Sex Predators in "Your Space"
Now MySpace is cooperating with the state to stop this. The website gave the Attorney General's office 178 names of sex offenders with profiles on their website.
"We realize just how dangerous a site like Myspace can be to children and young adults and the fact that in this day and age, sometimes parents just don't realize how much their young people use this type of site," said John Fougere, Attorney General's Office. "It becomes a huge avenue or opportunity for sex offenders, and we want to make sure that does not happen."
The State Highway Patrol will investigate whether any of the offenders violated their parole by being on a site where minors were present. Officials say parents have the ultimate responsibility to protect their kids.
"A mom gave me a good analogy just a few weeks ago," said Internet Crimes Detective Andy Anderson. "She said that if some child came over to her house to visit her child, she'd talk to them. 'Hey,' 'who are you?', share names, 'how you doing?', 'what are you doing?', 'where do you live?', things of that nature. But we let people come into our house and talk to our kids through the Internet and never show any interest of who they are."
Social networking sites like MySpace.com provide their own safety tips for parents and teens.
They advise users not to include their phone number, address, real name or instant message screen name on their profiles. The Attorney General's office says this is only the first round in the fight against online sexual predators. MySpace.com users must be 14 years and older. Adults posing as kids are kicked off.