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Pop Loser No. 104

by Tyler Hellard


How Platforms Alter History

Why do we default to deleting the online presence of people who do terrible things? 

What’s behind that impulse to delete? When it comes to acts of violence, taking down profiles may help stem the impulse to try and build a logical case for an act where logic played no role. Distancing a platform from a senseless act of violence may be a public relations move, or a matter of taste, or maybe meant to discourage a profile from becoming a shrine for copycats. But the act has rare precedence in less recent history, and even carries negative connotations with non-online examples — say, if no one were allowed to read the Unabomber’s letters.


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