Investigators from the Attorney General's Office went undercover posing as underage users on Facebook. What they found were a number of sexual predators soliciting sex. They also found it easy to access pornographic pictures and video from the site. Now Andrew Cuomo wants Facebook to face up to those findings.
Alyssa Klein may be sitting alone at Spot Coffee enjoying her lunch. But once she's logged on to Facebook, she's connected to dozens of people with just a simple log in.
It doesn't take much to create your own page. You just put in your name, email and password, and you're in. And so are sexual predators who prey on underage users.
"They can look at everything if you let them," said Alyssa Klein, a Facebook user.
Users like Klein use Facebook as a networking tool to stay in touch with friends. Facebook can also be a portal into your personal information.
"Pictures you put up of yourself, things you say about yourself, some people put where they live," said Klein.
And that's what New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is worried about. When his investigators posed online as children between the ages of 12 and 14, they were solicited numerous times by sexual predators.
“My office is concerned that Facebook's promise of a safe website is not consistent with its performance in policing its site and responding to complaints,” said Andrew Cuomo NYS Attorney General.
But some users say Cuomo is targeting Facebook unfairly.
"It comes down to why aren't parents watching what their kids are doing online, why aren't they paying attention to what they're children are looking at or watching. It shouldn't come down to this massive guard that should be up for everything," said Tim Crews, a Facebook user.
Unlike MySpace, Facebook automatically blocks anyone from looking at your personal page without your permission.
"If a guy's talking to you that you don't know it's your choice to talk back or not," said Cara McGovern, a Facebook user.
“We strive to uphold our high standards for privacy on Facebook and are constantly working on processes and technologies that will further improve safety and user control on the site,” said Brandee Barker, a Facebook spokesperson.
Cuomo also says Facebook ignored numerous complaints by his investigators concerning specific people who made sexual advances to underage users.