Illinois talks up website ban in schools

Social networking sites on the chopping block

Following on from this morning's news that MySpace has emerged unscathed after it was sued by the parents of a teenage user , there's talk in Illinois of a bill that would ban children from surfing social networking sites in schools.

MySpace triumphed this week in a landmark court case in which the parents of a teenage girl who was sexually assaulted by a person she met on MySpace sued its owners for negligence. The girl had lied about her age, stating that she was 18 when in fact she was 13. Her parents claimed that MySpace's failure to stop this deception was negligent.

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And so it seems that to prevent this sort of occurrence happening again, where children younger than the minimum age of 14 lie in order to sign up, Illinois state senator Matt Murphy is introducing a bill called the 'Social Networking Web Site Prohibition Act'.

Essentially, it will ban kids from accessing sites like MySpace and Bebo while they're at school, reducing the exposure of the young and naïve to the risks posed by such sites.

It's the kind of bold move which, while likely to be unpopular with school children in the areas covered by the bill, will most probably be effective in reducing the number of under age kids accessing these social networking communities in the first place.