I heard that MySpace came out with some new restrictions for their site. Do you have some details on this?

I’m glad you asked, because I was going to tell you all about this sometime soon anyway. Last week, MySpace announced some new restrictions they’re going to be placing on their Web site to help with the issues of predation that has been overwhelming them for some time now.

Before I go any further, just in case some of you don’t know, MySpace is one of the most popular social networks on the Internet today. You can go and create your own profile, talk with friends and family, meet new people, do some business networking, etc. All of this is attainable on this one site. You can read more about MySpace here.

The new restrictions that are being placed on the site mostly deal with how adults can contact younger MySpace members. I’m sure you’ve all heard in the news about several inappropriate contacts going on between adults and minors. Well, MySpace is determined to stop this from going any further. The Web site already has a restriction for kids who are 13 years of age and under. These individuals are not even allowed to set up an account. The site also only shows a small part of a profile for users registered as 14 and 15 year olds.

Now MySpace is not going to allow any user who is 18 years or older to contact a younger member unless they know their e-mail address or their full name. This information will be an indication that the two users already know each other. Otherwise, they will have no access to those profiles. On the other hand, users under 18 can still make contact.

This is a good start for restrictions on MySpace, but there are still some problems that could occur. MySpace obviously doesn’t have any say in whether a user records their correct age in their profile. Therefore, any adult could still register under a younger age and they can still contact youths in the 14 to 17 age range. Unfortunately, there’s not much MySpace can do about this issue, but they are trying to stop the madness.

As I mentioned above, some adults can still see partial areas of certain profiles. The reduced profiles include the member’s gender, age and the city where they live. Full profiles then include hobbies, schools and any other personal information that an individual decides to put in. Therefore, the new rules could still cause some problems.

All in all, and I’ve said this before, MySpace is only intended for fun and for the most part, it is. Just make sure to keep your children and grandchildren safe if they happen to have a profile on MySpace. You can never be too careful, but with some safe watching, MySpace can be fun for all, without any more dreadful issues.

~ Erin