At the same time as the headlines over a possible Microsoft investment, Facebook is in the news for something it might have avoided had it stayed a college network. On Monday, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo announced that he would subpoena Facebook as part of an ongoing investigation into the site’s safety practices. The move comes after his office set up fake profiles on the site for underage users, which, Cuomo claims, were readily met with sexual solicitations from adults. Investigators then sent emails to Facebook, purporting to be from concerned parents, which the company did not respond to in what was deemed a satisfactory manner. As part of the subpoena, Cuomo wants Facebook to turn over all such complaints that it has received, as well as information about how they were dealt with.
Of course, this isn’t uncharted territory, as MySpace has had to deal with very similar legal attacks. In fact, at Rupert Murdoch’s recent Communacopia appearance, he chided Facebook for being behind MySpace in addressing these issues although the Goldman Sachs analyst interviewing Murdoch did suggest that it might actually be easier to stalk an underage user on MySpace. Release.