According to NMA, Facebook has approached the UK Government requesting access to data from the sex offenders list so it can take measures to remove and block sex offenders from its social networking portal.
The move comes after the high profile sentencing of Peter Chapman, a known sex offender who used Facebook to meet 17-year old girl before raping and murdering her.
Facebook is putting pressure on the Government to devise a secure way of sending relevant data to social networking sites and chat enabled websites so they can remove access and reduce the potential risk posed by registered sex offenders on their networks.
A spokeswoman from Facebook said:
“If we can get this data from authorities we commit to removing registered sex offfenders from Facebook within days.”
Facebook are currently threatening to pursue legal damages against the Daily Mail after they were wrongly accused of facilitating the process of letting older men put pressure teenage girls for sex.
An article in the paper entitled “I posed as a girl of 14 on Facebook. What followed will sicken you” suggested that a teenage girl could create a new Facebook profile and be approached “within seconds” by older men who “wanted to perform a sex act” for them.
The piece was published after the author of the article, Mark Williams-Thomas, had alerted the papers editors to inconsistencies in the copy, specifically that he had been using another social network at the time. The Daily Mail later changed the title and issued a public apology but Facebook fear that their reputation could be permanently damaged as a result.
However you feel about social networking sites and the relationships they cultivate, Facebook’s actions can only be seen as a big step to increasing the safety of young people on it’s network.