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Another MySpace-enabled molestation, calls for crackdown

n the light of the arrest of Connecticut man for illegal sexual contact with a 13-year-old he met on MySpace, Massachusetts has called on the NewsCorp-owned social networking site to improve its protection of children.
Written by ZDNET Editors, Contributor on

In the light of the arrest of Connecticut man for illegal sexual contact with a 13-year-old he met on MySpace, Massachusetts has called on the NewsCorp-owned social networking site to improve its protection of children, News.com reports.

"MySpace has not taken sufficient steps to ensure that the MySpace Web site is a safe place for minors," Massachusetts Attorney General Tom Reilly said in a letter to MySpace. He said a three-month investigation found that potential child predators were surfing MySpace seeking chats with potential victims and violent images or content were being posted to bully children. "An adult can register as a minor member and use that profile to seek access to the profiles of countless underage members," he said in a statement.

Consider the list of MySpace-savvy predators: In March two men were arrested on allegations they had sexual contact with minors they met through MySpace. Tuesday's arrest was sparked by a mother's report that her daughter was missing. In February, California police arrested a man for felony child molestation after he met a 14-year-old on MySpace.

Reilly asked MySpace to install an age and identity verification system, equip Web pages with a "Report Inappropriate Content" link, respond to all reports of inappropriate content within 24 hours and significantly raise the number of staff who review images and content.

He also wants filters to block sexually explicit or violent images, deletion of profiles of people who have abused the site, removal of all advertisements deemed inappropriate for children and free software that allows parents to block MySpace.

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