BRUSSELS (EUX.TV) — Some 17 of the leading social networks in Europe, including Facebook, Myspace and Google/YouTube, on Tuesday agreed to put in place a series of measures designed to address cyberbullying and abuse of under-age users.
The agreement was announced by the European Commission in Luxembourg at an event called Safer Internet Day. It will “empower teenagers to deal with potential risks they face online,” said the commission.
The companies that signed the agreement agreed to put in place a series of measures by April.
Among the actions to be taken: providing an easy-to-use “report abuse” button; a default “private” registration for anyone under the age of 18 years; making profiles of those under 18 years not searchable; and making it difficult for under-age users, up to 13 years old, to register.
This “is a good example of self-regulation, an approach favored by the Commission if effectively implemented,” said a statement.
The initiative follows similar actions adopted on social networking guidance in the U.K. And separate agreements between the US government with Myspace and Facebook.
The list of companies that signed up to the agreement include Arto, Dailymotion, Facebook, Giovani,it, Google/YouTube, Hyves, Microsoft, Myspace, Nasza-klaza.pl, One.lt, Skyrock, StudiVZ, Sulake/Habbo Hotel, Yahoo! And zap.lu.
Use of social networks in Europe is expected to more than double to 107.4 million users by 2012 and has grown by 35 percent per year in recent years.