Internet ‘eraser’ law for teens

accreditation
Image: From this AWESOME Caspar Lee video: Selfies with Strangers/Youtube

It’s limited to the State of California in the US, but a new law has been created which could be the way of the future in internet security, according to NY Daily News: The law requires internet service firms such as Facebook, Twitter and even Google to allow minors to be able to remove embarrassing or potentially harmful posts which they’ve made in order to safeguard their future from being damaged by internet activity done in a state of poor judgement.

Limiting long-term damage caused by dodgy content

While adults are a little more cautious when it comes to the content they create online, including images of themselves and also more likely to apply the relevant account security measures, teens may upload pictures, links or statements which could plausibly come back to harm them in the future.

Many recruitment companies, academic institutions and potential employers are doing social media background checks to ensure that those applying for positions are not compromised in any way online. Those pictures of you passed out at a party could affect your ability to make life choices.

The law comes into effect in 2015, allowing time for internet sites to create the relevant changes to their security settings.

Briefly, the law will compel internet sites to remove information from their websites but not their servers upon user demand.

Advertising to minors to be controlled

Furthermore, social media sites will not be allowed to advertise age-controlled products or services such as weapons or alcohol on the pages of underage users.

The law extends only to content created or uploaded by the minors themselves, not to content which may be placed on their pages by third party users- so that picture which is potentially harmful could be left sitting there forever according to the law as it stands if a ‘friend’ thinks it’s funny to dump it on your site. This loophole is generating criticism from people who suggest that it would render the law impotent.

Although it is limited only to the State of California, the slight adaptation to the law could represent a dramatic and lasting change in internet account protection globally.

Goodbye, 14-year-old twerking me

That terrible selfie of a 14-year old you, or that horrifying twerking video you and your friends made? No longer will those have to haunt you forever. In the same way, your outspoken yet immature political voice or passion for obscure or even offensive causes as a teen need not hound you into adulthood. Like these, for example:

Teens snorting condoms

Self-harm on Youtube


Should this erasable content for minors law be adopted worldwide?
We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
The ANC's leadership race is heating up. Who do you think will be elected party president at Nasrec in December?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has got it in the bag
6% - 208 votes
I foresee a second term for Cyril Ramaphosa
81% - 2703 votes
Don’t discount a Zweli Mkhize win
12% - 412 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
18.04
-1.1%
Rand - Pound
19.98
-2.8%
Rand - Euro
17.65
-1.6%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.67
-0.3%
Rand - Yen
0.12
-0.8%
Gold
1,657.90
-0.1%
Silver
18.68
-1.1%
Palladium
2,194.39
+2.0%
Platinum
862.50
-0.5%
Brent Crude
89.32
+3.4%
Top 40
56,921
-0.9%
All Share
63,264
-0.9%
Resource 10
59,793
+3.3%
Industrial 25
76,769
-2.2%
Financial 15
13,707
-2.8%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE