Tuesday, January 15, 2008

All but one: 49 states sign off on MySpace safety rules

MySpace and 49 U.S. state attorneys general agreed on some safety guidelines for protecting youths on the Internet. According to Reuters, measures include creating an e-mail registry that would allow parents to prevent their children from creating an online profile for the network and making the default profile setting for 16 and 17-year-olds "private" "so they can only be contacted by people they know, making it harder for sexual predators to find them."

Texas was the only state to abstain (gee, I see a trend with that place....)

Although I appreciate the sincerity behind creating these guidelines, I still feel they aren't taking us in the right direction -- and potentially leave people with a false sense of security. Creating a registry to prevent a youth from creating an online profile? Wow, that's a stumbling block. It's so hard to get a new email account to bypass this hurdle. It might take 5 minutes out of a youth's busy day! And it's not like there aren't other options. Only MySpace is a part of this deal. What about the other social networking sites? Or is MySpace the only trouble area in the eyes of the attorneys general?

And making the default setting for older teens "private"? I haven't looked into this (not being 16 or 17 myself, thank goddess), but I am assuming the default can be changed by said youth if desired. Or, the oh-so-difficult process of lying about one's age can overcome anything that is perceived as a barrier. That is, if one wants to have a public profile. Many teens choose to keep things private. So, these aren't the youth that will benefit from this change in regulations. They are already protecting themselves!

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