The Second Act: Will America Get A “Right To Be Forgotten”?

In 1927, F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote: “There are no second acts in American lives.” He was wrong, of course. America is all about second acts. For the famous and nonfamous alike, one of the great American myths is the ability to constantly reinvent oneself.

So what Fitzgerald said wasn’t true. Then. But what about now? In this great inter-connected world in which we live, second acts may be a relic of the past. Now everything we write, text, type, email and browse, can be tracked online, go viral, get retweeted and end up on the front page of the New York Times. In our brave new world, a throwaway comment on a Chili’s restaurant receipt makes Google News. A video of a teenager getting drunk at a small town high school prom becomes the number one YouTube video in the nation. A racy picture a 21 year-old sends to her college boyfriend ends up on a public website devoted to destroying ex-girlfriends. We live in a world where everything we put online (intentionally or not) can be tracked, reviewed, judged and found severely lacking by billions the world over. In the past, this is what we would have called Act One.  READ MORE

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