In a piece for Internet Evolution, Jonathan Hochman explores the ethical limits on the Internet and what he sees as a major problem called “paid unpublishing.” In such cases, a website operator obtains embarrassing information, publishes it and then offers to remove it for a fee. A recent example of this can be seen with mugshot website operators. “Unless steps are taken now to confront paid unpublishing, we may increasingly find our secrets or mistakes for sale online by unscrupulous ‘entrepreneurs,’” Hochman writes, adding that ethical online media follows three principles: no paid unpublishing, avoiding conflicts of interest and supporting the right to respond.
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