Von Brunn's Digital Trail Disappears

Web page, message board rants removed after suspect named
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 12, 2009 5:40 AM CDT
This undated photograph provided by the Talbot County, Md.,Sheriff Office on Thursday, June 11, 2009, shows James von Brunn.    (AP Photo/Talbot County Sheriff Office)
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(Newser) – James von Brunn's online presence began to vanish within hours after he was named as the suspect in the Holocaust Museum shooting Wednesday, the Washington Post reports. Users trying to access his personal website received an error message, his user bio on Wikipedia was pulled, and the Free Republic message board temporarily removed a posting from him questioning President Obama's citizenship.

The scrubbing of von Brunn's online presence raises some tricky netiquette issues. Wikipedia said it removed the bio because it contained hate speech that hadn't been previously brought to the site’s attention, while the Free Republic reinstated von Brunn's rant after a review. His online presence remains viewable through caches and in archives like the Wayback Machine, proving once again that information on the Internet is nearly impossible to purge once posted.