There are a ton of things I’d like to forget. That high school yearbook photo of me in the bolo tie. My Sally Jesse Raphael eyeglasses that my mom apparently thought looked good on me. That one time I visited Tijuana, Mexico, and saw a donkey spray-painted to look like a zebra. Lots of stuff. But, here’s the thing. To forget them, to not have them as a part of my personal history, would change who I am.
Yet if the picture of me in the bolo tie makes it to the web, what can I do? How do I remove things that are a part of my past that I’d like to forget but can’t because there is a record of them online somewhere? Things I don’t want anyone to know about. Like that picture of me in the bolo tie, or in the case that spurred the whole "right to be forgotten" movement, an auction notice for a repossessed home.