, an Online Hangout for Kids, Gets a Cybercop


Fighting its reputation as an unsavory online hangout, “social networking” site has hired a former federal prosecutor to patrol the service and launched ads warning kids about Internet predators, reports the Los Angeles Times. Internet safety expert and former Justice Department porn buster Hemanshu Nigam will become MySpace’s first chief security officer and oversee initiatives to protect the Santa Monica company’s 68 million members.

Although wildly popular, MySpace has drawn the wrath of parents concerned that child molesters prowl the personal pages of young members. More common, though, are complaints about coarse language and racy photographs. Such criticism has become a headache for parent firm News Corp., which acquired MySpace in July as part of its $580-million purchase of Intermix Media Inc. Schools in Orange, Monterey and Los Angeles counties have banned access to the site from school computers, and countless parents have yanked their children’s memberships.


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