Is it just me or does this action take away some of the “sting” or consequences of making bad choices online when you post something? Will this kind of action enable more users online to post photos & other material knowing now that they can essentially get away with it? What are your thoughts? Check out the article below from Mashable! Comment below too!
It’s hard to erase the stain of embarrassing social media posts once they’ve hit the web. For minors in California, however, the task just became a little bit easier.
Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill into law on Monday that requires websites to both remove content and provide notice of the removal when a requested by a minor (under age 18). This includes social media sites.
“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,” Steinberg said in a statement released Monday. “They deserve the right to remove this material that could haunt them for years to come.”
California State Sen. Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) authored the bill.
Studies have indicated that social media posts can affect one’s chances of getting into college or landing a job, among other things.
Mark Hedlund, communications director for Sen. Steinberg, called the law an “eraser button” for digital content. Even websites stationed outside the state must comply with the law if the user in question is a minor from California, Hedlund told Mashable during a phone conversation Tuesday.
He also said that sites are not required to delete the data completely, only remove it from public view.
The law does not, however, protect against posts by third parties. This means that if someone else — a friend, enemy or other — posts a compromising picture of a California minor, that minor can’t force the site to remove the photo, even if the minor originally published the content.
Since most popular social media sites allow users to delete their own content at will, the “eraser button” provision is little more than an official stamp on something already widely practiced.
The new law also restricts the advertising of “harmful products” on websites targeted at minors. Examples of harmful products, as defined by the bill, include alcohol, tobacco, firearms, tattoos and drug paraphernalia. Hedlund told Mashable that this provision also applies to “general audience” websites if the sites’ operators knows that minors are registered users.
The bill ultimately passed by a margin of 62-12 in the California State Assembly and 38-0 in the State Senate. The new laws take effect on Jan. 1, 2015.