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The Internet Remembers, and So Must We

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A new scandal surfaces almost weekly in Hollywood, and nothing receives more media attention than the release of a new celebrity sex tape. With 42 million search results for "Kim Kardashian sex tape" appearing online, no question exists about the extent of the world's fascination with publicized celebrity indiscretions.

The attention celebrities receive for such actions often influences other Internet users to document and broadcast their own private activities (frequently to the determinant of personal relationships, careers, educational opportunities and community standings). A simple click to post a video or image can have permanent, far-reaching and severe implications for not only the posters but also their innocent friends, family, or acquaintances.

The posting of any image or video, even if removed within minutes, may result in an innumerable amount of recordings and/or screenshots that prevent permanent removal from the Internet. Anyone may share captured content by posting links to numerous social media and video sharing websites. Simply put, nothing posted online is temporary. Even Kim Kardashian expressed sadness about the difficulty she faces while attempting to change public perception and legitimize her celebrity status following the release of her sex tape.

As more of us work to create a public persona through social media and video sharing, the more important privacy management becomes. By our own conduct, we build a permanent record of everything we do online. Whether we want them to or not, family, friends, recruiters, employers, enemies and criminals may easily access our lives with a single click of a button. What might seem like a good idea at the time often leads to embarrassment and long-term personal and professional devastation.

The Internet remembers, and that is a fact that we must remember too.

For more on the Internet's memory, see also Charlie Sheen Reminds Us, The Internet Has a Memory and The Bachelorette and the Drunken Passed Out Bachelor.