* UK Conservative Party wants social media platforms to wipe bad posting history
* Part of campaign pledge from Prime Minister Theresa May
* Prevents embarrassing pics from making a comeback when you apply for loans or jobs
That album of “Cabo” photos from college or that sarcastic tweet from election night might’ve been a fun throwback, but when your old pics and online interactions start popping up during a job search or interview, those seemingly candid moments could end up haunting you.
That’s why UK Prime Minister Theresa May has pledged to force social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to give people the chance to wipe out their pre-adulthood posting history — all with one swipe or click.
May’s campaign announced the pledge this week, ahead of the country’s June 8 snap elections. Under the proposed rule, companies that prohibit this erasing of material, could face fines.
“The internet has brought a wealth of opportunity but also significant new risks which have evolved faster than society’s response to them,” May said. “We want social media companies to do more to help redress the balance and will take action to make sure they do.”
The new safeguards are meant to prevent “inappropriate” content from your past from making an unwanted comeback when you start applying and interviewing for jobs, applying for accommodations (I.e. renting a house) or just building your professional brand. Currently, both Facebook, Twitter and Instagram allow you to delete your posts one at a time, but the measure will allow you to erase them in bulk. And while you can always set your social media accounts to private, that doesn’t prevent your current followers from screen-grabbing or saving your pics.
While Facebook has yet to comment on the proposed legislation, a spokesperson for Twitter cautioned about policing the internet. Antony Walker, Deputy CEO of techUK told Mashable, “It is important that any requirements placed upon private companies to take down content are underpinned by a clear legal framework that is consistent with international norms and the positive benefits of a global open internet.”