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Making the Rounds in Raleigh on Social Networking Legislation

Raleigh’s a great mid-sized city and a nice place to visit — but next time I hope I’m there on vacation and not to speak on age verification for social networking sites, which is why I was in the Tar Heel state again yesterday.

I met with some legislators from the House of Representatives, which is where S. 132 — the problematic parental consent bill — will next be considered. As I’ve said previously, parental consent won’t work. A social networking website cannot confirm whether someone is actually a parent of the child trying to gain access. And just think of the scary ramifications of an imperfect verification system that would allow bad guys to fool it. We’d have many "wolves in sheep clothing" on the site that would prey on users’ false sense of security.

Legislators in North Carolina can help educate children, parents and teachers about online safety, and punish and target the bad guys with stiffer penalties and greater law enforcement resources. But it shouldn’t pass S. 132.

-Braden Cox