the big daddy of global gathering sites.
Owosso, MI (PRWEB) February 25, 2006
Covenant Eyes (http://www.covenanteyes.com), the pioneer of Internet Accountability, is the only Internet Accountability program which effectively monitors personal sites such as the popular Myspace.com, or image sites such as Google images.
Myspace.com has many legitimate uses. Many youth pastors even use it as a means of developing a youth group website. But must be used with caution. In an ABC7 news item (http://www.wjla.com/news/stories/0206/304739.html), author Kathleen Matthews reports: "Police are now investigating several murders around the country involving liaisons through MySpace... And in Middletown Connecticut, police believe 7 girls as young as 11 have been sexually assaulted by men they met on MySpace, not realizing the potential danger. "
In the February, 2006 issue of Plugged In (Focus on the Family publication) author Tom Neven calls Myspace.com "the big daddy of global gathering sites." Myspace.com itself requires users to be 14 years old or older (of course, there can be no real enforcement of this policy).
Covenant Eyes President Ron DeHaas explains that "more than two years ago, Covenant Eyes developed a procedure to proactively monitor and score individual sites on sites like Myspace.com, Google images, and even the adult sections of sites like eBay or Amazon.com. Though this burdened our database with an increase in size of nearly 50%, we realized that there could be no genuine accountability without accurately monitoring such sites."
The Covenant Eyes approach to scoring includes a general rule of thumb that if a site is inappropriate for an 8-year old, then that site should generally be considered as "somewhat mature" - therefore, DeHaas explains, "the Myspace.com sites often score in the range of 10 to 14, which is the 'Somewhat Mature or Questionable' range on our reports. Sites which are clean and do not have any objectionable content still usually score low, and sites with objectionable content score in the 'Highly Mature or Highly Questionable' range." Covenant Eyes reports list all the high-scoring sites at the top of the report, so viewing is easy. Reports can be viewed by Accountability Partners online at any time, or periodically by email as desired. Time of viewing is also displayed, and a detailed report of all sites visited is also viewable, making it quite easy to discern motivation.
Other monitoring programs identify that Myspace sites were visited, but do not address the content of the sites.
The accountability program is available for PC or mac users, and there is also an optional filter (which blocks high-scoring sites) available for PC's only. The program gets highest ratings for its non-circumventability.
While Myspace.com "flaggers" do manually monitor the content of images posted on the site, they cannot be expected to keep up with the 1.8 million photos added to the site every day. It is very common, when you log in to Myspace.com, to come across profiles that include extreme vulgarities, or even objectionable photos. "If Myspace.com is used extensively, it is virtually impossible to avoid objectionable material" according to DeHaas. And, worse yet, it is quite easy to stumble into sites that are highly objectionable.
And, worst of all, children who use this site unmonitored can unwittingly give information which leads to their identity, opening them up to predators.
DeHaas recommends that close accountability be maintained on usage of this site, and that any profiles created be restricted in access so that only "friends" can access the page or communicate. And finally, there should be a general rule not to engage in communication with unknown people.
As author Neven states, "even the most vigilant user can stumble across unsavory content."
Covenant Eyes is also the only program to monitor newsgroups (patent pending), a very significant source of pornography on the Internet.
Covenant Eyes is available for single users at $6.99 per month ($1.50 additional for the filter). Significant discounts are available for larger groups. Six users, for instance, cost a total of $15.00 per month, and there are further discounts for large groups such as businesses, colleges, or churches.
For further information, visit the Covenant Eyes website at http://www.covenanteyes.com.
President, Covenant Eyes