How would you like a delete button for your life? Imagine being able to wipe away that snide comment made to your dorm mate when you were hangry, obliterating that bad math test grade, or being able to delete that embarrassing picture of yourself on Facebook from the web forever.
Those under the age of 18 and living in California will soon be able to do at least one of those things. Under new legislation going into effect in January 2015, minors in the state will be able to have embarrassing and damaging posts removed from their social media websites.
Here’s an example of how it will work.
Sally the student posts a less than flattering picture of herself doing something that’s, lets just say, not exactly legal. Later, when she realizes that her photo may not paint her in the most positive light to school recruiters or potential employers, she can request to the website operator to remove the picture.
Under the new law, website operators are required to comply with the request and take down the post, however, posts that have been reposted by a third party don’t apply. So hopefully Sally’s vengeful ex-boyfriend hasn’t shared it already.
The law is the first of its kind and aimed at helping minors and students from paying the repercussions of not properly thinking through their social media usage. Soon, other states may follow California by adopting their own, similar versions of the law.
Until then (and for those students over 18) here are some handy rules to go by when posting and sharing information online:
Think Before you Post – Before posting on your social media sites take a second and think about it first. Would you be embarrassed if an employer saw this on your wall? Keep in mind, an estimated 63 percent of HR professionals use social media sites to research prospective job candidates.
Don’t Post While Emotional – If you are angry, sad or under the influence, the best plan is to stay away from your social media sites. Posting while you are in an emotional state can lead to posts that you may regret later.
Manage Your Reputation – Constantly monitor your online reputation by Googling yourself to see yourself as others see you. If you uncover things that are unflattering, think about looking into using one of the many tools available to help manage your online reputation.
Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/katerha/