A journalist for the Daily Mail, Mark Williams-Thomas, wrote an article exposing the dangers of the internet for children.
Posing as a 14 year old girl he waited for predators and other nefarious characters to make advances to him and what he found was not good. It took just 5 minutes for the phoney profile to receive message from adults offering sexual advances to the underage user through webcam.
When the story went to print he had not named the social networking site in his original story but that was not good enough for the editors – they added the name Facebook to the story title and its contents.
Facebook immediately hit back advising that it did not allow anyone with a profile under the age of 18 to be added by a friend unless the under-18 year old added them first and that it did not have an application for webcam users to use with Facebook. Facebook is still considering taking legal action against the Daily Mail.
Now Facebook is asking Mark William-Thomas to name the social networking site that he was using.
“If you really want to protect people online, then you should name sites which allow this. It’s up to the Daily Mail and Mark Williams-Thomas. If they really want to protect their readers, they should give the name.”
In other news Harriet Harman MP for the UK Government and Labour’s Deputy Leader has urged Facebook to add a Child Protection Button which would allow a child to alert the police about suspicious activity.
“The safety of Facebook users is our top priority,” said a Facebook spokesperson. “We have reporting buttons on every page and continue to invest heavily in creating the most robust reporting system to support our 400 million users. We work closely with police forces in the UK and around the world and have trained staff on two continents giving 24 hour support in 70 languages.”
Source: Guardian and eWeek Europe