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Current Press Release

Black Pastors Call for an End to Online Slumlords and Applaud MySpace Parental Notification

Black pastors from across the country are calling for an end to online slumlords. Bil Mooney-McCoy, a Black pastor and Director of the SafeFamilies program explained the issue, “Urban communities are always the first to be preyed upon. When social networking sites create an online community without adequate concern with safety, they are the online equivalent of slumlords. Slumlords make a profit while fostering unsafe communities that become a haven for drugs, gangs and perpetrators; online slumlords create online communities that are havens for perpetrators.”

Social networking sites are increasingly becoming vehicles for social deviants and urban communities are often targeted. Just last week, Chicago area police charged two women with pimping girls as young as 14 through the social networking site TechMission SafeFamilies ( is the largest online safety program focused particularly urban communities. TechMission represents over 100 member organizations that are Black churches/ministries and over 400 organizations in low-income communities through its association AC4. Last year, TechMission challenged cybersquatters that used hijacked domain names of civil rights leaders to target the urban community.

TechMission’s goal is to empower people with tools and training to help create safe communities online. To help enable this, TechMission presented a number of suggestions to MySpace this past fall ( The main features suggested were tools that could help parents and community leaders contribute to the safety of the online community. Many of these suggestions have been implemented in MySpace’s Parental Notification system.

Andrew Sears, Executive Director of TechMission, commented on the importance of providing tools to enable community safety: “Social networking sites are just like neighborhoods—some are safe and some aren’t. You will have some neighborhoods that are dominated by slumlords that don’t care about safety. Other neighborhoods have community associations where parents watch out for each other’s kids to increase safety. MySpace is giving a strong signal that they want to be the safe neighborhood online by providing parents with tools to be notified of their children’s safety. Some other social networking sites have not yet taken such a stance.”

Andrew Sears is the founder and Executive Director of TechMission ( Before TechMission, he co-founded the Internet and Telecoms Consortium at MIT (, which is a multidisciplinary research group studying the social and business implications of the Internet.

Related News Articles

  • CBSNews: Help For Parents From MySpace
  • MSNBC: Women accused of pimping girls on Craigslist
  • Forbes: MySpace Acts To Protect Kids
  • Net Family News: A look at MySpace's software for parents
  • CNET: Lawmakers take aim at social-networking sites
  • Past News Articles

  • Boston Globe: Group targets porn site deception
  • Religion News Service: Clergy Group Warns of Porn Sites Linked to Civil Rights Names
  • Dakota Voice: Free Software Helps Protect Kids from Pornography and Other Online Dangers
  • Word News: Black clergy: Be wary of
  • Miami Today: Black Church Responds to Internet Pornography Companies Targeting Black Communities
  • Black Church Responds to Internet Pornography
  • Christian Newswire: Free Software and Training Helps Protect Churches from Pornography Online
  • Agape Press: Online Smut Peddlers Using Dirty Tricks to Lure Kids

  • Radio Interviews

  • Blazing Grace Radio - 2/25/06
  • WMUZ, Detriot - 5/26/06
  • New Zealand's Rhema - 5/23/06

    Additional Information and Links

    About Safe Families

    Online Safety Presentations

    Information for Parents

    Safety Guidelines for Using Social Networks like MySpace

    Safe Families Funding Sources

    Statistics on Pornography, Sexual Addiction and Online Perpetrators

    Presentation of Safe Families' Online Safety recommendations to MySpace