Though social networking sites like Facebook and My Space have come under fire in recent years as havens for sexual predators, incidents of predators actually contacting teens through these sites are less prevalent than media reports might suggest, according to a study released this week.
The findings do not mean that teens should have carte blanche to share all the intimate details of their life with 300 of their closest "friends," the study warned."Caution should be used in interpreting this small amount of research about a new phenomenon." Sexual predators are not ignoring the social networking space, however.Last summer My Space deleted as many as 30,000 profiles it said belonged to sexual predators.Earlier this year, the site also released a joint statement between My Space and the nation's attorneys general, focusing on age verification and the protection of minors already on My Space.
In September 2007, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo opened an investigation into Facebook's safety measures.
Posing as children, members of Cuomo's staff were "repeatedly solicited by adult sexual predators on Facebook," according to a statement.