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Congressman Says Second Life Could Expose Kids To Porn, Predators

By Margaret Lyons in News on May 6, 2008 8:58PM Mark Kirk (R-IL) wants the FTC to issue a consumer alert because he believes Second Life could expose children to predators. He also believes it's a social networking site, which isn't quite accurate. From his press release:

"During the past five years, social networking Web sites like MySpace, Facebook and Second Life exploded in popularity," Congressman Kirk said. "As more kids flock to these sites, we've seen a corresponding increase of online sexual predators targeting children. According to a U.S. Department of Justice survey, one-in-five kids have been sexually solicited online. As new technologies develop, more disturbing revelations unfold. Sites like Second Life offer no protections to keep kids from virtual 'rape rooms,' brothels and drug stores. If sites like Second Life won’t protect kids from obviously inappropriate content, the Congress will."

Technically, you have to be 18 to use SL, but then again, you technically have to be 18 to view porn in general. The Trib article says one of Kirk's aides created an SL account and "within half an hour" was looking at pr0n.

Kirk says he doesn't know of any instances in which kids were targeted in Second Life, but his letter to the FTC says it "can pose as a 'virtual hunting ground' for pedophiles to prey on young children." [Kirk's release, Trib]