I'm a bit in shock as I write this post: Gasping, jaw dropped, eyes wide, -- you know, the whole bit.
On official State of Ohio letterhead, Marc Dann, Attorney General for Ohio, has written that he is concerned about sexual predators on Facebook and has met with Facebook officials to find a solution to this problem.
...Riiiight. Find a solution to bad things on the Internet. Is this guy serious? I suppose if anyone can find a solution to the problem, it might be Facebook. The multiple privacy features on Facebook make it MUCH more safe to host a profile on there than on MySpace. In MySpace, it's either you have a public profile, or you have a private profile. Facebook gives users the choice of many degrees of privacy settings. But still, why focus only on Facebook? There are so many ways for online goons to reach out to children. That's why we have things like Parental Controls and Chris Hansen.
UPDATE: If you haven't already heard, The New York Attorney General has subpoenaed Facebook after it did not respond to "many" complaints by investigators who were solicited for sex while posing as teenagers. You can read more about that here. So it seems that's why Ohio put out this statement, which says conversations about this have been going on for months.
Here's a copy of the official statement from Ohio's Attorney General:
Sent: Mon 9/24/2007 4:54 PM
Subject: Attorney General Marc Dann's statement regarding the Facebook social networking Web site
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, September 24, 2007 CONTACT: Chris Geidner
Counsel to Attorney General Dann
Attorney General Marc Dann’s statement regarding the Facebook social networking Web site:
As I have made clear, those running Web sites that are marketed to children and teen-agers had better do so responsibly. If Web sites put our children at risk, I will pursue every available avenue to stop them.
For the past month, my staff has been investigating the Facebook Web site, culminating in a meeting last week with representatives of Facebook and several attorneys general’s offices.
At that meeting, I expressed serious concerns about the current availability of inappropriate material on Facebook, as well as the dangers of sexual predators seeking out children on the site. At the same time, I also expressed my hope that we could work with Facebook to seek creative solutions to protect our children.
As my staff continues to work on these issues, it is my hope that Facebook will take immediate steps to address the concerns expressed at our meeting.