MySpace Tackles Issues of Online Safety

Many of our secondary students have MySpace.com accounts. Increasing numbers of parents and teachers are apprehensive about students using this service. Is anyone taking steps to insure that this environment is safe for students?

Parents, along with law enforcement and school officials throughout the nation, have expressed concerns about student use of MySpace.com, saying that many teens post photographs and personal information which make them vulnerable to a variety of nasty situations. In response to mounting alarm, the site’s owner, News Corp. recently hired an expert in online safety to oversee issues related to the popular social networking Internet site. News Corp. is also launching an online safety advertising campaign in partnership with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which targets parents and students. The company has also announced additional measures taken recently such as deleting profiles of underage users, and requiring new users under age 18 to view online safety information.

Will these measures alleviate adult worries? That remains to be seen. However, the best way to ensure that teens’ postings are appropriate is for parents to take an active interest in their child’s online activity. Educators can assist parents and students by providing information about online safety.

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