This story was written by David Kaplan.
Facebook makes a PR push on the privacy and safety front today, instituting an array of enhanced privacy safeguards and obscenity blockers as part of an agreement with 49 state attorneys general over the level of protection the social net offers its younger users. The company also signed on to the Internet Safety Task Force that MySpace set up as part of its agreement with state AGs over the same issues. The task force agreement calls for the social nets to establish "age locking" around user profiles for those under 18.
Last September, New York AG Andrew Cuomo threatened to subpoena Facebook after investigators posing as underage users on the site were met with sexual solicitations from adults. The company settled quickly, pledging greater vigilance. As part of these new protections, Facebook says it will:
-- Build up age and identity identification tools
-- Issue automatic warning messages when a child is in danger of giving personal information to an unknown adult
-- Restrict the ability of users to change their listed ages
-- Respond aggressively to remove inappropriate content and groups from the site and immediately sever links to pornographic websites and Facebook Groups dedicated to incest, pedophilia, cyber-bullying or other offensive topics
-- Issue safety and privacy guidelines that third party vendors developers must adhere to as part of Facebook's terms of service
-- Prominently display privacy information and safety tips
By David Kaplan