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MySpace Fears, Just Another Backlash? 308

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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  • Uh.... (Score:2, Informative)

    by lucabrasi999 ( 585141 ) on Tuesday February 28, 2006 @09:44AM (#14815981) Journal
    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), then it may not be reported.

    While I realize that some worries of MySpace are overblown, I would like to point out there are dangers. 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.

    Should MySpace be banned? No. But, parents should consider doing their job. Note: IMHO, that job should include removing computers from their children's bedroom. The kid should be using a laptop in the kitchen. It won't cure the problem, but it will involve the parents in what their kids are doing on line.

  • by OctoberSky ( 888619 ) on Tuesday February 28, 2006 @09:56AM (#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.
  • But...! (Score:2, Informative)

    by Elemenope ( 905108 ) on Tuesday February 28, 2006 @11:16AM (#14816623)

    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 thinking skills; it is almost as if those of us that possess them do so despite school rather than because of it.

    For specific such professionals, I would refer you to John Taylor Gatto, The Underground History of American Education, and perhaps Neil Postman, Teaching as a Subversive Activity. Both are well respected educators who think that schools on the whole are, in the words of Jon Stewart, 'Hurting America'.

Exceptions prove the rule, and wreck the budget. -- Miller