New York investigates Facebook

Filed under: Teens, Health & Safety: Babies, Media, Gadgets

I have to admit, I don't get Facebook. Admittedly, I haven't invested much time in exploring its capabilities, but on the face of it, it seems rather simplistic. Apparently, however, it's very popular with kids and adults alike. Of course, whenever you have kids going online, you have the potential for trouble. It seems that the New York State Attorney General, Andrew Cuomo, think the website may not have done enough to protect kids from sexual predators.

Members of the Attorney General's staff signed up pretending to be kids and were hit repeatedly with questions such as "Do you have any nude pics?" Pretending to be parents, staff members sent complaints to Facebook which were largely ignored. Based on these experiences, the Attorney General's office "is concerned that Facebook's promise of a safe Web site is not consistent with its performance in policing its site and responding to complaints," according to Cuomo.

Responding to the concerns, Facebook released a statement saying "We strive to uphold our high standards for privacy on Facebook and are constantly working on processes and technologies that will further improve safety and user control on the site. We are committed to working closely with all the state attorneys general to maintain a trusted environment for all Facebook users and to demonstrate the efficacy of these efforts."

I'm not sure what can be done about this. As long as the service is free, anyone can simply create an account and if that one is cancelled for bad behaviour, they can create another one. I think it's incredibly important for parents to talk to their kids about what is and isn't appropriate online.

Do you let your kids join sites like Facebook? What do you do to make sure they're safe? Could we as a society be doing more to protect kids? Or is it up to Facebook and other such sites to police their members?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.