Monday, May 12, 2008

Facebook Imposes Safety Rules

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley announced last week that social networking site, Facebook.com has agreed to make changes that are aimed to "enhance the safety of minors using the site." This is a similar agreement that MySpace.com made earlier in the year with the attorney generals from 49 states across the country. Some of the changes that Facebook has pledged to implement are:

  • Developing technologies that prevent underage users from accessing the site.
  • Allowing users under the age of 18 to block all users over the age of 18 from contacting them or accessing their profiles.
  • Creating a 24 hour hotline to respond to law enforcement inquiries.
  • Responding to customer complaints of cyberbullying and harassment within 24 hours and then reporting to the consumer the proactive steps it has taken to address the complaint within 72 hours.
Read the full press release.

The Attorney General's office takes cybersafety very seriously and is in the process of building a state of the art cyber forensics lab to investigate cybercrime in the state of Massachusetts. You can access her Cyber Crime Strategic Plan here. In February, Attorney General Coakley appointed attorney Christopher Kelly as the new managing attorney of the office's CyberCrime Division. Attorney Kelly is an experienced cybercrime investigator and prosecutor, most recently out of the Suffolk County D.A.'s office. He is also a tireless advocate for the education of internet safety to educators, parents and children. He has partnered with the Boston Public Schools on a number of occasions, speaking to students and parents at schools. Last May, he organized the Take 25 For Internet Safety event at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center.

1 comment:

KenS said...

I commend Facebook for taking these measures… though, let’s admit – it wasn’t 100% voluntarily. If there was no pressure and if their main (and really only) competitor hadn’t done in it January, they wouldn’t be doing it now. Parents rely on websites. Practice your own safety. Monitor your kids. Keep kids safe from the scumbags, cyberbullies and even their own naiveté. Check out www.PCPandora.com as a resource. Knowledge is power… be a powerful 21st century parent and enforce rules. Don’t idly sit by and think, “that could never happen to my kids.”