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29,000 Sex Offenders Using MySpace

Posted Jul 25, 2007 6:54 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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The estimated number of registered sex offenders among some 180 million people using the social networking site MySpace to post personal profiles has quadrupled.

Several months ago, operators of the site said they thought some 7,000 registered sex offenders had posted on MySpace. But now they have upped that estimate to 29,000, reports the Associated Press. After initially resisting efforts to determine this information, citing federal privacy law, MySpace has recently responded to requests from several states.

"We're pleased that we've successfully identified and removed registered sex offenders from our site and hope that other social networking sites follow our lead," said Hemanshu Nigam, MySpace chief security officer, in a written statement.

Officials from several states are still concerned, however, and some are pushing MySpace to impose voluntary standards requiring children to identify themselves and get parental permission to use the site, AP reports. The effort is intended to help prevent pedophiles from using MySpace and other social networking sites to prey on children. North Carolina's state attorney general is currently pursuing legislation to impose such restrictions.

Parents can also help, an earlier ABAJournal.com post notes, by warning children about predators, monitoring their computer use, and not allowing youngsters to have computers in their bedrooms.

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