This morning BoardBuzz read about the scoop from TechCrunch:
The Attorney General of Connecticut, Richard Blumenthal, is about to make an announcement at noon ET that he and the attorneys general from 48 other states have negotiated a deal with Facebook to implement new safety and privacy rules, according to sources with knowledge of the deal. Facebook will be making its own announcement later on today.
And lo’ and behold, the world’s 2nd largest social networking site did announce their commitment to working with the attorneys general of 49 states and the District of Columbia to improve the safety of underage users. This development mirrors an agreement those same 49 states made with MySpace last January. Texas alone has not endorsed these agreements. Texas officials want to set even higher standards and see faster response times to identity verification.
Facebook officials also announced that many safety improvements have already been enacted and others are in the works. In the deal, the social network agreed to develop age verification technology, protect minors from inappropriate contact and content, restrict the ability for people to change their ages on the site, monitor the site for harassment, and remove inappropriate content as stated in its Terms of Service.
“Building a safe and trusted online experience has been part of Facebook from its outset,” said Facebook chief privacy officer Chris Kelly in a statement. “We are proud to join 49 states and the District of Columbia in affirming our commitment to these principles and to continue improving our technology and policy solutions to keep kids safer on Facebook. The Attorneys General have shown great leadership in helping to address the critical issue of Internet safety and we commend them for continuing to set high standards for all players in the online arena.”
Facebook even reaffirmed its participation in the Internet Safety Task Force, which came about through MySpace’s earlier agreement and focuses on identifying effective online safety tools and technologies. Moreover, Facebook has agreed to make third-party developers and advertisers adhere to its safety and privacy rules.
“Social networks that encourage kids to come to their sites have a responsibility to keep those kids safe,” said North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper in a statement. “We’ve now gotten the two largest social networking sites to agree to take significant steps to protect children from predators and pornography.”
BoardBuzz applauds Facebook for recognizing their responsibility to keep kids safe online. We expect the platform will become more secure as a whole, and all users will benefit from these new standards. For more about online social networking, be sure to check out NSBA’s Creating and Connecting report.