A new police tool on the Internet has prompted hoax sites on MySpace.com, says USA Today. The popular networking site is shutting them down. At least 16 police or sheriffs’ departments appeared to have profile pages on MySpace to seek investigative tips or deter predators, but USA Today found that at least six were fakes. A page that claimed to represent the New York Police Department had racy photos. Another that said it was the Fairfax County Police in Virginia said officers loved donuts and coffee. Officials in both departments did not know who set up the sites.
MySpace.com closed those sites, as well as pages claiming to represent New Jersey State Police and the Coral Gables Police Department in Florida. MySpace, with 160 million profiles, has been working to answer criticism that it does not do enough to protect teens from predators. It has run public safety ads, co-developed a database that identifies and removes convicted sex offenders from online sites, and has a 24-hour-a-day hotline to report problems.