A little under three years ago, New York Magazine's Graeme Wood discovered that his old classmate Samuel Phineas Upham had been arrested for attempting to cheat the IRS. The charges were eventually dropped, but the story was covered by a number of publications, resulting in Upham's name being followed by "tax," "arrested," and "indictment" in Google's autocomplete results. Intrigued by his ex-classmate's plight, Wood set up news alerts to inform him of developments, and soon discovered that Upham was engaging in a number of philanthropic activities. All was not what it seemed, however, as the new stories and search results turned out to be false. Read New York Magazine's eye-opening article to discover how easily the disgraced can buy themselves a new online reputation.
Correction: A previous version of this story said that Upham’s arrest had led to a three-year suspended sentence. In fact, the charges were dropped against him. We regret the error.