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Tagged.Com Flagged for Child Porn by N.Y. Attorney General Andrew Cuomo; Threatens Lawsuit

Randall Pinkston interviews New York attorney general Andrew Cuomo about his health care investigation.
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New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo (AP Photo/Tim Roske)

NEW YORK (AP) The social networking site Tagged.com is under fire from New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, who says child pornography was allowed to remain on the site for nearly two months after undercover investigators reported the content to Tagged administrators.

Cuomo's office notified Tagged.com on Thursday, June 10 that it would sue the site if the problems were not resolved within 5 days.

One slideshow that remained on the site as of Thursday morning depicted children, some who appeared as young as five, engaged in sexual acts with other children, the A.G.'s office said. The slideshow was sent to Tagged.com on April 17 using the site's own reporting procedures.

Louis Willacy, a lawyer for Tagged Inc., issued a statement saying the site was cooperating with investigators and hoped "to resolve this quickly in the best interest of our members' safety."

"We strive constantly to improve our program to keep illegal content out and prevent unlawful contact between adults and minors on our site," he said.

Cuomo, a Democratic candidate for governor, previously targeted the site last summer and accused it of stealing the identities of more than 60 million Internet users in a deceptive marketing campaign.

At a press conference Thursday he told reporters that he was speaking as a father of three school-age daughters when he issued a warning to parents: "Sometimes the most dangerous place for a young person can be sitting on their bed, in their bedroom, at home with their computer open - because you really don't know where they are," he said.

Investigators said they found that adult users of the site were sending inappropriate sexual messages and photographs to members identifying themselves as underage. Some of the site's user groups centered on underage sex, Cuomo's office said.

Information on possible convicted sex offenders registered on the site was passed on to local law enforcement agencies, the office said.

Tagged, based in California, was started in 2004 by Harvard math students Greg Tseng and Johann Schleier-Smith. The website calls itself "one of the largest social networks in the world" and claims to be one of the top 10 online display-ad publishers in the U.S.