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Safeguarding MySpace Through Legislation

Virginia is taking the bull by the horns. Or trying to anyway. They want to work with MySpace.com, a huge social network with millions of subscribers, and smaller online sites to make cyberspace a safer place to be for everyone. They have legislation proposed that if passed, would make registration on online social and profile pages, illegal for convicted sexual offenders.

In theory, it sounds like a grand idea. Anyone who has been convicted of a sexual crime will need to register an email address with the state. The state will then turn over these email addresses to MySpace and other social networking sites and keep them on a banned from joining list.

In reality, it will be very hard to pull off. The legislation would impose fines, hundreds and thousands of dollars, for those who create other email addresses to create online profiles. However, they can only be fined if they are caught. How many people have two, three, four or more email addresses? Several – there is usually one for work, one for business, one of the IP provider accounts, another for the free email and so on. And what is a thousand dollars if you have a lot of money? Easy to hand over instead of doing more jail time.

Virginia is proposing a grand plan, one with many redeeming qualities, but far from practical. Sexual offenders, if they truly are on the lookout for prey, whether it be teens, adults or whatever, will find a way around the system. They can use codes and programs to not get caught with having more than one email program.

And what about the sites that don't require registration with an email first? There are no safeguards to stop from profile creation then. In addition, if you can create profiles in some places, but not others, what is the point of the banned email list? The sexual offenders will still be online, but in select places. Those select places will become more dangerous, making the internet still a dangerous place to play.

Virginia is making a noble effort to stop the internet for being a sexual deviant haven. However, the email registration program is set up for failure. The only way to truly keep cyberspace safe from sexual predators is to take away their internet completely. And since this is the land of the free, it can't and won't ever happen.

Posted by eDatingCentral.com Dec 22, 2006 5:02 am


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