Internet Eraser Law Helps Teens Clean Up Their Online Profiles - FOX 35 News Orlando

Internet Eraser Law Helps Teens Clean Up Their Online Profiles

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LOS ANGELES (FOX 11) - Many universities and companies researching candidates - and sometimes the mistakes made on social media - could prevent minors from getting into the school of their dreams. But a new law that went in effect January 1st is trying to help fix that.

 

Alexandra Limon reports:

Online posts about drugs, underage drinking, and provocative photos..are just a few big mistakes that could come back to haunt teenagers.

Even keep them from getting into college or getting a job.

Pattie Fitzgerald "And very often what comes up is content that you really don't want a perspective college or employer to see," says Pattie Fitzgerald of SafelyEverAfter.com, a website dedicated to educating parents on how to protect their children.

A new law called the "California Eraser," aims at protecting minors from themselves.

It requires websites with users in the state of California to allow minors to remove posts and to clearly explain how to do it.

"They're minors, they're young. They don't really know and it gives them an opportunity to fix an error like we've all had," says Tony Kerry, a supporter of the law.

"And parents who try to advocate for their kids and go to these sites are often hitting road blocks," says Fitzgerald.

That's where the law comes in - essentially giving minors an online eraser button.

...But not everyone agrees with the idea of magically erasing your online past, even for minors.

"I think there should be consequences. I don't think you should just be able to do something stupid and then be able to take it right off. You're not going to learn from that," says Mariah Saurin, college student.

"I think you should think before you post," says Rob Mirasol, parent.

Fitzgerald, child safety expert and author, warns the law could provide a false sense of security.

"The problem is once a teenager or kid puts something up there, on a social media site anybody else can spread it around," according to Fitzgerald.

That expert we spoke to says the best ways to protect young adults is to teach them to make good decisions. Parents don't need to be tech savvy...

Because regardless of the online platform, the rules are usually the same.

 

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