The Instigator
vstewart5
Con (against)
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The Contender
CanfieldDebateChamp
Pro (for)
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The right to be forgotten on the internet

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/10/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,221 times Debate No: 66704
Debate Rounds (3)
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vstewart5

Con

RoadMap: I will be reading my negative constructive case.
NEG
I negate the resolution resolved: The "right to be forgotten" from Internet searches ought not be a civil right
The primary value for this debate is Responsibility which is defined by Merriam Webster Dictionary as; the state of being the person who caused something to happen, a duty or task that you are required or expected to do, or something that you should do because it is morally right, or legally required.

My value criterion is Dignity; which is defined by merriam webster dictionary as: formal reserve or seriousness of manner, appearance, or language. You have to be serious and responsible when posting things onto the internet. We as a people are so caught up in internet and posting new things on it in order to get likes or to get someone to look at us. Also, some people post things that they will regret, they have no dignity when they choose to post it. People have to have self respect for themselves and now days they don"t.
Neg
Contention 1: Impossibility of Enforcement " We cannot say something which is not possible. Enforcing the right to be forgotten is an impossible task and places an impossible burden on data vendors. The internet is a difficult place to police, because there are many things that are breaking the rules and it would be impossible to police it all. Such as Google, Google doesn"t control everything that can be found with Google. Facebook doesn"t control everything that can be found on Facebook. To give people this civil right, is to send moral agents into a realm of impossible burdens, and therefore, this cannot be a civil right. According to Legal Information Institute; A civil right is an enforceable right or privilege. Examples of civil rights are freedom of speech, press, and assembly; the right to vote; freedom from involuntary servitude; and the right to equality in public places. If you post something to the internet it now becomes public, just as if you put your trash out on the street it now becomes public property. People who put information on the internet or if information is put on the internet about them have now lost their right to say they don"t want it on the internet, because it is freedom of press and people have the freedom to put things on the web about others. If we didn't have freedom of press we wouldn"t know what's going on in the world. We get news and any other information from others posting onto the web. We as a people now are always making bad decisions and posting them onto the internet. If you go in for a interview now, the first thing they ask is, do you have a facebook or any other social media accounts. They can pull your information up in a minute and see what you"ve done and said. The internet is too big to try and police because there are too many things to police, such as facebook, instagram, twitter. or any other social media.

Contention 2: Rights as Protections " Civil rights function as protections of other rights. My right to vote functions as a protection for my liberty. The right to be forgotten is not a protection of anything. It doesn"t protect privacy, since this information is in the public domain anyway. It doesn"t protect security, or speech, or any other right. Because it doesn"t serve as a protection, it cannot actually be a right. The people have the right of, freedom of speech, and freedom of press. When they post things onto the internet it was the act of freedom of press, they put their business out for the world to see. People who interview the president or when the paparazzi follows stars, have the right to publish whatever they got on camera or recorded. It would be unfair to be forgotten on the internet because if you have done something that is not legally right and you go in for a interview and someone who also is wanting the job goes in, but the difference is that that person has never done anything wrong; and the boss hires the person with the bad background, that"s unfair to the person without a bad background. It is creating a sense that people can get away with lying and forgetting about what happened in the past. The people have the right to know what someone has done in their past, that protects them and other people in the environment.
CanfieldDebateChamp

Pro

Because I believe in respecting individuals’ privacy, I affirm Resolved: The "right to be forgotten" from Internet searches ought to be a civil right. For the sake of clarity I offer the following two observations.



  1. The right to be forgotten from internet searches refers to a recent EU Court ruling that allows for individuals to request to have information about them removed from internet searches with their name so long as said information is inaccurate, irrelevant, inadequate, or excessive. Additionally, in terms of today’s debate, the right to be forgotten should be judged in spirit rather than in its current implementation.


    1. Because current implementations are still in their infancies and therefore subject to change. And

    2. Because the resolution never actually specifies that we have to look to a specific implementation.


  2. A Civil Right is defined by The Cornell Legal Institute as “an enforceable right or privilege, which if interfered with by another gives rise to an action for injury.” Additionally, Cornell notes that rights are hardly ever absolute and must instead be balanced against each other. For instance, one’s freedom of speech can be taken away if it presents a clear and present danger like shouting fire in a crowded theater would. Therefore, in the scope of today’s round, the affirmative side only needs to prove one general circumstance where a right to be forgotten be imperative for an individual in order to win the debate.


My Value for today’s debate is Individual Autonomy, defined by the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy as “the capacity to be one's own person, to live one's life according to reasons and motives that are taken as one's own and not the product of manipulative or distorting external forces.” Autonomy in this sense seems an irrefutable value, especially since its opposite — being controlled by forces outside of one’s control — is the height of oppression.


My Value Criterion is Respecting Privacy. Michael McFarland of Santa Clara University explains, To recognize an individual as an autonomous being entails letting that individual live their life as they choose. One of the critical ways that a individual controls their life is by choosing with whom they will have relationships and what kind of relationships these will be. since information mediates relationships, an individual loses significant autonomy when they can no longer control said information. Put simply, when one loses their access to privacy, one loses their autonomy to be what they desire. Therefore, so long as the right to be forgotten allows for individuals to better protect their relationships through increased privacy, it upholds autonomy. I now offer the following three general circumstances wherein a right to be forgotten would protect individuals’ reputations.


Circumstance I: Employer Discrimination


The right to be forgotten would help to prevent employer discrimination within the hiring process. This employer discrimination manifests itself in two separate ways.



  1. Social Media. According to a recent CareerBuilder Survey, a majority of employers have eliminated potential job candidates from consideration by using social media. John Hollan of Talent finds that the information that ruled out possible employees was often irrelevant to job proficiency and quite personal, including inappropriate photographs or information, drinking, and political comments.

  2. Direct Search Results. Due to the advancement of technology in recent years, a quick google search can often reveal an individual’s age, religion, marital status, or political beliefs. This easy access is especially problematic because, according to Investopedia, employer discrimination laws specifically prohibit companies from seeking out said information within the hiring process. However, Hollan furthers that 45 percent of employers use search engines such as Google for research on job candidates, with 20 percent saying they do so frequently or always.


Thankfully, the right to be forgotten would solve for this problem by allowing for individuals to custom-tailor the baseline of information available about them online, preventing prospective employers from having unfiltered access to inaccurate, irrelevant, inadequate, or excessive information about them. Julia Powles of The Guardian explains that “There is a public sphere of memory and truth, and there is a private one… Without the freedom to be private, we have precious little freedom at all.” By allowing for individuals to set their own reasonable level of privacy about themselves, the right to be forgotten allows for individuals to remove content that should not be viewed during the hiring process and therefore prevent employer discrimination.


Circumstance II: Youthful Mistakes


The right to be forgotten from internet searches would also allow for individuals to expunge mistakes from their past. Jeffrey Rosen of the Stanford Law Review explains that the right to be forgotten protects teenagers who might reveal compromising information that they would later come to regret. This is especially important for two reasons



  1. Said information is usually irrelevant due to its outdated nature.

  2. Currently, a legal precedent already exists for expunging past mistakes. The NOLO Legal Institute notes that individuals especially minors have the right to expunge or seal criminal records. The Right to Be Forgotten would simply be a logical extension of the same precedent into the digital world.


Overall, Norberto Gomez of the University of Oberta de Catalunya concludes that individual identity should be perceived as a matter of choices, a process of continuous negotiation, never predetermined and univocal, but one that can be constantly revised and changed. The right to be forgotten is an important instrument to be used in this process of negotiation because it enables further choices and permits new future identities by removing irrelevant previous ones through improved privacy. In essence, it allows for people to be seen as they are, not who they were.


Circumstance III: Non-Consensual Pornography


The right to be forgotten would also protect individuals from non-consensual pornography, which is defined by Danielle Citron as the distribution of sexually graphic images of individuals without their consent. According to Jenna Stokes of the Berkeley Technology Law Journal this is a serious issue that has affected 20% of the population. This kind of nonconsensual imagery is problematic because it removes the filter that individuals usually place over their public relationships and therefore violates their ability to shape their own identity. Thankfully, the right to be forgotten would allow for individuals to effectively mitigate the spread of non-consensual obscene images of themselves better than current laws in the status quo. Lilian Edwards of The Guardian elaborates that what the victims of non-consensual pornography really want most urgently is a remedy, not a prosecution. Instead of sending victims through a lengthy trial that can often attract more attention to the issue, the right to be forgotten would allow for victims to easily and discretely remove any links between themselves and the explicit content.


Because I believe that the right to be forgotten would improve the privacy of individuals and therefore give them the ability to retake control of their identity in a digital age, I strongly urge a ballot for the affirmative. Thank You



Debate Round No. 1
vstewart5

Con

vstewart5 forfeited this round.
CanfieldDebateChamp

Pro

CanfieldDebateChamp forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
vstewart5

Con

vstewart5 forfeited this round.
CanfieldDebateChamp

Pro

CanfieldDebateChamp forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
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