Brave New Bloggers

Matt Lewis
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Posted: Feb 08, 2007 11:04 AM

Have you seen the 2002 Tom Cruise movie, Minority Report? If not, here's the concept:

In the future, criminals are caught before they commit crimes.

Well, all this talk about John Edwards' blogger got me thinking about the dangers of having an "online presence" -- which got me thinking about Facebook -- which made me think of Minority Report.

While I truly believe the networking potential of Facebook is amazing, I also notice that a lot of young conservatives have pictures posted of which might be embarrassing if, in say, twenty years, they were to run for school board.

Here's where this gets a little 1984ish ...

What's to stop some liberal group (or the DNC for that matter) from having interns infiltrate conservative networks, sort through them, and compile a database of embarrassing pictures and quotes? In short, they would create a "Minority Report" which would seek to end young political careers before they begin? (Of course, conservatives could do the same thing in reverse). 

I know what you're thinking; this sounds ridiculous. It's conspiratorial, etc. Okay. Fair enough. My argument would be that the stakes in politics have gotten ridiculously high and that it's better to prepare for the worst case scenario.

But what if I told you ten years ago that "in the future" both political parties would be buying your consumer information and, based on which beer you drink, they would be "micro-targeting" you?

Would you have believed me? Because it's a regular practice today. 

(Of course, you could argue that, in the future, our standards will have declined to the point where this is irrelevant, anyway.)

Still, conservatives who wisely use the internet to advance the cause of freedom should also remember that anything you write (or show) can -- and will -- be used against you.