Attorney General Announces Nationwide Agreement with MySpace to Boost Social Networking Safety
January 14, 2008
(Anchorage, AK) Attorney General Talis Colberg and the Attorneys General of 48 other states and the District of Columbia announced today that MySpace, a popular social networking web site, has agreed to significant steps to better protect children on its web site, including creation of a broad-based task force to explore and develop age and identity verification technology. In the agreement, the Attorneys General commend MySpace for its efforts to address social networking safety issues.
MySpace acknowledged in the agreement the important role of this technology in social networking safety and agreed to find and develop on-line identity authentication tools. The attorneys general had advocated for age and identity verification, calling it vital to better protecting children using social networking sites from on-line sexual predators and inappropriate material. The states pushed MySpace for changes after sexual predators repeatedly used the site to victimize children.
Other changes and policies MySpace agreed to develop include: allowing parents to submit their children's email addresses so MySpace can prevent anyone using those emails from signing in or setting up profiles, making the default setting "private" for profiles of 16- and 17-year-olds, promising to respond within 72 hours to complaints about inappropriate content, and committing more staff and resources to review and classify photographs and discussion groups.
MySpace also agreed to:
- Strengthen software identifying underage users;
- Retain a contractor to better identify and expunge inappropriate images;
- Obtain and constantly update a list of pornographic web sites and regularly sever any links between them and MySpace;
- Implement changes making it harder for adults to contact children;
- Dedicate resources to educating children and parents about on-line safety.
- Create a closed "high school" section for users under 18.
For questions about the agreement, please contact Assistant Attorney General Cynthia Drinkwater at (907) 269-5200.
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