In the old days, a cowboy could ride into town and no one knew if he was honest or a bank robber. Today, anyone can Google someone’s name to see what has been written about or by the person, and possibly learn about their involvements.
AELR Blog recently discussed this when mentioning a Washington Post article, Harsh Words Die Hard on the Web: Law Students Feel Lasting Effects of Anonymous Attacks, which discusses how one Yale law student’s job hunt was stunted by what was written about her online.
Even more concerning is a website called The Gorb, which allows people to rate and review other people. The reviews are available online like an Amazon.com book review for anyone to see. This site has been criticized by internet commentators. It also raises questions about how libel and defamation laws will be applied.
It will be interesting to see how the reputations of law students, lawyers, and other professionals are affected by the “information age” being applied to personal reputations.