20 September 2011

World Wide Web of Trust

Sorry I've been a bit absent, I haven't been feeling well lately. I don't think it's a good sign that my hands feel great on my forehead (as in, very cool), but I don't know where our thermometers are; my sinuses are stopped up and I have a headache. Every day. Oh, and not much of an appetite.

Anyway, something has been really bugging my mind for a few days, and I really felt the urge to write about it. You see, I'm part of forums. I participate in the internet. I'm on facebook, and I have a bit.ly account. I get on Cracked or Mental Floss and write comments on occasion and write comments, and I float around the net alot.

The thing is, everything I do is with my knowledge. I put my name (or screen name, at least, perhaps first name last initial) out there, with my own permission.

Is it okay for someone else to take what I've put out there, and without my knowledge or consent, reproduce it? Is it okay for someone to take it and spread it all over, without me even knowing that this information is being used?

Say, for instance, that I wrote about a doctor's visit, and having a blood pressure of 100/65. That would not be all too abnormal. Say some person running a medical website comes in and harvests that information, and uses that information on their website. Does it become their information, then? Is it still my information? Can they claim it as their own, and not even tell me that they used it? I don't feel right about that. That really lowers my level of trust for people, and in a way, makes me want to pull every bit of information I have from public access (except for, of course, the people who know how to hack into deleted information).

In an era where information is more broadcast and open to the public, I think it's a good suggestion to be more careful and cautious about what you say. In fact, the blog I was writing? The one about some of the reasons why I champion mental health so much? It's not going up. I've written about the darkness, enough that people get an idea. No need to put any more out there. I don't want some creep going about my website and harvesting my information, using it as my own.

This has come to my attention recently because a website I am a member of has been posting blogs (which I don't write on that site, since I have this site to run to) without the owners' permission or knowledge, on twitter. The owners were under the impression that what they were saying was private and protected, when, in fact, it was being shared with the world. Comfort zone? Gone. It really angers me that people can get away with such behavior by including in their website that anything that you say "becomes property of the website and may be used at their discretion". Nothing belongs to anyone anymore....it's all public.

Now I feel like I may be ready to share my story with the world, but if I do, it might not be my story anymore....and therefore I hold back.

People's rights need to be protected. They need a place where they can go and write stuff and be protected by copyright. This is my stuff. I'm writing it. Not B, or Corky, or John Doe, or Gemma, or Lil, or anyone else. MINE. When I write or say something, it is mine. No longer do I submit to these websites. No longer do I let them dominate.

Maybe I should read those user agreements at the beginning of the websites more often....


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Although I argue with you everyone has a right to privacy but you also have a right to share what you want to share without someone else taking the credit for it. You have a right to say to whomever this is my story my life just because it's out in the open doesn't change the fact that it's mine.

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