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European Commission: Xbox Live,  Habbo Hotel  Are Safest 'Social Networks'
European Commission: Xbox Live, Habbo Hotel Are Safest 'Social Networks'
October 3, 2011 | By Mike Rose

October 3, 2011 | By Mike Rose
More: Console/PC, Social/Online, Business/Marketing

A new report by the European Commission has found that social networking site Habbo Hotel and Microsoft's Xbox Live service are two of the safest social networks available to minors.

The Digital Agenda study noted that both networks have default settings that make profiles accessible only to approved contacts and friends, while numerous other networks give outside access to profiles.

Nine networks were surveyed between March and June 2011, including non-gaming networks like Dailymotion and Windows Live.

Besides Habbo and Xbox Live, the other seven services displayed "a considerable amount of personal information" as default, no matter whether the user had approved a contact or not.

Neelie Kroes, VP of the European Commission for the Digital Agenda, noted, "Young people enjoy and derive great benefits from social networking online but are often not conscious enough of risks such as grooming."

"Social networking sites need to take seriously their responsibilities towards these youngsters. I intend to address these issues later this year in a comprehensive strategy on making the internet a safer place for children through a combination of protective and empowerment measures."

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Pierette Winter
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I think these methods are actually really good. I don't know enough about either system to know if this feature is in place, but are users able to "opt out" of their profiles being visible only to members? I think people should be allowed to have their profiles found by anyone if they make the conscious decision to do so, but a default hidden system seems like a very good idea to me - Of course this is based on the assumption that the keeping profiles within the system is intended as a security method not one to force one to join up to see the profiles. That is a valid marketing strategy despite my dislike of it.

One could also make it so that opt out feature is only available to non-minors as a further method of protection.