Attorney Generals of 49 States Announce Agreement with Facebook to Make Site Safer for Underage Users
May 8, 2008
(Anchorage, AK) Attorney General Talis Colberg and the attorneys general of 48 other states and the District of Columbia today announced that Facebook has agreed to changes to better protect children from predators and inappropriate content on the social networking site. Facebook also agreed to participate in a task force on exploring and developing age and identity verification software. The agreement is similar to one that MySpace reached in January with 49 states and the District of Columbia.
Changes agreed to by Facebook include providing automatic warning messages when a child is in danger of giving personal information to an unknown adult, restricting the ability of users to change their listed ages, acting more aggressively to remove inappropriate content and groups from the site, and requiring third party vendors to adhere to Facebook's safety and privacy guidelines.
Under the changes, the first time a Facebook user wants to change his or her age, website staff will review the user's profile to determine whether the change is appropriate. In addition, companies offering services to Facebook users will now have to implement and enforce Facebook's safety and privacy guidelines.
Facebook also has agreed to regularly sever links to pornographic websites. It will remove groups reported for incest, pedophilia, cyberbullying and other violations of the site's terms of services, as well as expel from the site individual violators of those terms.
Facebook also will:
- More prominently display safety tips;
- Require users under 18 to affirm they have read Facebook's safety tips when they sign up;
- Regularly review models for abuse reporting and perform a test using the New Jersey Attorney General's abuse reporting icon.
For questions about the agreement, please contact Assistant Attorney General Cynthia Drinkwater at (907) 269-5200.
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