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Should We Have the Right to be Forgotten Online?

Updated on January 4, 2015

Debate Summary

So here is the basic question: Do we have the right to be forgotten online? There are two sides of the debate and on my end I agree with different aspects of it. It is a very confusing topic even for someone like me who usually has very strong opinions about everything. Some people say that if your information is stored online permanently without your consent it is a breach of your privacy. Some people say that it is censorship. I agree a little bit with both sides, but in today's day and age feel that freedom of speech rules. I will explain more in the following paragraphs.

Right To Privacy vs Freedom of Expression

Now I can completely understand those who want certain personal information about them not to be shown online. Maybe someone posted an offending picture or disclosed some not so pleasant personal information. Maybe someone just does not feel comfortable having the whole world know their address, phone number, and email address. However, nowadays the internet has so much information available, I think it would be very difficult to block out just certain personal information without stepping all over the freedom of expression right. Although, to be honest expression is never completely free. You cannot use threats against famous political figures or just about anyone else. God forbid you say something nasty and even somewhat threatening in a Twitter post, you will have the cops at your door moments later. So we already have plenty of limitations to personal expression. If we are to limit the internet even more, no one knows how far it would go. Maybe we would become more like the Chinese or the North Koreans. Being the Democracy that we are I would guess our government would not want that. So yes, I guess by allowing a certain amount of freedom we might step on some people's toes, but in the end this is what a Democracy is all about. It is being able to talk about important issues without being afraid of retaliation from the government.


In conclusion, my opinion is that personal freedom of expression is more important than the right to privacy. The law is not perfect and I guess you cannot have it all. In this case we have to pick our battles and freedom wins every time. Comment as you see fit.


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