Q: Years ago, on the morning after a wild party, I inadvertently captured on video a friend’s plea to keep an extramarital affair secret from the spouse. Both the friend and the paramour make brief appearances onscreen. Neither knew they were on camera. Although it’s likely to be a forgotten episode, my preservation of the recording means that any of the following could happen:
▪ One of the people involved becomes tremendously famous, making the video useful to biographers and historians;
▪ A criminal case develops in which the video provides valuable evidence in the pursuit of justice;
▪ My friend gets divorced, and later I reveal the video and we have a good laugh;
▪ Despite my precautions, the video somehow makes it online and leads to the implosion of the marriage.
I have never told anyone this video exists. Would you suggest I erase it or continue to hold onto it?
Stuck on the Evidence
A: You spend a lot of time in D.C.? Hollywood?
Fortunately for you, I have received extensive training in the archiving and storage of materials suitable for future blackmail, so I can advise you ... yeah, no, I can’t even finish the joke.
Erase the video, now.
Washington Post Writers Group