Wednesday, January 30, 2008

MySpace, Attorneys General Tighten Internet Safety

An article written by Joan Oleck on the School Library Journal website on Monday says that MySpace and the attorney general of 49 states and the District of Columbia have a greed to some best practices, guidelines, and educator tools to help keep children safe from predators while they are on social networking sites.

Does this mean the willy-nilly, hi-ho silver, anything-goes days of the Internet are over? Well, probably not. MySpace according to the article has already put some of the practices into place. It now reviews every image uploaded to the site, automatically makes profiles of 14 and 15 year olds private, and will start enforcing its minimun sign-up age (which is 14). I am not saying this won’t help, what I am saying is that there is no regulation forcing MySpace to do these things… so what’s in it for them? Is MySpace really trying to be the good cop? We can hope so! According to their chief of security, MySpace’s cooperation with law enforcement is “a model” for Social Networking. Again what is in it for them? Well, lets look at it rationally, Facebook has been getting a lot of air play recently… what was MySpace to do? Becoming the child-safe social network may just be their way of getting their name out there and having parents say to their teens, you can join MySpace, they’re the safe network. It always comes down to the bottom line!

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