Social Networking Sites Asked to Allow Users to Quickly Report Inappropriate Content

"This is about protecting children"

by / November 20, 2006
New Jersey Attorney General Stuart Rabner asked the chief executive officers of a number of prominent social networking Web sites, including and, to make it easier for users to identify and swiftly report inappropriate solicitations or illegal content.

In a letter sent last week to executives of ten Web sites, Rabner asked the companies to cooperatively work towards making their services safer for children by creating the technology to reduce dangers and empower users without interfering with the free flow of information.

He said the companies should work to place a readily identifiable icon on each page of their Web sites that would allow users to quickly report inappropriate or suspicious activity such as sexual or predatory content. Those reports would provide information to alert both the Web site and law enforcement officials of potential criminal behavior.

"This is about protecting children," Rabner said. He said it would be in the Web sites' best interests to develop ways to self-police activity on their sites.

"The use of your service for illegal activity, and as a medium through which child predators identify, learn about, and contact potential victims, poses a serious threat to the public safety of some of our most vulnerable citizens and creates significant risk for the positive reputation and continued operations of your business," Rabner wrote in his letter to the Web site executives. "I am committed to taking proactive steps to stop the use of the Internet to commit and facilitate crime."

Rabner's letter was sent to executives at; Facebook, Inc.; Friendster;;; Bebo, Inc.; Tagged, Inc.;;; and TagWorld.