Should the World Wide Web keep records of everything?

December 1, 2014 Updated: April 23, 2016

What was the initial motivation behind the formation of the World Wide Web?

Well undoubtedly due to the technological advances which has become available approximately 25 years ago the initial objective was to gather as much information as possible regarding history and all human achievements and also memorable persons who has lived in the past and also in the present. There is however individuals and also other organizations that are beginning to question the mandate of a search engine like Google to keep records of absolutely everything which has ever happened in history or in the present. Not everyone has a burning desire to have a personal entry in the archives of Google and other search engines. This is why the EU is busy with an operation to force Google to remove some entries from its database. This operation is known as the right to be forgotten.

Is it better to forget some things?

Are there some things that regardless of their historical significance that should rather be forgotten? In other words will it help people, cultures, nations and countries to rather forget some of these recorded wrongs which have been perpetuated? There are some people who feel that it is indeed worthy to consider these questions and they feel that mankind in general will benefit if many links to such recorded occurrences are removed. This will include all articles which have simply lost their relevance over time, or they no longer adequately explain all the circumstances which are related to a specific occurrence in time. There can be no doubt that this is a situation which deserves a substantial amount of consideration in order to arrive at a compromise which will be acceptable to all parties involved.

Forgiving goes hand-in-hand with forgetting

As long as people keep on remembering will it really be possible to reconcile and to forgive. We all know from past experience that as long as something is remembered and kept in the forefront of one’s consciousness it is very difficult to find closure in that situation. However the more infrequent the memories concerning that situation are the easier it becomes to forget the original wrongdoing. Therefore the removal of irrelevant links on Google’s database could in the long term accomplish a higher level of tolerance among different people, cultures and nations. Therefore it is preferable to lose some parts of history or to make them less accessible to the general public in order to obtain a higher level of tolerance for each other. This argument certainly makes sense when one look at the surface of the situation.

What should therefore be pursued is an acceptable equilibrium

There are certainly many things in history which are precious, motivating and inspiring and which should never be lost to humanity. There are so many things which could be learned from the past since they give us so much information about how to deal with situations in our future. Another question which has to be considered is exactly how this is going to be accomplished and exactly how much links will have to removed and then how to put measures in place to control that process so that it does not become exploited. They can be no doubt that this is an extremely sensitive operation which will have to be handled with the utmost prudence.