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A New Playbook in Dealing with the Internet

Some of you may have read about the number which must not be named incident a few weeks back. For those who didn’t, there is this number that certain powers that be wish to keep secret. In so doing, issues various cease and desist orders which caused quite a stir and increased the spread of the number far more than if they had never done anything. A classic case of misunderstanding the reality in which you find yourself.

Today the Washington Post brings a story of a young girl from California who has found herself in the middle of a media storm. Due to her excellence in sports and attractive looks, her photo has spread across the internet on blogs and messages boards. Someone even setup a fake Facebook account under her name. The attention has often been sexual in nature and cause grief for the girl and her family.

What impresses me about her story is that she, or at least those who are advising her, have rejected the misguided approach of the copyright maximalists. Instead of sending out cease and desist letters to anyone who ever touched the photo, instead of threaten slander suits against those who speak her name, instead of crying to the media about how unfair it all is, this young girl has chosen to embrace the media storm. Not in the Brittany Spears, “It’ll make me famous” sort of way, but in the “okay, if you’re really interested, here’s my story” sort of way. I predict that by opening up, embracing the storm instead of fighting against it, the frenzy will die down much quicker than otherwise.

Of course, I could be wrong and this may end up stoking the fires, but my gut says that now that she’s obtainable, in that her life is not clouded in mystery, she’ll be far less of a target for those who obsess about the impossible. Nothing destroys a fantasy like a healthy dose of real life.

probonogeek Politics, Technology

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