The hacking of Sony Pictures has sparked speculation about an erasable Internet. In a world where everything is public, you may want a communications platform where what you say suddenly disappears.
Sony CEO Amy Pascal undoubtedly wishes for a mulligan so she could put all her snarky comments about Hollywood counterparts on the equivalent of Snapchat, so they would vaporize soon after they were read.
High-profile figures, such as former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, have tried to scrub their online past without complete success. Stuff never fully melts away. There is always somebody who took a screenshot of an offending rant and shows no hesitation to spread it anew when the moment is right or, in the case of Gingrich, wrong.
Google’s ever-evolving algorithms have put the kibosh on trying to bury old bad news with happy feet good news. Whitewashing is pretty much kaput.