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Last Updated: Thursday, 7 December 2006, 10:04 GMT
MySpace to 'block sex offenders'
A web browser views the front page of MySpace.com
MySpace has grown massively since its launch in 2003
Social networking website MySpace says it will release tools to identify and ban US sex offenders from its service.

The company said the new service will be the first national database that brings together about 46 US state sex offender registers.

MySpace is a personal website tool for people who use it to post blogs, music, and videos.

More than 80 million people have registered a MySpace page. News Corp bought the site for $580m last year.

The new technology, called Sentinel Safe, will let MySpace search US state and federal databases to seek out and delete MySpace profiles of registered sex offenders.

It will be available in the next 30 days.

MySpace has not released information on its plans for tackling sex offenders using the service in other countries.

Profile database

"We are committed to keeping sex offenders off MySpace," the site's chief security officer, Hemanshu Nigam, said in a statement.

The profiles of convicted sex offenders in the US will be added to a database that is made available to authorities.

Earlier this year, the Child Expolitation and Online Protection Centre (Ceop) in the UK released safety tips for parents and children for using social networks.

Ceop said it was concerned that children were posting personal details on so-called community sites.

The body advised children not to share information online that they would not share offline and not to meet someone offline that they met first online.

Sites such as MySpace let users leave details about their lives online and encourage people to "network" with other users.

A typical page will feature a user's interests, a list of their favourite music and films, a photo gallery, video clips and a blog.

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