Facebook Friends or Sex Offenders?

Filed under: Opinions

MySpace made news after revealing that 90,000 registered sex offenders have been kicked off its site in the past two years. Bravo! But where did all of those sex offenders go? Experts are saying they've snuck over to Facebook.

Facebook has become a "safe haven" for pervs, according to John Cardillo, CEO of Sentinel, a Miami-based security tech firm which helps Bebo and other social networks identify sex offenders. And he should know -- he found thousands of them right after he kicked them off MySpace.

Facebook is aware of the problem, but they still seem to have a bone to pick with Sentinel, saying that both companies could have worked to solve this problem together. "For a company that has a mission to keep kids safe, we find it irresponsible that they wouldn't share this with us," said a Facebook spokesperson. "We still don't have the information on who they are."

That's creepy. And there's more.
Facebook should have developed their own software for checking state offender registries. But I'm not sure this is very fair to them. At the very least, users can make their profiles private -- which is something you can't do on MySpace ("A Place for Friends').

It wont' be easy erasing FaceBook from your tween's bookmark, but why not suggest these social networking sites, as recommended by MomLogic:


Stardoll: Combines cyberfriendships, celebrities like Zac Efron and online gaming for girls ages 10-17. Stardoll also notifies parents if kids are on the the site for an extended period of time.

Whyville: Perfect for budding citizen journalists. Kids need parental permission and have to pass a "chat license test" before using.

Bottom line: Sex offenders should be banned from these kinds of sites altogether. But is there really a way to do that? How closely do you supervise your children's online social networking?

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