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MySpace To Be Made Safer For Users

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the because-czars-are-always-the-best-approach dept.

The Internet 251

Carl Bialik from the WSJ writes "'When News Corp. bought the social-networking Web site MySpace.com last July, the media company got two surprises, one good and one bad,' the Wall Street Journal reports. The good news: Traffic nearly doubled in the last half of last year. The bad news: MySpace is being criticized for exposing children to risqué content and sexual predators. In response, 'News Corp. plans to appoint a "safety czar" to oversee the site, launch an education campaign that may include letters to schools and public-service announcements to encourage children not to reveal their contact information."

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hy (-1, Offtopic)

DJ Kirk (955162) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742169)

GNAA FP Becky~ ^_^ lol props 2 my nigs, verily

MySpace PSAs? (4, Funny)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742175)

Good to see that another company has found a way to pass off advertising as "public service announcements."

Re:MySpace PSAs? (1)

ThankfulJosh (867278) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742733)

Uhhh...somehow I don't think "Our website is bookmarked in every NAMBLA member's browser" is exactly going to be a PR coup.

Re:MySpace PSAs? (2, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742819)

OTOH, "we have realized that there is a problem and we will do your parenting for you" is very likely to be a PR coup. Since that's apparently what parents want, anyway.

Shoot. (5, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742180)


I guess it's back to trenchcoats, candy, and schoolyards for me.

Re:Shoot. (3, Funny)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742244)

Just last week, I was sitting on a bench, in a hallway (talking on my cellphone) when a class let out.

Some female teacher happened to be walking by at the same moment and she was holding a small bowl with some candy in it.

She kinda waved it around and said "free candy, please take it, I don't want to have to eat it."

Now, she had stopped almost exactly in front of me, but on the other side of the hall. It took all my willpower not to blurt out "My mother told me to never take candy from strangers."

Re:Shoot. (2, Insightful)

Alex P Keaton in da (882660) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742377)

All these sites could be dangerous. I have looked through MySpace to see if I could get any funny dirt on anyone (Yes, I found funny pics of a coworker in a skimpy outfit hitting a bong, but that's beside the point) With just a first name, approx. age and city, it is so easy to find out someone's address. But what gets even crazier, is that a lot of the profiles have where people work. So when someone says they work at XXXXXX Restaurant on weekends or whatever, it would be very easy to bump into them.
My friend was on eharmony, and I showed her how easy it was to get people's info. I showed her how you could punch a first name, approx age and city into a site like intellius or zabasearch, and get a last name and an address. It freaked her out enough to where she dropped her subscription...
I have always thought it would be fun to call a news station during sweeps month and offer to show a reporter how easy it is to get full names and addys from eharmony or yahoo personals etc... for free. You can get a whole lot more info if you are willing to use a paid background check service.
Dont put anything on the internet you dont want others seeing....

responsible design (1, Funny)

Douglas Simmons (628988) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742181)

You know what pisses me off? Sites like myspace and stumbleupon that let users hotlink every image on your pr0n site, most often without citing the source. Bandwidth is expensive and this type of crap can push me into the red. It should be illegal.

Re:responsible design (4, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742224)

You know what pisses me off? Sites like myspace and stumbleupon that let users hotlink every image on your pr0n site, most often without citing the source. Bandwidth is expensive and this type of crap can push me into the red. It should be illegal.

Then disable them from hotlinking via http.conf or .htaccess. There are plenty of resources to get information on how to stop it from happening. If you're going to have your site be public and running without hotlinking protection, then it's fair game.

We don't need legislation when a simple google search and a copy/paste would solve your issues.

Re:responsible design (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742248)

Y'know, ironically enough, your suggestions fall under the subject heading of "responsible design." : p

Re:responsible design (2, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742330)


I recently changed how my site dishes out most pictures [grub.net] with PHP. Picture thieves (or those with broken referrers) get a nice view of goatse guy.

Re:responsible design (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14742452)

Awesome idea, do something you could do in .htaccess in PHP instead, achieving the same result with several order of magnitude more CPU load!

Re:responsible design (1)

grub (11606) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742493)

PHP is way more flexible for verifying the referal information (ie.: did the actual page(s) with the picture request it or is it likely a domain spoofer (like RefControl for Firefox)

Re:responsible design (5, Funny)

PFI_Optix (936301) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742480)

Reminds me of when a popular forum meme got hotlinked off the creator's server a while back. The myspace kiddies posted it and posted it and posted it, and he let it go for a week...then replaced it with a random image grab from a directory full of goatse-esque images.

Suddenly myspace was flooded with them, mass bannings occurred, and we all had a great laugh.

Myspace needs to get their own image hosting that automatically parses hotlinks and caches them on the server...it would save their idi...umm...novice users a lot of grief.

Re:responsible design (1)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742707)

I recently changed how my site dishes out most pictures with PHP. Picture thieves (or those with broken referrers) get a nice view of goatse guy.

SomethingAwful does that. Dear God, though. They don't use goatse. They have many, many things that are as bad as goatse, but that you haven't seen before - so you don't even have your jaded web veteran's defence mechanism of 'oh, how boring, another goatse'.

I only ever hotlinked to SomethingAwful once. Never again. Uggggggghhhhhhhhhh....

Re:responsible design (2, Insightful)

lowrydr310 (830514) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742276)

That's how myspace works. They don't host anything but your user profile (and your personal pictures). Everything else is linked.

The biggest problem with myspace are all the users who think it's cool to customize your profile with all sorts of random useless crap like large background images, floating images, and ten video clips playing simultaneously.

Re:responsible design (2, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742298)

The biggest problem with myspace are all the users who think it's cool to customize your profile with all sorts of random useless crap like large background images, floating images, and ten video clips playing simultaneously.

Well, now that geocities is basically dead, the lamers had to go somewhere, right?

Re:responsible design (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742309)

This surprises you how?

How many people really think there are that many hot girls on MySpace?

Solution: Setup a simple referrer check for your server. That will stop >90% of people in their tracks.

Re:responsible design (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14742324)

I highly recommend a good "goatse"ing for anything hotlinked if your web site architecture can handle the replacement without impacting your customers.

Re:responsible design (1)

Penguin Programmer (241752) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742799)

Of course, the smart thing to do is just to use modrewrite to make all those hotlinks show up as goatse. Of course, it doesn't exactly help with the problem of exposing children to inappropriate content, but one for two ain't bad.

Parents (2, Insightful)

Dak_Peoples (591544) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742187)

Parents need to keep an eye on their kids. Here is an analogy. One would not let them run free through a big city with out a watchful eye. Besides, all the teeny myspace bopers know exactly what they are doing. Generation gap is in effect.

Re:Parents (5, Insightful)

PFI_Optix (936301) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742245)

Problem is those teens don't have a clue what they're risking. Kids, girls especially, think attention equals respect, and "OMG U R SO BEUTIFULLLLLLLL" is good enough for them. So they do whatever gets them attention, and on the internet the best way for a girl to get attention is to be a cyberslut.

Kids think it'll never happen to them. Kidnapping, rape, murder...no matter how many times it happens to people who do the exact same things they do, kids tell themselves that it can't happen to them because they're smarter than that. They're in control. They don't understand that they are completely out of control, and they don't grasp the concept of consequences.

Re:Parents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14742376)

on the internet the best way for a girl to get attention is to be a cyberslut


Well, that goes for boys too.

Re:Parents (1)

PFI_Optix (936301) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742388)

Nah. Trolling, boasting, and shenanigans get boys attention just as well.

Re:Parents (3, Insightful)

Xyleene (874520) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742494)

When I was a teenager I was pretty average but I had good, smart parents that taught me these things at a very young age. The thing is that this can happen to anyone, anywhere, regardless of the internet. When I was very young we had many discussions about this type of thing. We had secret passwords if a friend was going to pick me up at school and so on. By time I was seven I got the jist of it. THERE ARE BAD PEOPLE OUT THERE! and I acted accordingly. Am I a special case? No, I was seven. Mabey good parenting is the special case....

At a very young age give your kids the upbringing to make their own informed decisions and they won't dissapoint you.

Re:Parents (2, Funny)

Funkcikle (630170) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742667)

THERE ARE BAD PEOPLE OUT THERE!

Ironically, running News Corp. But won't someone think of the children and the poetry they MUST publish? Insert trillions of anime-ish emoticons here showing the sadness.

Re:Parents (2, Funny)

dr_dank (472072) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742581)

Kidnapping, rape, murder...no matter how many times it happens to people who do the exact same things they do,

and if Lifetime Original Movies are to be believed, those kidnappings, rapes, and/or murders are likely to be carried out by Judd Nelson.

Yes, all true, but... (3, Insightful)

C10H14N2 (640033) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742660)

..."think of the children" is the tiredest mantra for controlling everything and anything.

They're looking for the thrill. Kids are reckless. The kids that get in trouble on the internet are the same ones that would get in trouble at the mall or wherever. If they end up as drug-addicted sex slaves because of some chatroom troll, they'd probably end up there anyway with some dude they met at the local foodcourt. People don't like admitting that because it implies they're bad parents, so they run off and try to sterilize the entire world--and won't do a damned bit of good because it's a moving target. Teenagers are in it for the thrill. Remove it and both they and the predators will move somewhere else. Education is the only answer and, sadly, no matter how much you try to protect the children and control the adults that prey on them, many will still get into trouble.

This just in... (3, Insightful)

PFI_Optix (936301) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742188)

Websites that let children meet random people on the internet are being used by pedophiles.

Oh, wait...this was talked about almost ten years ago.

MySpace To Be Made Safer For Users (4, Funny)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742199)

Step 1. Banning any and all use of the color Pink
Step 2. Deleting all profiles that use the word "like" more than twice
Step 3. DeLeTiNg AlL PrOfIlEs ThAt LoOk LiKe ThIs
Step 4. Making MySpace safe from internet predators
Step 6. Profit!

And yes, I want it done in that goddamn order.

Re:MySpace To Be Made Safer For Users (2, Interesting)

LoRdTAW (99712) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742288)

Step 6. Ban any and all use of music and video that automatically loads and plays.

Re:MySpace To Be Made Safer For Users (5, Funny)

hunterx11 (778171) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742416)

Step 5 really is ???, because I have no idea how they're going to profit after they kick out all of their users with steps 1-4.

Re:MySpace To Be Made Safer For Users (2, Funny)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742497)

Step 2. Deleting all profiles that use the word "like" more than twice

You mean, profiles like: "I like programming very much, esp. with languages like Lisp and Scheme"?

Re:MySpace To Be Made Safer For Users (1)

Firewalker_Midnights (943814) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742601)

" Step 2. Deleting all profiles that use the word "like" more than twice

You mean, profiles like: "I like programming very much, esp. with languages like Lisp and Scheme"?"


Silly, MySpace users don't know how to use programming languages.

What it is with this Administration and Czars? (1)

ReidMaynard (161608) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742201)

What's next? Overlords?

Re:What it is with this Administration and Czars? (4, Funny)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742221)

What's next? Overlords?

Well, at least they'll be welcomed.

Re:What it is with this Administration and Czars? (4, Funny)

vertinox (846076) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742834)

What it is with this Administration and Czars?

Well the runners up were:

Lord Safety
Prince Safety
King Safety
Emperor of Safety
Der Safety Fuer
Il Safety Duce
People's Chairman of Safety
Premiere Safety
President Safety for Life

new url (2, Funny)

solidtransient (883338) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742228)

so... mysafespacewherenobadpeoplewillgetme.com then?

Good Candidate for Safety Czar (4, Funny)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742234)

Dick Cheney

Re:Good Candidate for Safety Czar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14742385)

YES! I would love to see some of these predators get blown away with a shotgun blast to the head!

Re:Good Candidate for Safety Czar (2, Interesting)

tpgp (48001) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742442)

hahahahaha!

It's about time the Steve Ballmer chair throwing /. cliche was replaced. And just in the nick of time, the emperor [bredband.net] goes and saves us from tedious repetition.

Everyone pull together, if you find yourself writing "Steve Ballmer leaned towards the chair, hefted it and....", replace it with "Dick Cheney cocked his shotgun, downed a couple of beers and...."

We can make this cliche work.

double edged sword (1)

slackaddict (950042) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742238)

I have mixed feelings about MySpace... As a father of a little girl, I don't want censorship but I also don't want her to be exposing herself and revealing personal information that could be used against her by predators. Of course, I could block myspace.com at my firewall but this doesn't stop her from accessing it at her friend's houses. Basically my thoughts on the subject have come down to this: there's really no redeeming qualities about myspace and so much to be abused.

Re:double edged sword (1)

lowrydr310 (830514) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742310)

Friendster had a nice setup where your profile could only be viewed by your friends. You could do a search for a name and try to add someone as your friend, but you'll only be able to access their profile once they approve you as a friend.

I don't think myspace has this option. I don't have any kids, but I have a niece who just turned 12 and is starting to use myspace because her friends use it. I informed my sister-in-law about all the things that are happening and talked to my niece about being careful who she talks to. I even helped her clean up her profile by getting rid of too much personal information. She's young, but she's smart enough to know only to talk to her friends.

The problem is when you have parents who don't know anything about comptuers or the internet in general and are very naieve about what their kids do online. I think as long as parents are educated about the risks, then everything should be OK.

Re:double edged sword (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14742357)

actually, myspace does have the option to lock your profile down so it can only be viewed by friends.

Re:double edged sword (1)

HAKdragon (193605) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742520)

myspace has the option of making a profile "friends only", though only a couple of people use that option.

You let your little girl watch porn? (2, Insightful)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742333)

At your house? You let her watch porn at her friends?

Children should be supervised. Period. and if they're not then you should take whatever steps are necessary, including preventing access to friends who are a poor influence, you're the responsible adult after all.

 

Re:You let your little girl watch porn? (1)

slackaddict (950042) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742419)

you're absolutely right. responsible supervision is the correct way to handle the situation.

Re:You let your little girl watch porn? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14742635)

You know what? Fuck you guys. I sure as hell know I wanted to see porn when I was a little kid.

Re:double edged sword (1)

blue_adept (40915) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742363)

For a site with "no redeeming qualities" it sure is popular.

What you probably mean is, it has no redeeming qualities FOR YOU. But then again, neither do teen idols, glam magazines, and scratch-and-sniff stickers.

The real question whether the risk of an internet predator outweighs the enjoyment factor. IMO it's a real, but overblown threat... a smaller risk than, say, letting your kid walk to school.

Re:double edged sword (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14742478)

scratch-and-sniff stickers = best invention evar!

Re:double edged sword (1)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742619)

I have mixed feelings about MySpace... As a father of a little girl, I don't want censorship but I also don't want her to be exposing herself and revealing personal information that could be used against her by predators. Of course, I could block myspace.com at my firewall but this doesn't stop her from accessing it at her friend's houses. Basically my thoughts on the subject have come down to this: there's really no redeeming qualities about myspace and so much to be abused.

First off. You are not your daughter.

Second. Raise her properly.

Third. Tough shit. She's going to experience the world no matter how much you hate the thought of it. Someday, she'll be doing things you probably will never be able to accept fully.

I dont mean to disrespect you or your daughter. Its a matter of perspective. From your perspective, she's your baby. Your blood, the continuation of your life. She is part you. But shes also her. Shes a new person, and she will go on to live life as you have. Often making mistakes and doing things that like all of us do, eventually teach us lessons.

Its not easy to accept the idea of guys hitting on your daughter. We're guys... we know how we think right? Its not quite something you want to even imagine in realation to your own daughter. Beleive me i know.

But lifes going to happen no matter what we do.

The big question is, do we try to throw the raines on life and hold it back as hard as we can. Its wasted effort because no matter how hard you pull, the horse is going to get away from you.

Life is timeless, its something we're swimming in. We're not controlling it in a glass container. We're the ones traveling through it with many others.

So do we change life itself, freedoms... do we clamp down on the enjoyment of others because a murder, a sex offender, a jay walker... may just fullfill their role?

We cant live in a world like that.

Freedom is the best thing we have because ultimately, laws, rules, dictatorships, harsh imprisonments, nazi like militaristic organizations of society... these controlling systems that attempt to fix a problem... ultimately crush freedom. The murders will still take place, the sex offender will still rape, and the jay walker... he'll be beaten to death and tortured under the law as punishment.

Who do we protect? all of us, or the chance that one of us will fall victom.

I think thats what the meaning of sad is. tragic is a word for a reason. We can not create a world were we are not able to socialize like the humans we are.

There is just as much of a chance as a kidnapper being otuside your daughters school, as there is on myspace.

think about it.

Both are gathering places for children.

Shall we put armed soldiers outside of schools? Shall a child only be picked up by their parent or someone with proper security credentials?

What extent to we go to?

We're computer guys and i think we as humans realize that the universal truth is that there is no security in life. There's only risk.

Re:double edged sword (1)

slackaddict (950042) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742699)

Shall a child only be picked up by their parent or someone with proper security credentials?

Yes. Day cares and some schools already have the requirement that you have to show ID or be on the "approved list" of people who are allowed to pick up your kid.

Re:double edged sword (1)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742727)

I'm talking about jr high/highscool. Day care is a little different. I'm not sure thats the myspace audience, and it should never be.

Re:double edged sword (1)

ocbwilg (259828) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742673)

I have mixed feelings about MySpace... As a father of a little girl, I don't want censorship but I also don't want her to be exposing herself and revealing personal information that could be used against her by predators. Of course, I could block myspace.com at my firewall but this doesn't stop her from accessing it at her friend's houses. Basically my thoughts on the subject have come down to this: there's really no redeeming qualities about myspace and so much to be abused.

I empathize with your situation, however, I think that you're going about it all wrong. You are looking for a technological solution for a (potential) social problem. That's a pretty common mistake among us techies (and even more common amoung non-techies), but if you take that approach then you will never get a solution that works (even with censorship). If Myspace is nerfed, people will simply gravitate to other services that are not as restrictive. Myspace will become uncool, and your kids will want to go to whatever the "cool new site" is.

What you need is a social solution. That means educating our children about the dangers of exposing personal information on the Internet. Teach them now while they are young so that it stays with them for the rest of their lives. Help them develop good habits for using web services. This will require supervision. You'll still need to monitor what web sites your child visits, and if they put up a Myspace or similar page you will need to review it periodically to make sure that your child is staying within the boundaries that you set, and enforce those boundaries.

No, it will not be easy or convenient. But it will probably be far more effective and less intrusive than technological alternatives.

Re:double edged sword (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742720)

As a father of a little girl, I don't want censorship but I also don't want her to be exposing herself and revealing personal information that could be used against her by predators.

I can see your concern, but perhaps it is better to have a sit down talk with her about Internet and shady people. Not just Peds and stalkers, but that people are not always generally nice and sometimes have evil intentions. You know like Scammer and Phisers and even high school boyfriends who won't call after they've taken advantage of her.

The world is filled with bad people and not just Myspace.

Chances are if you block Myspace and get her friends parents to do so as well, it will only lead to a false sense of security. Learning to be careful now and having her gain a sense of a situational awareness will not only be useful when she is young but later in life if she faces a problematic or dangerous situation. Unfortunatley, I have no good advice on how to go about doing this other than maybe to look up reading on child saftey and strangers.

Chances are she'll just as likley be assualted or taken advantage of walk down the street, at school, or at the mall than she will be by someone she meets on myspace. It requires an education rather than ivory tower protectionism.

Remember, the girl that was murdered by the person she met on Myspace was age 27.

Hardly a girl at all.

forget about being safe, just work correctly (1)

lowrydr310 (830514) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742240)

Nevermind trying to be safe. Myspace should make some upgrades so their site is accessible. If you try to go there during the evening, it's very slow and sometimes their site malfunctions.

What do you mean exposing children to predators? (5, Interesting)

PrimeWaveZ (513534) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742243)

Have you seen Myspace? It's the 13 year old whorish girls who are talking about their sex lives and their 13 year old boyfriends who want to be pimps who are the dangerous ones on Myspace. That situation makes it a magnet for sex predators, but Myspace seems to be the catalyst for self-destruction as well as a forum for sex predators to find easy (and willing) targets

Re:What do you mean exposing children to predators (5, Insightful)

Alex P Keaton in da (882660) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742413)

On a less dangerous, but still serious note-
Myspace needs a discalimer that says "this site may be hazardous to your career"
There is a rash of mid twenties people on there, and they post risque pics and comments. And guess what, someone in your office, has checked out myspace looking for people from work. And although you may act professional and dress conservatively at work, those pics from myspace with you in your short skirt and hitting a bong will get passed around the office. And right or wrong, it will change people's perceptions of you....

Re:What do you mean exposing children to predators (1)

GreekPimpSlap (925925) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742479)

so i take it you've seen my profile

Re:What do you mean exposing children to predators (1)

cmorriss (471077) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742578)

That's exactly the point of creating a safety czar and starting an advertising campaign. The "13 year old whorish girls" don't realize what they are getting in to and they need to be made aware of it.

While it's true that some will continue, others will see that what they're doing may be dangerous and at least clean up the personal information from their page.

This can also be very helpful to parents who don't realize the consequences of what their children are doing.

I don't think you can fault myspace for this. They're just trying to improve their site and Profit!

Re:What do you mean exposing children to predators (1)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742692)

13 year old girl acting like a whore...

and you call the guy whos attracted to them a predator?

Take the notion of age out of it.

She could be sucking cock after school more than you could imagine....

Whos wrong?

The guy shes flirting with?

Is it the guys fault for being tempted by a sexually active girl?

(again take age out of it)

Now put age into it.

I'm not sure we'll ever figure this out, but lets not act as if our teens are so innocent.

They are having sex, drinking, smoking, flirting, you name it.

Chances are they're enjoying themselves too.

I dont think they're as innocent as we make them out to be when we talk publically aobut them on tv.

We're too ashamed to recognize that we were once children and did similar things.

I think the issues are more complex than we tend to admit.

FOX corp sure as hell aint going to fix it. And i wouldnt want to live in a world where they fix it for us.

No thank you. We're a free nation, not a corporate run puritan nation.. (oh wait.. sorry we are)

the world isnt that ugly (3, Insightful)

bl4h (951876) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742259)

way to make the world seem uglier than it really is i dont believe this is as big of a problem as made seem millions of contacts and conversations going on via the internet/myspace everyday without problem. Most human males are true perverts. we just have boundries that we choose not to cross. A small majority lack control of themselves

Re:the world isnt that ugly (1)

frostoftheblack (955294) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742708)

Yes, agreed. Except what is a small majority?

Re:the world isnt that ugly (1)

ocbwilg (259828) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742842)

way to make the world seem uglier than it really is i dont believe this is as big of a problem as made seem millions of contacts and conversations going on via the internet/myspace everyday without problem/

There was this interesting experiment done recently that had a "demo" available on the web about human perception. Basically, they were experimenting on the effects of graphic images on human perception. The demo showed a slide show of neutral images, displaying each image for around a second. Then somewhere in the sequence were two images shown back to back. The first was a picture of a severed arm or something similar, and the second was a picture of a tower that was rotated 90 degrees to the left or right, so that the building was on it's side. Almost none of the people in the experiment could tell which way the picture of the building was rotated. In fact, most of them never even "saw" the picture of the building.

They were actually able to determine that an image can be so shocking that you are actually temporarily "blinded" to the mundane. I think that something like this happens on a larger level. The "13 year old whorish girls" stand out on Myspace because they are (relatively) shocking. Nobody remembers the 2 million 13 year old girls who post about how they hate their math class because it is mundane. Everyone remembers the one story of an abduction, but doesn't think twice about the 46 million stories about people on Myspace who weren't abducted that day.

Most human males are true perverts.

Yeah, I agree 100%. Just don't tell my wife.

Good thing (2, Insightful)

Tweekster (949766) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742281)

that sexual predators are not in the offline world and only on webites... oh wait. they exist there. Is it that difficult to tell kids to not give out private info. (yes myspace can contain some info, but largely that is gonna be pretty useless, you have to actually talk to the person to get anything) Children are not exposed to predators through myspace, they are already exposed everyday. Is it that difficult for parents to practice a little bit of, oh i dont know, PARENTING. Maybe if your kid isnt smart enough to not give out info to everyone they meet online, they shouldnt be allowed online.

Yes, I'm sure it's much safer now... (0, Offtopic)

martinultima (832468) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742283)

...especially considering that I just deleted the account I never even signed up for in the first place. I hate those stupid sites. Besides, everyone knows that the only real site for all things Martin Ultima is http://ultima-inet.kicks-ass.org/~multima [kicks-ass.org] . So there!

The dangers are real (5, Interesting)

TechnoGuyRob (926031) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742295)

While it may seem silly, the dangers explained in the article are reality. Myspace has 56 million users [myspace.com] . With all of the personal information I have seen on profiles, it is only expectable that it is misused someday.

A few months ago, a friend of a student at my school experienced a horrible ordeal. Her best friend was murdered and raped by an assaulter who had obtained her personal information from her "Facebook" [facebook.com] (another popular--mainly among college students--online community service).

Either way, I find it absurd how much people disclose on their profiles. I won't post any links, but people have their addresses, home phone numbers, and--the perfect appetizer for an attacker--half-dressed pictures. I don't know about you, but that smells like trouble to me.

Re:The dangers are real (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742484)

Girls and guys I know call Facebook: Stalkerbook

And you're right, people are fscking stupid for posting their home/cellphone numbers, their class list, their drunken pics and a million other bits of information that have turned Facebook into a disaster waiting to happen.

In Facebook's defense, you can limit the people who see your profile to friend's only.

The dangers are real EVERYWHERE. (4, Insightful)

absurdist (758409) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742620)

Life is NOT, repeat, NOT safe. No matter how much you may try to child-proof it. People die. It's inevitable. Some die peacefully in their sleep, some die horrible bloody violent deaths. It's all a crapshoot. Throw incredible stupidity into the mix, and you have the human condition. It exists on the net, and anywhere and everywhere else you have people.

And BTW, your FOAF story reeks of bullshit to me.

Safer? (-1, Troll)

catdevnull (531283) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742303)

Oh, Rupert Murdoch--you silly, silly man. How in the world are you gonna block all those pervert Slashdot and Fark users?

Pure PR (2, Interesting)

TheCoders (955280) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742340)

Seriously, what is a "safety czar" going to accomplish, other than blanketing parents with FUD? The only benefit I can see to this is that it will bring the issue of 'net safety to the forefront again, though the merits of that are questionable, considering the amount of hype these "internet stalkers" get on the local news anyway.

Parents, listen up! Do not let the safety czar be in charge deciding what's right for your kids. The only people who should be making those type of decisions are you, the parents. Think about it: the czar has hundreds of thousands of sites to monitor; you have one (per kid). It's a much easier job for you.

Re:Pure PR (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742613)

Before you get modded up too far.

Did it ever occur to you that the Safety Czar's job might be to get good information into the hands of parents abd schools so that the educators can do their jobs properly?

There is always going to be a certain amount of FUD flying around any issue, if for no other reason than a small (and by small I mean large) group of Relegious Asshats are running around screaming [X] is the devil and will make you go blind.

Re:Pure PR (1)

wealthychef (584778) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742768)

Did it ever occur to you that the Safety Czar's job might be to get good information into the hands of parents abd schools so that the educators can do their jobs properly?

Sure, there's no danger of something like child protection on the Internet becoming politicized, especially under a conservative "faith-based" administration that is SO careful and thoughtful with the facts. No way this Csar will end up circulating hysterical "faith-based information," screaming about the need for Internet "control of perverts," thus curtailing important free speech in the name of protecting little Sally from goatse man. Pardon my sarcasm, but really, I believe we need to choose freedom over security on this one without a doubt.

Links??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14742341)

Where are these teen amateurs porn star ^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H students you speak of?

Daily Show Clip (4, Interesting)

PIPBoy3000 (619296) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742356)

There's a hysterical clip [nyu.edu] from the Daily Show about this very topic. Wait for the punch line at the end.

Re:Daily Show Clip (1)

jonoid (863970) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742664)

Here is the link to the original Google video: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4698898666 405139932&q=daily+show+social+networking [google.com]

I find I get much smoother video playback with the download.

Re:Daily Show Clip (1)

jonoid (863970) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742763)

Meh, I didn't notice that the URL I provided is accessible by clicking the orange "This works much better than the Comedy Central site" text directly above the video. Why would they link THAT text to the Google Video page? I think a simple "Link to original Google Video" would be effective.

Re:Daily Show Clip (2)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742682)

I'll paraphrase it for people who don't want to click.

On the downside, these social networking sites are filled with sexual predators. On the more positive side, these social networking sites are also filled with sexual prey.

How annoying (1)

Skythe (921438) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742381)

Users can prevent people seeing their profiles. Users can prevent people from being 'their friend'. If a parent is that concerned about their child's wellbeing from 'sexual predators', then why not just ask that they make their profile only viewable to their friends? Anyone who is stupid enough to disclose their address and phone number to a complete stranger is a dork.

Maybe they can't learn (5, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742402)

I was 12 in 1995 when the Internet started becoming semi-mainstream. My family has had real access since about that time. We knew back then that you don't go revealing information online unless you're in a position to defend yourself. Now that I'm a man, I can handle some of my information being availible online where others can see it. I just took it as a given that there were bad people out there looking for victims. These kids don't.

Maybe they can't learn the danger. I've had girls argue that they realistically should be able to dress like strippers, go anywhere and not even get cat calls. Sorry, but as much as I'd like to live in such a peaceful world, you cannot do that and be safe. You have to live with the realization that there are evil people out there who are quite willing to hurt you and yours. You have to live like you live in a world with both great good and beauty and great evil and ugliness.

I think that the idealized vision of childhood that many parents have has contributed to these kids not understanding what is going on. The girls in particular are almost totally incapable of understanding that that 25 year old who wants to have a "heart-to-heart" conversation with a 15 year old is probably just trying to get some. They're special, the other girls aren't. I for one will disabuse any daughter of mine of this princess complex.

Until parents raise their kids to become adults capable of living in a world where evil people exist and desire to screw over everyone else, no one will learn, and at this point I don't care. It's like the people who still get sued by the RIAA for copyright infringement. You knew the danger, you did it anyway. MySpace isn't the problem, the teens and their parents are the problems. Maybe if parents would stop thinking about the kids and **DO** something about the kids, they'd be safe and more mature. As always, it's easier to do nothing, complain and foist the problem onto others. It's your computer, your teen, your problem.

No reason for worry. (1)

reverendslappy (672515) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742403)

The site is so slow and half the fucking features broken so often that it's practically impossible for regular users to find people, let alone predators. Seriously, I'm embarrassed for the folks that run that thing... It seems to me that the same 13 year-olds that make up the majority of the user base are also the ones responsible for maintaining the site. You'd think with as much cash as they probably have on hand now they'd be able to get their act together.

Here's a radical concept..... (4, Insightful)

8127972 (73495) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742410)

.... How about partents take some responsiblity for what their kids surf?

Nah. Won't work. Too much effort on their part.

Misleading title (2, Interesting)

British (51765) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742440)

When I read the article title, I thought it was going to be made safer from a technical viewpoint. A little too much freedom is given in page design, resulting in the ultimate stress test for loading images in a single page in FireFox, over-decoration of a web page to the point of unreadability(how do you get a 50% pixel covering OVER an entire web page?), and the possibilities of trojans,etc.

What myspace needs(besides bandwidth) is a "safe mode" where it uses the default CSS layout.

I tried... (1)

mangus_angus (873781) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742470)

Myspace for a while,but between the millions of teenagers whineing about how their life sucks and no one understand them, and the 40 year old men pretending to be teenagers who's life sucks and nobody understands them, I couldn't ever seem to logon with out some sort of error.

This is what happens when a Corporation buys... (-1, Troll)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742476)

This is what happens when a corporations buys a popular service created with the idea of free speech, free expression, networking of communities and people.

They deem it pornographic, disgusting, filthy, unsafe for children, wrong and bad for all of us who PARTICIPATE and make the community what it is.

Welcome to a microcosim of life and our civilization... Myspace.

Yes the world is full of people who loves to say things freely, speak their mind, show their tits, fuck each other and wipe their own asses. We are a wide ranging species, and these things tend to be bad for us.

Sex is bad for you. Stop doing it. Do not think it. Do not promote it. How dare you. A child might see. Yet a child is created from sex...

Freedom is controlled by those with the biggest wallet. They own you, and they fear what you may do to hurt their wealthy lives.

Why is it, that we are so ashamed of our own actions when publically held up to some bullshit standard of ideals?

There are millions of people on myspace, expressing themselves through blogs, pictures, email, chat, get togethers... AKA socializing.

Are we to let a corporation dictate how we socialize.

FOX and Rupart Murdock beleive you should not socialize in an adult manner. Perhaps we should all show up in uniforms, solute the fox corporation then sit down in unison, and finally, socialize on command.

Its absurd.

Get your crayons, pencils are to dangerous. We should not have knives in our homes because a child may use one. We could kill each other with knives by accident... or god forbid on purpose.

We could choke to death on pretzels... our idiotic president almost did so why should be allowed to enjoy a pretzel.

Every american should take a picture of themselves jerking off or fucking someone, something, anything... and post it to myspace as a public protest on one weekend.

As a group of people, when we stand in shame before ourselves, seem to be embarrassed by the idea that we wipe our own asses, and lick suck and penatrate things.......

Oh god the children may read this...

What will we ever do. They might grow up to have sex?!

Re:This is what happens when a Corporation buys... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14742567)

Every american should take a picture of themselves jerking off or fucking someone, something, anything... and post it to myspace as a public protest on one weekend.
I am afraid that if these pics were posted, it would lead to a lot more jerking off, which would lead to lost productivity as well as a possible shortage of KY Jelly and Jerkins, and unfortunately also petroleum based products such as Vaseline.

What will he prevent? (5, Funny)

Milio (651431) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742513)

So if the Drug Czar works to prevent drug use, and the Terrorism Czar works to prevent terrorism, what does the Safety Czar work to prevent?

Re:What will he prevent? (1)

harshmanrob (955287) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742654)

Nothing...all of these "czars" are there just to make people feel all warm and fuzzy just before they get the crap knocked out of them. For example: War on Drugs: more drugs War on Illiteracy: higher drop out rates, lowest test scores in the 1st world War on Poverty: more people unemployed during Bush II than any other time in US history War on Terrorism: Likely the end of US as we know it. Every "war on" anything has proven to do two things: increase taxes on the average person and never acutally achieve any of the goals of "war on" sets out to do. Not to mention US foreign policy (since Nixon created the War on Drugs), more people have been killed than by Cancer and Heart Disease combined since numbers were recorded. The coming censorship and likely jailing of those on Myspace once again shows a "do as I say, not as I do" political system.

MySpace will not be popular for long... (0)

harshmanrob (955287) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742531)

For some odd reason, the neocons like to impose morals and values on the common people, while exempting themselves of course. With all of the pr()n, filth, hookups and what not at MySpace, that will likely get stopped and membership will drop like a rock. Looks like a new vacuum has started to form and someone will need to fill it with a MySpace-replacement.

Does that include stopping MySpace Spyware ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14742533)

Perhaps I'm missing something.... (5, Insightful)

Stalus (646102) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742558)

Last I checked, MySpace isn't supposed to be open to those under the age of 18... which is why all of the 13 year olds on there have a profile that says that they're 23. Those under 18 are ineligible to sign up. Perhaps these letters to parents should mention that their children are lying about their age in the first place to sign in, instead of implying the MySpace isn't protecting their children.

Re:Perhaps I'm missing something.... (2, Informative)

frostoftheblack (955294) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742650)

It's 14, not 18. # Eligibility. Membership in the Service is void where prohibited. By using the Website and the Service, you represent and warrant that all registration information you submit is truthful and accurate and that you agree to maintain the accuracy of such information. You further represent and warrant that you are 14 years of age or older and that your use of the MySpace.com shall not violate any applicable law or regulation. Your profile may be deleted without warning, if it is found that you are misrepresenting your age. Your Membership is solely for your personal use, and you shall not authorize others to use your account, including your profile or email address. You are solely responsible for all Content published or displayed through your account, including any email messages, and for your interactions with other members.

Re:Perhaps I'm missing something.... (1)

Stalus (646102) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742815)

Ah.. ok. I just assumed with all of the teens with profiles saying they were in their 20s that the cutoff was 18. Thanks for the correction.

Re:Perhaps I'm missing something.... (1)

AsnFkr (545033) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742658)

Actually, I think 13 year olds can legitimately sign up, but their accounts are marked as "private" (only people on their friends list can view the full profile) until they are 15.

Re:Perhaps I'm missing something.... (1)

darkmonkeh (953919) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742668)

The rules state they should be over 14, however they do lie. Although you got the ages wrong, you make a good point.

"Czar" has a double meaning (5, Insightful)

gurutechanimal (629949) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742596)

The term "czar" has a special place in the lexicon of politics, both corporate and government. Whenever there's a situation that has no fix (or no fix that can be reasonably attained), the powers-that-be appoint a czar to oversee the situation.

For example, in the US govt there are appointed Drug Czars, Immigration Czars, Energy Czars, Education Czars, and a whole bunch of Czar's who oversee areas of policy that are not really meant to be improved, but still need to be shown as something that is being addressed and taken care of. Appointed Czar's usually have no power, very little budget, and are all show, appointed for the purpose of silencing and placating critics. The Czars don't actually have to "fix" anything, since the areas of policy that they're "put in charge of" are literally beyond fixing. They just have to show up to work and fight the good fight; in this way, the powers-that-be can say that they're doing something about the problem, while not actually having to allocate any significant resources to fix anything.

So, when MySpace (or any other company or organization) appoints a Czar to make everyone safer, take it with a grain of salt. Czar is code word for "fuck off, critics, you're in the way of higher profit and/or control over our subjects".

Just my $0.02

News Corp. (0, Offtopic)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742612)

News Corp. holdings:

  • The New York Post
  • FOX News
  • MySpace

Nuff said.

MySpace is a disease. (1, Flamebait)

ImaNihilist (889325) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742638)

They should stop the "MySpace problem" at it roots: delete MySpace.

Ugh (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14742643)

Hey, dipshit! Yeah, you, Mr. Safety Czar.

How about you start telling parents to raise their own freaking kids properly instead of pushing this crap off on the rest of us?

Personally, I don't give half a pitcher of warm spit about Myspace or the people who frequent it. Seems to me, though, that the problem of 13 year old girls either turning into emo train wrecks because it's 'cool' or flying to zimbabwe to meet sexual predators could be much more easily uprooted at the source.

That is, the 13 year old teenage girls.

There's a case about this RIGHT NOW in Honolulu (2, Informative)

Shag (3737) | more than 8 years ago | (#14742681)

The mom and stepdad of a 14-year-old boy were, um, not amused to see a 30-year-old guy their son had met on MySpace. At 11:30 PM. In their son's bed. And he'd brought a gay porn DVD and 2 gay porn magazines with him, how thoughtful. Of course, since Hawaii raised its age of consent from 14 to 16 a few years back, said 30-year-old is now in deep shit, and will probably stay so for a "nui loa" time.

Linkage:

Police arrest man found in teen's bed [starbulletin.com] , Honolulu Star-Bulletin
Man Accused Of Luring Teen On MySpace.com [thehawaiichannel.com] , KITV-4
Man accused of using internet website to meet teen [khon.com] , KHON-2
Hawaii Too Soft On Online Predators? [kgmb9.com] , KGMB-9
Man, 30, indicted in sex assault on teen [honoluluadvertiser.com] , Honolulu Advertiser
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