MySpace Removes 29,000 Sex Offenders From Site

RALEIGH, N.C. – MySpace.com just deleted the profiles of more than 29,000 registered sex offenders, a figure horrifying to state lawmakers looking to regulate Internet access.

The online social networking phenomenon has caused several law enforcement officials to worry that children will now be easier prey for adult pedophiles. The attorney generals from North Carolina, Connecticut, and several other states recently demanded that MySpace release information on how many sex offenders had created accounts. After initially refusing, the News Corp-owned site caved to pressure last May and revealed that its database had already removed 7,000 sex-offender profiles.

However, the figure has now risen to more than 29,000, according to the office of North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper. They also discovered more than 100 incidents of adults using MySpace to victimize or attempt to victimize children in this year alone.

Cooper is working to pass a state law requiring children to receive parental permission and requiring Web sites to verify parental information before they can open a social networking account. He believes the measure would decrease the number of children at risk by decreasing the number on the Web sites. However, opponents argue that the law infringes on privacy rights. They also point out that children could easily fabricate parental information and consent.

The bill has passed the North Carolina Senate and is now scheduled for consideration in a House subcommittee.

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