Internet firms move to protect European children online  

Posted by: shilpz in , , ,

Seventeen Internet firms, including Facebookand Myspace, have agreed to take steps to protect children inEurope from abuse on social networking sites, the European Commission said Tuesday.

In a pact signed in Luxembourg, the companies agreed to put a "report abuse" button on their sites allowing people under 18 to report inappropriate contact or conduct by another user by clicking on it.

They will also ensure that the online profiles and contact lists of users under 18 are set to "private", making it harder to get in contact with young people, and make sure that they cannot be located with a search engine.

The firms will also prevent under-age users from accessing their services.

The pact is aimed at stopping cyberbullying -- where children are harassed on the Internet or with mobile phone messages -- grooming, in which adults befriend children to abuse them, and protecting personal data.

"With one click, you can easily harass someone, intimidate someone, particularly if they are under 18 years old," a commission spokesman said.

The commission, the EU's executive arm and which brokered the agreement, estimates that almost 42 million people regularly use social networking sites in the 27-nation bloc and that this number will rise to 107 million by 2012.

The companies involved are Arto, Bebo, Dailymotion, Facebook,, Google/YouTube, Hyves, Microsoft Europe, Myspace,, Netlog,, Skyrock, StudiVZ, Sulake/Habbo Hotel, Yahoo!Europe and

This entry was posted on Tuesday, February 10, 2009 and is filed under , , , . You can leave a response and follow any responses to this entry through the Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom) .


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