The UK Government Are Pushing for a Pre-Adulthood Memory Wipe on Facebook

Irvine Times
Facebook has been freely available to the public since 2006, and in that time a lot of teenagers have grown into adults. For this reason, there's a plentiful amount of embarrassing content lurking on the platform, content which some people would probably rather see erased. Apparently, the UK government has a similar vested interest.

While announcing her campaign pledges ahead of the general election on the 8th of June, Theresa May talked about forcing Facebook and Twitter to let people remove their entire platform history prior to adulthood. May stated that her party were bringing in this regulation in order to help "redress the balance" between platforms and their users.

According to Home Secretary Amber Rudd, some companies have already shown a willingness to comply with this, or at least work with them to increase online safety. Which exact companies she was talking about, however, remains unclear. The key question is this - why are the government focusing particularly on the embarrassing content of yesteryear?

It comes down to career progression. Rudd stated that silly photos from teenage years can have detrimental effect when it comes time to look for a new job, and that people should have a way to permanently remove that kind of information. We don't know exactly how these regulations will work yet, but the Conservatives have said that it would be enforced by a sanctions regime, which could leave Facebook open to multiple non-compliance lawsuits.

It's hard to think of a reason why Facebook, Twitter or any other platforms would refuse to go along with this, especially when you stack it up against the other online privacy issues they're dealing with. Compared to those, this is a relatively minor issue.

In any case, the Tories will have to actually win the election before they can bring this policy into effect, and from the outside it certainly looks like they're using it to entice the younger, more social media savvy crowd (a crowd which notoriously either votes against them or not at all) into ticking their box in a few weeks' time.

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