MySpace Tightens Security

Los Angeles-based MySpace has rolled out new safety and security features, responding to widespread concerns over the use of the social networking site by child predators. MySpace today said that it is adding additional features for 14-15 year old members, new privacy settings, and restrictions on ads sent to younger users. MySpace said that it will now require that any 18+ year old MySpace members to have the email address, or first and last name of members who are under 16 years old to connect. The site also has now added an option to allow profiles to be set to private, which will only allow friends to see personal detailed information, and also age-specific settings that limit profiles to only those of the same age group. MySpace also said that it is now working on improving ad targeting based on age appropriateness. MySpace has been facing a chorus of criticism from the use of the site by predators to lure in underage members. Members of the site are also often presented with online dating advertisements. Yesterday, MySpace was sued by a 14-year-old girl from Austin, Texas over allegations that the company failed to take enough precautions to protect minors from sexual predators. That suit is looking for $30M from News Corp., the parent company of MySpace.