News Corp Runs Internet Safety Campaign

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To form a more family-friendly image, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, owner of MySpace, is spending millions to run a TV and online campaign promoting safe Web surfing habits. Kiefer Sutherland, who plays Jack Bauer on Fox’s popular drama “24”, appears in a 20-second TV spot. After the ad, viewers are directed to CommonSense.com, a site by the non-profit Common Sense Media, which offers parents safety tips on everything from web surfing and downloading to online gaming and social networking.

The safety campaign arrives just as MySpace becomes the most visited U.S. site on the internet, according to Internet measurement firm Hitwise. Visits to MySpace made up 4.46% of all Internet hits last week, a percentage which overtakes even well known sites like Yahoo and Google. MySpace has about 92 million registered users, about 20% of them are under 18. The new safety campaign will run on several Fox-owned stations, and aims to teach both parents and teens how to stay safe online.

On TV, Kiefer says it best: “Jack Bauer has 24 hours to make the world safe. In real life it only takes a few minutes to do the same for our kids. To protect them you don’t need the latest state-of-the-art technology. You just need a few simple tips: Don’t let them run into trouble on the Internet – use common sense.”

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