Social networking site MySpace has identified
some 29,000 registered sex offenders among its 180 million members. More than four times the number cited by the company earlier this year, when it yielded to pressure from a group of state attorneys general to turn over the account information of convicted predators.
The 29,000 convicted sex offenders have been removed from its user base after cross-checking its members against publicly available sex-offender databases. The epidemic of sex offender profiles on MySpace "screams for action," Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said in a statement.
"These numbers dispel any doubt that age verification and other reforms are overdue and undeniable," Blumenthal said. "Steadfast opposition by MySpace to age verification and parental permission for minors has no shred of credibility."
North Carolina's attorneys general Roy Cooper is pushing for more rigorous safeguards, including requiring children to obtain parental permission before creating profiles on networking sites like MySpace. Of course, advocates for internet companies and privacy issues are opposing the proposed restrictions, claiming they prohibit free speech and impede interstate commerce.