No official probe for social networking sites

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No official probe for social networking sites

Reports of 'investigation' exaggerated, says Child Exploitation and Online
Protection Centre.

The Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre will not officially investigate social networking sites, despite media reports suggesting that it was to launch a probe today. 

CEOP, which is backed by the UK government, was reported to be looking into social networking sites after concerns were raised by teachers and parents.

However, a spokeswoman for CEOP claimed that the media had misreported the agency's intentions.

"The reports are not correct and it has unfortunately been taken out of context," a CEOP spokeswoman told

"We are not running an investigation in the sense that you might understand a police investigation. We are holding a series of seminars later this month."

CEOP explained that it was inviting young people, parents, educators and key industry players to a four-day series of seminars "to bottom out the issues with social networking".

"It is not an investigation and it is not an enquiry," said the spokeswoman. "We are looking to make this as safe an environment as possible without demonising the internet."

She added that CEOP is in negotiations with some of the big name sites and a number of smaller operators to include them in the programme, but that it is too early to name any of the sites involved.

"As far as we're concerned sites like Bebo, MySpace and LunarStorm are the biggest providers, and we'd be looking to work with all of them," said the spokeswoman. 

CEOP also plans to work with the smaller social networking operators to make sure that no area is overlooked.
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