Self-deleting text in online communities and social media is a topic that has been receiving more and more attention as of late. self deleting text affects the spread of information in online environments, limiting what other users see across websites, domains, or networks. One way to combat the deleter’s intent is through accountability, or increasing transparency on who made those changes. However, this would also exclude partial deletions.
What is the influence of self-deleting text on online communities and social media?
Short-term diffusion of information in the presence of self-deleting text
Short-term diffusion of information in the presence of self-deleting text occurs because adding deletion capabilities to a web server increases its overall information. This occurs because the self-deleting text capabilities must be constructed somewhere on the web server in order for it to work. By adding this self-deleting text construction to an online community or social media, it serves as a form of “mechanical noise” which introduces entropy into other information flow, causing the information to spread less rapidly.
Long-term diffusion of information in the presence of self-deleting text
Long-term diffusion of information in the presence of self-deleting text occurs because once information is deleted from an online community or social media, that information cannot be recovered. This effect is especially significant if the deletion occurs after a period of popularity. This is due to the fact that popularity increases the amount of backups made for that online community or social media. Thus, even though it takes several days for deletion to occur on some sites, it would take much longer to disappear completely from most backups.
Continuous connectivity between self-deleting text and information
Self-deleting text in online communities and social media increases the amount of information due to the fact that it can be used to delete other information from a portion of what is being tracked. Although this reduces the amount of information being tracked, it also provides continuous connectivity between that data and the other types of data being tracked. This allows for a continuum to exist between all such data, in which case it does not matter if any one piece has been removed.