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GrownUpsOnline.com Adopts Blumenthal Age/ ID Verification Initiative - 1st Rresponsible Social network separates children and adults by integration of age and identification verification system. Site conforms to Blumenthal and 34 attorneys general safety recommendations without compromising privacy
GrownUpsOnline.com Adopts Blumenthal Age/ ID Verification Initiative

 

NewswireToday - /newswire/ - Southbury, CT, United States, 2007/01/19 - 1st Rresponsible Social network separates children and adults by integration of age and identification verification system. Site conforms to Blumenthal and 34 attorneys general safety recommendations without compromising privacy.

   
 
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In an effort to avoid the problem’s that News Corp.’s popular Website MySpace.com has encountered from a group of 34 state attorneys general led by 's Richard Blumenthal, Group Members International, a Connecticut based creator of socially responsible online communities is utilizing what it terms the only solution that will work. CEO John Monteleone states that MySpace must use age & Identity verification to protect children from the risks that occur by mixing children and grownups in online communities where anonymity rules. The only solution is to have separate communities for adults and children, both with membership verified by age.

Monteleone goes on to say that MySpace is avoiding dealing directly with the problem with their latest “band aid” software solution code-named "Zephyr." Parents are deeply concerned by the increasing danger to teen by people who first contact them through MySpace, according to law-enforcement officials. Blumenthal wants MySpace to cross check users' details with government databases to verify their age.

The fact that News Corp. is expected to generate nearly $500 million in revenues this year caused Monteleone to wonder why they have chosen to avoid complying with Richard Blumenthal’s suggestion to implement age and identity verification and then use this information to separate children from grownups. Monteleone suggests that “it certainly is not a lack of resources that are holding back the solution; therefore it must be a lack of will. A lawsuit by the attorneys general could cost MySpace tens of millions of dollars in fees and continue to generate additional negative publicity. This continued controversy will continue to keep “Blue Chip” advertisers from placing ads on MySpace and other less well known social network sites.”

Following the Blumenthal model, Group Members International created GrownUpsOnline and implemented age and ID verification from the very beginning, thereby avoiding the mix of children and grownups that has plagued MySpace and other social networks. Monteleone also stated “we don't mix children and adults on a peer level socially off line due to the difference in maturity and interests, so why are we mixing online on the same peer level.” Separation of children from grownups is the solution and age and ID verification is the answer that the attorney generals have put forth. According to Nielsen/NetRatings, 63% of MySpace visitors in December, 2006 were over 25 years of age.

Zephyr places the burden on parents to monitor whether their children are lying about their ages. Parents are also concerned that children will provide too much information that could make them easy prey for kidnappers or molesters. This MySpace solution is “unenforceable” according to Monteleone.

To date, MySpace has refused to cooperate with action demanded by the attorneys general because it says it hasn't yet found a solution for the attorney generals' request for age verification for children less than 18 years of age. The minimum age to join MySpace is currently 14. Blumenthal is suggesting they raise the minimum age to 16. The minimum age to join GrownUpsOnline is 21, thereby keeping a separation between children and grownups that Monteleone states “have different value systems based on their age”.

Age and Identification is not a free service, for the provider or the site member. GrownUpsOnline (grownupsonline.com) charges a small fee for membership and sees the fee as the cost of trust and the value of providing a safe Internet environment. The values of which MySpace has yet to learn.

 
 
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GrownUpsOnline.com Adopts Blumenthal Age/ ID Verification Initiative

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Publisher Contact: John Monteleone - GrownUpsOnline.com 
203-565-6100 contact[.]grownupsonline.com
 
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