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Teen Sues MySpace Over Sexual Assault 979

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the passing-the-buck dept.
kaufmanmoore writes "A 14-year old is suing myspace for $30 million claiming the site failed to protect her from a 19-year old she met through the site. The suit claims that MySpace doesn't verify a user's identity or age and doesn't do enough to protect users."
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Teen Sues MySpace Over Sexual Assault

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  • by OverlordQ (264228) on Tuesday June 20, 2006 @03:20AM (#15567135) Journal
    Dont they have an "Complete Moron" clause somewhere that says idiots cant sue for being terminally stupid.
    • How can they? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by GFLPraxis (745118) on Tuesday June 20, 2006 @03:30AM (#15567177) Homepage Journal
      The lawsuit is just plain stupid. I simply don't understand HOW someone can 'verify' their age over the computer. Short of requiring everyone to scan some sort of documentation of their age and requiring MySpace to hire a staff of thousands more people to daily comb through each user one by one as they register (simply not practical), there is no possible way MySpace (or ANY site on the internet that doesn't require a credit card for that matter) can verify it. They're basicly sueing MySpace for not doing the impossible.
      • Re:How can they? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by tacocat (527354) <tallison1 AT twmi DOT rr DOT com> on Tuesday June 20, 2006 @06:06AM (#15567654)

        For the sake of humanity she really must lose the lawsuit.

        The internet is a wonderful social tool. It brings people closer. Including the people you don't want to be close to. Once upon a time in order to find a variety of people I had to travel many miles from my parents suburban home to find such culture and people. Today I can find all the culture I can stand in about 30 seconds and three clicks. Good and Bad people abound both on the internet and off. There are things such as "dark alleys" on the internet too. And just like it's the responsibility of the parents to keep our 14 year old daughters from roaming alleys and talking to predatory individuals, it's also our responsibility to keep them off the alleys and steer them away from certain areas on the internet. Where was Mom and Dad when the minor went on a date with a 19 year old? MySpace is not a surrogate parent or baby sitter and makes no claims to be.

      • Re:How can they? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by tyler_larson (558763) on Tuesday June 20, 2006 @09:12AM (#15568368) Homepage

        He was 19 years old. He told her, instead, that he was a high school senior. High school seniors are usually around 18 years old. So the 14-year-old girl went out with a guy she thought was around 18, but it turned out he was actually 19.

        If only she had known ahead of time... Damn you MySpace! Damn you!

    • Re:What they need. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by HugePedlar (900427) on Tuesday June 20, 2006 @03:30AM (#15567181) Homepage
      Or even a "parental responsibility" clause. Why did her parents allow her to meet a total stranger without supervision? And why does Myspace have any more responsibility than ANY other community-based website or bulletin board?
      • Re:What they need. (Score:4, Interesting)

        by RobotRunAmok (595286) on Tuesday June 20, 2006 @04:02AM (#15567288)
        And why does Myspace have any more responsibility than ANY other community-based website or bulletin board?

        Right. Beacause community-based websites and bulletin boards have been around for such a long time, and there are so-o-o-o-o many legal challenges and precedents in that space.

        Face it: The MySpace cesspool is in danger of leaking out and poisoning the well of community-based boards everywhere; the pure, crystal clear waters of SlashDot and its ilk are not going to have a cleansing effect, legal or otherwise, on MySpace.

        I am seeing activism on the grass roots level against MySpace like I haven't seen since the early 90's (the kind of awareness that laid the groundwork for all the online child protection legislation). If the "good" community spaces are smart, they will toss MySpace out into the snow with extreme prejudice then circle the wagons before the Clintons and the Liebermans and all the other politicos up for re-election start painting them with the same brush they are currently tarring-up for MySpace.

        Right or Wrong, there is a BIG RECKONING coming, and it WILL be impacting business models throughout the 'Net.

        My Prediction, based on historical precedent? MySpace goes the way of GeoCities (socially un-cool and retro), and the kids all start gravitating to their own (and de-centralized) unique TLDs, just like their neo-adult blogging counterparts.
      • And why does Myspace have any more responsibility than ANY other community-based website or bulletin board?

        Because they have more money to sue for.
      • Re:What they need. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ameoba (173803) on Tuesday June 20, 2006 @04:46AM (#15567442)
        If I (hypothetically) were a minor and committed a major act of vandalism or property crime, my parents would be held liable for the damages because, as a minor, they are responsible for my actions. If, as a minor, I manage to get a credit card by forging my parent's permission and run up a large number of purchases & fail to pay them, my parents would be held liable. If I commit fraud, agree to a EULA that asserts that I am of a given age, why are they no longer responsible for my actions?

        This is exactly the kind of story that should be covered in an afterschool special. If the family wants money, sell the story, to hell with the courts.

        Personally, I think the family should be told to stuff it and she should be made an example of by the media as the stupid little slut she is. These stupid little girls need to be told, harshly, that trying to manipulate scuzzy guys with sex can very well get them hurt (or even killed). Instead, whenever it happens, the girls are never at fault and are always "good girls" who were unfairly victimized and could never do anything wrong - regardless of how trashy & loose they were.

        A great example is this highschool girl from my hometown - she was dating a 30ish drug dealer several cities away for some time. As girls her age are prone to do, she grew tired of him and decided to break up with him. As they are also prone to do, they are petty & vindictive towards ex-boyfriends, and threatened to turn him in. As bigtime drugdealers are prone to do, he kidnapped her, beat her & eventually executed her, burying her body in a shallow grave in the mountains. Media response? Obviously she was pure, innocent & unfairly victimized by a complete monster. Not that she could -ever- have any idea that bad things could happen to her for sleeping with a man twice her age in exchange for meth...
        • Re:What they need. (Score:5, Interesting)

          by DrWho520 (655973) on Tuesday June 20, 2006 @07:48AM (#15567934) Journal
          It is funny you mention the phrase "afterschool special" and relate an anecdote about a high school peer. She was 14 and he was 19. Guess what? The same thing can and does happen at any high school in the United States. Freshman date Seniors because Freshman girls like the clout dating an upperclassman holds and Seniors date Freshman because they are naive and easy. This was happening decades before MySpace. Now, when Suzy Q comes home smelling of beer, cigarettes and cheap sex, she can blame MySpace. Now, parents no longer have to blame themselves, they can blame a corporation. Now, instead of teaching a valuable life lesson to their child, they teach their child to blame others for their problems and sue people.
    • Re:What they need. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by jmv (93421) on Tuesday June 20, 2006 @03:36AM (#15567201) Homepage
      I'm afraid it's a little more complicated than that. Unlike 10-15 years ago, at least half of people with Internet access would probably fall into your definition of "complete moron" (and remember that you're probably a complete moron about at least one thing). At some point, "something" will have to be done because "bad guys" tend to learn/adapt faster than "complete morons". Should the solution be to make sites responsible (I hope not)? Have an "Internet license" (with a test required like for a driver's license? I've no idea what form it will have and I hope it won't do more damage than it causes, but eventually things will have to change. I guess teens in the ~12-16 range are especially vulnerable because:
      1) You can't monitor everything they do on the Internet anymore
      2) There's still a lot of things they don't know (but should)
      3) They think they know enough
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 20, 2006 @03:36AM (#15567203)
      Hey, this guy online said he was going to do me in the butt and then he did me in the butt. someone owes me 30 million.
  • Wait what (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 20, 2006 @03:24AM (#15567151)
    From the article:

    MySpace says on a "Tips for Parents" page that users must be 14 or older. The Web site does nothing to verify the age of the user, such as requiring a driver's license or credit card number, Loewy said.

    What kind of 14 year old kid has a credit card or a license?
    • Re:Wait what (Score:5, Insightful)

      by LiquidCoooled (634315) on Tuesday June 20, 2006 @03:30AM (#15567178) Homepage Journal
      I believe the lawyer is trying to call for more security for the 16s on the site.


      The lawsuit claims that the Web site does not require users to verify their age and calls the security measures aimed at preventing strangers from contacting users younger than 16 "utterly ineffective."


      But the part of the article that really caught my eye was the following:


      Lauren Gelman, associate director of the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School, said she does not think MySpace is legally responsible for what happens away from its site.

      "If you interact on MySpace, you are safe, but if a 13-year-old or 14-year-old goes out in person and meets someone she doesn't know, that is always an unsafe endeavor," Gelman said. "We need to teach our kids to be wary of strangers."


      This lawsuit is just ambulance chasing.
  • by HugePedlar (900427) on Tuesday June 20, 2006 @03:24AM (#15567152) Homepage
    I didn't know Myspace was a pre-requisite for the exchange of emails and phone calls, nor that the going rate for "facilitating" rape was thirty fucking million dollars.
  • mooches mooches (Score:5, Insightful)

    by filthy_mcnasty (958018) on Tuesday June 20, 2006 @03:26AM (#15567158)
    As much as I detest Myspace and would absolutely love to see them go down.... this is just another frivilous lawsuit with someone trying to play the scapegoat game. Encountering a sexual predator on Myspace is no different than any other million sites where this could have happened but if it weren't for the deep pockets myspace has generated there would be no lawsuit. The users of sites like these (and hell, users of anything in general!!!) are still responsible for THEIR OWN actions and while I'm sorry that she was victimized, this young girl (or rather, her lawyers / parents) is now trying to create another victim. Give me a break, accept responsibility for your own actions. This isn't because "Myspace didn't protect me"
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 20, 2006 @03:27AM (#15567164)
    Doesn't she already get justice by having the 19-year-old jailed?
  • on the one hand, personal responsibility, and responsibility of the parents, surrenders: bad thing

    on the other hand, this could destroy myspace: good thing
  • Hi.. (Score:5, Funny)

    by hyfe (641811) on Tuesday June 20, 2006 @03:28AM (#15567167)
    Hi, your honour.

    I am stupid. Please make them give me money.

  • Guess what? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Mancat (831487) on Tuesday June 20, 2006 @03:29AM (#15567172) Homepage
    You are not entitled to money for being stupid and immature. You should not be meeting STRANGERS over the internet, where nothing is ever as it seems, and most people lie about their most basic personal traits.
  • by Afty0r (263037) on Tuesday June 20, 2006 @03:32AM (#15567185) Homepage
    Where people can say things like "Your site doesn't make it hard enough for me to lie about how old I am" and "Some guy touched me in his car, I want money from a company that lets people engage in speech if they wish to, in the amount of two decades worth of average adult earnings."

    Rule of law, Rule of man.... I always assumed Rule of Law was better - but now I'm beginning to wonder... the longer and further we walk down this path the worse it gets.
    • in the amount of two decades worth of average adult earnings


      $30 million is two decades worth of average adult earnings to you?

      See, this is why the US has problems with offshoring. I'll do the same job for only $20 million! And we're off on the slippery slope to an average adult only earning $10 million or so in two decades... disgraceful.
  • Wtf (Score:5, Insightful)

    by eddm (983696) on Tuesday June 20, 2006 @03:34AM (#15567194) Homepage
    I'm sorry, but MySpace are being expected to pay $30 Million to them for being idiots? I'll go hit myself on the head with a hammer and sue Black and Decker for supplying me with a weapon that gave me brain damage.
    • Re:Wtf (Score:5, Insightful)

      by plasmacutter (901737) on Tuesday June 20, 2006 @03:41AM (#15567224)
      This is a society of the irresponsible looking to point the blame at whoever they can.

      They expect others to make their choices for them, and to do it correctly.. thus the reason for laws designed to make other people raise your kids for you (video game laws, TV censorship/ratings laws, movie ratings, etc).. and of course if these other people and companies do it wrong they are held liable because well.. it wasn't their fault for being "stupid"...they outsourced their decision making to you so you are now liable.

      It sucks to be sure, but this is what an ignorant majority wanted, so this is what our society has produced.
  • by Phroggy (441) * <slashdot3@nOSPam.phroggy.com> on Tuesday June 20, 2006 @03:40AM (#15567218) Homepage
    MySpace says on a "Tips for Parents" page that users must be 14 or older. The Web site does nothing to verify the age of the user, such as requiring a driver's license or credit card number, Loewy said.
    Explain to me how verifying a 14-year-old's driver's license or credit card number is going to work.

    Age verification is fine for sites that require you to be 18 or over, but if you want 14-year-olds to use your site, I can't think of a good way to verify their age that doesn't have really disturbing implications.

    Solis contacted the girl through her MySpace Web site in April, telling her that he was a high school senior who played on the football team, according to the lawsuit.

    In May, after a series of e-mails and phone calls, he picked her up at school, took her out to eat and to a movie, then drove her to an apartment complex parking lot in South Austin, where he sexually assaulted her, police said. He was arrested May 19.
    If they talked to each other on the phone several times before meeting in person, why is AT&T not liable for failing to protect her?

    Let me see if I understand this correctly: a 19-year-old claimed to be only 18 on his myspace profile, and this is worth $30 million?

    I'm not excusing the guy's actions. He knew she was 14, and that's not OK, even if she said yes, which I'm guessing she probably did. And lying about your age is generally not cool. But I really don't think MySpace could have reasonably done anything that would have stopped this from happening. Do you think she wouldn't have agreed to meet him, if she had known he was really 19?

    They started by sending e-mail, then exchanging phone numbers and talking on the phone; at what point do you draw the line and say what these people do is not MySpace's responsibility? If I find a (18+) girl on MySpace, send her e-mail, she e-mails me back, I send her my phone number, she calls me, we talk, we go out for coffee, things go well, we start dating, have dinner a few times, then one day we get into an argument and she punches me in the face - can I sue MySpace for failing to protect me from her?
    • by mpe (36238)
      Let me see if I understand this correctly: a 19-year-old claimed to be only 18 on his myspace profile, and this is worth $30 million?

      Does MySpace generate an age from a user input date of birth or could he have written the profile when he was 18?
      Also since this involves an alleged sexual assault why arn't the police involved...
    • by hyfe (641811) on Tuesday June 20, 2006 @04:24AM (#15567369)
      I'm not excusing the guy's actions. He knew she was 14, and that's not OK, even if she said yes, which I'm guessing she probably did

      Seriously, assuming she had hit puberty, what's the problem? Most likely, he was much closer to her in maturity level than he was girls his own age.

      This magical age limit thing is really bothering me.. especially since each country seems to have their own magical number. I can understand there needing to be a set agelevel as far as the law goes, because measuring maturity-level is pretty much impossible.. But we don't *need* to be as stupid when it comes what we deem moral. A childish 19 year old boy can be perfect match for a grown-up'ish 14 year old maturity-wise.

      • Informed consent (Score:5, Insightful)

        by TheConfusedOne (442158) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (eno.desufnoc.eht)> on Tuesday June 20, 2006 @06:33AM (#15567719) Journal
        At the age of 14 it is really hard for most kids to really understand the consequences of a sexual relationship. Now, maybe some few kids can actually comprehend this and thus provide a meaningful consent, but it's very few and there's no good test we can give them to screen the mature from the immature. So, a "magical age" was created where it was decided that most people would in fact be able to understand complex relationships. Yes, some people over this age don't really comprehend the issue, but the line had to be drawn somewhere.
        • Re:Informed consent (Score:4, Interesting)

          by mirio (225059) on Tuesday June 20, 2006 @10:51AM (#15569237)
          Yes, some people over this age don't really comprehend the issue, but the line had to be drawn somewhere.

          Exactly..the line was drawn somewhere and most people admit it is arbitrary, yet people like my friend who was 20 and had sex with a 17-year old is a Registered Sex Offender (TM) for committing misdemeanor statutory rape. Nevermind the fact that he's now been married to the girl for 4 years and they now have a little one year old daughter.

          The girl objected to his prosecution that was sought by her mother. She refused to testify against him at trial and spent a week in jail and paid court fines for contempt. She turned 18 just a few months after the trial and once she did she left her mother to live with the family of her then boyfriend and has been with him ever since.

          Our church has a TaeKwan Do ministry (don't ask) and my friend was an instructor. He was always there with a room full of parents and other instructors and students. One of the parents found out he was a 'sex offender' and reported him to the police, saying that it didn't 'look right' that he was instructing martial arts (some of the students were teen). Due to Georgia's get-tough-on-sex crimes laws he was arrested with only the complain. In Georgia, sex offenders suspected of violating sex crimed laws are not granted bail. They are held until a finding of fact hearing be the court (IANAL but this is what his attorney called it). In his case the court date was a month away and he had a one week old baby at home. The attorney petitioned the judge for a special hearing due to his circumstances (the baby) and the judge released him on a signature bond. This was very unusual as most judges won't do that. At the final hearing the judge ruled that he did not violate any statues (remember: he's a sex offender, not on parole!) and that the claims were without merit. The judge also admonished the legislature for creating vague rules that are impossible to implement and are open to any number of interpretations.

          The puritanical nature of our laws is absolutely ridiculous and is in my opinion catering to the right-wing fundamentalists in the republican party. I am a conservative Christian and former republican, by the way. I left the party when I decided the republicans could no longer perform simple addition and subtraction (read: balance a budget) and when they handed defeat to terrorists by encouraging the public to actually be afraid of them (the terrorists' stated purpose).

        • Re:Informed consent (Score:4, Interesting)

          by JimBobJoe (2758) <swiftheart@NOSPam.gmail.com> on Tuesday June 20, 2006 @11:32AM (#15569624)
          At the age of 14 it is really hard for most kids to really understand the consequences of a sexual relationship.

          According to this article [usatoday.com] by the age of 15 about 25% of people will have had sex. (It's the nifty table down the page a bit.)

          Whether they're ready for it or not doesn't seem to matter if 1 out of 4 of em are doing it.

          In my mind it becomes difficult to say why a 14 year old should only be making bad choices with other 14 year olds, or would they be better of with people of other age ranges.
  • by HenryKoren (735064) on Tuesday June 20, 2006 @03:50AM (#15567239) Homepage
    Phase 1: Sign up on myspace, lie about age
    Phase 2: Fuck around with your boyfriend
    Phase 3: Lawyer up and sue!
    Phase 4: ???
    Phase 5: 30 Million Dollars Profit.
  • by kjart (941720) on Tuesday June 20, 2006 @03:51AM (#15567244)
    OMG, $30 million worth of ponies!!!111one
  • Sue /. (Score:5, Funny)

    by Patrik_AKA_RedX (624423) <patrik.vanostaey ... m ['gma' in gap]> on Tuesday June 20, 2006 @03:56AM (#15567258) Journal
    I think I'm going to sue /. for not protecting me against wasting my time. That should be worth a few millions too, right?
    And if that fails I could sue my laywer for not protecting me against sueing someone for rediculous reasons.
  • by CaptainTux (658655) <papillion@gmail.com> on Tuesday June 20, 2006 @04:09AM (#15567312) Homepage Journal
    The teen didn't sue MySpace.com. Her mother did. Here's a link to the CNet story: http://news.com.com/2060-10802_3-0.html?tag=nefd.b l [com.com]
  • by dlichterman (868464) on Tuesday June 20, 2006 @04:13AM (#15567327)
    from the myspace terms and conditions
    ====
    Limitation on Liability. IN NO EVENT SHALL MYSPACE.COM BE LIABLE TO YOU OR ANY THIRD PARTY FOR ANY INDIRECT, CONSEQUENTIAL, EXEMPLARY, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL OR PUNITIVE DAMAGES, INCLUDING LOST PROFIT DAMAGES ARISING FROM YOUR USE OF THE SERVICES, EVEN IF MYSPACE.COM HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES. NOTWITHSTANDING ANYTHING TO THE CONTRARY CONTAINED HEREIN, MYSPACE.COM'S LIABILITY TO YOU FOR ANY CAUSE WHATSOEVER AND REGARDLESS OF THE FORM OF THE ACTION, WILL AT ALL TIMES BE LIMITED TO THE AMOUNT PAID, IF ANY, BY YOU TO MYSPACE.COM FOR THE SERVICES DURING THE TERM OF MEMBERSHIP.

    Indemnity. You agree to indemnify and hold MySpace.com, its subsidiaries, and affiliates, and their respective officers, agents, partners and employees, harmless from any loss, liability, claim, or demand, including reasonable attorneys' fees, made by any third party due to or arising out of your use of the Services in violation of this Agreement and/or arising from a breach of this Agreement and/or any breach of your representations and warranties set forth above and/or if any Content that you post on the Website or through the Services causes MySpace.com to be liable to another.
    ====
    http://www1.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=misc. terms [myspace.com]
  • by Opportunist (166417) on Tuesday June 20, 2006 @04:28AM (#15567385)
    Remember the old times? When the law was supposed to protect the innocent? When the law's job was to make sure, as long as you act rational and normal, you can consider yourself safe from nutjobs?

    That turned 180 degrees. Today, being stupid can be very profitable. Thus we get all those neat little "safety stickers" (you know, the "things look smaller in mirror" crap things) on EVERYTHING. In a perfect world, those stickers wouldn't exist and Darwin would be given a chance to prove his theory that whoever is too stupid to live will be eliminated from the gene pool. The stupid would die out and evolution would take over.

    Suddenly Creationism (and its advocates) starts to make sense. Not as a theory, but just WHY they advocate it. I mean, would you like a theory that told you that you should've been eliminated centuries ago... anyway.

    Our legal system is protecting those who're too stupid to live. Not every time, mind you, there are still very justified suits, but there's a lot of suits that reek like this one. I'm stupid, and it's someone else's fault that my being stupid and careless, and that I didn't think put me in an undesireable position.

    It's convenient to blame someone else for our mistakes. And profitable! But as a bottom line, there are 3 people to blame:

    The 19 year old, for he should DEFINITLY have known better.
    The parents of the 14 year old, for they should have cared what their daughter is doing online.
    The 14 year old, for not thinking what a 19 year old could have in mind.

    Where I do blame most of the 14 year olds fault at her parents again. Why didn't they prepare her? They should have told her what a 19 year old wants from her, they should have told her that it's not a good idea to meet a random stranger online.

    But that would have required to talk with her about (*eek*) sex! It's more convenient and less embarrassing to sue now.

    And of course start a riot about how online media need to be doing the parent's job! I.e., watching what their kids do online.
  • by thephydes (727739) on Tuesday June 20, 2006 @04:29AM (#15567388)
    As a high school teacher and father of 4 children, I can assure you all that by 14 they have already started making their own decisions. How we protect them from their own ignorance is something that anyone who works with teens wonders every day. Unfortunately they possess a childs brain inside and (almost) adult body .......
  • Suing for stupidity (Score:3, Interesting)

    by 99luftballon (838486) on Tuesday June 20, 2006 @04:31AM (#15567392)
    There really seems to be little legal case here. For years now therer's been information campaign after campaign about the safety aspects of meeting people you've met online in the offline world. She spent the whole afternoon with this guy and took him back to her place. If the assault is proven then her beef is with the attacker - you can't sue a friend for introducing you to someone who then assaults you. This has very little to do with online security and lots to do with the fact that MySpace is in the public eye and has money. Long live America, land of the lawsuit.
  • Maybe I'm old... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NotInTheBox (235496) on Tuesday June 20, 2006 @04:33AM (#15567400) Homepage
    Why is a 14 year old allowed unsupervised access to the internet. I maybe getting old...

    The internet is the greatest market place in the world. People go here for trade, conversation, news/gissip and inspiration. There are public spaces where you can make a fool of yourself and there are dark back alleys where other people can make a fool of you. This is a place where everyone is treated like a adult with no regard for your age.

    How many parents would let their 14yr old children roam a big unknown city at night by themselves? How do children learn to recognize the good from the bad it their parents don't guide them?

    When someone has a private party (myspace) and is inviting children to join in... what may be expected? What is posible to expect?

    In this case, myspace had no way of knowing that this man could be treat to this girl. You can not assume that every 18+ male is a pervert. This relationship (if that's the word) developed mostly outside the control and supervision of myspace. I think that there is really nothing myspace could have done differently; except maybe, not to invite children to begin with.
  • by Jugalator (259273) on Tuesday June 20, 2006 @05:17AM (#15567524) Journal
    "MySpace is more concerned about making money than protecting children online"

    The children are protected online. Their problem is protection offline beyond the realms of a website. MySpace is not revealing personal data at another member's request through their website. The children are protected online to the best of MySpace's abilities. This girl wasn't abused on the web in a session of cybersex where MySpace provided a button to electrochute her.

    How concerned her parents is on protecting her offline is a better question.

    Obviously, they can do the basics as verifying personal data, and we have a similar site in Sweden that does exactly that, but abuse still happens, because believe it or not, there still exist plenty of jerks who don't mind providing their real information. Most probably get away with it too, by threatening the girl to not speak. In the end, your own mind is your most powerful weapon against "online predators".

    "We feel that 1 percent of that is the bare minimum that they should compensate the girl for their failure to protect her online when they knew sexual predators were on that site," he said.

    The major flaw in their argument is that she was fully protected online, as MySpace does not allow members to get actual address and user information at request. Their problem is that she was not protected offline, and who's to deal with that if not her friends and/or parents. Have your first date at your parents home and have a talk in your room to get to know each other better for christ sake, not his apartment or something. Get some friends and go to the movies and have a good time while you get to know him. It doesn't have to be all "OMG, let's go to your apartment on our first date and have sex". Especially if you're just 14.
  • by emkman (467368) on Tuesday June 20, 2006 @06:27AM (#15567706)
    Dmitri Martin on the Daily Show segment about MySpace and Social Networking sites:
    "On the downside they're loaded with sexual predators. On the upside they're loaded with sexual prey."
  • by Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) on Tuesday June 20, 2006 @07:56AM (#15567951)
    I think its fair that Myspace sue her and her family back for 300 million dollars for...

    Straight from the MYspace Terms of Service...

    "Please choose carefully the information you post on MySpace.com and that you provide to other Users."

    Choose being the key word here. She chose to contact people with her personal information, thus putting herself at risk...

    "Your MySpace.com profile may not include the following items: telephone numbers, street addresses, last names"

    If her profile can not contain any personal contact info as per the rules, she then chose (theres that word again) to contact this 19 year old.

    Myspace is not at fault for anything.

    If anything, this 14 year old is a whore.

    Case and point.
  • by NokX (921152) on Tuesday June 20, 2006 @08:26AM (#15568097)
    if there's an area of town i'm not comfortable being around - i just don't go there. you don't like getting sexual emails from users on myspace? delete your account. why doesn't she take legal action against the 19 year old? isn't he the one causing the problems, not myspace? oh wait - he's not worth millions of dollars.
  • misleading summary (Score:4, Insightful)

    by nuzak (959558) on Tuesday June 20, 2006 @06:35PM (#15572812) Journal
    Whereas it currently reads:

          "A 14-year-old is suing MySpace ...",

    it should read:

          "An opportunist shyster is capitalizing on a 14-year-old's misfortunes to shake down MySpace ..."

Sigmund Freud is alleged to have said that in the last analysis the entire field of psychology may reduce to biological electrochemistry.

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