University of North Carolina Davis had to ask this question recently, and discovered the hard truth behind one of their greatest shames: the 2011 UC Davis Pepper-spray incident. The Sacramento Bee reported that UC Davis went to great lengths to delete videos and images and came face to face with the phrase “internet is forever” on a personal level.
This incident occurred when police pepper-sprayed peaceful, Occupy Wall Street student protesters sitting, at very short range. The backlash that came from this event was shown in photos and videos taken by students at the time of the event and even turned into a viral meme featuring John Pike the most prominent officer of the situation. UC Davis tossed up a lot of money to hire two separate counseling services to erase all of the its bad reputation and to erase the memory of the whole event. “UC Davis paid $90,000 to one consulting firm, Nevins & Associates, for a “proactive online brand and reputation enhancement campaign.” The firm promised to create positive content, place positive news stories with strategic media outlets, and strategically filter negative search results” (Romano 1).
Even after these two different firms were told to clean up UC Davis’s reputation, they both failed miserably in that the second thing to pop up in Google’s search engine when you type in “uc davis” is “uc davis pepper spray.”
” If an entity of its size and stature, which has the ability to fling hundreds of thousands of dollars at a problem, can’t erase negative search results from the web, how can any of the rest of us” (Romano)? As much as we as a society don’t like to admit it, everything we say, do, or type on the internet is stored somewhere in a database, and we will never be able to get it back. It’s there forever, whether you find that to be a good thing or a bad thing, the choice is up to you.
Video of “UC Davis Pepper-spray incident:” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmJmmnMkuEM
Source of article: http://www.vox.com/2016/4/15/11430462/uc-davis-pepper-spray-internet-history-revenge-porn