I’m actually glad that law enforcement is starting to wake up to the dangers of MySpace.
From the Connecticut AG’s office:
“I am deeply disturbed by reports that underage girls with profiles on the Myspace.com web site may have been victims of sexual predators.
“My office has received numerous complaints over the last month that minors can easily post and view inappropriate and sexually suggestive material on Myspace.com, possibly in violation of state law.
“My office investigated and confirmed that children can readily view not only inappropriate material, but also obscene images through the site’s free and publicly accessible areas. The site posts no warnings that pornography and adult content are present and has no mechanism to prevent minors from viewing obscene material.
“I have referred this matter to the Chief State’s Attorney’s Office for possible criminal prosecution. My investigation is continuing.
“I am shocked and dismayed that the operators of Myspace.com fail to shield minors from pornographic images and that the web site may have been used by sexual predators targeting minors. As a parent, I find it appalling and abhorrent that a web site would so poorly police its pages. This site is a parent’s worst nightmare.
“Internet sites have a legal and moral responsibility to protect children from obscene images and inappropriate material. Internet site owners who shirk their legal responsibilities should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
“I urge parents to vigilantly monitor their children’s Internet activity. Following a few simple rules greatly reduces the danger of kids viewing inappropriate material or falling victim to sexual predators: Never let children surf the Internet behind closed doors. Keep the computer in the living room or other area where you can easily monitor sites they visit. Restrict all surfing to when a parent is home. Warn children to never post personally identifiable information on the Internet.”
Parents really need to perform oversight on what their kids are doing on these blogs — including reading them. For example, I had a friend recently who was shocked to see his daughter openly talking about smoking pot on her blog. He had no idea and didn’t even really understand what MySpace was. There is lots of stuff that these kids are doing, and oversight as well as educating your children on the dangers and issues of online blogging is essential.