Stephanie Hoops has a very interesting article in the Ventura County Star that talks about what Reputation Defender will and will not do — and what publications will and will not do — unless ordered to by a court. She writes, in part:
There are limits, however, to what ReputationDefender is willing to fix for clients.
“We will never seek to remove a news article or government record,” Fertik said. “We don’t think it will work and it’s not consistent with our values.”
The company has received a lot of requests to deal with newspapers, he said, but the most it will do is work to bump a story below page one of a Google search, he said.
News organizations around the country maintain that newspapers shouldn’t be in the business of erasing history.
Ventura County Star Editor Joe Howry marvels at the idea that technology has developed such that newspapers are now being asked to “unpublish” stories, and says he too has been asked to do it.
It’s a rare occurrence, he said, but indeed readers have called him asking to have stories purged from the Internet. Howry and most news organizations won’t budge on that issue, except under extraordinary circumstances.
Read more about some recent extraordinary circumstances and the debate it triggered in the Ventura County Star.