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[_] Moral Dilemma - list archives

rick hurst rickhurst at
Wed Oct 1 10:54:45 BST 2003

From: Oliver Humpage <oliver at>

> I would say that you shouldn't erase entire messages as if they were never
> sent, but rather replace the body of the messages with a simple "[REMOVED AT
> POSTER'S REQUEST]". That way the archives still make sense, we haven't
> deleted history as such, and the poster him/herself should be happy because
> the actual comments are no longer there.

I think this is a sensible enough solution, although as Tim pointed out, it's impossible to completely remove something from the internet as there are a number of "wayback machine" style archives (but these don't show up under google searches).

I should think that there are inboxes all over the world containing full, indexed, detailed and searchable underscore archives, but at least removing the post content means that they won't turn up in google searches

I have previously found myself paddling in moderately tepid water because of posts that I allegedly made to a certain bristol new media mailing list, so I can sympathise with other people in that situation...

on the other hand, you make your bed....

Rick Hurst
Web Developer