[Bioforum] Re: Bionet public archives and removal requests revisited

David F. Spencer via bioforum%40net.bio.net (by DSpencer At NOSPAM.Dal.CA)
Sun Jan 14 13:12:27 EST 2007

Hi Don:

> Dear readers of Bionet,
> A prior contributor to Bionet.virology asked
> > Please permantely delete this reference link which is being stored  
> > by your servers.
> In the message in question from 1995, the student asked for science
> information on the virology topic of HPV.  Reasons for removal now are
> that Google searches by the author's name return this message, on a
> topic the author is not now interested in being associated with.


> -- Don Gilbert, Bionet caretaker 
> (now dealing with many such requests to edit the archives)

This is certainly a dilemma and one that I guess many of us haven't really
thought of much.

Whatever the consensus opinion on this might be, I personally think that
it is preposterous that you (i.e., Don Gilbert) should be expected to take
responsibility for purging archived BIONET postings of legitimate
messages, either questions or answers.
Frankly, people have to get a grip. When you put anything on USENET or a
web site you had better assume that it may be available forever. Sort of
like that really embarassing tattoo that you thought was a great idea when
you were 18, but now at 40 isn't quite as neat.
I started reading the BIONET groups/forums (I forget what they were called
then) over phone connections when they were still hosted at
Intelligenetics. If even a small percentage of posters from the last 16 or
18 years (however long it's been) started to send you requests to delete
their submissions you would be swamped with this foolishness.

Maybe you should create a new group,


and allow people to send messages there.

Dave Spencer

David F. Spencer
Dept. of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Dalhousie University
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

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