Archive for the ‘ Ask a gamergirl (Q & A) ’ Category

Solove and Reputation Control over the Internet

Question; According to Solove the proliferation (reproduction) of personal data on the internet makes it harder for individuals to control their reputation. Explain


The main concept put forward by Solove involves the ease of replication within the digital sphere, he explains that once something has been placed on the internet there is no way to remove it. This means that small details of a very personal nature can be leaked over time, whether this is done intentionally by an individual or by accident, the result remains the same, the individual’s reputation is at risk of being altered drastically in a short period of time. In regards to the mass reproduction of images within the digital sphere, Solove uses the example of ‘Star Wars Kid’ and ‘Dog Poo Girl’, examples which, through mass reproduction online lead to loss of control over reputation for these individuals. A warning undertone follows these two examples which explains the danger of releasing/recording digital content of a personal nature, as once something becomes digital the individual loses control over it.


ReferenceSolove, D 2007. ‘How the free flow of information liberates and constrains us’, ch. 2 in The Future of Reputation: Gossip rumour and privacy on the internet, Yale University Press, New Haven, pp. 17 – 50.



Sextuality and what it means within the cyber world

A little while ago a ‘digital friend’ asked me ‘How does the integration of human lives into the medium of cyber convergence of space impact/influence the formation, nature and authenticity of human relations?’ Now this question went unanswered and fell into the treacherous caverns of ‘my documents’ only to be discovered in a cleanup, so I thought I would answer the question, I have no idea whether the person in question is still online, but either way felt compelled to answer the question and post it. So here is my answer:

The introduction of the cybernetic environment into an otherwise physical one allows people to express themselves in ways they were unable to do before due to the anonymity provided by the use of the internet. In this way people are able to follow one of two paths;

a- they may express themselves without fear of embarrassment

b- they may take on a completely different persona

In the case of A we find that the internet has offered new possibilities in regards to human relations as fear, the typical element that keeps us from communicating is removed, however in the case of B it is seen that the internet gives people the notion that they can revert to an almost childish state, slinging verbal insults and acting in an uncouth matter not for any justifiable reason, but purely as an attention seeking joy ride.

In summary the formation of relationships has become more convenient to perform online due to the impracticalities of allocating time within ones day to going to a bar or pub to potentially meet someone. But rather it is a more attractive option as the stereotype of members of the opposite sex located in such facilities is set at a low standard.

In regards to nature, relationships are no longer based on finding the ‘perfect’ physical mate, but the intellectual one, as there is less time face to face, society has begun to shift more towards the similarities of mind rather than of body. An advancement to some but a drawback for those with mental or physical handicaps.

Authenticity is the real question as there have been a number of frauds reported from online relationships, where one party is not truthful to the other. In the end authenticity comes down the one thing that both cybernetic and face to face relationships require; trust. If one cannot trust the other in a relationship then it should become apparent as their lies turn inward, as a result the use of webcams and images has started circulating within online dating communities, and while this does open pathways to extortion and yet more fraud people still continue down it, so for the time being all that can be offered to those going down the path of cybernetic relations are words of caution.