October 22, 2007 in Business

Facebook deal may protect minors

From Staff and Wire Reports The Spokesman-Review
Associated Press photo

State Attorney General Anne Milgram speaks at a news conference in Trenton earlier this month to announce the arrests of 41 people in New Jersey on child porn charges. Those arrested are charged with sending child rape photos and videos over the Internet, including many who used popular social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook, state police said. With Milgram is state police Maj. James Fallon. Associated Press
(Full-size photo)

New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo announced an agreement last week with the social networking Web site Facebook to protect underage members from sexual predators and inappropriate content.

Under the agreement, Facebook will speed up its process for addressing complaints of inappropriate content or unwelcome contact, and an independent monitor approved by Cuomo’s office will oversee Facebook’s compliance with the safeguards for two years.

Under the agreement, the Palo Alto, Calif.-based company, which has about 47 million users, will have to post the safety procedures on its site.

Cuomo said the settlement recognizes that parents share in the responsibility to shield their children from inappropriate Web content. His office began investigating the Web site after receiving complaints.

A Facebook spokesman said the online site receives as many as tens of thousands of complaints in a day. With the agreement, complaints about inappropriate content will be pushed to the top of the queue. Facebook will have to respond to complaints about nudity or pornography or unwelcome contact within 24 hours and report the steps it has taken to the complainant within 72 hours.

Cuomo said the agreement was distinct from an ongoing effort by the attorneys general of all 50 states to impose age-verification requirements and other safeguards on social networking sites.

Leopard ready to pounce

People this week won’t be blogging overtime about Steve Jobs’ latest baby the same way they did with the iPhone. Come Friday, OS X Leopard, the new Mac operating system, will go on sale with just the usual Mac-happy fanfare.

The Cupertino, Calif., company says the release will add 300 new features and retail for $129. Pre-orders can be made at Apple’s online store at apple.com.

At the same time, his company’s popular iTunes Store just dropped the premium prices it charges for tunes without DRM (digital rights management) restrictions. All other DRM-protected music sold through iTunes prevents users from copying it to other devices.

The DRM-free tracks sold for $1.29 each but now cost 99 cents, which is more in line with the 89- to 99-cents-per-song fee paid by shoppers at the new Amazon music download store.

Searching for sex in Google

People in Egypt, India and Turkey lead the world in Web searches for sites using the keyword “sex” on Google search engines, according to statistics provided by Google Inc.

The word “Nazi” scored the most hits in Chile, Australia and the United Kingdom, data from 2004 to the present retrievable on the Google Trends Web site showed.

Italians do the most searches for the word “Viagra,” followed by those from the United Kingdom and Germany.

The top national searchers for other keywords, in order from first to third place are:

“ “Jihad” – Morocco, Indonesia, Pakistan

“ “Terrorism” – Pakistan, Philippines, Australia

“ “Burrito” – United States, Argentina, Canada

“ “Taliban” – Pakistan, Australia, Canada.

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