One of the most troubling mysteries of the online age is what happens to the content you publish. Do pictures of you, of your family or dog belong to you or do they belong to your online host?

What about your blog posts, social media profiles and your other online incarnations? Can they just… disappear one day?

Check out: The Cost of Publishing Your Content on Someone Else’s Site 




  • preemptive – serving or intended to preempt or forestall something, esp. to prevent attack by disabling the enemy
  • perpetual – never ending or changing
  • persistence – firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition
  • countless – too many to be counted; very many
  • reputable – having a good reputation


Think about it

Answer the questions below.

  • Why did Silent Circle decide to destroy their servers?
  • In what way does the content you publish on Facebook belong to you?
  • In what way doesn’t the content you publish on Facebook belong to you? What are the implications?
  • Is it possible for your online content to suddenly disappear? What legal steps do online hosts take to avoid liability for such incidents?
  • What advantages do media platforms offer that can easily outweigh the risks of losing control over online content?


Practice makes perfect


Fill in the blank spaces with the correct words. Use only one word in each gap.

________ Thursday, secure email provider Silent Circle announced it ________ preemptively destroyed its servers in order to avoid potential government requests to ________ over data. It was likely unwelcome news for customers, ________ can no longer access anything that ________ been stored there.

While Silent Circle is an extreme case, ________ question of ownership is ________ increasingly important one. For business owners and entrepreneurs who create content or collect customer data, the question is: who really owns ________? And if you aren’t the one hosting the information, are you getting enough value ________ return?


Fill in the blank spaces with the correct forms of the words in capitals.

Glen Fleishman, editor and publisher of The Magazine, agreed, pointing out that although he’d ________ PERSON had positive experiences writing on Medium, at the end of the day, “it’s not mine. It’s theirs.”

According to Fleishman, ________ POWER is one of his chief concerns: “I can’t control the URL. I can’t embed. I have no idea about what their ultimate plans are… My words’ ________ PERSIST, both in ________ APPEAR and permanent location, are ________ DEPEND on factors beyond my control.”

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