by CIO Staff Picks Up Online Safety Chief

Apr 11, 20062 mins

On Tuesday, announced that it has hired Hemanshu Nigam, a former Microsoft executive and federal prosecutor, to be the social networking site’s chief of online safety, the Associated Press reports via Newsvine.

The newly created position is MySpace’s most recent effort to boost security safeguards on its site. Just yesterday, the website started running public safety advertisements designed to educate users of the dangers associated with sexual predators who prowl the Web for unsuspecting victims, namely children, the AP reports. For more, read MySpace Warns Teens of Online Predators.

Nigam, whose appointment will be effective May 1, is currently Microsoft’s director in charge of driving the company’s consumer security initiatives and child-safe computing plans, the AP reports. He also focused on child exploitation-related cases while serving as a trial lawyer with the Justice Department, according to the AP.

At MySpace, Nigam will manage safety, education, privacy and law enforcement initiatives, as well as online safety efforts for additional Fox Interactive Media websites, the AP reports.

Though the position is a new one at MySpace, a number of employees handled similar functions in the past, according to the AP.

MySpace, a unit of News Corp., allows upward of 60 million members to meet and interact based on common interests, or profiles. The site’s recent splurge in popularity has raised a number of safety issues regarding its wide base of teen and adolescent users. There have already been a number of documented cases in which individuals attempted to lure underage people into sexual encounters.

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