MySpace Seeks to Protect Teen Users

In the midst of public debate over the safety of MySpace users, MySpace is addressing concern with new restrictions (free registration or BugMeNot). MySpace users over 18 cannot friend users 15 and younger unless they know the user’s full name and/or e-mail address. As the AP article points out, however, MySpace (and for that matter, almost any web site) has no way of determining whether information submitted is accurate. Predators can lie and say they’re 14, and kids can lie and say they’re 22. Besides, kids are often not very protective of their personal information. The gesture is hollow at best, but I’m not sure it’s really MySpace’s responsibility to make sure its users don’t put themselves in a position to be victimized or victimize other users. The only thing that’s going to keep kids safe online is parents who watch what their children are doing. Allowing your child to trick you into getting a passport, which she uses to attempt to meet a man she came in contact with through MySpace in Jordan, is a perfect example of poor parenting.

Update: Check out this related article from SignOnSanDiego.com.  It’s a shame that schools feel they have to take measures to protect children because their parents won’t do it otherwise.

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