California Passes “Eraser” Law for Minors on Social Media Sites

2013-09-25 20.03.57

On September 23rd, legislation was signed by Gov. Jerry Brown that will require social media and web sites to remove online activity from a minor starting in 2015. Party pictures, scandalous photos or just simply embarrassing photos can be requested to be taken down by children under the age of 18. A bigger part of the SB 568 Bill is to limit the online marketing to minors. It prohibits advertisers to market any under-age material to minors.
Common Sense Media website shared a letter written to Gov Jerry Brown asking him to sign the Bill in to law. The two major parts of the Bill are…
  • First, it would prohibit websites, online services, and online or mobile apps that are directed to minors from marketing specified dangerous or age-inappropriate products and services to minors. It’s a no-brainer that websites and apps that target kids or that know a user is a minor shouldn’t serve these inappropriate ads.
  • Second, SB 568 would permit minors to remove content or information that they personally posted on websites, online services, and online or mobile apps, in effect requiring an “eraser button” that kids sorely need. Too often, young people post information they later regret but can’t delete from the online and mobile world. All of us — especially kids — should be able to delete what we post.
Minors these days will have something that most of us never had to worry about – a “digital footprint”. What could that possibly be, you ask? It’s a person’s online presence. A history of what they’ve posted online: videos, photos, posts, comments anything that is shared online – good or bad. For those of us born before the 80s, we don’t have much to worry about. I still can’t imagine what high school would have been like with cell phones, let alone social media. It’s probably why I’m so passionate about learning and educating others on how to navigate through this digital world as parents. It’s up to us to watch over our kids and teach them to be responsible for what they share online. Be active and be aware of what your child is doing and sharing online.

Internet Safety for Kids

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve talked to my friends about internet safety. Some parents I know don’t know a thing about the internet. Others are scared of it and all too many let their kids surf the web, use social media and don’t know anything about what their kids are doing.

Here are five tips from an article on Online Mom on how to keep kids safe:

  • Be informed. Find out what your child likes to do on the Web, which sites he likes to visit, and which games he plays. Spend time together online and show an interest in what he’s doing.
  •  Start a dialogue. Talk to your child about online safety and be specific about your concerns. Let him know there are safe and unsafe web sites, just as there are safe and unsafe places to go in the real world. Talk about the importance of resisting contact with people he doesn’t know, and immediately telling you about anything that makes him uncomfortable.
  • Protect personal information. Teach your child to respect personal information, both his own and other people’s. Teach him never to share passwords, phone numbers, addresses, or other personal information, and to never post pictures or information about other people without their permission.
  •  Click smart. Teach your child not to open files or click on links unless they are from a trusted source. Talk about the dangers of malware and how viruses can harm files and the performance of the computer.
  •  Install parental controls. Install a top-rated suite of parental controls to protect your home computers and monitor your child’s use. And let your child know that you have installed parental controls; trust is the foundation of good decision-making.

The article also states “If you maintain a dialogue and are consistent in your approach, your child will quickly develop the good online habits that will be so important through the teen years and beyond. Don’t leave it to chance or let others teach your child. Become an online parent today!

Right now, there are no laws for minors and the internet. You, as their parent, are the only one that can keep them safe. Take the time to see what their doing, saying, and talking to.

Remembering 9/11

Each year, we all think back to that horrible day when our lives changed forever. We take time to remember the lives that were lost and the friends and families who lost loved ones. People are always posting and saying “Never Forget” – of course we won’t forget. How could we? It’s one of those moments where we can all remember exactly where we were when we found out. This year, “Never forget” took on a whole new meaning for me. It’s more about not forgetting to be kind to one another. Not to forget how, as a nation, we stood together, to mourn the loss of the thousands of people who lost their lives. It’s a time to be proud to be an American and a time to be kind to one another.

My son wasn’t even 2 years old when it happened. I can still remember watching it on the news but making sure he didn’t see anything. He was too young to understand so I turned the channel and he watched an episode of Barney. Probably the first time I was glad to have that crazy, purple distraction. I remember not wanting to take him to daycare and just holding him tight.

It wasn’t until he was about 10 years old, that it finally sunk in to what happened on 9/11. He was very curious and asked a lot of questions. “Who did it?”  “Why?” “How?” Questions, that even adults today, still don’t understand. At 13, I still have to be careful of how much he watches on TV. I can tell when it’s too much for him to try and understand.

Today, he posted a picture on Instagram about 9/11 that surprised me, in a good way. It made me smile to see how proud he is to be an American and that we have grown to become stronger, not weaker, from an event that changed our lives forever

Photo Sep 11, 12 18 45 PM

Talking to young children about 9/11 is not easy. Eventually though, they will find out. Either at school, on the news or from a friend. The best thing to do as parents, is to make sure you reassure them that they are safe. There are several books and some great articles on talking to your children about what is now, a big part of our American history.