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[Virology] Bionet public archives and removal requests

Don Gilbert via virology%40net.bio.net (by gilbertd from kalo.bio.indiana.edu)
Tue Oct 31 15:14:31 EST 2006

Dear readers of Bionet,

A prior contributor to Bionet.virology asked
> Please permantely delete this reference link which is being stored by your servers.

In the message in question from 1995, the student asked for science
information on the virology topic of HPV.  Reasons for removal now are
that Google searches by the author's name return this message, on a
topic the author is not now interested in being associated with.

Should Bionet change it's policy, stated in public notices since 1991,
of maintaining public archives of these newsgroups, to remove
messages from those want to erase their past public questions, answers
and discussions?

Bionet public archives and many similar venues of public discussion
now have to deal with many people changing their minds about their
prior public discussions, mostly in response to Google name searches.  
This is having a chilling effect on the continuation of these open and
free science and scholarly discussions.

Our society needs to learn to come to grips with public discussion and
accountability in electronic media.   Historically, when one speaks
out in a public forum, having ones words recorded, via newspapers,
broadcast media or even common recollections of our neighbors 
listening to us, is part of our society.  Moving this into electronic
media means in part that our neighborhood has expanded, but it doesn't
mean we should try to hide our past public speech.   Free speech has
always had its responsibilities to the individual.  

On this topic see details of Bionet's policy

-- Don Gilbert, Bionet caretaker 
(now dealing with many such requests to edit the archives)

-- d.gilbert--bioinformatics--indiana-u--bloomington-in-47405
-- gilbertd from indiana.edu--http://marmot.bio.indiana.edu/

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