Friday, September 28, 2012...9:00 am

Hounded by tabloid journalists? Deleting your online presence doesn’t always work…

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Tabloid sleaze ahead – turn aside now.

Let’s say you were a tabloid journalist covering the Megan Stammers Lost in France case. Let’s say you wanted to hunt down the other victim in the case and get some material on Jeremy Forrest’s betrayed wife.

Doing a Google search gets you a whole lot of blocked content – Twitter account deleted (@emilyjforrest), Flickr account deleted; WordPress blog (emilyforrestphotography.com) now hidden behind password protection.

No go. Oh, wait, eager hacks – Google’s handy web cache allows you to access some of her Twitter timeline, plus all the written content from Emily Forrest’s blog from before she blocked it. Did you know that she has a pet rabbit? And she went to St Lucia on honeymoon? And she’s really interested in Japanese pop culture?

It’s a potential goldmine of tabloid information. So do we think that her absence from the wall-to-wall coverage is thanks to the tabloid media’s new-found respect for personal privacy? Or is it simply the inability of tabloid journalists to exploit Google’s search loopholes?

Whatever. It’s the kind of situation where Google’s URL removal request tool might come in handy. And it’s worth clicking on the “block search engines” box in your blog’s settings…

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