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MA Attorney General Seeks Myspace Changes 292

Posted by Zonk
from the hive-of-scum-and-villainy dept.
kaufmanmoore writes "Massachusetts' Attorney General Tom Reilly is saying that Myspace is not doing enough to protect children from sexual predators and is calling for action. The biggest proposal is to change the minimum age from 14 to 18 with an age verification system, but also to respond to all reports of inappropriate content within 24 hours and significantly raise the number of staff who review images and content." From the article: "The arrest Tuesday of a 27-year-old man in Connecticut on charges of illegal sexual contact with a 13-year-old girl he met through MySpace underlines the risks of the fast-growing Internet site that boasts about 60 million members."
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MA Attorney General Seeks Myspace Changes

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  • by fragmentate (908035) * <jdspilled@@@gmail...com> on Thursday May 04, 2006 @05:03PM (#15266292) Journal

    I have two teenage daughters. Both of them have MySpace accounts. Neither of them is meeting mysterious men online.

    Those girls are my responsibility. I can't expect them to make sound judgements on their own. I also cannot expect the administrators of a site to take responsibility for others' actions. Here we have another case of putting the blame on the drug and not the user. Here's a tip for you parents that think a government agency should step in:

    • Stop watching T.V., and get to know your kids, and what they're into.
    • Stop relying on other people to raise your children.
    • Don't assume that everything is "okay" when your kids say it is.
    • Know what your kids up to. Ask questions.
    • Monitor what they do, and make them aware of it.

    MySpace is a harmless thing when exposed to smart people. It's the uneducated, unmonitored, and neglected that seem to be the victims. I know everything my girls do on MySpace, and they know it. You should know where your kids are going, and where they're at whether it's a physical location, or a cyber location. I'm not going to have freedoms sacrificed because a select few haven't a clue what their children are up to.

    It's easy to blame MySpace because it's hard to raise a child.

    • by Ritalin16 (867772) * on Thursday May 04, 2006 @05:09PM (#15266346)
      I think the problem is most parents don't know anything about the internet or myspace, and think the internet is scary. The best thing for those parents to do is to learn about the internet and how to use it, that way they know what their kids are doing and understand how to keep their kids safe.
    • I agree with above poster. I'm no expert on parenting but I've seen enough from day to day to tell you that most of the time if a kid is meeting some creepy adult over the internet, or imitating a violent video game, etc it is not the (insert form of communication/entertainment here)'s fault. It's the parents' fault.
    • by dietrollemdefender (970664) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @05:17PM (#15266411)
      some girls and their parents how dangerous it can be.

      A local cop in Middletown, CT posed as a 17 year old. He just struck up a conversation with one girl. He then ask to be her "friend" (a MySpace term to be added to a buddy list). After the first addition, he just kept sending emails to the initial contact's friends asking to be put on their buddy list. The cop also pointed out that there was enough information on the web sites to actually find these girls. When they finally met him, they were shocked to find out that he was this pounchy thirty something.

      Anyway, a lot of it is social engineering. Once you get into a circle, you're have access to a ton of stuff. It also happens to adults. ONe of the best ways to start a con game is to go to church! A con artist will get involved with the minister or someone else at the church and then others think that this guys is "alright". The con artist just starts reeling'em in! No tech required!

      BTW: I saw this on TV and I don't remeber the show.

      • A local cop in Middletown, CT posed as a 17 year old. He just struck up a conversation with one girl. He then ask to be her "friend" (a MySpace term to be added to a buddy list).

        Note that being added as somebody's "friend" is not some huge statement that she 100% trusts him or believes he is who he says he is. But the media treats it like MySpaceFriend = RealFriend

        After the first addition, he just kept sending emails to the initial contact's friends asking to be put on their buddy list.

        Well, there is a "blo
    • by NtroP (649992) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @05:22PM (#15266449)
      I've got a teenage daughter (17) who's had a MySpace account for a long time now. I monitor it as best I can (along with all her internet activity) and keep myself involved in her life. She spends a lot more time on MySpace than I'd prefer, but I've not seen any particularly disagreeable interaction take place on her site. Some of her "friends" are older than I'd let her date and make remarks to her online that they'd never do in my hearing (and live to tell about it), but that's part of growing up and learning to deal with it "one step removed" like this seems alright to me. I did see one user attempt to get her to sneek out of the house one night to meet him, but she obviously knew him personally and handled it correctly ("No way. My Dad will kill me if I get caught - and then he'd kill you!").

      I know she'd be crushed if it was taken away from her until she was 18. It's one "social" activity she is involved in where I don't have to worry about her getting involved with drinking or drugs or worse...

      Protecting my child is my responsibility as a parent - not the State's - and not MySpace. That being said, if I, as a parent, contact MySpace with a concern about my daughter's account they'd better damn well sit up and take notice!

      • I'm curious about something from the perspective of a parent that has always puzzled me.

        if your kid has 15 year old male friends, they probably want to sleep with her.

        If your kid has 17 year old male friends, they probably want to sleep with her.

        If your kid has 50 year old male friends, they probably want to sleep with her.

        What makes the behavior of the 50 year old worse, or even different, from the behavior of the younger friends?

        D
        • by Incongruity (70416) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @06:06PM (#15266759)
          Assuming that you're referencing the above ages to the 17 y/o daughter, then here's my answer...

          In the first two cases (15 and 17 y/o male friends that (probably) want to sleep with her) the desires are socially normal and if the act actually happened consensually, it would perhaps not be the best choice, but it wouldn't be criminal (never mind that in some jurisdictions, 16 or 17 is the age of consent, many states use 18 years as the age of consent ), it wouldn't trample over as many social taboos (be relativist all you want but a 50 y/o sleeping with a 17 y/o is a general taboo and you know it) and it would be between peers (or much closer to peers in a developmental level sense).

          In the case of a 50 y/o male that probably wants to sleep with my 17 y/o daughter, it's not socially normal to actually /want/ to do that -- it's not abnormal for an older male to find a mature 17 y/o girl attractive but the want to actually act on that attraction is not socially normal or appropriate.

          If the 50 y/o male did actually sleep with my 17 y/o daughter, it'd be wrong for many reasons, it wouldn't be legal in many states, for one. But much more importantly, it wouldn't be between equals in any sort of sense -- developmentally, experientially, power, etc. all of those would be unequal between those two individuals and that makes it different than the other two cases you suggest and wrong for those very reasons. Healthy sexual experiences usually require there to be some sort of equality in power/experience, etc. for one person to not be victimized by the other. Moreover, it's that very inequity and power differential that draws many younger women to older men (and younger men to older women in some cases, to be sure) -- there's this false sense of acquiring added maturity by dating/sleeping with someone older for at least some younger individuals -- I know I saw it in my youth, amongst my friends and classmates. Therefore, the 50 y/o trying to act on his desires is a danger and he may well try to and be able to use his experience and power/charasima/implied wisdom/whatever you want to say to unfairly take advantage of the 17 year old.

        • by Ryz0r (849412)
          I think it is quite a simple concept, although extremely difficult (now that i have tried) to explain.

          The 15 year old male friends will have more 15 year old female friends, and will have more of a chance with them; and also wont have much means to cause the 17 year old female any harm - the chance of a 15 year old being a sexual predator is very low, even though 15 year old males will sleep with anything..

          The 17 year old male friends who want to sleep with her are more often than not also socially/sexual

        • by NtroP (649992) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @07:22PM (#15267194)
          I absolutely see your point. I hope I can address it properly.

          I agree with the premise that any red-blooded male would want to sleep with my daughter (really, she's stunning). I, myself, as a happily married man (20 years), all things being equal and ignoring legal/ethical issues, would happy sleep with a beautiful teenage girl (shyah, when monkeys fly out of my butt). As a parent, I'm protective of my daughter - often, way more so than she'd like (oh the long, lovely discussions I've had with her on this issue).

          One thing to consider is that (I believe) sex is different for a man than it is for a woman on a fundamental level. Sex for a man is a very external act. We do it too a woman. Our equipment is external to our bodies and is intended to penetrate into the female's body. On the other hand, sex for a woman is very internal and very personal. I think this fact can have a great impact on the emotional response to sex that a young, inexperienced girl has, as opposed to a guy.

          That being said, I'd like to see my daughter date someone who is at a close enough stage in life so that they can reasonably find common ground emotionally. I'd like any relationship they have to able to be based on common interests, activities, peer interaction, etc., instead of sex. This is most likely to occur when her date is close to her age range and in her peer group. Strangely enough, at this stage in her life, I'd just as soon she not have sex at all.

          If she is just going out just to have sex for sex's sake, then you are correct; it doesn't matter how old the guy is, what his personality is like, etc. He's apparently just a self-powered dildo. If this is the case and we aren't worried about her emotional well-being and have no consideration for her future love-life then why don't I just have sex with her? After all, it would solve a lot of problems. I'm clean, I'm gentle, I'm caring, I'm skilled, I'm fixed! But we do care about her emotional well-being and her future. And now things like this start to matter.

          If a 50 year-old man wanted to "get together" with my daughter, I can be pretty confident that he's only after one thing. If a 17 year old kid wants to "get together" with my daughter then I can at least hope that he might actually want to get to know her, spend time with her, and "earn" his way into her pants (to be crude about it). Just like I earned my way into my wife's pants when I was in college. I wooed her. I dated her. I got to know her, and I made a commitment to her. In short, yes, I wanted to sleep with her, but I also was interested in doing a lot of other things with her. We were friends. Then we became lovers.

          Now, I happen to know for a fact that my daughter has had sex. She lost her virginity when she was invited to a college party, slipped a micky, and raped. It took us, as a family, a long time to come to grips with what happened. I think she's handled it quite well, but it goes to show that even people close to her own age can be dangerous to her.

          I know she's going to be curious about sex. That's healthy. It's my responsibility to give her the tools necessary to make the right descisions about sex and to provide an appropriate level of protection and structure for her while she's living under my roof. Sometimes, that means forbidding her to date someone who I think is inappropriate (too old, too bad a reputation, too pushy, too abusive, too disrespectful of her, etc.). Sometimes it's giving her enough freedom to make mistakes for herself.

          What it all boils down to, though, is that I am involved in her life. I have educated myself about what goes on on MySpace and am vigilant for signs of trouble. When I see cause for alarm, I must assert my authority as her father to do what I believe is in her best interest. And as you parents of teenagers know, this is a fine line we walk. We have to learn to pick our battles carefully or risk loosing our children.

          So, does age matter

          • by rossifer (581396) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @08:07PM (#15267414) Journal
            Anyone who can write a post this personal and insightful on so many levels gets big props from me. I know it doesn't mean all that much, but you just got added to my friend list.

            Good parents make for good kids/communities/countries/worlds. Thanks for making the world a little better place. If you're ever in the vicinity of Los Angeles, you've got a beer on me.

            My name is Ross Bagley and my email address is: <firstname><at><firstname><lastname><dot><com>

            Regards,
            Ross
          • by cprincipe (100684) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @09:35PM (#15267835) Homepage
            Sir, you have single handedly written the clearest, most insightful and logical post I've ever seen on Slashdot. So I ask, what are you doing here? ;-)

    • by sofla (969715)
      How did this get rated "insightful"? It is the most obvious counter-argument to make, a trained monkey could do it. And its a Red Herring.

      Its easy to blame the people blaming MySpace, because its hard to think about a real solution to the problem. Hint: like most things in life, its somewhere in the middle.

      You could use this same silly counter-argument to get bar owners to stop checking ID. After all, any "responsible" parent would "always" know what their children are up to, wouldn't they? This isn't
    • Your points are good.. But what about that 13 year old? Is it her fault that her parents did not raise her well? Yeah it may be the parents fault, but the 13 year old shouldn't have to suffer. In your family, things work out. But if you neglected your daughters, wouldn't it be nice to know that uncle sam is trying to keep them safe still.
    • Neither of them is meeting mysterious men online.

      That you know of.

      Who says they don't have a second account they only log into from a friend's house, or at school, or the public library?

      Parents who think they know everything about their kids don't remember their own childhood...

  • Whatever (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @05:03PM (#15266301)
    The biggest proposal is to change the minimum age from 14 to 18 with an age verification system,

    Oooh, that's scary. I bet kids will have a really hard moral dilemma lying to the "are you under 18? [YES] [NO]" page.
    • Re:Whatever (Score:3, Interesting)

      by DragonWriter (970822)
      They probably mean some kind of more serious age verification, likely relying on a credit card or something similar.
    • I am sure it will be a little more secure than 99% of the porn sites out there with the Yes or No buttons. It will also cripple Myspace.com. My wife has a myspace account she talks to her friends on. I've read it before, and its a bunch of girl crap. But if she has to put in a credit card number, SSN, drivers license number I can honestly say it will be the end of her Myspace account. No one needs that info to run a blog. There are plenty of other blogs out there she can use that won't require that in
    • Re:Whatever (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Kelson (129150) * on Thursday May 04, 2006 @05:33PM (#15266537) Homepage Journal
      What's funny is that right now, adults on MySpace lie about their age pretending to be minors. And not just the predatory ones.

      Why?

      Only minors are allowed to make their profile information or posts private.

      So people who've decided they want to keep the MySpace social scene going but don't want prospective employers, or ex-girlfriends, or nosy relatives to see it just change their birthday, and they get the option to mark things as private.

      Stupid restriction --> Predictable results.
    • Re:Whatever (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Brobock (226116)
      The biggest proposal is to change the minimum age from 14 to 18 with an age verification system,

      Oooh, that's scary. I bet kids will have a really hard moral dilemma lying to the "are you under 18? [YES] [NO]" page.


      Not only will they lie and say they are 18 to enter the site, but they will look legal to people browsing the site.
    • Have you tried browsing profiles with the age selection set to 90-100? I haven't found any seniors there, yet. And this is with the current restrictions.

  • by Otter (3800) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @05:07PM (#15266336) Journal
    Tom Reilly is running for governor, in a campaign where his first choice for lieutenant governor turned out to have not paid federal taxes, state taxes, property taxes or parking tickets for the last several years, and then dropped out of the race to spend more time with her family, all within 24 hours of being picked. (She's still a state rep, and on the Ways and Means Committee, no less, but apparently you don't need to pay taxes to hold that position.)

    Anyway, thus Tom Reilly's sudden concern about MySpace...

  • by APE992 (676540) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @05:08PM (#15266343) Journal
    How about forbidding the horrible web design most of MySpace features? It wasn't cool in 1996 and it isn't cool now. USE DREAMWEAVER AT THE VERY LEAST FOR GODS SAKE!
    • by Anonymous Coward
      As nice as dreamweaver is, it isn't the be-all end-all of things. Just another IDE type with convenient ways to do a few things.

      Anyhoo, the main point is that I knew someone who was dubbed a natural because he knew how to use dreamweaver. I had to maintain his code afterwards and it was a mess. Nested tables are nested tables regardless of whether they were written using Frontpage, Dreamweaver, or vi.

      CSS classes are a lot like variables -- give them meaningful names. class1, class2, and class3 don't cou
  • The ONLY reason this is making the news is because MySpace is so high profile. What about all the other web forums that teenage girls visit? Maybe those should have to follow the same policies.

    And the other big question is...does this jackass plan on paying for all those additional employees?

    As much as I hate huge evil corporations, what I hate more are politicians who mandate this huge crock of shit and then just make the companies cough up the dough to pay for it...which inevitably ends up costing the e

  • Parents (Score:2, Insightful)

    by tute666 (688551)
    It's much easier to legislate, rather than tell parents there not doing their job right.
    Quite sad if you think about it.
  • by LordPhantom (763327) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @05:10PM (#15266355)
    ....anyone but parents being the responsible party. I'm not saying that they have total control over their kid's actions, but legislation like this implies that "some kids are just beyond good upbringing and good parenting". You see this garbage in schools all the time, and it's sickening.
    PARENTS - Other people are not responsible for your children. That's why they're your children. Spend time teaching them -why- this sort of thing is bad. If you don't trust them, limit their internet usage. Keep tabs on where they are and what they're doing. IF you don't like the commitment and responsiblity that comes along with it, don't have children.
    • ....anyone but parents being the responsible party.

      So, who'll stay at home? The father? NO WAY! The mother? That's sexism!(/sarcasm)

      When a country is forcing BOTH parents to work so they can "raise" their children, you know that country is screwed up to the limit.
  • OR.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by eggoeater (704775) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @05:12PM (#15266373) Journal
    the state of Mass et. al. could do THEIR job and catch these pervs instead of off-loading the responsibility onto a company who's area of expertise is not law enforcement.

    When we start expecting private citizens/companies to be our law enforcement (e.g.RIAA,etc.) is when things tend to get COMPLETELY OUT OF HAND!
  • by porcupine8 (816071) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @05:12PM (#15266376) Journal
    the fast-growing Internet site that boasts about 60 million members

    change the minimum age from 14 to 18

    Er, make that 30 million members. If they raise the age to 21, they're screwed.

  • by jettoki (894493) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @05:12PM (#15266380)
    So, if everyone is 'officially' 18 on MySpace, sexual predators will just have a claim against accusations of pedophilia when girls lie about their age to get an account. "I didn't know she was underaged! Her profile says 18!"

    Great idea, guys.
    • Clever, but the courts don't like hearing that. See, there's 2 parts of every crime:

      mens rea = intent
      actus reus = action

      When a college kid gets caught hooking up with a highschool girl who snuck into his fraternity party, he gets charged for the action of statutory rape -- regardless of what he thought at the time.

      When old men show up at the house of a "teenager" for sex when it was really a cop on the other computer, they're charged with the intent to commit statutory rape.

      The system is suppos
      • Both examples are wrong:

        When a college kid gets caught hooking up with a highschool girl who snuck into his fraternity party, he gets charged for the action of statutory rape -- regardless of what he thought at the time.

        There is mens rea here; the required mental state, though, is fairly minimal, but if the action was, e.g., genuinely non-volitional (highly unlikely), its not punishable. That there doesn't have to be specific intent on all elements does not mean there is no mens rea -- mens rea has neve

        • In many States, the law reads something like this:

          whenever a provision of law defining an offense depends upon a victim's being under a certain age, it is an affirmative defense that, at the time of the alleged offense, the defendant

          (1) reasonably believed the victim to be that age or older; and

          (2) undertook reasonable measures to verify that the victim was that age or older.

          Most (if not all) of these internet stings begin with the Police explicitly stating whatever age they're pretending to be, usually fol

    • ...Only outlaws will have 13-year-olds?
  • by zboy (685758)
    That isn't going to stop girls from getting accounts. The way myspace is right now, nobody (excpet the people you add to your friends list) can see your profile unless you are over the age of 15. So what to the under 15 year olds do? they say they're 18, or 20, or whatever so that everyone can see their profile. (on the other side, my 23 year old friend said she was 15 just so that her profile woudl be private..)
    • ...my 23 year old friend said she was 15 just so that her profile woudl be private... until next year, when MySpace will then think she is OVER 15?!? What is she planning on doing, creating a new profile every year? Here's a better idea: allow ANY user to click a checkbox in their profile to make it private, rather than relying on an arbitrary age limit just to do the bare minimum to satisfy privacy laws.
  • by suv4x4 (956391)
    Why should MySpace care to protect children from "sexual predators", let the government do it, isn't this why the whole Internet in USA will be reorganised to allow snooping.
  • by Frogbert (589961) <frogbert@@@gmail...com> on Thursday May 04, 2006 @05:16PM (#15266403)
    Seriously what is so good about myspace? When did it become so popular... What does it offer over Livejournal?

    Also does anyone see a problem with "whatever the kids like" being an automatic scapegoat for pollies looking for a bit of attention.

    I suppose it isn't all bad, it might replace the "video games are evvilllll" argument. Like when video games replaced d&d, or when d&d replaced rock music or when rock music replaced jazz music...
  • Geocities....

    Or how about two, Tripod...

    Three? FortuneCity...

    How does a man like this get elected Attorney General?

    How old are they? I know Geocities is old...

  • Let's make parents responsible for what their kids do and see online, and see how that works.
    In fact, let's have ISPs make subscribers sign hold-harmless clauses, promoting this idea.
    OMG, don't tell me... that would intrude on the rights of parents, or something, wouldn't it?

    MySpace may present an attractive nuisance, but it's not because kids can sneak past the age verification. (If so, merely raising it won't do a thing, anyway) It's because kids have not been taught to not to leave personally identifying
  • Isn't it enough that MySpace helped avert a school shooting [washingtonpost.com] recently? How many school shootings has the MA Attorney General helped avert?
  • Right... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Matilda the Hun (861460) <flatsymcnoboobs <at> leekspin <dot> com> on Thursday May 04, 2006 @05:23PM (#15266456) Homepage
    So people fill out their age as 18 instead of 14. So what? It says in the article snippet right there that someone was going after a 13-year-old, and that's below the current minimum age. What are they going to do, force people to use credit cards to verify their age? MySpace could put the age at 80, and people would say that they're 80. Welcome to the real world.
    • So people fill out their age as 18 instead of 14. So what? It says in the article snippet right there that someone was going after a 13-year-old, and that's below the current minimum age. What are they going to do, force people to use credit cards to verify their age?
      Probably; that's usually what's implied by "Age Verification".
  • by cabraverde (648652) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @05:23PM (#15266465)
    "The arrest Tuesday of a 27-year-old man in Connecticut on charges of illegal sexual contact with a 13-year-old girl he met through MySpace underlines the risks of the fast-growing Internet site... "

    Well it also underlines that the police, FBI and MySpace admins are doing their jobs and keeping their eyes on the ball. This kind of predation is a risk in any kind of communal space, online or not. The answer is to be careful, and let your friends know where you're going & who you talk to.

    The answer is NOT to outlaw communal spaces, or ban younger people. The idea that under 18s should be banned from public parks would immediately be seen for the stupid overprotective reactionism that it is. But because this is about "the internet"... ooh, scary! Suddenly no amount of legislation is enough.
    • The idea that under 18s should be banned from public parks would immediately be seen for the stupid overprotective reactionism that it is.

      Um, really? What shining ray of hope do you live in that still thinks so? My local park closes at 8pm year-round. Kids (who else uses a park?) can and have been charged with tresspassing. Granted, it's usually in addition to other charges involving drugs, alcohol, or vandalism.
      • What shining ray of hope do you live in that still thinks so? My local park closes at 8pm year-round. Kids (who else uses a park?) can and have been charged with tresspassing.

        What does having a closing time have to do with banning minors? Most public facilities are officially closed at night for security reasons, but that doesn't mean it would be sensible to ban 13 year olds from using them at 2 in the afternoon.

        I feel sorry if you live in such a horrible community that nobody over 18 goes to the park. Ther
  • by pHatidic (163975) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @05:30PM (#15266517)
    I had a geocities webpage when I was 12 and I was never gang raped by strangers. What exactly has changed in the last nine years?
  • Redundant (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cyngus (753668) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @05:33PM (#15266531)
    This post is redundant, because even though I haven't read the discussion thread I'm sure over 50% say this as well. Raise your own f*cking kids, and don't blame others because you were too lazy to get off the couch and see what they were up to. It still really shocks me that in order to drive a car, I need the government to give me a slip of paper, an insurance company to give me another one, and both of these have to be renewed on a regular basis, but I"m completely unrestricted in my ability to screw and make children. Poorly raised children are a far bigger danger to society than an unlicensed, drunk, speed freak driving down the expressway.
  • by RomulusNR (29439) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @05:35PM (#15266554) Homepage
    change the minimum age from 14 to 18 with an age verification system

    Tom, wouldn't it be easier just to put them out of business?
  • OMG Parent More!!! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Rydia (556444) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @05:42PM (#15266616)
    What I find funny about these stories and the obligatory "parents need to not suck!" argument is that it assumes that all parents have the same technical ability that we do. Or even the same language ability that we do. Or the TIME that we do. This seems to be the mother of all projections, as far as this site goes- "I could do it this way, it should be done this way, therefore EVERYONE should be fine doing it this way, and if they don't, it's their fault."

    Lots of parents work two jobs. Lots of parents don't understand computers. Lots of parents simply don't know enough about their teenager's life to check for some things (to those that do, or think your parents did, I'm sorry. You're lying. Everyone keeps things from everyone else, regardless of their relationship).

    And even so, how is this a raising thing? Kids are having sex, and parents can't stop them from that. How does it make any difference when it's some guy they met at school, planning over AIM and some guy on myspace who happens to be a sexual predator? Again, you don't know everything your child is up to (nor should you), and you never will.

    Even putting that aside, these arguments are ridiculous. We have a problem of kids being subjected to predators on a website. The state has a duty (not even just a right, a duty) to ensure that if there are unacceptable risks, safeguards are put in place to assure that we've done all we reasonably can to protect the children. This is bad how? Because it'll curb kids' ability to use a website to share things? While I think the child's ability to express himself online is important, I think making our best effort to ensure that kid isn't going to be assaulted by a predator is pretty darn important too.

    The "parent more" argument is a useful tool for people with agendas, but it has no logical stopping point. Why should the state have battery laws? Shouldn't parents teach their kids how to avoid fights? How about laws against gang activity? Shouldn't parents tell their kids to avoid gangs and vandalism? By this logic, simply "raising" your kid would solve the problem, but obviously it doesn't.
    • What I find funny about these stories and the obligatory "parents need to not suck!" argument is that it assumes that all parents have the same technical ability that we do.
      No special technical ability is required to supervise children.
    • The "parent more" argument is a useful tool for people with agendas, but it has no logical stopping point.

      I disagree, it has very logical stopping points.

      Why should the state have battery laws?

      Because battery is an actual offense against a specific person, not a crime designed to prevent a specific class of people ("children") from coming into contact with people or material which might harm them.

      Shouldn't parents teach their kids how to avoid fights?

      Yes, they should. And children shouldn't be pro

    • Even putting that aside, these arguments are ridiculous. We have a problem of kids being subjected to predators on a website. The state has a duty (not even just a right, a duty) to ensure that if there are unacceptable risks, safeguards are put in place to assure that we've done all we reasonably can to protect the children. This is bad how?

      First off, it's bad because it obscures the problem. Parenting is an obligation, and that obligation rests with the parents. The fact that most parents are busy, or t
    • Cool down there, sparky!

      You can't start the process when they become a teen. You start the process when they're very young. You can't wake up one day and realize your kids are out of control and expect to get any results.

      We have been participative parents from day one. Both of us. We both have had full time jobs. We had to sacrifice the "what about me?! when do I get time for me?!" attitude to pull it off. We didn't decide to expand the family until we were in that frame of mind.

      Being a parent

  • by Snarfangel (203258) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @05:49PM (#15266669) Homepage
    I propose covering all objects with Nerf and sealing all children with bubblewrap until their 18th birthday. Anything less may result in a dangerous owie or booboo.

    Only in this way can we ensure the next generation is fully ready for the challenges of adulthood.
  • by Opportunist (166417) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @05:53PM (#15266691)
    Why, couldn't find any terrorists using MySpace?

    Quite seriously. If you can't take care of your kids, then you're unfit as a parent and CPS should step it. Case closed. It is NOT the responsibility of the country to raise anyone's children, except those children that don't have parents! It is not the governments responsibility to keep them out of trouble.

    It is YOURS, if you're a parent! Not mine. Not the country's. YOURS.

    Then again, why do I bother to ramble? It's just the usual excuse to cut into civil liberties with a petty excuse that nobody dares to stand up against.

    Ok. I do. To hell with children. I want freedom!
  • Parents need to "parent" their children. Don't "censor" the internet because a few parents are not doing their job.

    The internet doesn't molest people -people molest people.
  • That's it folks, parties over. Sure, we're 60 million users, but apparently there are a few hundred evil bastards in this world, so your government has decided it's our fault that they can interact with you.

    So go home and write a letter to the following jackass:

    and find somewhere's else to go. Maybe that playground with the dirty old man who's there every wednesday, shuffling cards underneath a blanket in his lap. What? The park's closed too? Bummer...

    **************

    I'd post this on the front page along with
  • by 955301 (209856) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @06:23PM (#15266877) Journal
    I mean, this is one busy man! He seems to have decided all of this at the same time that he's jockeying for Governer of the state! [tomreilly.org]

    Would anyone have seen this coming? Wow....

    Jerk.
  • Before we all go razz-tazz on solving this "problem", I'd like to see some ACTUAL FIGURES to indicate how much of a problem this actually is.

    How many "online predators" are there when compared to "real" predators? I don't have any numbers, but I'd guess there are more "real" predators in my small-town America Chico, CA with 75,000 people than there are internationally through myspace.

    Are there some?

    Sure.

    Enough to worry about?

    Well, I'm much, much more worried about my dog getting hit on the somewhat busy str
  • it doesnt NEED to do a mother fucking thing. its a voluntary services that parents allow their children to use.

    myspace should randomly put huge/loud pornographic images on the pages of anyone who "says" they're above the age of 21/18 just so when parents come by they might actually take alert to what their children are actually doing.

    if they're lying about their age... fuck em. they're beating the system and are probably enjoying it... and maybe a little too much.
    if the parents have a problem with it... fuc
  • Choice cuts from a personal favourite of mine, The Paedo-Finder General [bbc.co.uk] (a loose parody of the witchfinder general).

    The Paedofinder General kills a lifeguard watching over bathing children. At one point the lifeguard's hand is obscuring the logo on his Speedo swimming trunks, leaving 'peedo' and thus all the evidence the PFG needs.

    The Paedofinder General executes Banjo the "paedo-dog" for licking his owner's face (a child).

    The Paedophile General invades the stage of a production of Fiddler On the Roo
  • Web Hosts? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by racebit (959234)
    What I find so amusing about all this is that all myspace essentially is is a web host. They grant you rights to a sub-domain, x #'s of pictures, a blog, and a beefed up guestbook (comments). So i suppose now we have to censure every Web Host to save our children. Shit, I suppose that means no more slashdot...becuase God knows we all have /. profiles...and any creep could send us a message and rape us!!!!! *sighs*

"Why should we subsidize intellectual curiosity?" -Ronald Reagan

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