Another top social networking website has agreed to take steps to protect children from sexual predators and inappropriate content. Bob Brammer, a spokesman for Iowa’s Attorney General, says several states have reached an agreement with "Facebook."
Brammer says Facebook will take a lot of measures, such as restricting a user’s ability to change their ages. He says adults change their age on-line so kids think they’re talking with other kids. Brammer says the changes at Facebook are similar to those agreed to by "MySpace" — another popular social networking site.
Brammer says there will be efforts to get inappropriate content or groups off the site, and to display safety tips more prominently. He says there are many more detailed programming things the website will do to protect kids. Brammer says even with all the changes — they can’t guarantee that all the problems with on-line predators will end. He says parents still have a major role to play.
"Parents have to be involved, kids have to be informed that there are on-line predators, and that there are other threats on-line," Brammer says. Brammer says part of the agreement includes setting up a task force to look at other social networking websites. Brammer says they want to put the heat on other sites just as they have with MySpace and Facebook. He says the acknowledge that the new restrictions on two of the most popular sites might put them at a competitive disadvantage, and they want to "keep the heat on others as well."
Under the agreement, when a Facebook user wants to change his or her age the first time, website staff will review the user’s profile to determine whether the change is appropriate. Facebook also agreed to maintain a list of pornographic websites and regularly sever any links to such sites. It will remove groups for incest, pedophilia, cyber-bullying and other violations of the site’s terms of services, as well as expel individual violators of those terms from the site.