MySpace, the wildly popular social networking site used by millions of people, announced Tuesday that it has identified approximately 90,000 registered sex offenders who are also registered users of the site, and has been deleting the MySpace accounts and access priveleges of those individuals over the past two years.
According to Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, who co-chairs the state attorney general task force on social networking, the current number of sex offenders identified as MySpace users (90,000) is 40,000 more than MySpace acknowledged in an earlier report. On Tuesday, Blumenthal stated in a Press Release: "Almost 100,000 convicted sex offenders mixing with children on MySpace. . .is absolutely appalling and totally unacceptable. For every one of them, there may be hundreds of others using false names and ages. These convicted registered sex offenders creating profiles under their own names unmasks MySpace's monstrously inadequate counter-measures. MySpace must purge these dangerous offenders now -- and rid them for good. Social networking sites must be barred as playgrounds for predators -- a very real threat exposed by the response to our subpoena."
A study published in January found that most teenagers who maintain an online profile on MySpace make reference to "risk" behaviors like sex, drug and alcohol abuse, and violence on their pages. In early 2008, MySpace announced an agreement with the attorneys general of 49 states on a number of measures to protect young MySpace users and keep sexual predators from using the site.