Undoing The Moving Hand

Every now and then, we here at Wizbang get an e-mail asking us to remove an article or comment that refers to the e-mail’s author. It seems that sometimes people say or do things that they later regret, and they would like our assistance in purging proof of those errors from the public record.

I always defer to those matters to Kevin. He’s the one who owns the site, and he’s the one who’s on the hook should such requests get ugly. And he’s already shown that he doesn’t take threats well.

Another such e-mail found its way into the “Tips” mailbox last night. This was from a guy who used to comment occasionally around here. It seems that he’s now looking for work, and he’s concerned that prospective employers might Google him. And when they do plug in his name, a couple of the top results are comments he made — one making rather salacious remarks about some politically prominent young ladies, another a rather crass remark about a couple of prominent political men.

For the record, they’re not particularly clever or witty.

Now, this is an entirely theoretical discussion. It turns out that Kevin has already made his decision, and I’m not going to divulge what he did or did not do at this point. But it brings up an interesting question: what would be the appropriate response?

My instinct is to say no to the request. He wrote the comments, he signed his own name, and now he regrets it. It would take some seriously convincing reason for me to delete or alter the comment. “I was a minor when I wrote it” would qualify; “I thought it was funny at the time, but now I’m embarrassed about it” doesn’t cut it.

But I’m curious about what others think. What would you do in such a case?

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