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October Science Pub Will Address How Much of Our Social Media Should Be Archived

In an age when many people share much of their life on social media, it begs the question: how much of this material should be saved?

Michael L. Nelson, a professor in the Computer Science Department, will discuss this issue at Old Dominion University's upcoming Science Pub.

"We Can Archive All of Your Social Media - But Should We?" is the Science Pub topic on Oct. 15 at Coelacanth Brewing Co., 760 A West 22nd St., Norfolk. Networking begins at 6:30 p.m.; the program starts at 7.

Nelson points out the generational change in how we document our lives.

"For many in Generation X, our youth is sparsely documented because we only occasionally took the time to photograph or otherwise make note of our hijinks," he said. "In the post-iPhone/Twitter/Instagram world of Millennials and Generation Z, that's largely no longer true, and once these moments are shared they are difficult to unshare."

Even deleting your social media accounts won't necessarily allow you to regain your privacy.

"There is a good chance that at least some of it exists in public web archives, accessible to anyone who takes the time to discover it," Nelson said. "If you're a presidential candidate, perhaps it is in the public interest to review the social media of your youth. But what if you're not a public figure?"

For more about Nelson, you can see his home page here and his Twitter account at this link.

Science Pubs are an opportunity for anyone to have casual conversations with ODU researchers. RSVPs are encouraged by Oct. 14 but not required. The first 20 people to arrive receive a free beverage.

The next Science Pub is scheduled for Nov. 20. Amy Milligan, the Batten Endowed Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies and Women's Studies and director of the Institute of Jewish Studies and Interfaith Understanding, will discuss "Selma's Untold Jewish History" at Maker's Craft Brewery in Norfolk.

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