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MySpace purge missed some sex offenders

Marketplace Staff May 22, 2007


LISA NAPOLI: MySpace.com may be a safer place this morning. The giant social networking site says it has kicked out 7,000 users it identified as sex offenders, and has turned their registration data over to law enforcement officials. Pat Loeb has this report.

PAT LOEB: MySpace.com developed special software to identify and remove sex offenders on its site. But a week ago, it told law enforcement authorities it couldn’t share the user registration information because of privacy laws. That prompted attorneys general in 14 states to issue subpoenas.

At that point, MySpace.com was only too happy to share the information. Mike Angus is chief legal counsel for Fox Interactive, which owns MySpace.com:

MIKE ANGUS: The online world now is starting to reflect the offline world. So where you can find out who’s in your neighborhood for example… For our neighborhood, we don’t want the sex offenders on our site.

But Kevin Poulsen, who’s been following the story for Wired News, thinks the method is flawed. He went on MySpace.com after yesterday’s announcement and found several sex offenders with active accounts. MySpace.com says keeping the site free of sex offenders is an ongoing process.

In Los Angeles, I’m Pat Loeb for Marketplace.

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