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Why did they save those chat transcripts?

Andrew Sullivan asks the question: Why did these teens save transcripts of their exchanges with Rep. Foley?

It seems clear that the teens themselves recorded and saved the IM exchanges between Foley and the pages. Why? There’s a variety of possible answers. Because they were a) freaked out; b) wanted a record if anything later emerged that might impugn them; c) wanted to share the grossness among themselves and warn others; or even d) as leverage over a Congressman with influence or power.

How about e) none of the above: Their chat application automatically saves transcripts. iChat did that when I first bought my Mac. It automatically saved chat transcripts to a folder on my hard drive. Other apps do that too, though you might need to check a box to make it do so.

Why would you check the box? Why would you want to save the conversations? That’s an easy one. You want to save them in case you need to reference them later.

ImaGirl (12:01): I told you about it on the 12th of September, see:

ImaGirl (12:02): ImaGirl (14:43): You need to pick that up before 5:00PM on the 20th or you won't get it in time.
ImaForgetfulGuy (14:45): Okay, I'll go by and get it tomorrow.

See, it’s not my fault we don’t have it.

ImaForgetfulGuy (12:05): Oh, sorry. Oops.

Aside from the proper grammar and spelling, that’s a typical use of a saved chat transcript.

Saving instant messaging conversations is a pretty standard thing. I do it all the time to go back and see when or even if I told someone about something. Anyone who does a lot of instant messaging probably does the same.


Written by Jeff

Tuesday, October 3, 2006 at 3:41 pm

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