Regulators need to eat, too

Posted by Marc Hodak on July 25, 2007 under Regulation without regulators | Comments are off for this article

MySpace recently booted about 29,000 sexual predators from its site. Nobody asked them to do it. They just figured that it was good business to keep their young customers from getting, you know, raped. On the one hand, one could read that as a positive indicator that a private company has every incentive to police its space and keep it safe for its intended users. On the other hand, one can read that as the perfect excuse for government involvement in the Internet.

“The exploding epidemic of sex offender profiles on MySpace – 29,000 and counting – screams for action,” said Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal.

In North Carolina, Attorney General Roy Cooper wants a state law that would require children to obtain parental permission before creating profiles on sites such as MySpace, and require the site to check parents’ identity.

I guess that making MySpace the North Carolina AG’s deputy nanny can allow him to pretend to care more about my kids than I do. (I read the news, too, Roy.) I guess, too, that the action by MySpace doesn’t count as “action” as defined by the Connecticut AG. Politicians live by the premise that there is no regulation until the government does it, and voters will tend to believe them. Especially when it comes to protecting the children.

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