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MySpace Fears, Just Another Backlash? 308

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the dodging-the-fud dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Wired takes a hard look at all the hype about MySpace being a danger to teens, and concludes it's just another backlash against technology and youth culture. The most damning evidence against MySpace are the recent cases of men arrested for dating underage girls they met through the site, but statistically these cases are a drop in the bucket. From the article: 'In fact, with a reported population of 57 million users, MySpace is arguably safer from such crime than other communities that haven't been the subject of the same scrutiny. One example: California, which averaged 62 statutory rape convictions per month in the late 90s, in a state population of 33 million.'"
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MySpace Fears, Just Another Backlash?

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  • by montyzooooma (853414) on Tuesday February 28, 2006 @08:35AM (#14815942)
    my mom took my radio off me because she thought it was a danger. Of course I was using it to beat on the side of my brother's head at the time.
    • my mom took my radio off me because she thought it was a danger. Of course I was using it to beat on the side of my brother's head at the time.

      That's because you left it plugged in. She was teaching you a lesson: you can beat your sibblings, but not electrocute them.
  • by dtsazza (956120) on Tuesday February 28, 2006 @08:38AM (#14815950)
    I've said it before and I'll say it again, technology is very rarely the problem. MySpace is by its very nature a social networking tool (of dubious quality, but that's another issue), and is meant to bring people together. What they do after that is a function of the people, not MySpace itself. And yes, sometimes these people meet through MySpace and then have underage sex.

    Sometimes people meet each other through school and then have underage sex... I don't hear any claims that school is a "danger to teens". It's time we stopped blaming technology for merely giving people opportunities to show their moral fibre.
    • And I thought, teaching "Intelligent Design" in school WAS a sure-fire sign of schools posing a danger to Teens... ;-)

      Seriously, though, the comparison in the article (MySpace vs California) isn't quite as good as it may sound - the "population density" of MySpace certainly is a lot lower than that of California, as people are spaced out further; hence the potential for actual rape to happen would be higher in California, wouldn't it? (i.e. if a guy on MySpace, who lives in russia, makes contact to an unde
    • This past week a local 17-year-old got arrested for posting photos he'd snapped of two friends (16 and 17), having sex at a New Year's party. A few weeks earlier, several high school students got busted for possessing alcohol when friends posted snapshots of them with drinks in hand.

      A lot of the media and community chatter in response to these incidents has been about the dangers of the internet, but really it's about these not-quite-adults learning to behave responsibly. Drinking is questionable enough

      • A lot of the media and community chatter in response to these incidents has been about the dangers of the internet, but really it's about these not-quite-adults learning to behave responsibly. Drinking is questionable enough; getting caught shows even more lapse of judgment. And posting what the law considers "child pornography" (with one of the subjects apparently attempting suicide over it after they got passed around at school), is even worse judgment.

        The internet gives teenagers like these one more p

    • I agree. I think the only rape MySpace is responsible for is the continual rape of HTML occurring on the site...
    • I've said it before and I'll say it again, technology is very rarely the problem.

      I agree as well. This is another situation where parental control must come in hand. If a teen is going to get involved in illegal and/or risky activity they're just as likely to do it without the benefit of MySpace.

      This isn't to say that MySpace doesn't suck anyway but...
    • But...! (Score:2, Informative)

      by Elemenope (905108)

      Sometimes people meet each other through school and then have underage sex... I don't hear any claims that school is a "danger to teens". It's time we stopped blaming technology for merely giving people opportunities to show their moral fibre.

      School is a danger to teens! There, you see? I claimed it. But seriously, many professionals in the area of education have said, after many years in the secondary ed industry, that school is in fact a real danger to growing minds' ability to develop critical thi

      • I'm completely inclined to agree with you - having gone through the (English) education system rather recently, I think it really misses the point. Then again, the business world misses the point in similar ways, so I suppose it's at least decent preparation...

        I think you understand my point, though, that your average adult won't try to take their children out of school, whereas they are liable to overreact about MySpace. Ironically, school probably is more damaging - would the disadvantages of home-schoo
    • Sometimes people meet each other through school and then have underage sex... I don't hear any claims that school is a "danger to teens". It's time we stopped blaming technology for merely giving people opportunities to show their moral fibre.

      I remember when the big problem used to be chatrooms and they had the exact same complaints as they do with myspace. And then it was instant messangers.

      This all boils down to the internet being an even worse babysitter than the TV. Some friends of mine have their

  • by YrWrstNtmr (564987) on Tuesday February 28, 2006 @08:39AM (#14815954)
    This is merely the news outlets generating income for themselves. They have to keep the scare machine up and running, lest we forget how irrelevant they are.

    I think they have a quota. At least one station in every market MUST show the viewers/readers a way that the new society is 'bad' at least once a day.
    Once a week, they all have to get together and show us the SAME story on some way that we can be kidnapped or killed.

    "Dangers lurking in your sink! Details at 11!"

    Now...back to the story at hand. Are some kids being fools on MySpace? Sure there are. These same kids would be fools anywhere. MySpace is just one outlet for them.

    • Bullseye.

      This is the same hype as when phone chat rooms came out, that pedophiles were going to run wild and eat children alive, and kids would be able to play "phone pranks" while running loose in the street, drunk at 2 a.m. while having unprotected sex with seven STD-infested prostitutes. It's all nonsense, cooked up to sell magazines.

      Anyway, good call.

    • Yeah, I had the misfortune to be flipping channels the other morning and they had an 'expert' on that was spouting admonishments to parents that kids didn't need to have "personal web pages on these online communites. ever.", and maybe they didn't need to be on the computer at all, in fact.

      She started off with some reasonable advice: put the computer in a central, common area where you could keep tabs on how much time they spent and what they were doing -- get involved and educate yourself about things so y
    • by NickFitz (5849)

      Moral Panic [wikipedia.org]

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Tuesday February 28, 2006 @08:41AM (#14815962)
    And we all know the internet is the place where all the creepy and dangerous people are. Watch your TV, it tells you so! Or don't you believe anymore what you see on TV?

    Free expression, free opinion, thinking for yourself? What for, when you can have Fox?
    • by garcia (6573) on Tuesday February 28, 2006 @09:05AM (#14816094)
      And we all know the internet is the place where all the creepy and dangerous people are. Watch your TV, it tells you so! Or don't you believe anymore what you see on TV?

      Back when I was younger I wasn't allowed to watch "You Can't do That on Television" and the Simpsons. I wasn't allowed to have an Nintendo (or a "game machine" as my father called it). Instead I was told to go play with my computer.

      Boy have times changed ;)
      • Back when I was younger I wasn't allowed to watch "You Can't do That on Television" and the Simpsons. I wasn't allowed to have an Nintendo (or a "game machine" as my father called it). Instead I was told to go play with my computer. Boy have times changed ;)

        I don't know about that!
        <looking up nervously>

  • Uh.... (Score:2, Informative)

    by lucabrasi999 (585141)
    California, which averaged 62 statutory rape convictions per month in the late 90s, in a state population of 33 million

    So, the article is comparing a the state of California (a physical region) with MySpace, which is in Cyberspace. To me, that does not sound like a fair comparison. I believe that the comparison to California's crime rate is invalid because cybercrime may or may not involve actual physical contact. And, if it doesn't involve physical contact (for example, a dirty phone conversation), the

    • that job should include removing computers from their children's bedroom. The kid should be using a laptop in the kitchen.

      You must be fun at parties.
    • Re:Uh.... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by epiphani (254981) <epiphaniNO@SPAMdal.net> on Tuesday February 28, 2006 @09:17AM (#14816175)
      I would moderate you flamebait if I could, instead I'll just (impersonally) flame you.

      I believe that the comparison to California's crime rate is invalid because cybercrime may or may not involve actual physical contact. And, if it doesn't involve physical contact (for example, a dirty phone conversation), then it may not be reported.

      So what, now -talking- about having underage sex is illigal, should be reported as sexual harrassment or such? wtf? Keep the frame of reference here. The issue was the fact that people were meeting on myspace and proceeding to have real, in person, SEX!. My issues with the legal age aside, you can NOT compare phonesex with a minor to statitory rape.

      IMHO, that job should include removing computers from their children's bedroom.

      At what age does it become acceptable? 18? 16? 14? If you've got a 15 year old girl that wants to flirt on the net, removing her computer from her room isnt going to stop her. If you want to be sure that she doesnt go meet some 40 year old in a motel for a night of wild sex, then raise her with values that wouldnt let her do that.

      Teens running off and having sex with older folks isnt a symptom of the internet, its a symptom of something totally different. Yes, teach them not to put themselves in bad situations, but that doesnt mean removing their privacy to achieve it.

      When my dad started dating my mom, he was 22 and she was 16. 30 years ago, that was still a big age difference, but when they past their 30th anniversary this year, it made me wonder what kinda fuss they went through and weather it would be more or less flac if I dated someone 6 years my junior now.
      • So what, now -talking- about having underage sex is illigal, should be reported as sexual harrassment or such. My issues with the legal age aside, you can NOT compare phonesex with a minor to statitory rape.

        IANAL, but having a dirty phone conversation with an underage person is probably very illegal. At the minimum, it is immoral and an adult that engages in that activity should be considered a potential pedophile.

        And, you just so happened to skip over the another part of my post. I pointed out that pa

        • IANAL, but having a dirty phone conversation with an underage person is probably very illegal. At the minimum, it is immoral and an adult that engages in that activity should be considered a potential pedophile.

          I suppose I should clarify my statement regarding legal age. I'm Canadian, and up here we have sane (and good) laws about "underage" sex. I'm not quite sure what americans think take place when a teenager turns 18, but my opinion on the statitory rape charge is purely some way for parents to get ba
          • And no, I dont think a dirty conversation is illegal. Period. If you're having problems with your ten year old having dirty phone conversations, then you've definitely got a problem. But a 15 year old? Thats just normal

            Maybe I should clarify. I was 15 years old once. If, back when I was 15, I had phone sex with ANOTHER 15 year old, that would be considered normal (although my mother would have been upset with me). I am now 39. If I had phone sex with a teenager today, then that could be considered odd,

    • These dangers include the fact that you can easily find out alot of personal information about someone. And, that information is readily available to millions of people on the web.

      No, that's not the danger at all. The danger is that there are kids putting that information out there in the first place. The only remedy is to educate your kids about the dangers before they put themselves in such a position, whether they do it on Myspace, Livejournal, Geocities, or a fully hosted, hand-coded personal site.

    • These dangers include the fact that you can easily find out alot of personal information about someone. And, that information is readily available to millions of people on the web.

      Yes, and it's only the information you choose to share about yourself unless you're aware of something I'm not.

      But, parents should consider doing their job. Note: IMHO, that job should include removing computers from their children's bedroom.

      You know, the "parents should consider doing their job" line gets really tiresome. That sl
      • Yes, and it's only the information you choose to share about yourself unless you're aware of something I'm not.

        You know, the "parents should consider doing their job" line gets really tiresome. That slogan isn't a magic wand that will suddenly make all the kids do their homework, clean behind their ears, and otherwise act to someone's idea of perfection.

        Nice job of splitting up my comment. If parents did their job, they would know that children are potentially posting private information on a public we

    • To me, that does not sound like a fair comparison. I believe that the comparison to California's crime rate is invalid because cybercrime may or may not involve actual physical contact. And, if it doesn't involve physical contact (for example, a dirty phone conversation), then it may not be reported.

      This is incorrect. They are not comparing crime rates, they are comparing the number of cases of statutory rape attributed to each community. Statutory rape, by definition, does involve and require physical
      • The problem has nothing to do with MySpace, and everything to do with the people using it.

        That was my point. It is the parent's job to monitor what the child is doing.

    • by Surt (22457)
      The statistics here are just terrible.

      They are comparing one state's conviction rate to theirs, and claiming victory. The problem is that they assume equally successful discovery and prosecution of internet, interstate activities occurring on myspace. There's no way myspace can claim to be even close to equally transparent to law enforcement, or that law enforcement is technologically equipped to deal with this new kind of risk.

      In fact, if you assume that pedophilia is happening at least at the same rate
    • My child has a WiFi enabled iBook running MacOS X. She has it in her bedroom and it is her computer and I don't monitor what she does on it (although she often tells me what she is doing). I'm not particularly worried about it either. I think that these stories are overblown.

      I'd be much more worried if she were using Windows:-) (She is an even more of a Mac bigot than I am - thank goodness.)

      My point is that she is a well behaved child and I'm not worried.
  • Stoies like this appear because its good for ratings. Moms everywhere will watch the report because they don't understand MySpace.com and will think their kids are being preyed on. It's a non-isssue for now.

    http://religiousfreaks.com/ [religiousfreaks.com]
  • After watching this movie [youtube.com], I have to say that the government crackdown can't come fast enough.
  • by jdwclemson (953895)
    Every time there is new technology, it makes crime easier, and some news guru will always spin an article out of that. Do you know how criminals usually find out that it makes crime easier? They realize the technology makes LIFE easier and just start to apply it to their crimes. Look at cell phones, internet, with emails. These are all used all the time by criminals and new laws have been made because of these technologies, but its not likw the technology is the problem. Just about every step forward f
  • by MikeRT (947531) on Tuesday February 28, 2006 @08:50AM (#14816017) Homepage

    Back in 1996 when my family got Internet access, dialup access was almost the norm among the middle class families where we lived in coastal North Carolina. We weren't uber-elite, we weren't ahead of the curve by any wide margin. We were like most of our middle class neighbors. My parents at least tried to monitor what I did, and they instilled a healthy fear of revealing my information online because I wasn't an adult and couldn't defend myself against sex offenders.



    Fast forward to today. It's quite common for young teens and late preteens to play "taunt the pedophile" with naughty, often slutty, pictures. Parents don't even try to monitor their kids' access by randomly checking on them, reading through their history (rarely worked, but at least our parents tried back then a lot harder than most today). Many, many parents today just don't want to be bothered. It's not their fault that junior is living a completely parent-free life the moment he goes online. Oh no. Parents can't be expected to be the boss in their own homes!



    I've said it once [blindmindseye.com], I'll say it again. Too many parents today regard the Internet as Happy Playland(tm) and don't even bother trying to protect their kids today. Then again, maybe this is necessary because too many of my peers in college had a dreadfully naive view of basic security. It's about being a responsible parent. When you had that child, you took on the responsibility of being a parent. That means you sacrifice personal time and career where necessary to raise them. I'm sick of people who insist that they can have it all, while they do half-assed jobs as parents in the name of finding "personal fullfillment" through everything but being a good parent raising a new generation worthy of those who made this country great.

    • It's quite common for young teens and late preteens to play "taunt the pedophile" with naughty, often slutty, pictures.

      Indeed. I'm often amazed that so many people seem to refuse to accept the existance of exhibitionists.

      Sluts and teases often are exhibitionists. They enjoy having people drool at them. Some use "mooning" as a socially aceptable outlet for their desire to show their ass to people, and now there's the joy of webcams, where they can, from the security of their own room, show their nubile bodie
    • You don't need to censor kids who have proper (or at least mildly appropriate) values.

      I was born into a house without a computer, first "peecee" was an XT when I was 8 or so. Didn't get on the net until years later in 1996, etc...

      My parents didn't watch over shit I did on the net because by time I got access to the net (at age 14) I was already capable of figuring out that the "neo-nazi's of Oregan" aren't really a nice bunch to hang out with, etc, etc, etc.

      So maybe the trick is that you shouldn't let your
      • Values is a possible item, however kids are kids. They will want to look at the forbidden. I presonally woud not let kids on the net unsupervised until they are 17-18. Reason being is if he starts to go to something that he probably should not go to, I want to know about it.
        • At 17 or 18 they're already making their own descisions about a lot of things...At 18 that's their legal right, so you've got no say over it whatsoever.

          If you don't trust them to make good decisions by the time they're 18, you've either done something wrong, or you're having a real hard time letting go.
        • If your kid is allowed to pilot a 2000+ lb pile of steel and glass down the road at 60 MPH but can't be trusted to be left alone with a computer, you've got some real problems.

          Besides which, unless you intend to follow your son around everywhere, he is absolutely guaranteed to get whatever smut he wants off of the Internet -- at a friend's house, or at a library/school/university computer that doesn't censor its access. Or heck, if he's even reasonably intelligent and lives in an urban area, he'll probably
    • Um....uh....WRONG! I do not think that and I do not know a single parent that thinks this way. My son only gets to use the computer when I am in the room and that will stay that way until he's 18. It may seem a bit harsh, but thats the way I am going to do it. If he wants a computer in his room, IF it has network ability, it will be locked out to him only and access will be controlled. That computer will be used strictly for school work...he will use it only for typing up the paper he needs to submit f
    • Back in 1996 when my family got Internet access, dialup access was almost the norm among the middle class families where we lived in coastal North Carolina.

      Back in 1996. I had the computer in my bed room with a BIOS password and about 3 local ISPs that I had passwords for. *coughs*

      However, as my parents believed (and it turned out to be true) I ended up becoming quite successful in the technology industry because they gave me free reign over the computer.
  • by OctoberSky (888619) on Tuesday February 28, 2006 @08:56AM (#14816052)
    The problem with myspace, and the internet in general, is that it leaves a record of these kids actions (I am talking about 14-21 year olds as "kids").

    You see, before the parents didn't know little susie was blowing little billy behind the gym, now they can read about it and their scared. Or they (the parents) didn't know that their kids know about pot, sex, curse words, even politics to some extent, and they know the kids didn't learn it from them (the parents).

    So where did little Susie/Billy learn about premarital sex and drugs and drinking and etc... Tv? no, School? no, Home? Hell no! They must have learned it from MySpace and Yahoo Chatrooms and Eminem.

    It's not that kids talk about sex nowadays, and it's not that little girls and boys act like little whores and quasi-pimps, it is that these kids put it out there... for all to see, including their parents.
    • Bingo. Couldn't have said it better myself. The "problem" that most people have with the Internet is less a real honest 'safety' issue, but because it threatens the walls of denial they've put up which prevent them from thinking of their children in anything approaching a sexualized context.

      Guess what? Kids have always talked and thought like that, and I'm willing to bet that to a very great extent, they've always done many of the things they're doing now. Fourteen-year-olds shacking up with 25-year-olds ai
  • It is a drop in the bucket, but people who've never heard of MySpace before don't know this. It's the same thing that happened when the internet was just entering the popular culture. People didn't realize how widespread it already was, so when they heard the horror stories, they thought it was the rule rather than the exception.
  • from TFA (again):

    'In fact, with a reported population of 57 million users, MySpace is arguably safer from such crime than other communities that haven't been the subject of the same scrutiny. One example: California, which averaged 62 statutory rape convictions per month in the late 90s, in a state population of 33 million.'

    It's interesting that this line jumped out to the poster, but it did for me for waaaaaaaaay different reasons: my first thought was, "who's the myopic statistician???" This FACT proves
  • by mattwarden (699984) on Tuesday February 28, 2006 @09:04AM (#14816090) Homepage

    No, it's not just another backlash. It's another backlash with background midi music and 30 animated gifs.

  • You children are going to use foul language, take drugs, and make whoopie. And there's nothing you can do about it...

    Because you did the same thing when you were their age.

    //and if you really didn't, karma will make sure it doubles back twice on them.
    • I know. And I cringe at the thought of the coming years. They might be a pain in the ass now, but my kids are going to kill me when they become teenagers.
    • Because you did the same thing when you were their age.

      I totally agree, the Hippie Generation is now the Hypocrite Generation
      If you are really worried about your teenage daughter dating men from MySpace, just talk to them about it. Show that you love and care for them, then maybe they won't go do stupid things or at least will have some discretion in their dating.
      • But that's exactly my point. Most parents won't do that because the child will undoubtedly say "don't tell me you never did X at some point..." Then they'll have to choose between the following replies:

        1) Do as I say, not as I do
        2) Yes, but now I realize it was a mistake, and I don't want you to do the same
        3) Yes, and it was a lot of fun. But I'm still saying no.
        4) Yes, and now that I think about it, it really wasn't all thatbad. Have fun, kid.
        • Unless X is something colossally stupid that the parent really DIDN'T do. (I find it slightly telling that you didn't even consider that possibility.)

          Then the parent could say 'No, I didn't, and here's why.' Assuming the parent hasn't given the child a reason to think the parent is lying, you might actually be able to have a *gasp* rational discussion with someone else with a nearly-fully functioning brain!

          When people like you assume teenagers are all moronic rebels-without-a-clue and are impervious to reas
  • Comedian Demetri Martin [myspace.com] did a hilarious exposé on MySpace [youtube.com] on The Daily Show recently, which tends to reflect some of this backlash.

    (Google video had it for awhile, but it's disappeared from there. Thank you, YouTube!)

  • does anyone just think it is "coincidence" myspace has been all over the news seemingly since News Corp has purchased them? I never say anything related to myspace before the deal. Now, there are nightly segments on myspace it seems...
    • Lot of news organizations really really don't like Rupert Murdoch, so they may be out to get him in a semi-subtle way.

      But it is tailormade to be a "Cause of the Week"...It's just like all the hype over IM and IRC before it, so it just may be the usual crap, and the aquisition just brought it to media attention.

  • Myspace abuses me every time I log on ... and I'm just talking about the page design.
  • I live in Baltimore County. We just had a arrest of a man who went out on a date with a woman from myspace where he killed her on the date.

    Doesn't seem to be far fetched here. Usually, like all of you, think it's being hyped to generate news. But in this case it is very, very real. Just ask her family.

    I think she was 27 and he was 22, or something like that. So it's not just a risk for the young ones.

    • by YrWrstNtmr (564987) on Tuesday February 28, 2006 @09:24AM (#14816226)
      Doesn't seem to be far fetched here. Usually, like all of you, think it's being hyped to generate news. But in this case it is very, very real. Just ask her family.

      And this doesn't happen if people were to meet in a bar? MySpace is not the cause, merely (another) conduit.

      The guy is the problem, not MySpace.

    • I live in Baltimore County. We just had a arrest of a man who went out on a date with a woman from myspace where he killed her on the date.

      I think that the story could have ended there as it's no different than any other date... But nooooo. They had to go on and mention that they met on MySpace. I assume that meeting on MySpace is so much different than meeting in say, a bar, where you would probably be even more vunerable either by way of alcohol or open containers that are easy enough to slip in a drug
    • Would it make anyone feel any better if they met at a party? Or a bar? Or on a telephone chat line? Or at work? Or at school? Or on a public street?

      At what point exactly can we blame the context more than the criminals?
    • How is this any different from if she met him on a dating site? In a bar? In a club? It's not. Standard "stranger danger" common sense still applies.

      Always meet in a busy location, e.g. a restaurant at lunchtime. At the end of the date have a friend pick you up. Always let people know who you are with/where you are going.

      There are bad people out there, myspace is just another in a long line of places to meet them.

    • I did not mean to suggest that MySpace was any more dangerous than the next online dating site, or even a real place in the real world. Just that MySpace is no better than the next place. But its no worse either.

      I was actually expecting MySpace to be better because there is the networking aspect. But that seems to mean nothing.
  • Seems to me that many of the posts here so far miss a few points so far and just point at lack of parental oversight as the major problem. Statistics don't make the 'Net or the state of California safer. Think about it:
    1. If Mr/Ms. Joe/Jane "Child Predator" hangs around the mall watching children for extended periods of time, he or she tends to end up in jail, and not for "statutory rape".
    2. Statistics for statutory rape do not include 1/10th of the sexual assaults on minors that take place. Many cas
    • Once again, let's be clear about something:

      If we REALLY wanted to protect children from abuse, sexual or otherwise, we'd take them away from their families. Statistically, this "predator" nonsense is practically a non-issue. The vast majority of abuse comes from a parent, relative, or trusted friend. No Internet needed for that to happen, either.
  • "Dating?"

    That's a curiously benign way of putting it.

    http://www.perverted-justice.com/ [perverted-justice.com]

  • I wouldn't worry too much. I don't think myspace will be around for the longterm.

    I had never had a myspace account until quite recently. Once I got the account going. The following things jumped out at me RIGHT AWAY.

    1. The web design for the user space is GOD AWFUL ugly
    2. It's hard to find stuff, it's NOT intuitive
    3. myspace seems filled with bogus account (ads for women who want you to sign up for their porn video)
    4. It's Sloooooooow
    • 1, 2 and 4 are all examples of you giving the masses too much credit, my friend. Since when does Joe Shitfuck give a damn about what is more elegant or intuitive? Everyone would own iPods and macs if this were true, and nobody would use shit sites like Ebaums. Everyone would take the time to learn how to make their own blog hosted on a server. People would, given the opportunity to post on a medium where millions of people could potentially read what they write, go out of their way to not look like a fuckin
    • Remember this is an ad-supported site. So for (1), the design features ads prominently and that's what really counts for the real customers. You won't get implosion from (2) or (4) because the site appeals to teens with too much time on your hands. You seem to assume in (3) that these bogus accounts won't draw eyeballs to myspace. By pushing the suggestiveness of the site to the limit that won't be blocked by parental filters, these bogus accounts make myspace even more appealing to young boys.
    • Retorts:

      1. The web design for all user generated content is GOD AWFUL ugly.
      2. unintuitive s a matter of opinion. It seems that enough kids are able to figure stuff out. Maybe having to learn how to make it look a little better is part of the attraction; it contributes to the social aspects because you have to ask friends for help.
      3. And email accounts are filled with bogus email addresses pimping V1@gr@ and M0rgt@gz CH3@P!
      4. Oh, it's slow because Myspace is a kludged together system which the operat
  • Privacy? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by RealBeanDip (26604) on Tuesday February 28, 2006 @09:31AM (#14816276)
    From TFA: Concerns over the site fall generally into two categories: unease over the type of content teens are posting, and fear of the type of people they're meeting.

    This misses the point: MySpace has numerous "polls" and other crap that asks kids questions which destroy their privacy. Kids being kids don't see the danger in having a permanent public record about themselves and routinely answer questions like whether or not they drink, do drugs and have sex. Coupled with the ease in which they disclose their age, where they live and where they go to school, kids disclose all sorts of information online they shouldn't and make it easy to tie the myspace account to an actual human.

    This isn't limited to MySpace, but MySpace asks the questions and prompts kids to reveal this information.

    I also don't question whether or not schools have the right to block MySpace at the firewall, they do and should do so if they deem it isn't of educational value. Computers and the 'net are in school to support curriculum, not to meet your buddies online and chat with.

    • That's exactly what concerns me as well. I've read profiles of kids that my kids know and some of them are smart enough not to post risque pictures of themselves and know some of the basics of online safety (one 14 or 15yo girl posing in a bikini top, holding a condom, and winking aside). Yes, they cuss, gossip, and talk about sex - I know they do that everywhere else as well. The profiles and surveys, though, tend to give away a lot of information.

      As I told my daughter, even if you don't post your pictures
  • <NaturalSelection>
    No need to dance around the point. Why don't we all just admit that we hate the myspacer's and if they are dumb enough to get themselves raped or killed becuase they post oodles of personal information on the site, then good riddance.

    That is what most of us are thinking isn't it?
    <\NaturalSelection>
  • There's one greasemonkey script that removes the embed(imbed?) tag as well as iframe from profiles.

    Sadly, this also removes the text entry window(bloggers, forums, etc) but you can disable on the fly. The important part is that it removes embedded music videos. Who thought it would be a great idea to embed music videos that auto-play upon visiting your profile?

    A few more greasemonkey scripts to install, and suddenly myspace is much easier to surf.

    If parents want to get involved with their teens on myspace,
    • I don't know, but I think it's great when for whatever reason you oen up 2-3 profiles at a time and hear the ungodly cacaphony of two different Nelly songs overlayed by some Screamo. I tell you nothing brightens up my day like annoyance.
  • If people would do a search for registered sex offenders in their area, then they might have something to worry about (its usually far higher than most would expect). Myspace is just another scapegoat for unacceptable social behavior.
  • Dangerous as far as the law goes as well.

    Teenager arrested because of photo on myspace showing him holding handguns [cnn.com]

    They've charged him with three counts of juvenile possession of a handgun.

    This has happened before with pictures showing teenagers drinking or using/possessing illegal drugs.

    However, depending on how he got ahold of the handguns, his holding them was perfectly legal in Colorado. All that would be required would be his parent's permission.
  • by nanoakron (234907) on Tuesday February 28, 2006 @09:43AM (#14816362)
    I may go down in a ball of flames for this but...

    I honestly believe statutory rape is not real rape. It's all religious dogma masked by political posturing. Let's say I'm 21 and married to a 16 year old. Yep, that's legal in most of Europe. And we're having sex too (this is /. so you know this ain't real).

    We fly out to the states for our honeymoon and bam I can be locked up for 5 years.

    WTF?

    Do girls really only become women in the US at 18 but in most of Europe at 16? 14 in the Netherlands?

    Or is there an element of prudishness mixed with a lack of political will to look soft on anything with 'rape' in the title.

    Real rape is a horrific deprivation of a woman's right to choose and consent to an intimate act. Statutory rape is a politician telling a woman she has no right to consent.

    62 cases of statutory rape per month in California says more about a need to change the age of consent than it does the presence of predatory adults.

    -Nano.
    • Different cultures can justify different ages of consent and have it still make sense. Just because one country sets the age at 14 doesn't mean that another is wrong not to.

      Also, age of consent laws apply to both sexes, not just women, although some countries have different ages for males and females involved in same or opposite sex relationships. How do you think they justify that? The way you put it, age of consent laws are intended to punish women and that's preposterous. Age of consent laws are inten
  • I'm sick to holy hell of the series of urban legends perpetuated through myspace. All the kids who didn't go through the FWD: FWD: FWD: BILL GATES TO GIVE 100$ for 1000 forwards> THIS COULD WORK, GUYS! days of email are now interested in the internet through Myspace, and forward all sorts of hoaxes. C'mon people, Bonsai Kitten? "Progesterex the sterilization date-rape drug"?!

    At least with email, when I responded to a thread about a hoax the person became so offended that they stopped forwarding me the ur
  • In fact, with a reported population of 57 million users, MySpace is arguably safer from such crime than other communities that haven't been the subject of the same scrutiny. One example: California, which averaged 62 statutory rape convictions per month in the late 90s, in a state population of 33 million. Yeah, really arguably. Slashdot posting statistics interpreted by Wired is s like having your Mother help your Grandmother get DSL working. Okay, right off the bat: you can't be only part of the MySpace

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