Facebook promises stronger safeguards against pedophiles

By on October 17, 2007, 10:34 AM
Facebook has agreed to step up its efforts to shield minors from pornography, harassment and inappropriate behavior on its social networking site, settling a consumer fraud investigation by New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.

The social network site was subpoenaed last month for falsely advertising itself as a safe online environment. According to Cuomo’s office, investigators posing as minors on Facebook were repeatedly solicited by adult predators, and the site did a poor job of responding to complaints. Under the terms of the settlement, however, Facebook has agreed to address any complaint of inappropriate content concerning nudity, profanity or harassment within 24 hours of it being received and reply to the complainant reporting what steps it has taken within 72 hours.

In addition, Facebook will allow an independent examiner appointed with the approval of the New York Attorney General, to monitor the company's compliance for the next two years. Although this is seen as a step forward, not all attorneys general were satisfied with the New York settlement and are calling for Facebook to introduce age checks and identity verification as a way of curbing internet pedophiles.

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