Under-18s could soon be able to delete their social media past, after a campaign called iRights was launched last week. iRights calls for the government to allow young people the ability to easily delete or edit anything they have ever posted online.
As it stands, it takes just one click to post something online, but trying to remove it is a different story – this initiative sets out to change that. It is based on the principal that adults should not have to bear the shame of past immaturity, or have it affect their career opportunities.
Online and social media behaviour is now customary to the background checks that are carried out by prospective employers, so what is recorded on there is more important than ever. The iRights proposal also includes a further four rights which those under-18 should expect online, including the knowledge of who is holding and profiting from their information on the net.
The 5 rights
- The right to remove: This right states that mistakes and experimentation are essential parts of growing up, but the internet never forgets and never corrects. Information gets collected and presented without context, ignoring age, time passed or personal circumstances. It’s extremely difficult for young people to get away from their past and move on.
- The right to know: This is a call for better transparency online. Young people routinely share information online without understanding what the current and future consequences may be. They enforce the need to make privacy policies clearer, so that under-18s begin to value the importance of their personal information.
- The right to safety and support: Young people should be confident that they will be protected from illegal practices online. They need to receive an age-appropriate, comparable level of adult protection, care and guidance in the online space.
- The right to informed and conscious choices: Young people should be encouraged to work, play and participate in the web’s creative spaces, but they should be aware that such spaces are designed to hold their attention. Online software needs to be designed in a way that allows young people to engage and disengage their attention.
- The right to digital literacy: To access all of this knowledge that the internet can deliver, children and young people need to be taught the skills to use digital technologies.
Where things stand now
In the current online environment it is all too easy to cause detriment to your future. As an adult, the permanent nature of the internet and the dangers it can have are understood. But for a child, this level of understanding cannot be expected because it is not something they are taught.
Currently, it is possible to delete content from social media, but whilst something is live there are a host of ways that it can be recorded. The iRights give a unique insight into how government can join with technology companies to make a better and safer digital world for young people.
Take a look at our free guide to managing teenager’s personal information online here to take some quick, practical steps on protecting your child’s online privacy. We’re experts in challenging and removing negative or personal information online, get in touch if you want to discuss an issue you might facing.