Officers took control of the teenager's computer and arrested the man the next day, said Special Agent Supervisor Jeffrey Duncan of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
The alleged predator has pleaded not guilty to multiple charges of soliciting a minor.
Most sex crimes against children are committed by people the children know, rather than strangers.
Even those companies with state-of-the-art defenses spend far more time trying to stop online bullying and attempts to sneak profanity past automatic word filters than they do fending off sex predators.
Users could be unnerved about the extent to which their conversations are reviewed, at least by computer programs.'We've never wanted to set up an environment where we have employees looking at private communications, so it's really important that we use technology that has a very low false-positive rate,' he said.
In addition, Facebook doesn't probe deeply into what it thinks are pre-existing relationships.
Metaverse Chief Executive Amy Pritchard said that in five years her staff only intercepted something 'terrifying' once, about a month ago, when a man on a discussion board for a major media company was asking for the email address of a young site user.
Software recognised that the same person had been making similar requests of others and flagged the account for Metaverse moderators.
Barring a wave of costly litigation or new laws, it is hard to see the protections getting much tougher, experts said.Technology is available for verifying the ages of Web and app users.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.But instead of looking just at one set of messages it will examine whether a user has asked for contact information from dozens of people or tried to develop multiple deeper and potentially sexual relationship, a process known as grooming.Companies can set the software to take many defensive steps automatically, including temporarily silencing those who are breaking rules or banning them permanently.