MySpace removes 90,000 sex offenders in two years

February 4, 2009

(ChattahBox) – Compelled by a subpoena online networking site MySpace revealed to an investigative task force of state attorneys on Tuesday it has identified and barred some 90,000 registered sex offenders over the last two years.

The “shocking” number was 40,000 more than MySpace had previously acknowledged, according to Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, a co-chairman of the task force of state attorneys general looking into sex offenders’ use of social networking.

“This shocking revelation, resulting from our subpoena, provides compelling proof that social networking sites remain rife with sexual predators,” Blumenthal said in a statement.

MySpace owned by News Corp.’s Fox Interactive Media digital division, commissioned background verification firm Sentinel Safe Tech Holdings Corp. to create a national database of sex offenders after reports that some of its teenage users were abducted by sex predators.

Blumenthal’s office said it was awaiting a response to a similar subpoena issued to Facebook, another popular social networking site that his office said also might host “substantial numbers of convicted offenders.”

There are fears that the paedophiles will simply move their activities to Facebook, MySpace’s main rival online, as social networking websites, are magnets for children and teenagers.

Facebook’s Chief Privacy Officer Chris Kelly said in a statement it was working with Blumenthal’s office but said the site had “not yet had to handle a case of a registered sex offender meeting a minor through Facebook.”

“Unlike MySpace or other social networking sites, Facebook has always enforced a real-name culture and has developed and deployed social verification and powerful privacy rules that allow people to interact in a safer and more trusted environment,” the statement said.


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