Since last May, Facebook has removed 5,500 registered sex offenders from its social network, many of whom are claimed to be ‘refugees’ from MySpace who themselves have booted 90,000 sex offenders in the last couple of years.
Last year, the Attorney General of the USA forced both sites to implement considerably more stringent safeguards – preventing older users searching profiles of sub-18-year-olds, and finding better ways of age verification.
Facebook relies on using people’s real names, and that helps, but the amount of people I know on Facebook who aren’t using their exact real names makes that reliance rather concerning. There’ll always be sex offenders on the sites, I suppose, and what’s most needed is a bit of common sense, and education, in kids of the dangers.
(via AP and TechCrunch)
Jonathan Weinberg writes…
OK, so let’s do a straw poll. What do you think would stop a sex offender abusing children? I know this is not a comfortable topic but it is an extremely important one in tech and Internet terms. Stiffer sentences maybe? The threat of castration? A life term in jail? Perhaps even death by lethal injection?
We’ve all had those “If I were Home Secretary” moments and this is one of them because the plans today released by the UK’s Home Secretary Jacqui Smith seem the worst kind of limp proposals for such a serious matter…