For the millionth time, I give thanks that I didn't grow up in the days of social media. By the time social media hit, I pretty much knew to keep my rants and other personal business off of it. Hell, that's what memoirs are for! But anyway, these days kids are all about having their foibles out there for the entire world to see. Some of those "foibles" are downright criminal and deserve to be punished. But other things are typical teen stuff -- pics of them drinking, partying, with pink hair, or revealing outfits -- and I'm not sure that kids realize that this stuff could be around forever. Big social media sites like Twitter and Facebook have a delete button, but not all do. California aims to change all of that with its bill that created an online "eraser" button for minors.
A bill has been passed that would allow minors to permanently erase their web history. Bill 568 says that minors have the right to permanently delete anything from Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Dogpile, Instagram, and other social media sites.
I'm not sure of the logistics of how this would work -- and how social media sites would keep up with requests -- but the idea of it is dead-on. The problem is that minors can request this, not adults, and teens might actually have to be adults before they suddenly realize that something idiotic they posted years ago is hurting their job hunting.
But for those kids and teens who do have the brain power to realize that a careless Twitter rant can destroy future prospects in higher education, career, reputation, love, and pretty much anything else, this is great news for them.
Why can't all states have this though? As long as social media sites are required to do it for one state, might as well make it for all. All they'd have to do is create a delete button that's permanent. Programmers could surely come up with how to do that. Unfortunately, the bill doesn't extend to photos or information that you posted that was then shared.
I surely am glad that everything I did as a teen or younger isn't out there haunting me now -- except the stuff I choose to share for various reasons -- and kids today deserve the same. Let's face it, their wee brains can't always conceive that what they're doing on the web today could stop them from running for president tomorrow.
Do you think this is a good idea?
Image via PinkSherbetPhotography/Flickr