Delete: a seemingly convenient button with the ability to erase mistakes. Whether it be a misspelled Tweet, an unwanted photo, or even junk emails overtaking your inbox, we’re all too familiar with this one button. The question is, is our information ever gone for good?
The evolving world of mass media is heavily reliant on social media networks, allowing information to be spread at an alarmingly high rate. Despite my unexciting social media presence, I guarantee that in the two minutes I spend deciding whether to delete my Instagram post, atleast one person has already seen it. Imagine this concept on a much wider level.
In the midst of the violence in Paris due to the Charlie Hebdo killings, one man experienced the shortcomings of deleting. This witness, Jordi Mir, filmed the murder of a police officer and in his state of shock decided to upload it to Facebook. After 15 short minutes Mir deleted his video; but it was too late.
“he posted the video out of fear and a “stupid reflex” fostered by years on social media”
Less than an hour after Mir uploaded the video to Facebook he was watching it on his TV. The graphic video also made its way to YouTube and is now one of the most prominent images of the mass killings in France.
Although Mir has publicly issued an apology on behalf of his actions, he is still accountable. Our society is too reliant on the idea that a decision can be reversed with the touch of a button. The option to delete a post is always staring us in the eye, but it doesn’t come with any terms of agreement. In this media age can we ever actually take back information we post online? Will we ever know how many people had access to our posts in the mere seconds they remained online? I’m a firm believer of holding online users accountable for their actions, with the understanding that anything you post is fair game for all. The internet is a place of public knowledge – there are no takebacks.