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Advocate, Educator, Human

Après nous, le déluge

Our Fight

“Never give in–never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.” – Winston Churchill

Evolve

Leap

Resist

Aristotle defined Man as a political animal, claiming humans without a tribe can only be above or below common men as tyrants or exiles. In modern times, a nasty snag threatens to unravel our social fabric, leaving each of us a lonely thread devoid of purpose or pattern. This snag is not simply rampant individualism fraying the ties that bind us together, and it is not merely the apathy brought about by alienation.

Although rampant individualism and apathy resulting from alienation surely play their part, the true culprit is despair. When we no longer can see how we fit into the pattern, we begin to feel that the project as a whole lacks meaning, and Hopelessness waits to cradle us in his arms. We retreat. We become hardened individualists. And we cling to indifference to shield our fragile egos from what feels like inevitable defeat.

It’s not that we can no longer connect with our brethren. It’s not that we no longer care. It’s that we sense our relationship to the polity is so tenuous that it is effectively meaningless. Accordingly, we dismiss what makes us human and devolve into a complacent state of wormhood.

One person alone can’t effect change. What is the worth of one vote? One vote is worth one vote, no doubt about it. In our current state of desolation, we must recognize there are only two paths: regress or progress.

To regress is to severe oneself completely from the social body and to surrender to hopelessness. To progress is to have a resurgence of faith that our collective efforts bestow the pattern of the social fabric with meaning. Thus, it is with a leap of faith that we cross the divide.

What will we find when we arrive on the other side? Will we find despair here as well? No, we find tenacious spirits driven by fiery willpower and determination. We find bravery and self-sacrifice. We find brotherhood, and we find ourselves. We find truth, meaning, and finally peace.

Advocacy

Right2Remove advocates for the Right to Be Forgotten.

Online privacy has increasingly become a concrete social issue that impacts private citizens, families and communities across the United States. Phenomenon, such as online harassment, bullying, blackmail, defamation, slander, shaming and hate speech, affect the most vulnerable among our population, who often do not have the financial or technical means to defend themselves. Due to the stigmas attached to certain categories of information being available online, basic human dignity is infringed upon, because we leave those who are most afflicted at the mercy of data aggregators, black-box decision makers, extortionists, trolls and online mobs. The poorly-written Communications Decency Act has bestowed search engines and social-media platforms with editorial authority over online content. But rather than embracing the responsibility, the tech giants eschew this noble role, choosing to be nightmarish Kafkaesque gatekeepers instead of equitable judges. To protect consumers and citizens, countries around the world have introduced so-called right-to-be-forgotten laws, which allow for the removal of sensitive information from search-engine results. In the United States, there has been a mischaracterization of the Right to Be Forgotten. Rather than engage in a mature, civil dialogue to find practical solutions, search engines, social-media platforms and massive news conglomerates have opted instead to employ their public-relations armies to polarize public opinion. Right2Remove was established to advocate for laws in the United States that are comparable to laws such as the Right to Be Forgotten abroad and to seek remedies for those who have been afflicted by reputational harm on the internet.

Learn & Meet Our Friends

Compiled resources, articles, and news on the Right to Be Forgotten.

Learn about the Right2Remove press campaign and meet other advocates. Follow international artist and activist Paolo Cirio’s project Obscurity online. Read Sarah Lageson’s Digital Punishment to learn more about the mugshot extortion industry. Support our friends advocating for more human-oriented tech by listening to Douglas Rushkoff’s Team Human podcast. Watch the international progress of the Right to Be Forgotten by following our European friends at AAID. Use resources from our allies in privacy, such as the treasure-trove located at the Electronic Information Privacy Center (EPIC). Access our privacy news feed.
Scott Philotoff

Scott Philotoff

Director Right2Remove/Giant killer/Folk Hero

A romantic at heart but pragmatist by nature, I was always obsessed with questions regarding the “real-world” applicability of the liberal arts. My affiliation with The Center for Ray Bradbury Studies and Frederick Douglass Papers at the Institute for American Thought in Indianapolis helped to provide that answer. Over the course of years, I bolstered the foundational skill set that I’d earned in graduate school by focusing my efforts on careers in teaching and publishing. In life, change is the only constant. My sails billowed with the winds of change, and I succumbed to the siren call of progressive politics. The new question that had come to drive my interest was raised by the Roman poet Juvenal when he asked, “Who watches the watchmen?” As a privacy and criminal justice advocate, I can now proudly say—my friends and I do.

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