More safety features at Facebook

As part of its agreement with 49 state attorneys general in the US, 70 million-member Facebook is implementing "40 safeguards to protect young people from sexual predators and cyberbullies," the San Jose Mercury News reports. Facebook's agreement follows that of MySpace with the attorneys general, announced in January, and many of the new features are similar, for example, restricting users' ability to change the age they signed up with; faster removal of adult content from the site; "safety and privacy guidelines that third-party vendors and developers [such as widget makers] have to follow on Facebook; deleting links out to porn sites; investigating and deleting users who break Facebook's terms of use; and prominent display of privacy and safety info. MySpace says that, among many such implementations, it has "designed functionality to meet the 72-hour requirement," indicating one of the AGs' requirements that needs to be part of the industry best practices toward which their Internet Safety Task Force discussions just may, by default, be moving (I hope). [The UK's Home Office has developed some best-practice guidelines but without a lot of focus on the "back office" operations of social sites – see this). The New York Times has more on the new Facebook safety measures.

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