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@sk Jamie Varon: Is there any privacy on the Internet? 

Wednesday, Jun 9 2010
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Dear Jamie,

I heard about that girl from Harvard whose racist e-mails were forwarded, and now all my friends are pissed about Facebook and how we have no privacy. What's the deal? Can anyone forward my e-mails? Is Facebook allowed to have all my information? Do I have any reasonable expectation of privacy online?

Secretly Confused

The short answer is this: People who think that anything they put on the Internet is not public property are idiots. It's the Internet! Anything you say or do will be used against you for any reason whatsoever. Your Facebook photos of you humping a stripper? Used against you! Your e-mail proving you're a raging racist? Yep, used against you!

You would think there would be a long answer, but there really isn't. Everything — everything — you put on the Internet is fair game to anyone and everyone who has access to it. You do not have privacy. I repeat, you do not have privacy.

Many of you are under the assumption that the things you write on the Internet are somehow private communication, but hasn't that chick from Harvard taught you anything? The only communication you can have in private that will probably not be reproduced in any manner would be the kind you have with yourself, locked in your room, rocking back and forth like a crazy person. Other than that, everything is fair game.

It might bother you, this whole you-have-no-privacy-on-the-Internet thing. But there's a fix to this. Are you ready? Brace yourself, because it's powerful.

Stop fucking posting things on the Internet that you don't want people to see.

Stop fucking sending e-mails you don't want forwarded.

Stop fucking putting things on Facebook you wouldn't want your boss to look at or use against you.

I know. I know. This is really groundbreaking, and you're going to need a moment for it to settle in, so I'll leave you to it. It might take you a while to process, but I believe in you.

Go on, little Jedi. Be one with the Internet, and stop being a fucking dumbass about the things you're putting online. Just stop.

Kiss kiss bang bang.

Have a question about social-media etiquette?

E-mail askjamievaron@gmail.com.

About The Author

Jamie Varon

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