MySpace Limiting Adult Access To Child Profiles
In what is sure to become a major victory for child protection groups, advertisers, and the future adaptation, expansion and public perception of Fox Interactive’s MySpace, starting next week MySpace will be initiating tougher age restrictions which will make it a lot harder for adult predators to target teenagers using the social networking service.
MySpace, which has close to 90 million members, has been in the news lately and is currently the target of a $30 million law suit because sexual predators have used the service as a virtual shooting gallery for targeting and making contact with children.
MySpace will restrict the methods that users over the age of 18 can use to contact minors in the system. If an older MySpace users wants to connect with a child and be their friend, they will first have to show proof of actually knowing that child in the real world, by entering the recipients’ actual first and last names or their e-mail addresses.
In addition, MySpace will also restrict the types of advertising being shown to children. No more online dating service ads will be shown to users under the age of 18. MySpace is also encouraging underage users to set up their profiles as private, and only available to their lists of friends.
In a move which is, well, better late than never, MySpace is taking an important step in putting the negative image of a breeding ground of sex crimes behind them, and in the right direction of cleaning their image – which should better legitimize the service as it moves more into search, video sharing, local search and business listings.. on the local and international field.