The ‘Right to be forgotten’ has now been covered by all of the major news outlets extensively, particularly as Mario Costeja Gonzalez won his court battle to have details of his past erased from search results.
The irony of Mr Gonzalez’s court win was that it made the details of his past more public than ever before, aside from that there’s a strong argument to be made for the right to a second chance online. Particularly as a new generation of children who have lived their whole lives online reach early adulthood.
Here at Zeal we are in the business of being social media savvy, yet as we know that isn’t always the case for everyone, particularly children. I suspect we have all heard stories or know someone who has landed themselves in trouble at work over a comment that they’ve made online, not to mention a few high profile examples. The right to edit and delete old content could prove to be an important tool for young people who might find themselves with damaged job or university prospects because of content posted online.
The right to correct past mistakes is one thing, but increased awareness and training for young people on their social media use and potential repercussions is similarly important. Before the internet we were allowed to meet new people and move through our lives letting our new experiences form our personality and contributing to others impressions of us, leaving any old views in the distant past. With social media and especially the Facebook timeline, adding a new friend comes with a lifelong report card on our activities and opinions, we can no longer choose to edit our personalities in the same way.
That’s where iRights come in. A campaign designed to assist young people in improving their digital literacy and hopefully ensuring that we all get the opportunity of a second chance online if needed!
Now some of this might be hitting home for your own social profiles, but have you considered your business and its activity online? The implications are just the same. Businesses need to be increasingly aware of the permanent nature of their content online, remaining on brand and not making rash decisions that could come back to haunt them later – because your customers don’t forget!
Don’t let this come off as too much of a cautionary tale; social media is the perfect tool for building relationships with your existing customers and reaching new ones! Just make sure that you’re as informed as possible before taking the plunge!