Facebook subpoenaed again

September 24, 2007

The popularity of Facebook is really starting to show, they’ve taken over the Myspace mantle and are getting hit by subpoenas.

In this latest one, New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is investigating Facebook accusing them of not keeping youngsters safe from sexual predators.

Undercover tests have been conducted of Facebooks safety controls and procedures which should protect innocent young users from solicitation by adults. These controls aren’t working according to Cuomo.

The problem here is that no matter how good the controls are users are likely to be too blaise about them and leave themselves open to approach. Quite how Facebook can control that I’m not sure. Also, the type of people who prey on youngsters are unfortunately likely to find ways around them by enticing users to interact in other ways.

It’s a really difficult issue; in an ideal world no one would ever be put in a position where this could happen, in reality with the internet being an open and free platform for communication, that will never be possible.

I hope the attorney generals office see this and instead of firing off legal requests go to the table with the big social networks and discuss ways this can be worked around.

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