410 Gone: Infocide in Open Content Communities

Where is Pilgrim?

410 Gone

the resource is intentionally unavailable

the server owner desires that remote links to that resource be removed. [FieldingEtal1999htp]

What do we call this?

Cyberlanguage

Online suicide

suicide 

Infosuicide/infocide

Disengaging from the Internet via the deletion of all your publicly available information. [quadhome20111ii]

Flounce

proclaim[ing] that they are leaving a community forever… leav[ing] a long ass, boring, nonsensical post explaining why they are so much more highly evolved than anyone else in the community. [Dramatica2011fce]

Also

Infocide in OCC

Community exit and the removal of one’s presence and contributions in an open content community

Method

Communities
open and voluntary communities producing free cultural products
Time
2006-2012
Data
100+ sources
Approach
naturalistic inquiry via theoretical sampling / emergent design
Analysis
iteratively coding sources into various categories

Motives and enactment

(1) Real Exhaustion

It’s time for me to find a new hobby. Preferably one that doesn’t involve angle brackets. Or computers. Or electricity. [Pilgrim 2004 qtd in rileyw2011aha]

I recently returned to photography after a long absence…. If you’ve written to me in the past few years and I haven’t responded, I apologize; and if you’ve known me that long, you probably already know why.

(2) Community discontent

I have lost all my belief in the wikimedia projects. On some projects I still have moderating bits, I hereby ask the stewards to take these bits away as I do not wish to spend too much time anymore on the projects, I might shout a bit from the sideline. [vanKalken2006prm]

(3) Privacy: The collision of the real and virtual

Community responses

(1) Silence

(2) Drama

Bye bye. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out, you whining prima donna [Anonymous2010ltb].

(3) Sleuthing

If anyone is in direct contact with Mark, please let me know that he’s okay …, even if his internet presence has been erased. As much as I hate for the world to lose all of the incredible information he’s created and shared, that would be as nothing compared to losing the man himself [Meyer2011smp]

a little later…

Mark Pilgrim is alive/annoyed we called the police. Please stand down and give the man privacy and space, and thanks everyone for caring. [Scott2011mpi]

Mark Pilgrim made The Economist blog

Phil Agre made NPR

JZ’s mysterious ailment made Boing Boing

(4) Thanks and mirrors

Barnstar for missing Wikipedians

Kindness Barnstar Hires

Mirrors of _why’s work

hence

Infocide…

… can be an antecedent to suicide

It can also be graduated.

Responses include being…

Yet, should people be able to infocide?

The right to be forgotten?

Infocide > removing an embarrassing MySpace page

Right to Leave vs. Wiki Mind Wipe

Thank you