There’s a new bill that has been introduced in the Mississippi Senate that would affect teens’ use of social networking sites. The text of the proposed law would require owners of social networking sites to:

  • obtain written permission from parents or guardians of users under age 16,
  • give parents access to profile pages at all times,
  • “adopt and implement procedures to utilize independently obtainable information to confirm the accuracy of personal identification information collected from members and the parents or guardians”

So if I want to let my teenager have a MySpace, I would have to agree to let MySpace verify her information, and my own, through a third party? Hmmm …

Interestingly, blogs, photo sharing sites, email, instant messaging, chat rooms, and commerical sites are not included in the bill.

Violation of the proposed law would be a felony, with up to 2 years in jail and/or a $5,000 fine. This bill definitely bears close watching. If any Mississippi librarians are reading the blog, it would be interesting to know how they and the teens in their state are reacting to this legislation.

~Maureen Ambrosino, YALSA Legislation Committee

About Maureen Ambrosino

I was the chair of YALSA Legislation for 2008-2009, and was given the title of "raging library activist" by School Library Journal for my January 08 article on advocacy. When I'm not emailing legislators and rallying other librarians to email theirs, I am the Youth Services Consultant at Central Massachusetts Regional Library System in Shrewsbury, MA.

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