MySpace to display AMBER Alerts
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
MySpace established a partnership with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children in order to enable AMBER Alert. This is a program that provides an early warning broadcast bulletin in cases of earnest child abduction.
A week ago, families of five teenagers who were sexually abused by adult users from MySpace sued the website, stating that it showed negligence concerning its users' protection.
In 2006, the company hired a former prosecutor from the United States Justice Department in order to improve its online safety program. The representatives from MySpace stated that the AMBER alerts will appear in a little text box, which will be situated at the top of a profile. The website's users will be able to get additional information regarding the case, which will include photos and information about suspects.
In a phone interview, the CEO of MySpace, Hemanshu Nigam, stated that the company has been working with partners and law enforcement in order to find all the possible ways to protect children and keep sex offenders away from the website. He also mentioned that MySpace will provide technology that will benefit the whole industry.
MySpace is a fast-growing website, with about 150 million profiles. Half of all U.S. teenagers access such websites like MySpace with one goal – to make friends. This survey was made by Pew.
As part of its safety program, the website now asks all its users to have a valid e-mail address. This will allow tracking down possible predators. New subscribers will get a verification e-mail with a link which the user must click to verify his or her identity.
MySpace made a deal with Sentinel Tech Holding Corp. to create a new technology, called Sentinel Safe. The technology will allow MySpace to search proposed state and federal databases of sex offenders' e-mail addresses, enabling the company to delete the profiles of sex offenders who register with a "blacklisted" e-mail address.
MySpace is also developing new software called Zephyr to show parents what information can be publicly seen about their child on the child's profile. However, the adults using this software will not be able to read the e-mails sent to their child or edit their child's profile.
- "MySpace Takes Serious Measures to Fight On-line Sex Abusers" — , January 24, 2007
- Kenneth Li. "MySpace to send U.S. users missing children alerts" — , January 23, 2007
- Ian Steward. "Parents to track teens' internet use" — , January 24, 2007