“eraser bill” and SB 606 move in the right direction

rs_560x415-130813174025-1024.berry.garner.ls.81313In the summer of 2013, actors and celebrity moms Halle Barry and Jennifer Garner testified in support of Senate Bill 606 to change the legal definition of harassment to include photographing or recording a child without the permission of a legal guardian and increases the possible punishment for harassing celebrity kids—and clarifies the legal definition of harassment in such cases.

A month later, the implementation of the “eraser bill” in California on September 23, 2013 further demonstrates an understanding of the influence media and – by extension – social media has on the lives of individuals. In particular, it recognizes the long term damage that may occur to those who post compromising pictures and text on line. The law forces companies – as of January 2015 – to provide a way for minors to delete digital skeletons – rants, postings and pictures that could harm their reputations, their chances of getting into college and their employment opportunities.

Recognizing the vulnerability of minors should also be extended to blogging, you tube and other mediums of social media that are used by parents and adult family members to post images and narratives about children without their permission.