Jun 11, 2009

Missing links

Shortly after the shooting at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum on Wednesday, websites that hosted the writings of James von Brunn began erasing the links. Although caches of the writings still exist, the effort to remove his words has raised questions about online ethics and transparency.

From the Washington Post:

In the immediate aftermath of the shooting, which resulted in the death of one security guard, several items were unearthed online that appeared to be written by von Brunn: a piece titled "Obama Is Missing," which questioned the president's citizenship, on conservative forum FreeRepublic.com. A Wikipedia user bio page (von Brunn had edited only sporadically), in which he wrote that Judaism is "the Enemy of Mankind." A long-stagnant personal site, HolyWesternEmpire.org, which included links to a novel.

Throughout Wednesday afternoon, these links began to disappear. Clicking on the personal site resulted in an error message. The Wikipedia user page vanished. The Free Republic link was also removed -- at least for a while. Current events Web site Daily Kos remarked on the removal, and a few hours later, the post reappeared.

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