It is can be easy to find some of the sex offenders using MySpace. All you do is take the names from the sex offender registry and search for them on MySpace.
NewsChannel 11 was able to take the 250 names from our local registry and find six of them with active accounts. Three of the offenders we found were breaking the law by having a my space account according to the terms of their probation and parole.
Since our stories have aired, other TV stations have done their own investigations. KLTV, our sister station in Tyler, was able to document two arrests of sex offenders violating their probation for using the website. We have also received numerous emails from viewers.
Here's one that says, "I think what ya'll are doing is great. It takes brave people to come face-to-face with sex offenders and I am glad someone is finally doing it."
But what about the sex offenders who have served their time? Authorities can't stop them from meeting teenagers on MySpace. But someone else can.
MySpace, the company itself is taking action. We contacted their offices in Washington D.C. They told us they are partnering with Sentinel Tech Holding Corporation, the leading online identity and background verification company. Together they are building a database that will contain the names and physical descriptions of convicted sex offenders across the nation. Their system will find and identify registered sex offenders on MySpace and simply delete their accounts. It will also block them from creating a new account.
MySpace has also been advocating federal legislation that would require convicted sex offenders to register all e-mail addresses in a national sex offender database. It will make it easier for MySpace to block sex offenders.
So, is this the end to sex offenders on MySpace? Probably not. Some believe this new effort will only force sex offenders to hide behind a smoke screen, but at least parents can be rest assured that MySpace is moving in a direction to better protect your children.
If you would like to read the full report about the new MySpace blocking tool, click here.
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