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Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal

Abstract

The proliferation of social networking as a means of communicating and organizing online social relationships has created fora for sexual predation, cyberbullying, and harassment. Increasingly, minors are joining social networks, like MySpace and Facebook, which raise several legal and moral issues regarding the obligations and duties social networking sites have to their users. This note provides a history of social networking sites and the dangers associated with their use. After examining various common law and statutory attempts to regulate social networking sites, this note concludes that because of immunity under the Communications Decency Act and the impractibility of regulating the Internet, social networking websites should self-regulate. Selfregulation is a workable solution to the problem of sexual predators on social networks because political and public pressure, as well as economic incentives, will push social networks to action. This note concludes by providing specific suggestions to improve safety and security for users of social networks.

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