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Facebook to beef up online protections

Posted May 8, 2008

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— Facebook.com has agreed to change its online social networking site to better protect children from predators and inappropriate content, authorities said Thursday.

The changes are part of an agreement between Facebook and 49 states, including North Carolina, and the District of Columbia. It's similar to an agreement the states reached in January with rival social networking site MySpace.com.

“Social networks that encourage kids to come to their sites have a responsibility to keep those kids safe,” North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper said in a statement. “We’ve now gotten the two largest social networking sites to agree to take significant steps to protect children from predators and pornography.”

Facebook will start providing automatic warning messages when a child is in danger of giving personal information to an unknown adult; will restrict the ability of users to change their listed ages; will remove inappropriate content and groups from the site more quickly; and will require third-party vendors to adhere to Facebook’s safety and privacy guidelines.

The site also will display safety tips more prominently, require users under 18 to affirm that they have read the safety tips when they sign up and regularly review models for abuse reporting.

MySpace is heading a task force, which Facebook has joined, to explore and develop age and identity identification tools for social networking sites.

“Getting the major social networking sites to do more is just one of the ways we’re tackling online safety,” Cooper said. “We’ll keep working to put child predators and pornographers behind bars, to beef up our laws and to encourage parents to learn to what their kids are doing online.”


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  • Scubagirl May 8, 2008

    dont' know how they will make that work

  • MaplesMom May 8, 2008

    I am an adult who loves facebook. Do I hold facebook responsible for **my** actions while there? No. If I go to the mall- do I hold the mall responsible for **my** actions? No. When I was a kid- I went to the roller skating rink all the time. Nothing ever happened to me- but if it did: would my parents blame the skating rink for not supervising their child? NO! I realize times have changed- but I was installed with the morals and values to take responsibility for my actions. These are tangible places that I went to instead of online. But online- you are LESS likely to be in danger as long as you are responsible. Teach your kids that chat rooms are okay- but do not give any vital info that could lead someone to your doorstep. If a teen girl gives a boy that she thinks is her age (but is actually much older) directions to her house- that's not responsible. I was taught not to talk to strangers or take candy from strangers. I didn't. I do not have child yet- maybe my views will change....