Internet pretty safe for kids, after all

Report finds social networks aren't a hotbed of predatory adults.
Written by Richard Koman, Contributor

Why doesn't this surprise me? The New York Times reports that a major investigation by a national task force found the problem of sexual predators on the Internet has been vastly overstated.

The Internet Safety Technical Task Force, formed by 49 state attorneys general, and run at Harvard's Berkman Center, looked at threats from MySpace and Facebook.

“This shows that social networks are not these horribly bad neighborhoods on the Internet,” said John Cardillo, chief executive of Sentinel Tech Holding, which maintains a sex offender database and was part of the task force. “Social networks are very much like real-world communities that are comprised mostly of good people who are there for the right reasons.”
Not happy with the conclusions: Richard Blumenthal, the Connecticut attorney general. Regardless of the study, Blumenthal asserted:
“Children are solicited every day online,” Mr. Blumenthal said. “Some fall prey, and the results are tragic. That harsh reality defies the statistical academic research underlying the report.”
Among the systems the technology board looked at included age verification technologies that try to authenticate the identities and ages of children and prevent adults from contacting them. But the board concluded that such systems “do not appear to offer substantial help in protecting minors from sexual solicitation.”

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