Top US state attorneys have announced that Facebook has agreed to get tougher on keeping its young website users safe from bullies, porn, pedophiles and other online hazards.
Facebook has agreed to a child protection pact similar to the one sealed with leading social-networking website MySpace in January, according to Connecticut attorney general Richard Blumenthal.
"This agreement marks another milestone step for social networking safety -- protecting kids from online predators and pornography," he said in a statement.
"We are raising the safety bar, first for MySpace and now Facebook, and soon for other sites as we fight for an industry gold standard. Facebook and MySpace are showing how to aim higher and keep kids safer."
A goal of the coalition headed by Blumenthal and his North Carolina counterpart Roy Cooper is the development and implementation of technology that verifies ages and identities of people using social networking websites.
The host of safety enhancements agreed to by Facebook includes severing links to pornographic websites and booting users linked to incest, pedophilia or "cyberbullying," according to Blumenthal.
"Building a safe and trusted online experience has been part of Facebook from its outset," Facebook chief privacy officer Chris Kelly told AFP.
"The attorneys general have shown great leadership in helping to address the critical issue of Internet safety and we commend them for continuing to set high standards for all players in the online arena."
Facebook has grown to more than 70 million users worldwide since it was launched in early 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg while he was a student at Harvard University.
The Palo Alto, California-based company has been fast closing the popularity gap News Corp-owned MySpace which boasts more than 110 million users.
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