Today it was announced that MySpace made a deal with 49 state attorneys general to put measures in place to curb sexual predators. These are good and sensible measures (and are long overdue).
One of my co-founders remarked today that “I think one real issue here is identity verification. This might be the time where a 3rd-party identity verification service is of extreme use to social networks.”
The question is, how much friction will social networks add to the sign-up process to aid child protection?
My guess is not much — and probably none.
As long as social networks just only require an email (and some don’t even verify that email) to sign-up, there is going to be little movement here and children will only be protected through education and not through technology.
Of course, community sites and social networks could use email look-up systems like Rapleaf to verify each user (and that is something we’ve been pushing) but I’m not convinced that most of these sites (with a few exceptions) really care about child safety as opposed to giving it lip service.
Time will tell how much of a widespread problem this or if it is just a few isolated incidents.