With heightened concerns over sexual predators lurking at social-networking sites, state attorneys general have called for such communities, particularly MySpace, to improve age and identity checks.
Facebook takes a stab at verification by restricting access only to
those with a valid e-mail address from a high school, college or
participating company. It is happy to have 8 million registered users.
Industrious Kid Inc.’s imbee, for kids 8 to 14, requires parents to
submit credit cards to vouch for their children.
Of course, an adult may “vouch” for an alter ego and use that to chat
with kids. Thus, all imbee profiles are initially private, and adults
can’t do much without tricking a parent into letting them join a
child’s network, said Tim Donovan, imbee’s vice president of marketing.
Zoey’s Room, a site for girls 10-14, has verified each of its 300
members with a school or youth group. It charges $15 a year.
IDology believes its technology could help keep children safe. A
verified adult could be given greater access and the ability to share
profiles openly. Anyone not willing or able to be verified, including
teens, would be left with limited access and private profiles.
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