Indochine's Top Shelf

Jaime Koeppe

Is The Internet Really Forever? The Lifespan of a Digital Image

You hear this a lot, that once a woman’s photos are published online, they will be there forever. Nothing ever disappears from cyberspace, so the thinking goes. It sounds good and seems true, but I’m not sure it really is. Ever tried looking for photos of a model who appeared on the net 5-10 years ago? Unless they’ve experienced a sudden resurgence in popularity, you are unlikely to find anything. That's because while an image may have the potential to be around for years on the net, that rarely winds up being the case. Call it digital attrition, but somehow these photos seem to just disappear. Take the case of Canadian fitness model Jamie Keoppe. At one time, message boards were flooded with photos of
Jaime Koeppe
Jamie. (Anyone who knows this model can attest to this fact. ) Now, her image results on Google are meager at best. The same can be said of Miss Cheeky, whose ECM galleries used to be a regular staple on message boards. But when I recently posted her, I could scarcely gather up a dozen photos.

Mind you, a lot has changed in five years, most of it in favor of the infinite preservation of digital images in cyberspace. Just five years ago, Facebook was in its infancy, as was Youtube. There was no Tumblr, Twitter or Blogger. All of these tools aid in pictures lingering around the net longer. But I still have a difficult time finding images of models who were hot just a year ago.

The internet is a very transient medium. Message boards and blogs disappear all the time, and the photos indexed on those sites with them. Photobucket accounts are suspended or abandoned. Tinypics get deleted, Facebook accounts terminated. Eventually, if the factors line up, all of the breadcrumbs leading to a model can vanish. It’s not as unusual as you might think. Try finding the below image of Bria Myles online. It was posted about 2 years ago on her website as a “Bonus Shot” for several weeks. During that time, it circulated message boards heavily, but now, “poof”, it’s gone.


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