The huge online social networking Web site, has agreed to include several online protections and participate in a working group to develop age-verification and other technologies. MySpace will also accept independent monitoring and changes to the structure of its site.
“Unfortunately, cybercrime is very prevalent on the internet,” said Attorney General McCollum. “We must take every opportunity to make the internet a safer place for children, and I encourage other social networking sites to adopt many of the design changes announced by MySpace today.”
MySpace, with support from the Attorneys General, will create an Internet Safety Technical Task Force to explore age and identity verification tools. The task force will include representatives from other social networking sites, age and identify verification experts, child protection groups and technology companies. The task force will report back to the Attorneys General every three months and will issue a formal report with findings and recommendations at the end of 2008.
Other specific changes and policies that MySpace agreed to develop include making the default setting “private” for profiles of 16- and 17-year-olds and creating a closed “high school” section for users under 18. MySpace will also compile a registry of email addresses provided by parents who want to restrict their child’s access to the site, and the company will prohibit anyone using a submitted email address from signing in or creating a profile.
MySpace has also agreed to make the following changes to further promote the safe use of its site:
– Strengthen software identifying underage users;
– Retain a contractor to better identify and expunge inappropriate
– Obtain and constantly update a list of pornographic web sites and
regularly sever any links between those sites and MySpace;
– Implement changes making it harder for adults to contact children;
– Respond within 72 hours to inappropriate content complaints;
– Review its icon to report abuse to determine whether it should be
modified or replaced;
– Dedicate meaningful resources to educating children and parents about
on-line safety; and
Commit more staff and/or resources to review and classify photographs
and discussion groups.