Does anyone here censor themselves beacuse of political aspirations?
June 29, 2004 2:36 PM   Subscribe

Does anyone here have political aspirations? If so, do you filter or censor your comments on MeFi (or other sites) for the sake of future Googlers?
posted by o2b to Grab Bag (24 answers total)
I have honestly thought about running for a local alderman position someday, and I have thought about my postings coming back to haunt me. But again, what I post is usually what I am thinking or feeling at that moment, and thus, is fairly true to who I am as a person. So no, I don't filter myself here (or anywhere else).
posted by Quartermass at 3:00 PM on June 29, 2004

Yes. And Yes. But then again, I filter myself in real life, as well.
posted by BlueTrain at 3:20 PM on June 29, 2004

My boyfriend is in law school, with possible political aspirations, and he's a little more discreet than I normally am. Our deal is that if he wants to go in to politics, he'll have to suck up that I'm a bit of a stright talker. My only self-censorship online [journal, here, other fora] is that I don't dish too much on my family or friends or even strangers pretty much. I don't talk smack about my job, mostly because they asked me not to, and I'm fairly discrete about talking about things I do that might be illegal. I'm pretty forthcoming about my own life, and about my history, figuring that if people want to search through seven years of granola recipes and trips to Alaska to try to find me posting about smoking pot, they can bore themselves to freaking death trying.
posted by jessamyn at 3:32 PM on June 29, 2004

I agree with BlueTrain 100%, but I also consider that in 30 years, the Internet as we know it, and by extension Metafilter, will become vastly different. Such as in the future, there will be no need for commas.

The chances of someone identifying your handle to a site you posted on several decades ago is very slim. I'm of course making the assumption that lower political offices don't do the extensive background checking that higher offices would, and that no one in Metafilter right now is in a lower office, actively posting, and trying to also campaign to a higher office is very unlikely. I would say more likely anything said here could be a youthful indiscretion (much like Bush's coke habit).

Even if one posts a lot of liberal leaning stuff, Reagan pulled the switcheroo and is now, I believe part of the Trinity, so it all works out.
posted by geoff. at 3:34 PM on June 29, 2004

As an atheist, I'm effectively disqualified from elected office in America, so I feel free to say what I think.
posted by nicwolff at 3:41 PM on June 29, 2004

SELECT entry FROM jessamyn_blog WHERE entry LIKE %"smoking pot"% ;

I wouldn't worry much about the drugs. Clinton was a draft-dodging pothead and Bush was a questionable-service alcoholic cokehead.

The reality of the internet is that everyone will be able to find some kind of dirt on everyone else. Eventually politicans will have to be politicans again, and learn to gain supporters by their demonstrations of restraint, politeness, and respect.
posted by Kwantsar at 3:43 PM on June 29, 2004

to expand on my previous post, all it takes is a little bit of perl skill and access to or the google cache to find all kinds of correlations. Throw some SQL into the mix, and you've got an unstoppable mud-slinging machine! [no, I don't accept contracting gigs, but I can recommend some friends who do...]
posted by Kwantsar at 3:46 PM on June 29, 2004

It's a great question and one that has allready come up in real life for politicians but look at Arnold he used to have orgys and drug parties and some on film, party on.
posted by stbalbach at 3:57 PM on June 29, 2004

i'm going to be president when i grow up. as a result, i'm heavily self-censored.
posted by quonsar at 4:23 PM on June 29, 2004

quonsar/amberglow in '12!

on the snowballs in hell ticket, of course
posted by amberglow at 4:40 PM on June 29, 2004

Well, for years I used a less discreet nickname on the web community I run, but once I turned it from a hobby into more of a business, I decided to tone it down. But with almost any level beyond novice of google-fu, it can probably be discovered. It was more that I didn't want to flaunt it to potential clients, is all.

And it's good to remember that the worldwide web is the archie of tomorrow.
posted by crunchland at 4:52 PM on June 29, 2004

I just try to be restrained for the sake of being nice most of the time. Or encouraging actual argument... it never really helps the content of discourse to tell someone how much they suck.

But do you guys really think that MeFi comments would come back to haunt someone so much? I really doubt anyone would have anything on most people except their opinions 1999-200x.
posted by weston at 4:58 PM on June 29, 2004

Mefi comments come back to haunt me all the damn time. What happens if I want a security clearance? All this political stuff i've written can't look good. I am assuming, of course, this will even be looked at.
posted by Keyser Soze at 5:08 PM on June 29, 2004

I would. But it's too late.
posted by scarabic at 5:25 PM on June 29, 2004

I do censor myself for this reason (I've run for office, will do so again, and worked in politics for years), although not terribly heavily. I find myself making the same points that I would otherwise, but more vaguely, such that the quotes cannot be used out of context. I have a series of mental bookmarks of things that I need to persuade and Google to excise from their cache should I run for a state office, as that's the point at which the serious opposition research begins. Having intended to run for office since I was a wee lad, I haven't written anything that would be problematic in an honest context (I don't think), but such things are seldom presented in a context even approaching "honest."
posted by waldo at 5:57 PM on June 29, 2004

on the snowballs in hell ticket, of course

Ironically, giving each other snowballs is probably what got you sent to hell in the first place ;)
posted by filmgoerjuan at 7:27 PM on June 29, 2004

I've been paid handsomely by a time-travelling Bush robot to ruin my namesake's chances at being future successor to Bill and Ted's most excellent government.
posted by Stan Chin at 7:39 PM on June 29, 2004

It has been told to me that the biggest problems with clearances come from those who don't own their lives and their mistakes, which makes them open to espionage.

I figure that I own all of my life, good and bad. I'm willing to fess up to the many and varied mistakes and I'm pretty comfortable with most of the choices I've made in my life.

I've probably written things that I wish now that I hadn't, but I know that I just have to deal. It also helps that I have my students google my name (it's an uncommon one)every semester, and their own as well, to see what comes up. It makes them more sensitive to this issue.

Sadly, some of my students (mostly college juniors) seem to err on the side of "let it all hang out." For example, I try to convince them to NOT have obscene email addresses, especially if it can be traced to their name. It would also help if they didn't email me their homework assignments from their prurient-sounding email addresses. I don't want a paper on solar energy from "sexkittien4U" and it really freaks me out. I wonder if they're going to put them on their resumes someday.

I hope one of THEM runs for office!
posted by answergrape at 7:43 PM on June 29, 2004

I gave put up a folder for one of my bosses on my main website. If they look at the root index, they'll come across my blog, and if they go through my blog they'll find a post that says "I don't really want said job." Part of me thinks I should delete the post, but I have a staunch belief in not trying to erase the written past.
posted by drezdn at 10:33 PM on June 29, 2004

Yes, and I plan on using the "youthful indiscretion" gambit. It's the only way to explain the pictures of me at Burning Man taking a shower with two women.

Granted, I think that something like that will only help in Santa Monica politics, so what the hell.

What I fear more are the posts and emails I've written out of anger. I'd like to think that people in government should be rational and calm, but then I think of "B-1" Bob Dornan and realize, no, you can be a hotheaded jackass and still get elected.
posted by RakDaddy at 10:51 PM on June 29, 2004

If I ran for office under the name stavrosthewonderchicken and anyone actually voted for me, they'd deserve what they got, by gum.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:52 PM on June 29, 2004

stav: H'angus the Monkey got elected Mayor of Hartlepool: you may be in with a chance.
posted by biffa at 3:29 AM on June 30, 2004

Isn't anybody else here planning on being an un-elected leader of the future? By that I don't mean impeached.
posted by crazy finger at 6:52 AM on June 30, 2004

I am currently the Secret Ruler of the Known Universe, but I don't use my real name on MetaFilter so what I say doesn't hurt me.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 6:55 AM on June 30, 2004

« Older Experiences of online glasses websites   |   Find Missing Person in Italy Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.