MySpace has acted swiftly and without mercy to remove thousands of its user profiles which belong to registered sex offenders.

Yesterday we reported that thousands of these sex crime perpetrators have been signing up to the social networking site. US Attorneys had said that many of the convicted felons should be exposed.

But one day later, MySpace says it has removed all the offending profiles, alleviating safety fears concerning MySpace's young user base. It was feared that the offenders, who include paedophiles and rapists, might strike out at these young users.

However the problem is unlikely to disappear entirely. Some paedophiles pose as young people to 'groom' children online. They won't be affected by the cull since they're not using their real identities.

Build up

The MySpace action follows the news that half of all children who surf the internet have had an "unwanted experience" online. That's what the National Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) said after conducting a survey of 2,053 web surfing children.

The NSPCC says that over half of 11- to 16-year-old kids visit social networking sites at least once every day. This is despite fears that children put themselves at risk when they interact with people they don't know over the internet.

"Children face real threats on the internet such as sexual grooming, cyber-bullying, exposure to violent, pornographic and other unsuitable material, and being lured into dangerous real-world situations," said NSPCC director and chief executive Dame Mary Marsh.

Disney is to launch a social networking website designed especially for pre-teens. The MySpace-style web 2.0 site will be tailored for kids, with beefy security to keep them all safe.