Thursday, January 17, 2008
MySpace has agreed with the AGs of 49 states to make a number of changes to its software and policies in an effort to reduce the use of the social networking site by predators. (Press release from News Corp., press release from the Massachusetts AG, the formal statement [PDF].) PC World describes the key aspects of the agreement:
Called the Joint Statement on Key Principles of Social Networking Sites Safety, the document states among its goals the development of a truly effective tool that social-networking sites can use to verify the age of members and potential members.
As part of the agreement, MySpace also pledged to develop a registry to which parents can submit their children's e-mail addresses to have them barred from social-networking sites.
MySpace will also make profiles of members under 18 years of age private by default and make it harder for adults to contact children via the site. The minimum age to have a MySpace profile is 14 years old.
In conjunction with the participating state attorneys general, MySpace has also committed to organizing an industry-wide Internet Safety Technical Task Force.
MySpace will also improve its tools and methods to identify and delete inappropriate images, obtain and constantly update a list of pornographic Web sites and break links between them and its site.
As we've covered extensively, various families of alleged victims have brought suit against MySpace for failure to provide better protections; most (if not all) of those suits that have made it to dispositive motions have been dismissed for either lack of duty or lack of legal cause.