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Published:May 9th, 2008 13:18 EST
MySpace And Facebook Take Steps To Protect Children

MySpace And Facebook Take Steps To Protect Children

By Robert Paul Reyes

Many parents regularly check the sex offenders online registry to see if there are any registered pedophiles in their neighborhood or near their child's school or playground.

These online registries lull adults into a fall sense of security. They think  their loved ones are safe because they keep them from the vicinity of known child molesters, but the sad fact is that most kids are molested by family members or friends of the family.

If parents notice that there are many sex offenders near a playground frequented by their children, they will no longer let their kids play there.

However many of these same parents will let their youngsters play unsupervised online, oblivious to the fact that the Internet is a haven for sexual predators.

A smart Mom or Dad will never let a young child have his own laptop or have a computer in his bedroom. Any kid under 13 should only be allowed to use a computer that's in a den or living room where adults can easily monitor their online play.

Some nincompoop parents argue, "But what about my childrens' privacy?" Privacy is for adults who should be able to discern right from wrong, it's not for susceptible and vulnerable innocents who still need the guidance of their parents.

But parents aren't the only ones who should be looking out for the welfare of minors. Any Web site or portal that attracts teenyboppers should put safeguards in place to protect to them from predators.

I commend MySpace and Facebook, two sites that are very popular with kids, for recently taking steps to protect our precious little ones.

"Facebook agreed Thursday with the Attorneys General of Connecticut and the other 49 states to better protect children under 18 against predators and inappropriate content. The agreement is similar to one reached in January with MySpace.

According to the Attorney General, Facebook has agreed to do the following:

Require companies that offer "widgets" or applications on Facebook to follow Facebook's safety and privacy guidelines.

Limit users' abilities to change their ages on their profiles. Facebook will log these requests, and if the change is above or below age 18 it will be allowed once.

Regularly sever any links to pornographic web sites.

Remove groups that violate Facebook's policies against incest, pedophilia, cyberbullying and other violations and expel any individuals who are responsible.

Remove inappropriate images and content."

Quotation from SFGate.Com

For the complete list go to:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/sfgate/detail?blogid=19&entry_id=26360

We shouldn't let our children log on to any social network that doesn't have child safety safeguards in place.

Never forget that a child ensconced in the safety of his home, playing online, can be in as much danger as a child walking alone in a seedy neighborhood.