Google Never Forgets

2/28/2009 02:20:00 pm

Copied in it's entirety from Seth Godin's blog this short post will be featured prominently in the next conversation I have with my students around digital ethics.

A friend advertised on Craigslist for a housekeeper.

Three interesting resumes came to the top. She googled each person's name.

The first search turned up a MySpace page. There was a picture of the applicant, drinking beer from a funnel. Under hobbies, the first entry was, "binge drinking."

The second search turned up a personal blog (a good one, actually). The most recent entry said something like, "I am applying for some menial jobs that are below me, and I'm annoyed by it. I'll certainly quit the minute I sell a few paintings."

And the third? There were only six matches, and the sixth was from the local police department, indicating that the applicant had been arrested for shoplifting two years earlier.

Three for three.

Google never forgets.

Of course, you don't have to be a drunk, a thief or a bitter failure for this to backfire. Everything you do now ends up in your permanent record. The best plan is to overload Google with a long tail of good stuff and to always act as if you're on Candid Camera, because you are.

Photo Credit: Candid Camera by flickr user pragmatopian

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  1. Anonymous2/3/09 10:14

    This post is going up on my bulletin board and I'm adding it to my agenda for 3rd - 5th.

    Students are starting to post work to project wikis it will be a good review of why we need to behave on the internet.

  2. We don't need to 'behave ' on the internet.....that's white man educator speak....we need to know what is so important about what we connect using : alexanderhayes .....plenty of bad behavior......whats new ?

  3. @alexanderhayes I'm not sure I follow you?

    I believe we do need to behave in responsible ways online. It's easy to lose sight of the fact that there are real live people with very real feelings reading what we publish.

    Words (in text, audio, or video) are like arrows. Once you set them free you can't take them back. And they reflect more on the speaker than they do on the subject of their speech.

    I don't think the colour of anyone's skin has any relevance to this.

  4. I believe that people do need to behave on the internet. Maybe they don't see the point as to why right now but later down the road many people do not realize that many employers now a days look at the internet when hiring people. Students actions many years ago can affect them a long ways down the road and they may never know why they didn't get a job. People need to be careful as to what they say and do these days not only in public but also on the internet because anymore, more people around the world can see your actions on the web then they can in person and sometimes that all they have to go off of to make a judgment as to what a persons character is like.

  5. Great post Darren, I just found this via your email signature file link. I've added it to a list of posts I'm using for my undergrad edtech course.

  6. Glad you found it useful! All the credit goes to Seth Godin; they're his words. ;-)

  7. I can not agree more with you Tierra. Let's hope that eventually people will learn to behave on the internet.