MySpace gets to take the high road with internet safety today, announcing a joint effort with state attorneys general via the Multi-State Working Group on Social Networking. The effort launches with a “Statement on Key Principles of Social Networking Sites Safety” (guess the caps are meant to show how serious it is) meant to be used industry-wide. The state AGs patted MySpace on the back, which should feel good given the amount of grief the company takes for internet safety, and then, according to MySpace, called on other sites to get up to par with the News Corp (NYSE: NWS). unit. Release.
The announcement comes roughly 20 months after MySpace responded to massive criticism, threats and lawsuits by hiring former federal prosecutor Hemanshu Nigam as chief security officer. MySpace has progressed considerably since then. But it also comes amidst high-profile coverage of a young Missouri teen who killed herself after adults set up a fake MySpace profile used to taunt her. After efforts to charge them with various crimes on the state and federal level failed in Missouri, federal prosecutors reportedly are considering fraud charges in California (where MySpace does business officially). The teen was using an account with her parents’ permission despite being underage by MySpace standards.
Does MySpace look more responsible? Yes. Is MySpace safer? Two answers: We’ll see and a lot of that depends on parents.
Update: Facebook: “Facebook has always created an inhospitable environment for predators by limiting access to users