New Software Lets Parents Track Children’s MySpace Activities

NEW YORK – Parents will soon be able to monitor their children’s activities on

According to the Wall Street Journal, the controversial social networking site plans on offering parental notification software for free. Parents who download it will be able to see how their children are identifying themselves on the site, including their name, age and location. It will also notify parents when their children make any updates to this information, even if the revisions are made from a different computer.

Still, mothers and fathers will not be able to read their kids’ E-mails.

The introduction of the new product, called Zephyr, is another attempt by the company to respond to critics who say the site is not safe for children. On Thursday, attorneys for four families announced that they are suing MySpace and its parent company, News Corp., for the sexual abuse the families’ daughters experienced by adults they met via the social networking site.

Additionally, 33 states are considering suing MySpace if it does not limit access to the site to those age 16 or older. Currently, the age limit is 14. The states also want the site to verify its members’ information against public databases.

According to MySpace representatives, however, it has not discovered a way to cross check this data accurately. The new software will put the burden on parents to monitor their own children.

Other social networking sites, such as Facebook and Xanga will not be participating in MySpace’s initiative. Other sites, such as Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and AOL haven’t committed one way or the other.

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