MySpace To Send Sex Offender Info To Cops

    May 21, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

MySpace will be feeding information on sexual predators using the social networking site to all 50 states’ Attorneys General. 

The Fox-owned social networking site will be using Sentinel SAFE program to weed out registered sex offenders from its profiles, and report information collected on the deleted accounts to the proper authorities.

The "intelligence" will be provided to the Multi-State Attorney General Committee in order for them to pursue predators that have been trolling the site. MySpace says it has been working closely with Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and North Carolina’s Roy Cooper.

"In addition to immediately removing registered sex offenders from MySpace, our plans have always been to provide the information collected by Sentinel SAFE to law enforcement, including the Attorneys General,” said Mike Angus, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Fox Interactive Media. 

“We’re pleased to have worked with Attorneys General Blumenthal and Cooper to devise a solution that allows us to provide this information in a way that enables law enforcement to use it in criminal investigations and probation or parole proceedings.

MySpace rose to extreme popularity shortly after News Corp. bought the site for $580 million, a noticeable bargain just under two years later, when MySpace controls 80% of the social networking market.

But with that popularity came creeping the trolls looking for underage victims. Parents and Congress rose up quickly and loudly, lambasting MySpace for not doing enough to combat sexual predation on the site.

Because of that, MySpace hired on Hemanshu Nigam, now the site’s Chief Security Officer, to develop a way to curtail the instances of predation. As late as the end of 2006, says MySpace, there was no technology developed to help them do this.

In response, Nigam and MySpace developed Sentinel SAFE, implemented this month, which uses a range of informational factors collected from state sex offender registries and from profiles, which are deleted as soon as they are identified. That information is then forwarded to the authorities.

 “We have zero tolerance for sexual predators on MySpace," said Nigam, "and took the initiative to create this first of its kind tool ourselves because nothing previously existed.

“We will continue to promote legislation requiring sex offenders to register their email addresses so they can be kept off social networking sites in the first place and urge other social networking sites to join our lead and implement technologies designed to keep predators away from younger users.”