(Digital) Identity in a World that No Longer Forgets

Alec Couros, Open Thinking, Oct 15, 2015
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I've been reading a lot (as has everyone else) about how politicians and others with "past transgressions dragged into the spotlight for the purposes of public judgement and shaming." On the one hand, I'm a little ssympathetic. But on the other hand, I would just as soon not elect into office people whose past include racist tirades, inappropriate behaviour with children, crack smoking in drunken stupors, questionable acts with pigs, and so on. After all, most people's histories don't include these outrages. That's why we are upset when we discover them. And maybe just maybe we can elect a person into office who lead ethically responsible lives, rather than the unthinking egotists we elect today. But - of course - such a person would be "unelectable" because they haven't been willing to cross enough lines to amass the wealth and publicity needed to make a viable run. But until then, I hope we keep outing these people on social media, so we can at least learn what kind of people we elect, even if we can't stop electing them. 

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