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MySpace Purges 90,000 Sex Offender Users

Posted by Jane Akre
Wednesday, February 04, 2009 11:19 AM EST
Category: Major Medical, Protecting Your Family, In The Workplace
Tags: Social Networking, Online Predators, Sexual Predators, Teen Safety, Facebook, MySpace

MySpace purges 90k registered sex offenders from its site



IMAGE SOURCE: MySpace Web site


90,000 MySpace users will no longer be able to use the social networking site to meet new friends.  They were expelled from the online chat site after identified as sex offenders. 

MySpace made the move in response to a call by Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and Attorney General Roy Cooper of North Carolina who issued subpoenas for the site to provide a list of enrolled sex offender. The number is more than anyone thought.

“Almost 100,000 convicted sex offenders mixing with children on MySpace — shown by our subpoena — is absolutely appalling and totally unacceptable,” Mr. Blumenthal said in a statement. “For every one of them, there may be hundreds of others using false names and ages.”

Rival site, Facebook has also been asked to provide a list of registered sex offenders who are enrolled in its site, but BBC News reports it has not yet responded.

To identify the registered sex offenders, MySpace cross-referenced a list using a database created by the security company, Sentinel Tech Holding. Sentinel has approached Facebook about using its services, but Facebook says that it uses its own, “innovative and complex systems to proactively monitor the site and its users,” according to a statement.

Both social networking sites say they are working to improve safety for users including stricter age verifications and limiting contacts between over-18-year-old users and under-18-year-old users so the site is safer for a growing number of younger users.

The concern is that the sexual predators identified are just the ones who use their real name and age, since many do not.

A report by the Internet Safety Technical Task Force, which is a panel of 49 attorneys general, believes that the problem of online bullying is far more serious than sexual solicitation by adults. MySpace reports that the number of registered sex offenders trying to create profiles has been dropping.

The Internet Safety Technical Task Force was created in February 2008 to identify tools and technologies to create a safer online environment for youth.

Facebook was created by 24-year-old Mark Zuckerberg from his Harvard dorm room in 2004.

It has grown to 150 users worldwide surpassing competitor, MySpace, owned by News Corporation has about 130 million users. #

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