Software recognised that the same person had been making similar requests of others and flagged the account for Metaverse moderators.They called the media company, which then alerted authorities.Sites that operate with such software still should have one professional on safety patrol for every 2,000 users online at the same time, said Sacramento-based Metaverse Mod Squad, a moderating service.
One of the providers is Aristotle International Inc, which offers a variety of methods, including having a parent vouch for a child and make a token payment with a credit card to establish the parent's identity.
Yet even though defensive techniques are now available and effective they can be expensive.
If they don't find it on one site, they will somewhere else.
The looser the filters, the more the need for the most sophisticated monitoring tools, like those employed at Facebook and those offered by independent companies such as the UK's Crisp Thinking, which works for Lego, Electronic Arts, and Sony Corp's online entertainment unit, among others.
Minors don't show up in public searches, only friends of friends can send them Facebook messages, and only friends can chat with them.
Technology is available for verifying the ages of Web and app users.
Some sites go much further: Disney's Club Penguin offers a choice of viewing either filtered chat that avoids blacklisted words or chats that contain only words that the company has pre-approved.
Filters and moderators are essential for a clean experience, said Claire Quinn, safety chief at a smaller site aimed at kids and young teens, Wee World.
In addition, Facebook doesn't probe deeply into what it thinks are pre-existing relationships.
Another pillar in Facebook's strategy is to limit how those under 18 can interact on the site and to make it harder for adults to find them.
A solid system for defending against online predators requires both oversight by trained employees and intelligent software that not only searches for improper communication but also analyzes patterns of behavior, experts said.