The state of New York has made it easier for social network sites that work with it to deleted sex offenders registered in that state. New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo this week announced that two sites that do use the state’s database to check for predators, MySpace and Facebook, have purged the profiles of more than 3,500 sex offenders – “Facebook was able to identify and disable the accounts of 2,782 registered sex offenders” and MySpace 1,796 accounts, ConnectSafely.org co-director Larry Magid reports in CNET. New York has a law that “bans many registered offenders from using social-networking sites while on parole or probation and requires all registered offenders to disclose their email addresses, screen names, and ‘other Internet identifiers.’ That data is provided to social-networking sites to run against their rolls” (some states just fax over a list, Facebook says, making it difficult to identify the offenders in sites with hundreds of million profiles). MySpace says there has never been a case reported of a registered sex offender deleted from the site being prosecuted for illegal contact on the site. Cuomo praised both sites for their work in this area, adding that many other social network sites are slow to cooperate. “As always, it’s important to put this news into perspective,” Magid writes. “It only involves registered sex offenders, which of course,is a good start, but it only includes people who have been caught and convicted. And, while the companies do their best to ferret out registered offenders who try to hide their identity, there is no way to know how many people succeed in eluding them. Also, we know of very few children who have been sexually molested by someone they met on social-networking sites or any Internet sites. The vast majority of child sex abuse victims know the offender from the real world…. And, based on conversations with security officials at social-networking companies, I am not aware of any cases where a registered sex offender has been convicted of using the site to aid in harming a child he or she met on that site.”
NEW! Subscribe to our newsletter
Please sign up for our email newsletter. We publish about twice a month (you can easily unsubscribe if you need to).
NetFamilyNews – by Anne Collier
- What are we really seeing in the social media fishbowl?
- Spoiler alert: Kid loves teaching Twitter to Dad
- At the IGF: Youth participation = greater youth e-safety
- Enabling peer protection: Knowledge is empowerment
- Millennials’ changing social media use: Survey
- Heard of Twitch? Amazon has!
- Dealing with the nasties online
- Leadership in bullying prevention and so much more
Analysis & News – by Larry Magid
- High school kids show strong support for First Amendment
- UN bringing child rights into the digital age
- IGF attendees complain about censorship in Turkey while some advocate it for youth
- Internet Governance Forum topics include human rights, network neutrality and child protection
- Protecting children online needs to allow for their right to free speech
- It’s time for schools to upgrade both technology and pedagogy
- Why Google (and Facebook) should admit kids under 13
- As Ferguson struggles, Georgia teens create app to rate police departments