Oregon Department of Justice

Attorney General Ellen F. Rosenblum

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ATTORNEY GENERAL HARDY MYERS ANNOUNCES AGREEMENT WITH SOCIAL NETWORKING SITE, FACEBOOK, TO MAKE INTERNET LOCATION SAFER FOR UNDERAGE USERS

May 8, 2008

Company signs agreement with AGs and joins MySpace task force

Attorney General Hardy Myers today announced that Facebook has agreed to changes to better protect children from predators and inappropriate content and to participate in a task force on implementation of age and identity verification software. The agreement is similar to one that MySpace reached in January with Oregon and 48 other states and the District of Columbia in which the social networking site agreed to head a task force, which Facebook has joined, to explore and develop age and identity identification tools for social networking sites.

"The MySpace agreement would not have been complete without Facebook agreeing to the same concept of social networking safety," Myers said. "Today marks another victory as we move toward protecting our children from online sexual predators and inappropriate materials."

Changes agreed to by Facebook include providing automatic warning messages when a child is in danger of giving personal information to an unknown adult; restricting the ability of users to change their listed ages; acting more aggressively to remove inappropriate content and groups from the site; and requiring third party vendors to adhere to Facebook's safety and privacy guidelines.

Under the changes, the first time a Facebook user wants to change his or her age, website staff will review their profile to determine whether the change is appropriate.

In addition, companies offering Facebook users services -- called "widgets" -- will now have to implement and enforce Facebook's safety and privacy guidelines.

Facebook also has agreed to maintain a list of pornographic websites and regularly sever any links to such sites. It will remove groups for incest, pedophilia, cyberbullying and other violations of the site's terms of services, as well as expel from the site individual violators of those terms.

Facebook also will:

  • More prominently display safety tips;
  • Require users under 18 to affirm they have read Facebook's safety tips when they sign up;
  • Regularly review models for abuse reporting and perform a test using the New Jersey Attorney General's abuse reporting icon.

Contact the Oregon Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce at 503-378-6347 or visit www.doj.state.or.us to learn more about protecting kids online.

Contact:

Jan Margosian, (503) 947-4333 (media line only) jan.margosian@doj.state.or.us |
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