Facebook is my white whale: I write about it seemingly every day even though I purport to want nothing to do with it. Be that as it may, it’s good to see the Web site handle its business with regard to keeping child predators away from unsuspecting minors. Just like MySpace before it, the social networking site has become something of an attraction for guys from “To Catch a Predator,” what with all the kids on there. Now authorities are cracking down on Facebook. Well, “cracking down” implies that Facebook isn’t being cooperative, which couldn’t be any further from the truth.
Facebook, which has been incredibly media and technology savvy in its three years of existence, usually takes down offending profiles within a few hours. All complaints are rectified post haste.
What the Times pointed out is how someone set up a phony account in order to see how easy it would be to contact youngsters. The person joined sexually explicit groups and was subject to repeated harassment from online weirdos. I’d rather not repeat what some of the messages said.
But Facebook is proactive: it’s compiling a database of sex offenders’ names and e-mail addresses in order to prevent them from signing up in the first place.
Facebook doesn’t want any bad publicity—a sex offender meeting someone via the site is probably as bad as you can get—so it’ll keep doing what it’s got to do in order to maintain its squeaky clean image. And, you know, not be sued into oblivion.
New Scrutiny for Facebook Over Predators [New York Times]