New Law Allows Teens to Delete Embarrassing Social Media Posts
CollegeDegrees360 / Flickr
You know, when you create some social media accounts, the info you give up and the things you post can stay out there forever. While you can delete posts and photos on major sites like Facebook and Twitter, there are others that scoop up public content and repost it.
A new bill signed by Gov. Jerry Brown this week would let people under 18 get their social media info deleted. But it won't hold social media sites responsible for content of a minor posted by a third party:
The legislation, SB 568, was sponsored by state senate president pro tempore Darrell Steinberg, who also aimed to protect kids from alcohol, tobacco and gun advertising online.
According to the language of the bill, social media sites would be required to ...
... permit a minor who is a registered user of the operator's Internet Web site, online service, online application, or mobile application to remove or, if the operator prefers, to request and obtain removal of, content or information posted on the operator's Internet Web site, online service, online application, or mobile application by the user.
This is a groundbreaking protection for our kids who often act impetuously with postings of ill-advised pictures or messages before they think through the consequences. They deserve the right to remove this material that could haunt them for years to come.
The lawmaker cites a recent Kaplan study that says one out of four colleges check admissions applicants' social media postings.
The organization Common Sense Media pushed for the legislation. In urging Brown to sign the bill, the group's CEO, James P. Steyer, said in a letter to the gov:
Regardless of the platforms we use, our personal information belongs to us. It is not a commodity to be controlled, traded, or mined by online and mobile companies or data brokers. Both parents and teens agree.
Wait. We need this law for everyone. Not just teens. Unfortunately, this one doesn't even take effect until Jan. 1, 2015.
Get the Weekly Newsletter
Our weekly feature stories, movie reviews, calendar picks and more - minus the newsprint and sent directly to your inbox.