I was listening to Radio 4’s Documentary of the week (last weeks one) titled ‘Do I Have The Right To Be Forgotten?’. It is an interesting exploration of the way that we all put information about ourselves on-line, and we may, in the end, live to regret it.
It got me thinking, and I did something that I haven’t done for a while. I googled myself!
I have a pretty unusual, but not unique name, so I found, as expected, a few hits. Most of them I was already aware of. Some were emails on mailing lists which I sent back in the early days of my Linux usage. They are mildly embarrassing as they show how little I knew back in the day, but they were written a long time ago, and I have learned an awful lot.
There are a few photographs, but not many. They only got indexed if I uploaded them via Ping.fm.
There are some of my namesakes, many of these results are from Facebook. This pleases me because I have deliberately set my Facebook privacy in the past in order to minimise my exposure. This was something I did when I was unemployed and furiously job hunting. Most of the matches that are there are people I am already aware of. I have a namesake living in Spain, but who was originally from the UK. All well and good.
But then I saw a Facebook hit. One of my namesakes is a US citizen who has changed his profile picture to show his solidarity with the National Rifle Association.
Now I know that having the same name as someone doesn’t mean you should expect to share the same philosophies, but to find someone who you would consider abhorrent, that is a bit different. There should be a feeling for the quesy, uncomfortable feelings that that evokes.