Publication Details

Sarabdeen, J. & De-Miguel-Molina, M. 2010, 'Social network sites and protection of children: regulatory framework in Malaysia, Spain and Australia', WSEAS Transcations on Computers, vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 134-143.


The open nature of the social network sites facilitates many opportunities for children but also makes them vulnerable for abuses from various parties. Obscenity, hate speech, and indecent contents that are not suitable for children are very common in the social network sites. The Malaysian, Spanish and Australian government regulate these contents as they regulate the contents in other traditional mass media. For the purpose of regulatory compliance most social networks do not allow children under 13-14 to access their services. However, the technology that controls this restriction can easily be evaded and the service providers are still uncertain how to label contents appropriate to child access. Both Governments and corporations agree that control is insufficient and so companies embark on self-regulation of themselves through Codes of Conduct. The objective of this paper is to compare how far the regulation and self-regulation protect children in social networks sites and what need to be done to improve the effectiveness of regulation. The paper compares social networks in Malaysia, Spain and Australia to find strengths and opportunities that could enrich regulation of social networks in those countries.