Web as scandal monger


Here’s an email I received from Kevin Donovan, posted with Kevin’s permission:

 Hey David,

I’m an undergraduate at Georgetown but have been following the class blog closely. I just found this article from a month ago about political scandal/gossip on the web which might be of interest even if the course is winding down: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/03/13/AR2008031304354.html?nav=rss_technology . The speed of dissemination for news is increasingly too fast for politicians to respond and the archival and searchable nature makes escaping the past more difficult.

Thanks for making the course open so I could follow the fascinating discussions this semester.



  1. Aaron

    April 22, 2008 @ 10:59 am


    A related question – what is going to happen when the facebook/myspace generation runs for public office en masse? An overwhelming number of them/us have had something unsavory up there at one point or another – will this sort of thing become less of an issue since more such activity will be out in the open, or will the scandal obsession of today ramp up even further?

  2. Kevin

    April 22, 2008 @ 11:06 am


    I think there will be a lengthy period of disruption until people realize that transparency will become a fact of life.

  3. dweinberger

    April 22, 2008 @ 11:44 am


    Will forgiveness become the default? The way it’s supposed to be?

  4. Kevin

    April 22, 2008 @ 12:19 pm


    I think everyone has secrets; no one fully conforms to the norms of society. When this is recognized (assuming its validity), then, yes, I think forgiveness will become the default for many errors.

    However, I still think some things will be off limits (Spitzer comes to mind). Perhaps the norm will just shift, not disappear.