Online, You Are Guilty Even After Being Proven Innocent

I received a message several days ago, and other than WordPress, only one other person knows.

I have been cussed, threatened, and my Family has been threatened since building this website.

At first I got more than a little upset, then I almost broke down….  because I was humbled to the point of collapse over a simple thought of what kids say to each other.  I had let my pride go unchecked for a minute, until I had the thought that this isn’t the right Circle to go to pushing people around, and while I was thinking of all of the Veterans that make up Our Circle, I PLAINLY HEARD “my big brother is tougher than yours”.

You see, me and Frank never got to say that.  Ladies, this isn’t just to the men, this is to you equally.  I don’t like to think of us “fighting” for change, that to me is counter-productive at this point in time.  Maybe more like AFFECTING CHANGE, like ANTIBODIES.

My point is that everybody needs someone in their corner.

I removed one of Our Posts, and what you will find in it’s place is what follows.  But everything about this person that was on this website is destroyed.

Once you’re arrested, your name is tarnished forever.

More and more people are having “Google problems.” They usually look like this:

  • someone got arrested;
  • the local newspaper wrote about it;
  • prosecutors dropped the charges completely;
  • the person’s record was expunged (in other words, the slate was wiped clean);
  • the original arrest article, however, is still online.

Now whenever anyone searches that person’s name, the arrest is one of the top Google results even though they’re weren’t guilty.

Google: Your new permanent record

You can imagine the trouble this causes for the individual seeking the article’s takedown: difficulty getting a job, a promotion, or even a date. It seems unfair that even though the judicial system saw fit to remove all traces of the arrest from the person’s record, there’s no corresponding requirement that the local newspaper do the same. What’s the point of expunging a record when anyone with internet access can bring up an old, bogus arrest? Even if a court of law drops the matter, the court of public opinion has condemned that person for life.

The free speech rights of publishers trump those of individuals

In the battle of the newspapers versus the individual’s reputation, the law is on the newspapers’ side. They have a First Amendment right to report true information and are under no legal obligation to remove—“unpublish,” as it’s referred to lately—content, even when significant updates have occurred. In our experience, publishers are generally unwilling to remove articles that were factually accurate when written. Their reasoning ranges from lofty (saying they don’t want to “rewrite the historical record”) to lazy (they have a policy of never changing anything).

Some publications will remove an article, but only if the stars align and several factors exist: the publication doesn’t have a strict policy against unpublishing, we reach an actual human being, we reach an actual human being who’s in a good mood that day, we’re able to provide documentation of the dropped charges or expunged record, and the person to whom we speak decides that the facts of the particular situation warrant removal. It takes hard work, persistence, and luck. Does it happen? Yes, but you can see why it’s pretty rare.

10 thoughts on “Online, You Are Guilty Even After Being Proven Innocent”

    1. Barry, I appreciate you taking the time to stop by with this information.
      So much so that I am going to tell you at least a part of the story behind this.
      I was contacted by a person who was the subject of one of my posts.
      I have been contacted many times, the major part of these are threats from Child Predators with a lot of misspelled cuss words.
      This person talked to me and reasoned with me.
      Then I told this person it had been a very long week, with a really bad one, contact me the next day and I would do my best to be a better, more receptive listener.
      I was dead tired but sleep would have to find me, because I can not lay down after a bad one.
      Sometime later, who knows, an hour, 2 and a half hours maybe, I KNEW THIS PERSON WAS ON THE LEVEL, so I still had to make sure my 3rd Childhood hadn’t crept up on me, so I got on the BlackBerry and called a couple of newspapers.
      When my Friend called back, I listened until every possible thing had been said, then I said can you hold for just a few minutes.
      I pulled the post, and posted this one, and emailed this person the link, then I asked this person to open their computer and then open 2 tabs.
      The rest is history.
      I will check out the link you left, but I will tell you now that this world doesn’t believe in paid debts to society.
      Robert

      Like

  1. Luckily when a person I know was accessed it was 80s not there children that they got accused of hurting being 80s it’s not public. But till there children were 16 they were on British at risk list which I.think is unfair as they were cleared of it .

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Julianneleach, Thank you for your input, we appreciate you so much!!!!
      So you are from the UK, did you know, or were you aware of Sister Helen Ryan?
      Helen stole my heart years ago, for I saw a Lady that truly cared for everyone. She was at St Mary’s or I suppose they call it the Immaculate Heart of Mary, where they helped so many victims of the slave trade.
      Yes, as much as I wish it were not so, some people pay dearly, while some pay nothing for their crimes, and then there are the truly innocents.
      Please come back and visit, I’d like to bend your ear a mite.
      Sincerely,
      Robert

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I’m going to keep following your blog . I have to look up Helen Ryan not heard of her sadly which is a shame. Sadly child abuse has effect people in my “family” meaning those I’ve chosen to be family and those that just are family. Well as I was saying it’s effected my family in many ways and each time the system has hurt innocent people more then the guilty . I mean if they didn’t do it there innocent or if they did the person they did it to are innocent person

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Julianneleach, I was hoping I’d be hearing from you.
        I feel Honored knowing I’ll be hearing from you, and it just so happens that I happen to have my phone close, Helen was at St. Mary’s, Handsworth.
        http://www.ourladyofmercy.org.uk
        Yes Ma’am, Child Abuse is a terrible thing, but when Child Sexual Abuse is covered up by one’s with power and authority, it’s hard to understand how such a thing could continue.
        I only wish we were at the point where your Country is.
        What makes things so bad over here is that there are those that refuse to believe the actual numbers have been intentionally tainted to cover ones with power and also to facilitate the providing of Children for this purpose.
        I appreciate your input and look forward to talking with you again. I posted earlier on this subject today.
        Robert

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thank you Robert even thou here is bit more long the long path of getting it right there is still a long walk ahead. I hope your home stops taking in the view and maybe starts running down the path. As all children have the right to feel safe in there own home and school

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Yes Ma’am, I couldn’t have said it better, but it feels good with you saying it, because I know in my heart that there is at least one more that wonders why Children still aren’t protected after about 7,000 years on this earth.
        JulianneLeach, I appreciate your visit and input..
        Robert

        Like

  2. I agree with you on this article. It’s scary how some people who use the Internet just to dig out information about you and form their own bias opinions about who you are and perhaps use that information against you or harm you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Kally, the sad thing is, quiet some time ago we awoke one day and suddenly one’s debt to society was never paid in full, although this has never applied to white-collar crime.
      The internet is something entirely different(excluding our topic), such a large percentage of the world’s population must wakeup in a new world everyday,and I say that because all they worry about is the government getting their data, meanwhile, they are posting geo-photos of every possible aspect of their lives, yet they haven’t the time to pay attention, much less know that their children are sexting or whatever.
      Since you were so nice to us with your feedback, you will be the first to know that a person contacted me about a post I made.
      I didn’t have to remove anything, I had simply passed along what was public knowledge, and there was no way I could have been found guilty of anything.
      The thing was, it was a lot like your comment, it was genuine it was from the heart, I know, because I felt it deep inside my gut.
      This person did not beg, plead, cry, cuss, nor threaten. WE TALKED…. and I knew innocence when I heard it. Then I thought about it all night, and all the next day and part of the night….*
      The next morning I called the newspaper, and received the answer I already knew.
      Kally, I knew that person did not do that, but I have a duty …
      A duty to all the Children of this world, a duty to Our Circle, and you are a big part of Our Circle. But I have a duty to myself, and I could care less how anyone is biased against me, I have a code that I live by, and I have never and will never cross that line, and just so you know, this person is a part of that code just as you are.
      AND just so you know, that asterisk up above was me following the link where I got thee article to start with, and there was NOTHING there.
      Yes I had to double check to make ME happy.
      Then I removed the post the next day.
      Thank You so much for your input Kally!
      Robert

      Liked by 2 people

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