MySpace To Post Amber Alerts
The move is one of dozens of security initiatives that MySpace has undertaken in the last six months, said Hemanshu Nigam, director of safety for MySpace. Most recently, MySpace introduced an email verification program, which attempts to weed out sex offenders in coordination with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and Sentinel Safe, another national program. Another feature allows users under the age of 18 to block users over that age from viewing their profile or contacting them.
But the raft of initiatives won't necessarily encourage skittish advertisers. "While some advertisers may have come into the fold, most are still gun shy," said Paul Benjou, senior vice president, global digital media director, Universal McCann digital communications practice/J3. "There is much work to be done to put the proper controls in place."
He added that the new Amber alert feature doesn't address advertisers' core concerns about safety and privacy in itself. "The move focuses on community involvement, but what it does not do is add or improve tools to monitor and control problematic concerns as they relate to misuse of the site by children, young adults and adults."
The MySpace Amber Alert program delivers notifications to users which, when clicked on, lead them to more detailed warnings. The messages include a picture of the missing child as well as a description of the abductor and contact information for local law enforcement, in case users think they have useful information. The program may also make users more vigilant by alerting them to dangerous individuals in their area.