I’ve been using the content on IsAnyoneUp.com as an example of web ephemerality since the site went down in April. Digital decay and weak content persistence are important aspects of a digital right to be forgotten. Kayla Laws, pictured below, found herself on the notorious revenge porn site started by the now notorious Hunter Moore. Today, when you search Kayla Laws on Google, results reference her acting activities, but not her content on IAU – it is gone.

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The only reference to her content on the revenge porn site is from articles that covered her coming out as a victim of the site on Nightline. The site was archived by the Internet Archive, but it’s not easily searchable by name. Kayla’s information on IsAnyoneUp.com can be seen as example of how embarrassing digital information can be forgotten without legal intervention.

But now the site is back – or coming back – with vengeance.

Moore explains,

“We had too many hackers too much overhead and way too many legal problems. This time I am doing it right. We are going to start off by launching with all the old IAU content and all new content. The submission page has only been up for five full days and we’ve done over 7,000 submission within that time. I am creating something that will question if you will ever want to have kids.”

IAU currently redirects users to bullyville.com, but apparently handing over the site to James McGibney was not actually a change of heart. Scorned exes were previously able to fill in fields with their submissions that included social media profiles, but the new submission form will include an address entry.

“We’re gonna introduce the mapping stuff so you can stalk people,” Moore told Betabeat, “I know–it’s scary as shit.”

I’m not quite sure what to do with this come-back. In order for digital content to persist, it has to be maintained. The data controller must have the interest and resources to maintain access to it. Generally, this aligns with public interest and old content loses its appeal quickly. Accounting for vengeful data controllers in a right to be forgotten is difficult, because they may maintain content out of spite, even as it ages and gets fewer and fewer hits. Moore is disrupting more than the social niceties of the internet; he’s disrupting my research!

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