Facebook, the popular social networking site for teens and college students, was subpoenaed by New York Attorney Andrew Cuomo on Monday. Facebook is the target of an investigation into allegations of solicitation of minors by sexual predators on the site.
This subpoena comes after Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper announced they were leading investigations into the site. Cuomo issued subpoenas to Facebook seeking complaints received by Facebook on solicitations of underage users and inappropriate content on the site.
USA Today quotes Cuomo as saying, “My office is concerned that Facebook's promise of a safe website is not consistent with its performance in policing its site and responding to complaints, Parents have a right to know what their children will encounter on a website that is aggressively marketed as safe."
Cuomo told USA Today that over the last month undercover agents posing as underage users were solicited by adult sexual predators and users were easily able access adult videos and images. Facebooks biggest rival, MySpace, had similar problems with sexual predators using the website to solicit minors. Cuomo says investigators contacted Facebook posing as parents of underage children, who were solicited by adults on the site. The complaints were often ignored, but in a few instances Facebook did remove inappropriate content. This isn't the first time Facebook has faced legal troubles, Facebook was in court to defend itself against allegations that Facebook founders stole the idea for the site from a previous venture they were involved in.
quote: Problem is the kids know more than they do so that kills the whole concept.
quote: Maybe you should stop trying to blame parents for what a 3rd party is doing. Everyone else really would have to babysit, because a teen or college student's access to the internet is not limited only to the computer in mom & dad's living room, you can get online practically anywhere so unless you are suggesting the child be chained up in the basement, your idea about parental monitoring being enough is exactly how the problem occurs.
quote: As for blocking the internet, I imagine you are feeling it is ok for parents to censor but is it really any different than a whole country banning all it's citizens from certain 'sites, and further, it is really enough to just ban facebook as if kids looking for social interaction online wouldn't just find 'site after 'site to do so?
quote: Trying to simply shut out the world from your child will just encourage them to be more secretive.
quote: But it absolutely is the government's responsibility to protect
quote: Maybe parents should get more involved in what their children are doing on the internet, instead of expecting everyone else to "babysit" their kids.
quote: Think about when you were a kid. Did you always obey your parents all the time? Were your parents in the room with you all the time to make sure you didn't get into trouble? Did you ever use a computer when they were not around? Somehow I think I know the answers to these questions, even if your parents were the best parents ever.
quote: But it is still the parents responsibility to know what their child is doing, and prevent from them doing things that are not safe.
quote: It really makes me sick. These are the types of people who blame websites, and other peoples parents for not doing the job that they were supposed to.
quote: Parents have a right to know what their children will encounter on a website that is aggressively marketed as safe.