July 28, 2006
Social networking sites such as may soon be inaccessible to minors from libraries and schools receiving federal funding. By a vote of 410 to 15, the US House of Representatives passed yesterday H.R. 5319 “Deleting Online Predators Act” (DOPA), which amends the Communications Act of 1934 to require schools and libraries receiving federal money to protect minors from commercial social networking websites. “Social networking sites such as MySpace and chat rooms have allowed sexual predators to sneak into homes and solicit kids,” said Rep. Ted Poe, (R-Tex.) co-founder of the Congressional Victim’s Rights Caucus. He added, “This bill requires schools and libraries to establish (important) protections.”Social networking sites like MySpace, which provide users with self-dedicated web-pages replete with personal information, photographs, and varying modes of self-expression (both decent and obscene), have had an incredible acceleration of popularity, and are the targets of the bill. MySpace, the foremost of these sites, boasts over 76 million users, and claims to register an average of 250,000 new users daily, many of whom are youth.Although MySpace bills itself as “a place for friends” where every new user’s first friend is the creator “Tom”, and can add a limitless quota of other MySpace “friends” to one’s collection, many concerned parents and politicians have discovered that it is a place for sexual predators too. Police authorities have revealed that many sexual crimes against youth have been committed by youth meeting strangers they knew as MySpace “friends.” … MySpace also acts as a forum for many people, especially youth, to advertise obscene behavior, pornography, and child pornography.

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Two teens face child pornography charges after posting sexually explicit photographs of themselves on

Porn and bullying common on MySpace and Bebo – Guardian Unlimited 1 August 2007
Popular social networking sites such as MySpace and Bebo are putting children at risk of online bullying and inadvertently exposing them to pornography and unsuitable advertising, the consumer affairs magazine Which? has warned. This comes after Computing Which? set up an account pretending to be a 14-year-old and found “numerous examples” of pornography, bullying and unsuitable advertising on the site, which allows users to create their own web pages, chat to friends and share photographs.

How Safe Is MySpace?
Focus on the Family’s PluggedIn Magazine July 2007
What is MySpace: good, bad or ugly? Actually, all three. As with so much else in the world, Internet sites such as mix everything up in one pot before it’s served. Some parents, then, will choose to ban these congregation sites altogether. And they’d be in good company doing so. “It’s a parent’s worst nightmare to have a young person on this Web site dispensing all kinds of information,” says Blumenthal. Fellow Connecticut public servant Bill McKenna, who is a police sergeant investigating a spate of MySpace-related sexual assaults on seven 12- to 16-year-old girls, adds, “It’s a predator’s dream come true, this Web site.”

Latest web network no place for children
NZ Herald 22 July 2007
Martin Cocker, the executive director of internet safety awareness group Netsafe, said Bebo appeared to be the social networking website of choice for New Zealand school kids. “I believe that the nearly 2000 schools using Watchdog or SchoolZone filtering [software] have Bebo and MySpace blocked by default,” said Cocker. “Many young people are conducting their lives in this space, the ups and the downs, the good and the bad. The communities people create can be very supportive, but they can also be extremely vindictive.”
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