Teen Beat

Online Deletion Law Would be Totally Helpful for Teens if Delete Buttons Didn’t Exist

A for effort?
In other news, Betabeat is drafting a bill to ban sneaker wedges (Photo: Getty)

In other news, Betabeat is drafting a bill to ban sneaker wedges (Photo: Getty)

We all remember the amazing judgment that came with being a teen. Sure, why not follow up those five shots of Captain with a giant bong rip? Nothing bad will come of hooking up with this terrible 23-year-old pill addict! And hey, Ugg boots with denim mini skirts? Chic.

Just kidding, the only thing worse than a teenager’s judgment is her acne. That, presumably, is why New Jersey state Senator Shirley Turner has introduced a bill that would allow minors to force websites to remove the content they themselves created and posted. Unfortunately, it seems to be just as useless as that California law that purports to do the same thing.

Unfortunately, even if the bill turns into law, it will probably do fuck-all to protect teens’ online reputations. Let’s say, in a night of Smirnoff Ice-fueled stupidity, you and your friends take some embarrassing photos of yourselves and post them online. The next day, you may wake up and delete them. If you wanted them gone, you’d have no reason not to. But most websites have delete buttons, so, problem solved.

The only thing this bill ensures is that a minor can force a website to “remove, or to request and obtain removal of within seven days of the request, content or information posted by the minor.” So if, say, Facebook removed its “delete” button, this law could come in handy. But would that ever happen?

Also, the seven day window doesn’t prevent some little shithead you go to school with from taking a screenshot of the offending content while it’s up. And if another person posts something unfavorable about a minor, the victim still would have no recourse.

So, spotty youths, keep in mind that the grownups making laws really don’t understand the demonic ways of young social media users, and probably never will.

Take it from this former New Jersey teen: there’s no legal substitute for good judgment.

(h/t The Daily Dot)

Follow Molly Mulshine on Twitter or via RSS. mmulshine@observer.com