TechCrunch

Editor’s note: Hunter Walk was most recently Director of Product Management at YouTube. Follow him on Twitter @hunterwalk.

Search engines have long memories. I think about this whenever I read new coverage of some immoral,  misanthropic or illegal act. The kids who tweeted racist statements about Obama on Election Day, the college student whose secret videotaping of his gay roommate helped lead to the young man’s suicide, the catfishing of Manti T’eo. Years from now it’s possible, even likely, that when the perpetrators’ names are Googled, these histories will be what surfaces first for them. An employer, a girlfriend or boyfriend, or a neighbor will find out about what they once did years ago. Whatever the context, their past will be very hard to escape.

“Good,” you might say. And I largely agree, although Google’s recall impacts folks who weren’t criminal or stupid in their activities, maybe…

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