Will the “Eraser Law” Help Protect Teenagers’ Reputations on the Internet?

A new state law in California is aimed at giving teenagers a new weapon to protect their internet reputations. The so-called “eraser bill” has been signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown, and goes into effect on January 1, 2015.

Will California’s new Eraser Law help protect the internet reputations of teens?

The new law will give underage Californians the right to remove negative posts and other content, including videos, pictures, comments, and other material posted or stored on social media, web sites, or apps. Sites will be required to let teens either take down personal content themselves, or set up a mechanism for them to request that it be removed.

Teen Reputation Online

Proponents are hailing the new law as a victory for Internet privacy and for reputation protection. Its detractors, however, argue that the law will place too much of a burden on websites by forcing them to develop different policies for different states.

The measure, dubbed the “eraser bill,” is the first of its kind in the United States, and is seen as an enhancement of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. That act is a federal law restricting the collection of personal data from children under thirteen.

Supporters of California’s new “eraser law” insist it will put privacy back in the hands of minors and parents, and not in the hands of a tech company. Opponents counter that big social media sites, such as Facebook, already have ways for users to remove content, no matter their age. They says it could also lead to an assortment of state laws that would be difficult for technology companies to keep up with.

James Steyer, who heads a San Francisco-based group that promotes responsible online use, conceded that the law’s opponents have a reasonable point. But he defended the law, saying he hopes it will prompt lawmakers in Washington to pass a federal law addressing the issue.

“minors deserve the right to remove negative internet posts”

California State lawmaker Darrell Steinberg, who sponsored the bill, called the new law groundbreaking. He added that minors deserve the right to remove negative internet posts that could haunt them for years to come.

The California law comes in the wake of a series of documented cases of online abuse and bullying. Some of these cases have led to tragic results, including the suicides of underage users who were unable to control negative social media content.

The “eraser bill” was part of a larger measure aimed at protection children from certain types of online marketing, including advertising for guns, alcohol and other products that minors are prohibited from buying

Bad Reviews, Your Internet Reputation and Your Business’ Bottom Line

How Bad Online Reviews Affect Your Reputation and Business

Bad reviews are an unfortunate side effect of running a business. Most companies, regardless of the quality of service or product they provide consumers, will at some point be forced to cope with the effects of a negative review.

A bad online review, however, is a whole different beast; one that can have a far-reaching and extremely negative impact on your business’s bottom line. With hundreds, perhaps thousands of ways for consumers to leave negative online reviews, it becomes more difficult than ever to protect and preserve your company’s positive online reputation. Bad reviews can dissuade a customer from considering your product, hurt customer loyalty and lead to the development of product forums that expose your company to even more negative publicity.

The bad part is over...

Online reviews have achieved such relevance because they are often a consumer’s first source for product or service information. Surveys show that consumers’ reliance on online review sites to help make purchasing decision in on the rise. Review sites are easy to access and many tend to receive high visibility in search engine rankings. It is even possible for a bad online review to receive a prominent and highly-visible ranking on a search page, providing consumers with a potentially harmful first impression of your business.

Improve Online Reviews

An unsatisfied customer can help to create a firestorm for your business simply by posting a low-star ranking or negative comment about your company. A multitude of bad online reviews can damage consumer perception of your company, hurt your company’s relationships with other businesses, affect your sales and profit margins, damage your online credibility and leaving a lasting and negative impact on your online reputation. By damaging your online image, bad reviews can even give your competitors the opportunity to win your customers over.

There is hope for businesses that have a bad reputation because of negative online reviews

It is not, however, completely hopeless; there is help! You can fight the effects of bad online reviews by maintaining a proactive and positive approach to your company’s reputation management. By establishing customer forums, making effective use of social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter and keeping your consumers informed of the actions taken to correct any problems, you can at least provide your company the opportunity to preserve its online reputation.

Effective and positive online reputation management may often times seem like a daunting, perhaps impossible task. With the proper techniques and a professional management approach, however, you can begin to put up a strong and effective protective barrier against the damage done by bad online reviews.