Parents and educators worried about cyber bullying and other harmful behavior among youth online are getting new help from some of the sites most popular with students, reports the Baltimore Sun. YouTube and some social-networking sites are making it easier to report abuses such as cyber bullying, in which students use online postings and eMails to hurt others. Last week, YouTube took a major step by unveiling a new "Abuse and Safety Center" tool, including a tab on its home page that leads users through a step-by-step reporting process. Also, citing "the increasing number of videos showing children involved in violence," YouTube recently changed language on a menu for flagging problems in order to encourage reporting. MySpace, the biggest social-networking site, is building technology to improve its capacity to delete hate speech and other harmful postings even before users report them, Hemanshu Nigam, chief security officer, told an industry safety conference last week. The site has been expanding eMail and phone-reporting conduits for parents and generally responds within 24 hours. And Facebook is continuing to refine its reporting and take-down procedures, says chief privacy officer Chris Kelly. The site posts "Report this" tabs and commits to responding within 24 hours to complaints about nudity, pornography, or harassment of minors. Its www.facebook.com/safety page has a link to an auditing firm to provide feedback on its responsiveness. While all the sites are staffed 24-7 for complaints, the sheer volume of incoming material–YouTube gets 13 hours of new video every minute–and the fact that most complaints are bogus pose huge obstacles…

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