Tort Law

NY AG to Facebook: Consumer Fraud?

The social networking site Facebook reportedly has been warned by the New York attorney general’s office to stop overstating the safety of the site for youngsters.

Claims by Facebook administrators that Facebook is safer for minors than other online sites don’t appear to be true, and may give parents a false sense of security, reports the Associated Press.

“We said, ‘You have got to make accurate representations on your Web site,’ ” an unnamed official tells the news agency. “What we told them is, ‘Correct the language describing the site and stop marketing yourself as this pristine Web site … parents have a misimpression. You can’t mislead people.’ “

Earlier stories by the New York Times and San Francisco Chronicle say minors on Facebook are often sexually solicited and exposed to pornographic material. When investigators posing as parents complained that fictitious minors they had created were targeted, Facebook’s response allegedly was dilatory.

Facebook did not immediately respond to an AP request for comment. However, the company is cooperating, according to the AG’s office. In a statement a week ago, it said it strives to maintain its stringent privacy standards and is “constantly working on processes and technologies that will further improve safety and user control on the site.”

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