Amber Alert now reaches 108 million more people. Today, MySpace announced installing an Amber Alert system to its popular internet social network. The Amber Alert System, which went nationwide in 2002, is an alert system designed to inform the public of recently abducted children and individuals with the possibility of recovering them quicker by widely disseminating key details such as the abductor’s vehicle description, license plate, and suspected direction. Having 108 million more people instantly in touch with Amber Alert should exponentially boost its effectiveness. MySpace, once carrying stigma as a place where sexual predators can connect with underage children, plans to issue Amber Alerts to people online in the region where abduction has taken place. It is supposed to appear at the top of a user’s page, with a hyperlink attached so that pictures and other key information can be viewed. So far, the traditional Amber Alert has recovered over 230 missing children.
With this addition, MySpace hopes to make its services appear more secure and safe for its younger users. Since Myspace’s inception and high profile negative news reports, MySpace has made several such changes such as not allowing children under 14 to create profiles. Another new security tool to be installed, codenamed “Zephyr”, will alert parents to the username, age and location that their child lists on their personal MySpace pages. Also, e-mail verification and another system that prevents users over 18 from contacting underage users and vice versa are in the works. Last summer, MySpace deleted over 250,000 profiles of people under 14.
MySpace has also made available its new Instant Messaging System., allowing MySpace users to have quicker connectivity to the website. With the MySpaceIM, users with profiles are able to see which friends on their friends’ lists are on or offline or are using the same Instant Message System. MySpace users are also able to hit quicklinks to some of Myspace’s other features such as MySpace videos and even listen to the songs uploaded to their friends’ profiles, as denoted by a musical note next to their picture profile.
Instant Message Systems have been popular since originally adapted with America Online. They allow members of one site to quickly message other members instead of waiting for people to send e-mails, read them, and then respond. Yahoo, MSN, and other popular internet browsers soon adopted their own versions of Instant Messaging with their own bells and whistles.
Other features on the new beta chat include the ability to find new contacts and add more friends, create groups, browse forums, and basically anything else you could do on MySpace before. Clicking each function just brings up a web browser screen as if you had already logged onto MySpace the traditional way.
MySpaceIM does require installation into your computer system. It is available for download at www.myspace.com/myspaceim