Government // Open Government
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6/11/2010
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Tagged.com Warned Over Children's Online Safety

N.Y. attorney general says the teen-oriented social networking site isn't doing enough to protect children against abuse.

New York State attorney general Andrew Cuomo warned Tagged.com it could be sued if the teen-oriented social networking site does not develop and abide by a plan to monitor and respond to complaints of inappropriate conduct.

"Parents be warned," Cuomo said at a news conference. "This is one of the worst social networking sites that we've encountered."

During a three-month operation, undercover operatives filed 100 complaints with Tagged, Cuomo said. Tagged responded to 51, and left some offending accounts open and some graphic pictures posted on the site, he said.

These photos allegedly included images of children being sexually abused and child pornography, said Cuomo. Adults frequently engaged in inappropriate communications with minors, according to the attorney general's office. In addition, some convicted sex offenders have accounts on the site, Cuomo said.

In his news conference, Cuomo said he wants four-year-old Tagged to abide by the standards set-out on its Web site. Tagged features an abbreviated and full list of online safety tips, as well as a page dedicated to safety information for parents. If parents discover inappropriate activity, Tagged recommends they contact the "safety squad" via e-mail.

"We strive constantly to improve our program to keep illegal content out and prevent unlawful contact between adults and minors on our site," Louis Willacy, a lawyer for Tagged, said in a statement sent to CNN. "The safety of our members is a top priority."

Tagged recommends parents also contact law enforcement and includes links on its Web site.

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