July 25, 2007
MySpace has become the place to be for young adults and teenagers on the internet, but the popular cyberspace hangout has also become a lurking ground for sexual predators.
And now the company is reporting that the number of sex offenders that they originally estimated to be on the site is actually much higher.
MySpace originally estimated that there were only about 7,000 sex offenders using their site but they have now privately told authorities the number in reality is four times higher, more than 29,000.
The new number was revealed by North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, who is now pushing for a new state law that would require sites like MySpace to get a parent's permission before letting a child post to the site.
"All we're doing is giving parents the right to make a choice as to whether or not their child goes on to one of these websites and talks to millions of people, many of whom are proven to be child sex predators" said Cooper.
And while MySpace won't confirm the numbers they are saying they are continuing to remove any sex offenders from the site. And in the meantime states around the country are looking at ways to protect their children and alert parents of this digital danger.
"Parents need to understand there are predators on the internet who are more vicious than those who used to lurk in parks and playgrounds" said Texas Attorney General Greg Abbot.
And even though these numbers are now out there really is no way to know how big the problem really is. The National Center for missing and exploited children says that there are more than 600,000 registered sex offenders, all who may have access to the internet.
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