为表示不愉快,而 是对某些少数人在社会地位上的持久减损,她说:“在历史上,羞辱惩罚是一 种给人做记号、降低其身份的方法,而且通常是终身的……内疚式惩罚做这 样的声明:‘你做了一个坏的行为。’而羞辱式惩罚做这样的声明:‘你是个缺陷 型的人。’” ,发生了许多互联网式羞辱,却没有任何正式的程序、调查或直接 的反馈给予遭谴责的犯过者。结果,互联网式羞辱可能会立即失控。因为互联 网很快地让数千人彼此交流,所以更容易把它变成相当于暴民的东西。古斯 塔夫·勒邦在他1896年名著《乌合之众》(The Crowd)里注意到,群众与个人的 心理是不同的:群众成为罪犯或英雄,都一样容易。”群众可以是冲动的和 兴奋的。心理学家描述一个相关的现象被称为“群体极化效应”。当群体聚集 在特定的议题上时,他们倾向于极端化他们的意见,因而引起更极端的观 点. 在互联网上的人往往移动迅速,像杀人蜂一样地蜂拥而至。他们的行动, 往往类似于暴民的作风。例如某甲利用网上的布告栏羞辱一个大学生,因为 他相信该这名大学生与他妻子有染。公布栏的读者立即对学生施予惩罚。一 个读者写道:“让我们利用我们手中的键盘和鼠标当做武器,把这些通奸者的 头砍下来。”紧跟着,数千人加入攻击行动,导致攻击对象不得不离开学校,而 且使得他的家人躲在家里不敢出门。 对于处理网上信息的传播而言,最相关的两项侵权行为是侵占与公开揭 露。侵占,用来保护个人名字或与其类似者的使用,免遭人用来牟利。例如, 当某人的名字或肖像在其不知情下被用在广告上时,侵权(侵权法)准许人们 提出诉讼。当“被告一度把原告的名字或与其类似者的名声、威望、社会或商 业地位、公众兴趣或者其他价值等,挪为己用或利益”,则须承担侵占罪责。另外一个隐私侵权是公开揭露私人事务的侵权。当某人大肆揭露他人的 私人信息时,它提供了一个补救办法。然而这个揭露必须是“对一个理性的人 而言是极为冒犯的”以及“对大众而言并非合理的关心”。这项侵权法有助 于保护我们的私人生活,以免被散布到互联网上的每个地方。相较于诽谤,它 使人们负起传播谬误信息的责任,而公开揭露之侵权法则改正了事实的传 播。 法庭对于隐私侵权感到忧虑,而且以两种基本方式来限制它们。第一,在 言论自由的名义下,隐私法(诽谤法亦同)被严格地限制。第二,对隐私狭隘的 见解,使得隐私法受到限制。许多法庭把诉讼案驳回,因为它们不认为那是隐 私侵犯。结果,以隐私侵权提起诉讼的人屡屡打输官司。美国《宪法第一修正 案》学者罗德尼·史摩拉认为,假使沃伦与布兰戴斯的隐私侵权“只是个声望, 那它们在上个世纪的表现,就不会被认为令人印象深刻”. 有关诉讼的问题之一是滥用。比如说,人们误用诽谤作为攻击批评者的 方法。诽谤法并不保护人们免于成为相反意见、批评、讽刺或辱骂的目标。它 保护人免于让伤害个人名声的谬误继续传播。但是,仅仅受到批评或讽刺侮 辱的人,可能因反应过度而提出一个不适当的诽谤诉讼。同样地,人们或许误 用侵犯隐私的侵权,来攻击说话者,因为他们不喜欢被批评,而不是为了任何 隐私侵犯的行为。官司会冷却言论。如果赢得官司太容易,人们会随随便便提 出诉讼。由于害怕被控告,而导致人们避免发表坦率强劲的言论。太多官司的 影响,看起来类似威权主义方式,对于言论产生了过多的阻碍。但如果没有官 司的威胁,网上的发言者便不会因法律的诱因,而去删除博文或非正式地解 决纠纷。而且就极严重的案件来说,我们还是希望法律介入。 匿名也以另外一种方式连累人们的名声。当人们愈可以散播不实之辞或 侵入隐私而不需负责或不用惧怕反弹之时,他们愈可能做出这些事情。匿名 言论可以对他人的名声引起伤害,而且它可以逐步减少那些受害者寻求赔偿 的能力。匿名妨碍了对侵犯隐私与诽谤的法律补救措施的寻求。那么,我们该 如何折衷匿名与负责任呢? 有个折衷办法是,实施可追踪匿名。换句话说,我们保留人们匿名说话 的权利,但万一某人伤害到他人时,我们则保留追踪肇事者的方法。受害的个 人可以获得法院命令,以便取得匿名说话者的身份,但条件是,唯有在经过证 明它是名符其实的伤害,而且必须知道是谁造成这个伤害之后。 今天,隐私远远超过了某事是否已经暴露给别人的程度了。介于偶然的 观察以及对信息与图像更持久的记录二者之间,是有差异的,因此最重要的 是,暴露的本质,以及用信息做了些什么?如同法学教授安德鲁·麦克勒格所 指出的一样,图像捕捉永恒,这是某个短暂记忆所欠缺的东西。人们可以详细 察看一张照片,而且当所观察的现场的情况发展时,可以注意到一些如果不 看照片可能无法看到的细节。 “脸谱网”的隐私灾害特别有趣,因为它与新信息的曝光扯不上关系。换 言之,无关乎“脸谱网”使用者的新秘密是否遭到泄露。用户所抱怨的信息,老 早就在他们的档案上——他们本身自愿张贴的。反而,所有新系统做的,不过 是提醒用户有关那些新信息的出现而已。换句话说,“脸谱网”系统只是让现 存的信息变得使用起来更便利罢了。或许这解释了为什么“脸谱网”的干部们 对于这个强烈反应,会感到如此惊讶的原因。总之,“脸谱网”使用者似乎并非 一群对他们的隐私很关心的人。那么,为什么还会有这样强烈的反应呢? “脸谱网”的改变让使用者对互联网的隐私危险有更进一步的认识。虽 然“脸谱网”使用者可能认为,要把他们的秘密保留得密不透风是件奇怪的 事,但这并不意味他们不在乎隐私。他们只是以不同的方式看待隐私而已。许 多“脸谱网”使用者抗议的是,使用个人资料的便利程度增加了——对他们档 案的每一则更新,都立即提醒其他人此一事实。隐私遭受侵害,不但经由泄露 先前隐藏的秘密,也经由增加对已经可用的信息的使用便利性。因此,对隐私 的渴望是更为松散的,而不是目前典型的二元观点所承认的。隐私所牵涉到 的是程度,而不是绝对。它涉及建立对个人信息的控制,而不仅仅是完全的保 密。如同计算机安全专家布鲁斯·施奈尔所说:“人们愿意分享各种各样的信 息,只要它们在控制之下。当‘脸谱网’片面改变有关个人信息如何被透露的 规则时,他提醒了人们,它们已不在控制之中。” 我们应该扩展法律对隐私的认知,这样它可以涵盖更多的情况。我们必 须放弃二元的隐私观点,那是个基于“如果你在公开场合,就不能要求隐 私”的古老观点。相反地,我们必须承认隐私包含使用便利性、保密性、控制。 我们通常透露信息给许多其他的人,但尽管如此,我们仍希望它只有某个程 度的使用便利性。法律也应该增加它对保密责任的承认。当我们和朋友、家 族,甚至是陌生人分享信息的时候,经常存在一个不言自明的期待,亦即他们 不会外泄这个信息。法律应该保护并再加强这些期待。法律应该更广泛地给 予人对他们的个人信息一个更大的控制权。法律太过于经常紧抓限制隐私的 观念不放,而使得它无法处理现代的问题。譬如,隐私侵犯的受害者,当致力 于法律补救时,在他们的名字进入公开的记录中的时候,还必须受到进一步 的伤害;这妨碍了他们寻求补救的权利。在隐私案件中,应该准许人们将名字 保密。更新与扩展法律对隐私的了解,将会缓和目前法律在设法解决隐私问 题方面的阻碍。 另一部分的折衷是,调解言论自由与隐私的权利。言论自由不是绝对的, 而隐私可以促成与言论自由相同的目标。在许多例子中,借着准许人们匿名 地述说他们的故事,我们可以同时保护隐私和言论自由。当一个博客作者知 道在他网站上的言论是诽谤或侵犯隐私的时候,应该有义务将它删除。不幸 的是,法律目前对人们发表在他们博客上的意见评论予以豁免,甚至当他们 知道有关这个信息的伤害性时,却忽视他人的恳求而什么也不做。 因此,法律必须扩大它对隐私的利弊的认知,以便达到一个介于隐私与 言论自由之间更为周到的折衷,而且不会给予言论自由不应有的好处。随着 这些改变,法律可以用来鼓励人们更加了解他们的言论的后果,而且它可以 迫使人们非正式地解决诽谤与隐私侵犯的争执。重新定义有关法律影响范围 的限制——例如,扩展对隐私的了解以及削减以言论自由为名的过度宽松的 豁免权——这对于法律达成这个目标是有必要的。 然而采取这些步骤,必须伴随着限制某些法律所产生的、令人不安的代 价。法律包含许多连结的部分,而且修补这一部分可能会把另外一部分抛出 行列之外。既然诉讼可能所费不赀,同时又压抑言论,在法律的影响范围内, 我们必须抗衡任何的扩张。原告应首先被要求与信息的散播者一起找寻非正 式的解决之道。仅当发话者不愿采取合理的步骤,以处理这个伤害,或者如果 伤害是无法修复之时,这个案子才应该进入诉讼程序。甚至在上法庭之前,双 方应该被要求寻找替代性的解决争执之道。调解与仲裁可能是较为便宜的方 式,以确定一个人申诉的优点与发话者应该采取什么样的措施,如果有的话, 便可用来矫正这个状况。 为了处理这个问题,我的提议主要是通过非正式、非货币的方法来修正 它。在许多事例中,人们打官司主要是为了辩护,并阻止有害信息的流传。金 钱的伤害倒不是主要的目标。互联网的性质,不像印刷媒体,在线文章内容可 以立即重新编辑,而且名字可以删除。如同前面讨论的一般,在某些状况下, 所该做的一切就是重新编辑故事里某个人的名字.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Christa

    5 stars because he is my professor and idk if he can see this.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Erika RS

    This book was surprisingly relevant for a book published in 2007 -- perhaps more fresh now than it would have seemed a couple years ago, given the conversations that are being had around harassment and bullying. That said, I would have given it another star if it weren't for the fact that all of the examples are quite dated (note that the author does have newer books). That said, many of the concerns read as fresh. The lasting nature of information on the internet and the way that it can spread This book was surprisingly relevant for a book published in 2007 -- perhaps more fresh now than it would have seemed a couple years ago, given the conversations that are being had around harassment and bullying. That said, I would have given it another star if it weren't for the fact that all of the examples are quite dated (note that the author does have newer books). That said, many of the concerns read as fresh. The lasting nature of information on the internet and the way that it can spread so quickly can wreak havoc on the reputation and well being of individuals. But the internet has at its core principles of free speech. Solove argues that while free speech is absolutely fundamental to individual liberty and autonomy and to a well functioning society, we have to balance that freedom against protections of privacy, confidentiality, and reputation. Those values protect much of the same liberty and autonomy that freedom of speech serves to protect. The key question is how. How do we balance these two values that often serve the same end but can also conflict? Solove has some ideas, but for the most part what this book does is explore the questions rather than prescribe the answers. One thing that Solove does make clear, however, is that he believes that privacy and reputation can be protected. At first blush, it may seem impossible to keep secrets in a digitally connected world, but that can change as norms change and as laws support those norms. At the very least, we should change from an "anything goes" attitude to at least acknowledging that doing something online doesn't give someone a free pass. Below I've included altogether too many quotes that I found interesting. Emphasis mine. pg 31,: Our reputation can be a key dimension of our self, something that affects the very core of our identity. Beyond its internal influence on our self-conception, our reputation affects our ability to engage in basic activities in society. We depend upon others to engage in transactions with us, to employ us, to befriend us, and to listen to us. Without the cooperation of others in society, we are often unable to do what we want to do. Without the respect of others, our actions and accomplishments can lose their purpose and meaning. Without the appropriate reputation, our speech, though free, may fall on deaf ears. Our freedom, in short, depends in part upon how others in society judge us. pg 33: There's a paradox at the heart of reputation -- despite the fact we talk about reputation as earned and the product of our behavior and character, it is something given to us by others in the community. Reputation is a core component of our identity -- it reflects who we are and shapes how we interact with others -- yet it is not solely our own creation. As one person in the nineteenth century put it: "A man's character is what is is; a man's reputation is what other people may imagine him to be." pg 35: They key question is how much control we ought to have over the spread of information about us. We don't want to provide too much control, as this will allow people to trick us into trusting them when they don't deserve it. Too much control will also stifle free speech, as it will prevent others from speaking about us. Hence the conflict: we want information to flow openly, for this is essential to a free society, yet we also want to have some control over the information that circulates about us, for this is essential to our freedom as well. pg 37: In the past, rumors and falsehoods would readily spread around the small village, but the Internet lacks the village's corrective of familiarity. In the small village, people had a long history together and knew the whole story about an individual. But now someone reading an online report about some faraway stranger rarely knows the whole story -- the reader has only fragments of information, and when little is invested in a personal relationship, even information that is incomplete and of dubious veracity might be enough to precipitate ridicule, shunning, and reproach. pg 67-68: The law professor Jeffrey Rosen astutely points out that people have short attention spans and will probably not judge other people fairly: "When intimate personal information circulates among a small group of people who know us well, its significance can be weighed against other aspects of our personality and character. By contrast, when intimate information is removed from its original context and revealed to strangers, we are vulnerable to being misjudged on the basis of our most embarrassing, and therefore most memorable, tastes and preferences." pg 69: Neither the public nor private self represents the "true" self. We're too complex for that. Our public and private sides are just dimensions in a complex, multifaceted personality, one that is shaped by the roles we play. We express different aspects of our personalities in different relationships and contexts. The psychiatry professor Arnold Ludwig debunks the myth that the self displayed in private is more genuine than the self exhibited in public: "Each self is as real to the person experiencing it and as much the product of natural forces as the other. All that the distinction between a true and false self signifies is a value judgment." As a result, uncovering secrets will not necessarily reveal who people "truly" are or enable more accurate assessments of their character. Instead, these disclosures can often be jarring, for they display people out of the context in which others may know them. Revealing private facts when first getting to know a person can be even more distorting. According to Goffman, people need time to establish relationships before revealing secrets. Immediate honesty can be costly. When we first meet somebody, we have little invested in that person. We haven't built any bonds of friendship or developed any feelings for that person. So if we learn about a piece of that person's private life that seems bizarre or unpleasant, it's easy to just walk away. But we don't just walk away from people we know well. With time to gain familiarity with a person, we're better able to process information, see the whole person, and weigh secrets in context. pg 69-70: Nagel's observation suggests a key point -- society recognizes and accepts the fact that the public self is a partly fictional concept. The public self is constructed according to social norms about what is appropriate to expose in public. People may even feel uncomfortable when other people reveal "too much information" about themselves. In short, society expects the public self to be more buttoned-up than the private self. pg 71: Privacy gives people space to be free from the scrutiny of society. The sociologist Alan Westin observes that privacy protects "minor non-compliance with social norms." Many norms are routinely broken, and privacy often means that we allow people to violate social norms without getting caught or punished for it, without having their peccadillos ascribed to their reputations. The sociologist Amitai Etzioni views privacy as a "realm" where people "can legitimately act without disclosure and accountability to others." pg 73: Protection against disclosure permits room to change, to define oneself and one's future without becoming a "prisoner of [one's] recorded past." Society has a tendency to tie people too tightly to the past and to typecast people in particular roles. The human personality is dynamic, yet accepting the complete implications of this fact can be difficult. pg 74: The Internet is transforming the nature and effects of gossip. It is making gossip more permanent and widespread, but less discriminating in the appropriateness of audience. ... Audience matters. .... Another consideration is the purpose of the disclosure. Disclosures made for spite, or to shame others, or simply to entertain, should not be treated the same as disclosures made to educate or inform. When we determine whether gossip is good or not, we must look at the who, what, and why of it. We should ask: Who is making the disclosure? Is the disclosure made to the appropriate audience? Is the purpose behind the disclosure one we should encourage or discourage? The problem with Internet gossip is that it can so readily be untethered from its context. pg 84: To understand shaming, it is essential to understand norms. Every society has an elaborate lattice of norms. A norm is a rule of conduct, one less official than a law, but sometimes as improper to transgress If you break a law, you can be punished by the government or be sued by another person. Norms generally are not enforced in this manner. Nor are they written down in a book of legal code. Nonetheless, norms are widely known and widely observed rules of social conduct. pg 94: One of the chief drawbacks of Internet shaming is the permanence of its effects. Internet shaming creates an indelible blemish on a person's identity. Being shamed in cyberspace is akin to being marked for life. pg 94-95: For the philosopher Martha Nussbaum, shame is more than simply an expression of displeasure at particular acts; rather, it is an enduring reduction in social status to a lesser kind of person: "Shame punishments, historically, are ways of marking a person, often for life, with a degraded identity.... Guilt punishments make the statement, 'You committed a bad act.' Shame punishments make the statement, 'You are a defective type of person.'" pg 98-99: Although Internet shaming can help enforce norms, norms can often take care of themselves without the help of external enforcement. The law professor Robert Cooter observes that norms often work through a process called "internalization" -- people follow norms not because they fear external shaming by others but because they would feel ashamed of themselves if they violated a norm. ... Of course, for some norms, we may desire the added benefit of external norm enforcement, but for many norms internal self-enforcement works quite nicely on its own. As the law professor Lawrence Mitchell puts it, people "not only want to avoid blame, but blameworthiness." Even if we're never caught, we can never escape from ourselves, and our internal judges are often our most stringent. pg 102: The shamer's explanation for attacking another person, somebody he probably didn't even know, stems from a belief that shame is necessary to ensure social order. Without the threat of shame, people would transgress norms, making society less orderly and civil. But as some of these incidents demonstrate, although shaming is done to further social order, it paradoxically can have the opposite result. Instead of enhancing social control and order, Internet shaming often careens out of control. It targets people without careful consideration of all the facts and punishes them for their supposed infractions without proportionality. Shaming becomes uncivil, moblike, and potentially subversive of the very social order that it tries to protect. pg 105: New technologies rarely give rise to questions we have never addressed before. More often they make the old questions more complex. pg 123: At its best, the law can achieve control without having to be invoked. This might sound paradoxical, but it is a rather obvious point. The best laws for addressing harms are ones that not only help fix the damage but also keep the harms from occurring in the first place. The most effective law rarely needs to be used, as the legal process is expensive and time-consuming. The law works best when it helps people resolve disputes outside the courtroom. pg 126: In other words, the First Amendment protects false speech not for its own sake but as a means of protecting true speech. pg 130: One of the most frequently articulated rationales for why we protect free speech is that it promotes individual autonomy. We want people to have the freedom to express themselves in all their uniqueness, eccentricity, and candor. ... But the autonomy justification cuts both ways. As the law professor Sean Scott observes, "The right to privacy and the First Amendment both serve the same interest in individual autonomy." The disclosure of personal information can severely inhibit a person's autonomy and self-development. ... Privacy allows people to be free from worrying about what everybody else will think, and this is liberating and important for free choice. ... Protecting privacy can promote people's autonomy as much as free speech can. pg 140: Anonymity allows people to be more experimental and eccentric without risking damage to their reputations. Anonymity can be essential to the presentation of ideas, for it can strip away reader biases and prejudices and add mystique to a text. People might desire to be anonymous because they fear social ostracism or being fire from their jobs. Without anonymity, some people might not be willing to express controversial ideas. Anonymity thus can be critical to preserving people's right to speak freely. pg 140: When anonymous, people are often much nastier and more uncivil in their speech. It is easier to say harmful things about others when we don't have to take responsibility. When we talk about others, we affect non only their reputation but ours as well. If a person gossips about inappropriate things, betrays confidences, spreads false rumors and lies, then her own reputation is likely to suffer. pg 141: When people can avoid being identified, they can slip away from their bad reputations. ... If entry and exit are too easy, commitment, trustworthiness, and reciprocity will not develop. In other words, anonymity inhibits the process by which reputations are formed, which can have both good and bad consequences. Not having accountability for our speech can be liberating and allow us to speak more candidly; but it can also allow us to harm other people without being accountable for it. pg 159-160: Words can wound. They can destroy a person's reputation, and in the process distort that person's very identity. Nevertheless, we staunchly protect expression even when it can cause great damage because free speech is essential to our autonomy and to a democratic society. But protecting privacy and reputation is also necessary for autonomy and democracy. There is no easy solution to how to balance free speech with privacy and reputation. This balance isn't like the typical balance of civil liberties against the need for order and social control. Instead, it is a balance with liberty on both sides of the scale -- freedom to speak and express oneself pitted against freedom to ensure that our reputations aren't destroyed and our privacy isn't invaded. pg 163: There is a difference between what is captured in the fading memories of only a few people and what is broadcast to a worldwide audience. The law, however, generally holds that once something is exposed to the public, it can no longer be private. Traditionally privacy is viewed in a binary way, dividing the world into two distinct realms, the public and the private. If a person is in a public place, she cannot expect privacy. If information is exposed to the public in any way, it isn't private. pg 164-165: Today, privacy goes far beyond whether something is exposed to others. What matters most is the nature of the exposure and what is done with the information. There is a difference between casual observation and the more indelible recording of information and images. pg 165: We often engage in our daily activities in public expecting to be just a face in the crowd, another ant in the colony. We run into hundreds of strangers every day and don't expect them to know who we are or to care about what we do. We don't expect the clerk at the store to take an interest in what we buy. In other words, we're relatively anonymous in a large part of our lives in public. Identification dramatically alters the equation. pg 165: We realize that there are different social norms for different situations, and broadcasting matters beyond their original context takes away our ability to judge the situation appropriately pg 166: Thus merely assessing whether information is exposed in public or to others can no longer be adequate to determining whether we should protect it as private. Unless we rethink the binary notion of privacy, new technologies will increasingly invade the enclaves of privacy we enjoy in public. Privacy is a complicated set of norms, expectations, and desires that goes far beyond the simplistic notion that if you're in public, you have no privacy. pg 170: Privacy can be violated not just by revealing previously concealed secrets, but by increasing the accessibility to information already available. The desire for privacy is thus much more granular than the current binary model recognizes. Privacy involves degrees, not absolutes. It involves establishing control over personal information, not merely keeping it completely secret. As the computer security expert Bruce Scheier argues: "People are willing to share all sorts of information as long as they are in control. ..." pg 173: Confidentiality differs substantially from secrecy. Secrecy involves hiding information, concealing it from others. Secrecy entails expectations that the skeletons in one's closet will remain shut away in darkness. In contrast, confidentiality involves sharing one's secrets with select others. Confidentiality is an expectation within a relationship. When we tell others intimate information, we expect them to keep it confidential. Sharing personal data with others makes us vulnerable. We must trust others not to betray us by leaking our information. pg 179: Social network theory often focuses primarily on connections, but networks involve more than nodes and links. There are norms about information sharing that are held within certain groups, such as norms of confidentiality. pg 184-185: A problem with the binary view of privacy is that it is an all-or-nothing proposition. We often don't want absolute secrecy. Instead, we want to control how our information is used, to whom it is revealed, and how it is spread. We want to limit the flow of information, not stop it completely. Moreover, different people have different entitlements to know information about others. ... But is control over information really feasible? If we expose information to others, isn't it too difficult for the law to allow us still to control it? Perhaps the law is reticent in granting control because of the practical difficulties. Information spreads rapidly, sometimes like a virus, and it is not easily contained. But in other contexts, the law has developed a robust system of controlling information. For example, copyright law recognizes strong rights of control even though information is public. pg 193: There is, of course, a limit to how much the law can do. The law is an instrument capable of subtle notes, but it is not quite a violin. Part of the solution depends upon how social norms develop with regard to privacy. The law's function is to lurk in the background, to ensure that people know that they must respect confidentiality or the privacy even of people in public. In the foreground, however, norms will largely determine how privacy shall be protected in the brave new online world. pg 194: The law is a puny instrument compared to norms. As the law professor Tracey Meares observes, "Social norms are better and more effective constraints on behavior than law could ever be." Although the law can't supplant norms, it can sometimes help to shape them.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Camila Salazar

    The Future of Repuptation: gossip, rumor, and privacy on the internet, written by Daniel J. Solove, talks about internet vigilantism and gossip, aims to dissect exactly why we shame people on the internet, and how it’s so easy to do with the antiquated views of privacy with which the law operates. When you do something in public, it is considered in the public sphere. However, you might be inclined to do something that breaks social norms in public—for example, speak loudly on your cell phone in The Future of Repuptation: gossip, rumor, and privacy on the internet, written by Daniel J. Solove, talks about internet vigilantism and gossip, aims to dissect exactly why we shame people on the internet, and how it’s so easy to do with the antiquated views of privacy with which the law operates. When you do something in public, it is considered in the public sphere. However, you might be inclined to do something that breaks social norms in public—for example, speak loudly on your cell phone in public—because you believe only the people around you will get slightly annoyed, and you will never see them again, so why not. But then what if one day you are speaking too loudly near someone who has had it with loud cell phone users, and uses his or her own phone to record your conversation? And then the next thing you know, there’s a viral video of you on the subway, yapping into your phone about how your evil mother-in-law has been driving you absolutely insane—and it has millions of views. You did it in public, but it’s a private conversation, and you didn’t consent to being filmed… is your privacy being violated? According to the law, it’s not. In his first chapter, Solove introduces the concept by telling the story of a young woman whose dog pooped on a subway in South Korea. When other train riders asked her to clean up after her dog, she told them to mind their own business, and then didn’t clean it up. People then took a couple of pictures and started to complain about her, dog poop girl, and the story quickly went viral. People were outraged; identifying the girl became a top priority, and when she finally was recognized, the public shaming and embarrassment she felt resulted in her dropping out of her university. Dropping out! As Solove points out, “not picking up your dog’s poop is bad behavior in most people’s books, but was the reaction to her transgression appropriate?” And he raises a really good point; we have all committed some minor indiscretion at some point in our lives. Maybe coughed on a crowded subway and didn’t cover your mouth, or maybe you aren’t the best driver and cut some poor soul off in your hurry to work. Maybe you were feeling a bit of financial stress one day, and tipped less than 15% at a restaurant. We’ve all done something that we shouldn’t have done, but decided to do it anyway because it was so minor and because we were sure that in that instance, we would never be caught. So yes, it is annoying and distasteful for an individual to bring their dog on the subway, and then fail to pick up after them when they poop in this public space, but is it going too far to transform this girl into the notorious, evil, dog poop girl in international limelight? After beginning the book with the story of dog poop girl, Solove goes on to discuss how the blogosphere both liberates and constrains us, how gossiping has been transformed by the internet, and how it’s all lead to wide-scale public shaming. He begins by explaining that a huge part of the problem with controlling privacy and the internet is the antiquated way in which the law views privacy: and that is private vs. public space; once something is in public domain, it can no longer be considered private. Basically, if you want absolute privacy, you can never leave your house for anything. If you want to buy a box of tampons, but want no one to know, well I guess you can never buy tampons ever again. The way the law deals with confidentiality in the United States is that liability is limited: doctors and lawyers cannot breach confidentiality, but anything you tell anyone else is fair game. Essentially, you are assuming the “risk that people will betray you” (Solove), and that if you are in a public place, you cannot expect nor assume privacy. If you disclose information to someone else, you cannot assume confidentiality. Solove mentioned several cases of people photographed and video taped without their permission, and suing, only to lose the case because they were filmed in public, and therefore their actions were “left open to the public eye”. Essentially, if you’re in public, and exposing what you’re doing to others, than you have no right to claim privacy. Solove continues on to call us Generation Google, a generation that has search engines at our finger tips at all hours. Information is limitless, and it’s possible to find everything about anything with a few choice search terms. While can seem unbelievably freeing, it can also become incredibly daunting when you’re the subject that’s being searched. What’s worse is that oftentimes context isn’t included in the information you find online. For example, Solove mentions a website that posts license plates and vehicle descriptions of people who use the carpool lane in primetime traffic. It publicly shames them and exposes private, identifying information—but what if there’s a child in the car that the accuser can’t see? What if they just found out their mother was in the hospital, and decided just this once to skip normal traffic to quickly be with her? This is a good segue way to the very thoroughly discussed topic of public shaming: why is it present in society, and does it have a rightful place? Solove explains how social norms, while not enforceable via the law, are still important for society to function. To revisit my earlier example, it is rude to speak loudly on your cell phone in public. Publicly shaming someone by calling them out for their rude behavior can remind individuals that they are breaking social norms, and can embarrass them just enough to learn to abide by and respect social norms. Most public shaming is fleeting; just like you might think it’s okay to use your phone because you will never see the people you annoy ever again, public shaming is seen as acceptable because after the embarrassing moment passes, no one will remember it: there is no permanent record, other than the one in your memory. But when a video is placed on the internet and it goes viral, much of that goes out the window. The anonymity of the internet causes its users to react in exaggerated ways. Users claiming the people they see breaking norms over the web deserve punishment, and they go out of their way to identify them and harass them. Like in the story of the dog poop girl, the online vigilantes identified her, and the worldwide shaming and harassment she received caused her to drop out of school. Maybe she was about to be late for an exam, and didn’t have time to pick up after her dog. We don’t know, because internet vigilantism consistently fails to report the other side of the story. Maybe there is no other side of the story, and she is just rude. Does she deserve to have her life ruined over a little dog feces? And what if there really was a quantifiable reason why she couldn’t pick up after her dog, does she deserve such extreme shaming? And what if it’s just a case of mistaken identity, as I mentioned before in the example of a driver with a small child in the carpool lane. How can you justify ruining someone’s reputation when you’re not even sure if they are actually culpable of what you’re accusing them of doing? Solove also discusses the nature of gossip, and its undeniable presence in the blogosphere. He recounts multiple stories of people blogging about their everyday lives—like a professor who gossiped about her opinions of her students—that ended in jobs being lost, which led to discussions being sparked about what is taboo to be blogged about, and what is fair game. One specific case involved a blogger who went by the name the Washingtonienne. She was a young, attractive lady who lived in Washington D.C. and worked as an aid for a senator’s office. She was sexually free and expressive, and set up a blog that chronicled her daily life and sexual escapades for all her friends to read. The blog was purely meant to be seen by her friends only, but a website found it, reported and linked it, and it went viral instantaneously. It was a sex scandal on capital hill, and she lost her job immediately. While she got a lucrative book deal and was happily shot into the spotlight, many of the men she blogged about felt absolutely betrayed and exposed. Did she invade their privacy? The debate continues on. Solove ends the book with a brief comment about how the internet is quickly evolving, so much so that the future of technology is not only being crafted in someone’s basement as we speak, but will completely change and/or complicate the norms of the web we’ve only just started to establish and accept. No matter how quickly our norms adapt to the technology around us, there’s already new technology in the works waiting to knock those out of the park as well. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and thought it made some very interesting and thought-provoking points. I never before considered the implications of physically being in public spaces on one’s personal privacy, and how the web is causing that boundary to privacy to get thinner by the day. And now, with the presence of so much instantaneous media: like facebook, snapchat, twitter, and instagram, how are we supposed to think about privacy and protection of reputation when we want to instinctively tweet about something hilarious our friend just said? Or what about when we take a snapstory of a very unattractive face our professor just made? Are norms going to change, relax, and loosen in reaction to the harshful shaming of the internet, or are things just going to get worse for each new generation: like higher risks of losing future jobs, all because something stupid we did once was captured forever and posted online, ruining our digital reputation forever?

  6. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    Long Story Short: This book discusses the boundaries–-social and legal-–between privacy and publicity, particularly at the point where the Internet has the potential to expose details to millions of people. Why I Chose This Book: I’d heard somewhere about the book The Offensive Internet but decided–-based solely on the Amazon.com page–-that it would be too scholarly for me to read. The Future of Gossip came up on that page as another suggestion, and it was easy to get at the library, so I went wi Long Story Short: This book discusses the boundaries–-social and legal-–between privacy and publicity, particularly at the point where the Internet has the potential to expose details to millions of people. Why I Chose This Book: I’d heard somewhere about the book The Offensive Internet but decided–-based solely on the Amazon.com page–-that it would be too scholarly for me to read. The Future of Gossip came up on that page as another suggestion, and it was easy to get at the library, so I went with that. The Book’s Strengths: The book is pretty short (I’m not considering that a strength or weakness) mostly because it is so straightforward. The author identifies and explains many of the legal codes and mainstream media practices that cover the conflicts that arise between the individual and public reputation, and makes it easy to understand the perspectives behind why certain laws were established and why courts have made the decisions they did. It’s also peppered with anecdotes from the current Internet age as well as examples of defamation/privacy violation complaints/accusations that have occurred in previous decades. The writing style is very accessible, too, and it doesn’t overwhelm you with information or dense passages of texts. The Book’s Weaknesses: It’s a bland book, with too many anecdotes and explanations and no real insight about the coming conflicts between our personal and public selves. It read like a report on what is happening now, except that “now” has a 2007 publication date and Facebook makes the book’s pages as just having introduced the News Feed. An interesting report, I guess, but with the exception of listing the various statutes and legal codes by name for the reader, I could have found as many anecdotes online to share, too, and the anecdotes weren’t that shocking or exciting or revelatory. It’s not that it’s a dated book–-that is, it is a dated book but only in a trivial way, because the anecdotes and Exciting Internet Events that Solove includes are pretty universal examples of what can go wrong, even if nobody uses Friendster anymore. It’s that it doesn’t really make you think very hard about the implications of oversharing online. And it’s not like these past four years have made us so much more knowledgeable/cynical/crafty about the construction of our online personas; more people probably have given more thought to how the information they post online can haunt us, but the book leaves me with a sense of so now what? The recommendations he makes for how to alter specific laws and/or application of current laws to accommodate privacy without stifling free speech are tossed in at the end with no philosophical expounding upon, and the social recommendations that he makes–-we’ll all just have to be more respectful but that’s going to be hard-–I could have made, and I have no philosophy or law experience at all. Perhaps I am the wrong audience for the book, and people versed in privacy law and Internet topics would take away from it a much richer experience, but–-and I am going to risk making myself look foolish here–-I don’t see how. If it’s just a quick reference for people to turn to when they are tackling bigger issues, that’s one thing, but in the Preface of the hardcover copy, he writes that “The purpose of the book is to explore in depth a set of fascinating yet very difficult questions and to propose some moderate compromises in the clash between privacy and free speech.” I found no in-depth discussion of anything. In the Conclusion he writes, “The questions are immensely complex, and there are no easy answers.” I agree with him; privacy versus freedom is complex, but I didn’t see any of this complexity or nuance in the book itself. It’s just an overview. It identifies conflicts without really fully exploring them. What Should Have Happened: I think the book should have ditched most of the anecdotes in favor of wanton pontificating and assertion-making. I’d much rather have heard more of his opinions than facts, although I understand that the author’s goal may have been to keep it basic and not go off on tangents. I also think that there should have been conversation about global attitudes and foreign laws about free speech, copyright, and privacy, instead of sticking with the U.S. court history, especially because one of the Big Dangers Solove kept warning the audience of was that what unsavory details once stayed within a small group of people can be broadcast worldwide and recorded permanently. If the Internet is making all of us interconnected, then we need to think about what happens when conflicting laws and customs about privacy and freedom get into the mix. Short Story Shorter: I wish I’d read the other book. I might still. I’ll keep you posted.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jean Tessier

    A very interesting look at how the Internet is changing the way we communicate, even the less positive aspects of communication, such as gossip and shaming. The book is full of real-life examples taken from recent Internet events, such as the Star Wars Kid. In many of these cases, the person who first posted a piece of data did not intend for it to travel so far. What could start aimed at a small group of friends would quickly get out of hand and be broadcast to the entire world. Or someone trying to s A very interesting look at how the Internet is changing the way we communicate, even the less positive aspects of communication, such as gossip and shaming. The book is full of real-life examples taken from recent Internet events, such as the Star Wars Kid. In many of these cases, the person who first posted a piece of data did not intend for it to travel so far. What could start aimed at a small group of friends would quickly get out of hand and be broadcast to the entire world. Or someone trying to shame someone else for a minor infraction could lead to virtual lynch mobs. You can think of it as information traveling away its source and being slowed by the friction of the medium. Most people cannot afford very wide distribution using traditional media, so information does not travel very far from them. Even with large distribution media such as newspapers and television, editors can decide what is worth publishing or not and can therefore influence the spread of information. People can feel in control of the information they spread around. But the Internet has a very low bar to entry and virtually no controls. In essence, it is a frictionless environment for the spread of information. Once you release something, it immediately escapes your control. You are guaranteed that it will be taken as far as the most radical point-of-view within the audience, whether you like it or not. One nice part of the book deals with social networking sites. In the real world, we have many overlapping circles of relationships: family, friends, coworkers, etc. We usually share information within one circle but rarely between circles. Something that is of interest to my family may not interest my coworkers, or the members in my kendo club. Pretty much all the social networking sites today have a flat view of my "friends" and lumps all relationships together. On Facebook, there is no distinction between family and friends and coworkers and fellow kendo enthusiasts. They all see the same profile, they all see what is happening in my other circles of relationships. I cannot expose some fact through my profile to one group but not to the others. There is a place in the market for a social networking solution that would let me manage groups of relationships and better mirror real-world behaviors. There are two things that bug me about this book. First, Solove wants to use the law to keep people from taking things too far. It works for copyright law. But the law operate within national boundaries. There are no national boundaries on the Internet. There is no body of law that can govern international events. And why should American norms govern an incident between, say, someone in China and someone in Ghana. Which brings me to the second thing that bugs me. Solove decidedly takes an American-centric take on norms of behavior. Not only that, but he seems to assume that a single set of norms can cover everybody. There is a wide array of cultures out there and half the things that one cares about is annoying to most of the others. There are countless things that are inconsequential to one culture and severe transgressions to another. There cannot be a single set of norms that applies across the whole Internet. It was still a good, quick read, nonetheless.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ryan Holiday

    The Future of Reputation is thoughtful and thankfully devoid of the "get off my yard" ranting that many books on the "future" of the internet fall into. For anyone that has read (and hated) The Culture of the Amateur, you're safe. Solove discusses privacy and rumor from a legal standpoint rather than as a culture critic. It gives the reader a rational, objective discussion of the consequences of a fast paced, post first, edit later media landscape when sources are considered bonuses rather than r The Future of Reputation is thoughtful and thankfully devoid of the "get off my yard" ranting that many books on the "future" of the internet fall into. For anyone that has read (and hated) The Culture of the Amateur, you're safe. Solove discusses privacy and rumor from a legal standpoint rather than as a culture critic. It gives the reader a rational, objective discussion of the consequences of a fast paced, post first, edit later media landscape when sources are considered bonuses rather than requirements. All of which Solve analyzes with plenty of evidence, caselaw and anecdotes. Perhaps that's why its so surprising that this book misses both the landmark internet lawsuits involving Tucker Max, who was sued for writing graphically online about a sexual encounter with Miss Vermont and for harassing a rich heir to a farming fortune through an internet messageboard. Both cases fall right into the wheelhouse of the book but are not mentioned even though their precedence was critical. (The ACLU filed an amicus brief in one. In 2009, this book is two years old, a bit dated and missing some crucial material but is otherwise an interesting read.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lawrence

    Interesting ideas . . . too bad the execution was so absymal. The organization of the book forced endless repetition of the simple ideas discussed. And it didn't help to begin the book with (and make constant reference to) the case of "dog poop girl" who earned her Internet notoreity because she refused to clean up after her dog on a subway train in Korea. She just doesn't make a very sympathetic example of the unnecessary damage the Internet as a shaming tool can create. And if we really examin Interesting ideas . . . too bad the execution was so absymal. The organization of the book forced endless repetition of the simple ideas discussed. And it didn't help to begin the book with (and make constant reference to) the case of "dog poop girl" who earned her Internet notoreity because she refused to clean up after her dog on a subway train in Korea. She just doesn't make a very sympathetic example of the unnecessary damage the Internet as a shaming tool can create. And if we really examined this case in a true cultural context we might think she got off easy here. There are cases included in the book that would make the arguments for "control" of gossip, rumor, etc. on the Internet a lot more palatable than the "dog poop girl" case. Frankly, this "book" should have been an article (I understand it was based on one.). Why don't academics ever learn! Publication mania drives the preference for book length when article length is sufficient - in fact, more appropriate - for the argument made.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Shana Yates

    Very approachable overview of the intersection of the internet (especially blogs and social media) with the law, and of privacy law and free speech law with each other. Written by an eminent law professor, the book is concise and clear, and reads like an extended lecture and/or a straightforward law review article. It is easy to digest but is not really a pop read. I am stunned by how timely this book feels despite having been written about 8 years ago, even more surprising considering it was di Very approachable overview of the intersection of the internet (especially blogs and social media) with the law, and of privacy law and free speech law with each other. Written by an eminent law professor, the book is concise and clear, and reads like an extended lecture and/or a straightforward law review article. It is easy to digest but is not really a pop read. I am stunned by how timely this book feels despite having been written about 8 years ago, even more surprising considering it was discussing the landscape of a fast evolving subject area (namely, internet and its intermeshing with social life). Excellent exploration of ways in which we might balance the needs of free speech against the needs of privacy and would love to see Professor Solove update the book with more recent developments, his thoughts on the current landscape, and an evaluation of how courts have treated people's rights vis a vis the internet.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lina

    A very interesting discussion about the flux state of our social norms regarding the concept of privacy. Although he talks a lot about gossip, shaming and notions of privacy on the internet and offers some ideas on how to better protect people's privacy as well as free speech, a topic he does not go into is the data mining by large corporations using people's profiles from social networking sites such as Facebook. I feel this would have been an interesting extension to the discussion of privacy A very interesting discussion about the flux state of our social norms regarding the concept of privacy. Although he talks a lot about gossip, shaming and notions of privacy on the internet and offers some ideas on how to better protect people's privacy as well as free speech, a topic he does not go into is the data mining by large corporations using people's profiles from social networking sites such as Facebook. I feel this would have been an interesting extension to the discussion of privacy and would have liked to have heard some solutions or ideas on how to regulate this. But maybe I just need to go look at his blog...

  12. 4 out of 5

    Nic Brisbourne

    Very academic - concludes that privacy and confidentiality law need extending a bit - privacy law can no longer be binary as the boundaries between public and private are blurred. Statute needs to recognise this, plus increase the duty of confidentiality. Finally non legal dispute resolution mechanisms need developing - including norms about what should be put online and how to respond to requests to take it down.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lashel

    Good book - very well written and engaging, with lots of interesting examples. I never did quite buy in to the underlying premise (that privacy is of fundamental importance and people have a right to keep details they share about themselves online or in public private), maybe because I'm part of the generation he describes as lacking a privacy meter altogether because of MySpace and Facebook. But it was definitely the most engaging work I've ever read on the subject. Good book - very well written and engaging, with lots of interesting examples. I never did quite buy in to the underlying premise (that privacy is of fundamental importance and people have a right to keep details they share about themselves online or in public private), maybe because I'm part of the generation he describes as lacking a privacy meter altogether because of MySpace and Facebook. But it was definitely the most engaging work I've ever read on the subject.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sshakar

    The book offers an interesting insight of privacy issues of the Internet. Solove utilizes his pen to criticize the situations where privacy was hijacked and analyzes the psychological impact on the victims. However, ironically, Solove immortalized the incidents by including them in his book. A book remains on library shelves forever, which makes me believe that Solove did as much harm to the victims as the true culprit did by revitalizing then immortalizing the incidents.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Nate

    It is a very interesting and mostly well-written book that quite admirably takes a number of tangents to explore the dozens of satellite issues that surround the big one of "Privacy on the Internet." There was a chapter on me in it, which is how I came around to picking it up in the first place, and that chapter may have even been fairer to me than I deserved. Definitely worth my time, since the author sent it to me in the mail for free. It is a very interesting and mostly well-written book that quite admirably takes a number of tangents to explore the dozens of satellite issues that surround the big one of "Privacy on the Internet." There was a chapter on me in it, which is how I came around to picking it up in the first place, and that chapter may have even been fairer to me than I deserved. Definitely worth my time, since the author sent it to me in the mail for free.

  16. 4 out of 5

    mike

    A little dated, in 2011, as I thought it might be; when the book was written, MySpace was king and Facebook was still uni-only. There's a lot in here to consider -- what there isn't, though, is a viable solution. No surprise there, but I had hoped for a bit more food for thought or exploration of things I hadn't already heard or considered myself. A little dated, in 2011, as I thought it might be; when the book was written, MySpace was king and Facebook was still uni-only. There's a lot in here to consider -- what there isn't, though, is a viable solution. No surprise there, but I had hoped for a bit more food for thought or exploration of things I hadn't already heard or considered myself.

  17. 4 out of 5

    C.

    The book is perhaps a bit long and redundant but I found it interesting, and at times entertaining. I didn't always quite agree with the the author's evaluations and proposals for changes in law, but I found myself agreeing more than I had thought I would. Certainly anybody who reads this is likely to reevaluate his habits of online communication and use. The book is perhaps a bit long and redundant but I found it interesting, and at times entertaining. I didn't always quite agree with the the author's evaluations and proposals for changes in law, but I found myself agreeing more than I had thought I would. Certainly anybody who reads this is likely to reevaluate his habits of online communication and use.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Maria

    I wish I could give 1/2 stars - 3.5. If you are intrigued by the internet, and it's impact on our lives w/o a doubt you'll love Solove's little diddy. Unfortunately, it only gets the 3.5 b/c it was likely out-of-date by the time it was printed as the social network sites, and internet move faster than the old school publishing industry. He should do a follow-up live book version. I wish I could give 1/2 stars - 3.5. If you are intrigued by the internet, and it's impact on our lives w/o a doubt you'll love Solove's little diddy. Unfortunately, it only gets the 3.5 b/c it was likely out-of-date by the time it was printed as the social network sites, and internet move faster than the old school publishing industry. He should do a follow-up live book version.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ana

    Interesting read. I learned about privacy law and how it relates to the Internet while I was also entertained with stories of how information and gossip are spread on the Internet.

  20. 4 out of 5

    G

    A sharp introduction to the current state of privacy law and the issues that the Internet presents. Sometimes I wished that it was a little more in-depth, but Solove gets at all the issues.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Karen Jean Martinson

    Interesting to look at the idea of reputation from a legal standpoint.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Vikas Lather

    nice and easy

  23. 5 out of 5

    Mary Louise

    Halfway through this in class right now. Excellent.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    Parts were very interesting but when he got to making his recommendations I lost interest & did not finish.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Angela Randall

    The entire book is available free to read here. The entire book is available free to read here.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kenna

    Must read in today's tech society. Must read in today's tech society.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Morgan

  28. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Feldman

  29. 4 out of 5

    Canadianreader

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jimmy

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