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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Fight Against Sex Offenders on MySpace, Facebook, and Other Sites

From washingtonpost.com: Last week, 29,000 registered sex offenders were identified and removed from MySpace. And this week, the Connecticut attorney general said he was looking into a few cases of convicted sex offenders setting up profiles on Facebook, another popular site. Those on the front lines of the fight against predators on the Web, who use these sites to find young people and lure them to meet, say the battle is complex and will take a combination of education, high-tech security, old-fashioned investigative work, and cooperation among police, lawmakers, schools, parents, teens and the sites.

"This isn't going to be something that we just solve," said Chad Harms, an assistant professor at Iowa State University who serves on the advisory council for the Iowa Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. "This is a relatively new problem, and the light has only been shed on this issue in the last two to three years. In terms of combating this problem, this will be a continuous battle."

Facebook, like MySpace, has tools to allow users to customize privacy settings. Facebook officials could not be reached yesterday to comment on the investigation into sex offenders on its site or its efforts to police the site. Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

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