Discovered my research was cited in this @CJR article. For a journalism junkie, that means my life is just about complete. :) So glad this important topic is generating discussion; it is so much more complicated than it seems on the surface.

This speaks to the inequities baked into the ability to manage our digital pasts and how will lead to greater divides between the haves and have nots. — How the 1% Scrubs Its Image Online via @WSJ

“Matt” generated some great discussion at Loyola Chicago’s 9th Annual Symposium on Digital Ethics. Thank you to the University of Dayton’s @ChadPainter77 for co-authoring our paper!

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Learn more about the symposium here:

The Effects of Unpublishing on Education Reporting

The Grade’s Danielle Dreilinger asks a fundamental question:
First, do no harm—but how?

Journalists focused on education regularly engage with children and young adults—two populations considered more vulnerable in relation to unpublishing. As I discuss with Danielle Dreilinger in this article, education reporters are prime actors to consider pre-publication practices that can defend against the need to wrestle with sticky unpublishing decisions in the future. Simply considering whether a child’s name is truly critical to the narrative, the audience’s understanding, or the public’s need to know can make all the difference.

Read the story at


NiemanLab Shares My Survey Results

Unprepared for unpublishing Here’s how some newsrooms are rethinking what lasts forever » Nieman Journalism LabNieman Journalism Lab’s Christine Schmidt and I recently spoke about the results of my survey of journalists to understand how they were grappling with the conundrum of unpublishing.  Results show that there’s still quite a bit of work to do, both in conceptualizing the real impact of unpublishing and the web of challenges it poses to virtually every aspect of the journalism process, as well as the profession itself.

RadioLab Episode Explores Unpublishing

Right to be Forgotten Radiolab WNYC StudiosI was fortunate to contribute to a RadioLab (WNYC) episode recently about the pressure
for a “right to be forgotten” and the resulting complexities of unpublishing. RadioLab producer Molly Webster attended a meeting with a newspaper team to learn about their attempts to balance informing the public and minimizing harm.

I’m happy the human, emotional aspects of the individuals involved (the requestors AND the journalists)  are gaining traction in the social conversation. As I tell Molly in the episode, I’ve finally decided the answer is our humanity. We’ve embraced a tech culture for all of its conveniences, and there are some genies you can’t put back into a bottle. What we can do, however, is learn to be more forgiving human beings—ones who acknowledge and understand everyone has a past, and that past should be placed in the proper perspective. Combined with some new considerations on the front end of the reporting process, I think we could work something out that safeguards online news content for historical purposes yet is conscious of the personal consequences that can come with the long tail of publishing. That sounds much better to me than any of the alternatives that have been presented to date.

You can access the episode here: