New Bill Would Keep Your Social Media Posts From Hurting You
At the height of his good samaritan fame while raising funds for the University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital, past tweets were dug up by a since-fired Des Moines Register reporter that could have derailed the Carson King Express.
Most people looked beyond tweets from King's past in favor of the good he was doing, but it re-ignited discussions about the importance of how we represent ourselves, our families and even our current and prospective employers publicly on social media.
According to the Gazette, if an Iowa state Senator has his way, that type of privacy will not be an issue in the future. Senator Zach Nunn of Altoona introduced the "Right To Be Forgotten" Act, officially known as Senate File 2236. It is designed to protect Iowans from their previous social media indiscretions when applying for or receiving professional, financial or public considerations.
Long story short, it would prevent search engines from disclosing these questionable posts when searching for an individual. The catch is that the person posting the material would have to request it be removed and internet operators would have to comply within 30 days. If an operator won't remove it in 30 days, it's a $40,000 fine.
Posts pertaining to criminal activity, litigation relating to a violent crime, or a matter that is of "significant public interest" would not be subject to removal.
Nunn called the King situation a "small-level item" that would have been protected under his bill.
Carson King himself goes to schools to preach the importance of this, and it's worth considering even after this bill potentially passes: be careful what you say on social media. It will be hard to get rid of, but no longer impossible if Nunn's bill passes.