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Facebook promises stronger safeguards

Attorney General ends complaint

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Social networking site Facebook has reached agreement with the New York Attorney General to strengthen the way it polices its site to make it easier to remove obscene or offensive content.

AG Andrew Cuomo issued a sub poena to the site last month after investigators posed as young teenagers and "received online sexual advances from adults within days, and found widespread pornographic and obscene content".

Facebook either failed to respond or responded slowly to complaints made by investigators posing as worried parents of underage users.

Under the agreement Facebook promises to: accept complaints about nudity, pornography, harassment or unwelcome contact via email, respond to such complaints within 24 hours, take action on such complaints within 72 hours, allow an independent third party to examine the complaints procedure, and send reports written by that third party to the AG's office.

The third party, called the "Independent Safety and Security Examiner" must be approved by the Attorney General. The examiner will report every six months. The agreement will last for two years.

Cuomo also issued advice to parents and guardians on how to keep their children safe on social networking sites.

Abuse can now be reported on "abuse@facebook.com".

The Attorney General's full statement is here. ®

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