KY, Other States Aim To Protect Children On MySpace.com

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - MySpace reached an agreement with legal authorities in 49 states on changing its social networking Web site to elp prevent sexual predators and others from misusing it, state officials aid Monday.

Several states' attorneys general said in a statement that Myspace will dd several protections and participate in a working group to develop ew technologies, including a way to verify the ages of users. Other ocial networking sites will be invited to participate.

MySpace, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., also ill accept independent monitoring and changes the structure of its site.

The agreement was announced in Manhattan by attorneys general from New Jersey, North Carolina, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York.

"The Internet can be a dangerous place for children and young adults, with sexual predators surfing social networking sites in search of potential victims and cyber bullies sending threatening and anonymous messages," said New Jersey Attorney General Anne Milgram.

Legal authorities have long been seeking greater controls for networking sites to prevent predators from using them to contact children.

"We thank the attorneys general for a thoughtful and constructive conversation on Internet safety," MySpace Chief Security Officer Hemanshu Nigam said in a written statement. "This is an industrywide challenge, and we must all work together to create a safer Internet."

He said the agreement includes measures "to provide a safer online experience for teens, and we look forward to sharing our ongoing safety innovations with other companies."

Among other measures, MySpace agreed to:

- Allow parents to submit children's e-mail addresses to MySpace to prevent anyone from misusing the addresses to set up profiles.
- Make the default setting "private" for 16- and 17-year-old users.
- Respond within 72 hours to complaints about inappropriate content and devote more staff and resources to classify photographs and discussion groups.
- Strengthen software to find underage users.
- Create a high school section for users under 18 years old. Investigators have increasingly examined MySpace, Facebook.com and other sites where people post information and images and invite contact from other people.

New York investigators said they set up Facebook profiles last year as 12- to 14-year olds and were quickly contacted by other users looking for sex.

The multi-state investigation of the sites - announced last year - was aimed at putting together measures to protect minors and remove pornographic material, but lawsuits were possible, officials said.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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  • by Wow Location: Richmond on Jan 15, 2008 at 06:22 PM
    @Kelly Location: Pikeville Theres no better feeling of safety than understanding what your afraid of. Ever tried reading about internet fraud and stalkers rather than asking government to "make me feel safe". EVer heard teh term false sense of security? Thats obviously what your asking for.
  • by Kelly Location: Pikeville on Jan 15, 2008 at 11:11 AM
    I am so glad that they decided to do this because I my self have one to see what it does and I was going to delete it until I heard myself about this on the news. I do feel like it will be a little safer but I still think it should be more strict. Kids aren't safe and adults aren't sometimes. My point is that it makes me feel a little more safe than I was before. I think that all websites like this should do this including: Facebook. Friendster, FriendPages, and more!!!
  • by wow Location: Richmond on Jan 15, 2008 at 11:10 AM
    More wasted money and shit thats not needed. Why dont parents try actually involving themselves in their kids lives instead of expecting schools and government to raise them. Monitor 1 website 3 pop back up. Nothin is a replacement for parents taking responsibilty putting down teh Tv remote and checkin in on their kids.
  • by Kris Location: Richmond on Jan 15, 2008 at 06:14 AM
    While this is a good thing, it should not replace a parent monitoring their children online. Parents have to be aware of what their children are doing. Period. There is facebook.com, myyearbook.com and maybe a few more that I don't know about yet.(not to mention all the chat rooms available out there) Our computer is in our living room and I am on their friends lists. Do you know all your kids email addresses? Its pretty easy to get one. There are tons of free ones. Do you know how to check the history of where they have been surfing online? Kids also have access to the internet at school, the library, and friends homes. My point is parents need to be aware and involved. If you don't know much about computers, take a class, read a book, ask a friend, educate yourself about them.
  • by Lisa Location: KY on Jan 15, 2008 at 02:24 AM
    If the sickos that are luring our kids can be tracked down....hang em or castrate em. Oh....almost forgot, the sickos include judges, ministers, doctors, and lawyers....this world is a very sick place.
  • by mother of 3 Location: stanton on Jan 14, 2008 at 06:09 PM
    I am glad to hear about this.It will make me feel safer now.With my 3 girls on my space.
  • by Harry Location: Lexington on Jan 14, 2008 at 04:46 PM
    This is great news. Our kids need all the help they can get in today's troubled world.

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