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MySpace Fears, Just Another Backlash?

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the dodging-the-fud dept.

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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308 comments

Back in the 60s (2, Funny)

montyzooooma (853414) | more than 8 years ago | (#14815942)

my mom took my radio off me because she thought it was a danger. Of course I was using it to beat on the side of my brother's head at the time.

Re:Back in the 60s (1)

servognome (738846) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816167)

my mom took my radio off me because she thought it was a danger. Of course I was using it to beat on the side of my brother's head at the time.

That's because you left it plugged in. She was teaching you a lesson: you can beat your sibblings, but not electrocute them.

Notz Firtz Ptzot!! (0, Offtopic)

BannedfrompostingAC (799263) | more than 8 years ago | (#14815943)

Tzieg!!!!!

Guns don't kill people... (5, Insightful)

dtsazza (956120) | more than 8 years ago | (#14815950)

I've said it before and I'll say it again, technology is very rarely the problem. MySpace is by its very nature a social networking tool (of dubious quality, but that's another issue), and is meant to bring people together. What they do after that is a function of the people, not MySpace itself. And yes, sometimes these people meet through MySpace and then have underage sex.

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

but they sure help! (1)

HeavyMS (820705) | more than 8 years ago | (#14815985)

but they sure help!

Re:Guns don't kill people... (1)

beh (4759) | more than 8 years ago | (#14815991)

And I thought, teaching "Intelligent Design" in school WAS a sure-fire sign of schools posing a danger to Teens... ;-)

Seriously, though, the comparison in the article (MySpace vs California) isn't quite as good as it may sound - the "population density" of MySpace certainly is a lot lower than that of California, as people are spaced out further; hence the potential for actual rape to happen would be higher in California, wouldn't it? (i.e. if a guy on MySpace, who lives in russia, makes contact to an underage girl in south africa, the chances of the girl getting raped by him are rather small, since they cannot easily get "close enough" of each other for that to happen...

Re:Guns don't kill people... (1)

mackertm (515083) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816093)

This is very true, but there is a lot of potential on MySpace for long distance (chat, phone, e-mail) abuse to occur. I'm not sure how that works into the equation, but MySpace makes it possible for that guy in Russia to do some real emotional damage to that girl in South Africa.

Re:Guns don't kill people... (1)

bri2000 (931484) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816291)

True, but emotional damage from bad relationship decisions is just part of growing up and hardly restricted to e-dating. It's just the underage sex that's illegal.

Re:Guns don't kill people... (1)

dingDaShan (818817) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816123)

Is this story on slashdot because the average slashdot reader is a concerned citizen or because anyone that reads slashdot knows that myspace is a hodgepodge of horribly unintuitive features that is so ugly to look at it makes one want to cry? I think we are all just looking for an excuse to put that nasty behemoth of web site out of its misery. Myspace creates much social interaction that would not otherwise be there. The people that do nasty things would do so without myspace. {I might not have actually said anything, so mod me down if you want}{}

Re:Guns don't kill people... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14816201)

Guns Don't kill people- Dangerous minorities kill people.... -The Family Guy

Re:Guns don't kill people... (1)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816295)

This past week a local 17-year-old got arrested for posting photos he'd snapped of two friends (16 and 17), having sex at a New Year's party. A few weeks earlier, several high school students got busted for possessing alcohol when friends posted snapshots of them with drinks in hand.

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

The internet gives teenagers like these one more place to demonstrate their lack of maturity, and can amplify the consequences. So yeah, parents need to be concerned about it. But it's not the internet per se that's the problem; it's kids learning to be adults.

Re:Guns don't kill people... (1)

moyameehaa (957670) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816489)

ya ..thats exatly what i wud have said (if u didnt say it b4 me)...same thing like...nuclear technology...einstein was not some one who wud like to bomb hiroshima,or some one who wud recommend Iran,israel or others to threaten each other for/with neuclear weapons!!! he was a nice guy!!

Maybe bad math? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14815953)

Actually there was a digg story saying that most of the 57 million are adbots, fake profiles and inactive users. So maybe the ratio is worse than it looks....

Re:Maybe bad math? (mod parent up) (2, Insightful)

clear_thought_05 (915350) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816158)

Definitely bad math. Whoever made the comparison is just plain foolish.

How can anyone compare 33 million physically existing people with 57 million registered accounts in a digital database? Furthermore how do you compare an online "community" with a the state of california?

Re:Maybe bad math? (2, Funny)

DistantShadow (901883) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816331)

I'd argue that most of the 33 million residents of California are also adbots, fake profiles and inactive users. So, the ratio still holds...

-ds

Re:Maybe bad math? (1)

Psykosys (667390) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816506)

Mod up parent.

Hype? Of course it is (3, Insightful)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 8 years ago | (#14815954)

This is merely the news outlets generating income for themselves. They have to keep the scare machine up and running, lest we forget how irrelevant they are.

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

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

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

Re:Hype? Of course it is (2, Interesting)

DerGeist (956018) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816011)

Bullseye.

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

Anyway, good call.

Re:Hype? Of course it is (0)

IdleTime (561841) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816257)

Looking at the various newschannels here in the US, CNN, MSNBC and FOX and all the local newsstations, there is not a day going by without some mugshot beeing shown on TV of a sexoffender who has not registered. Ratings, anyone?

Not to mention how they salivate over all the women who has been caught with their hands on the joystick, so to speak. And I find myself drawn to the crap. I usually watch the Abrams Report and Dan Abrams is a dog when it comes to these cases. Sometimes it's better to watch the "Gayest Sheriff in USA" on Spike's World's Most Amazing Police Videos. I have never seen anyone trying to act as though as this guy, but he looks like he would cry over a broken nail. The whole show is hillarious and even more so the commentary.

Re:Hype? Of course it is (1)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816038)

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

Well of course! I can't tell you how many times I've died trying to drink from a sink. It pisses me off to no end.

Re:Hype? Of course it is (1)

Wizworm (782799) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816089)

Try kicking it and you might find a date

Re:Hype? Of course it is (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14816248)

Try kicking it and you might find a date

Wizworm, I bow to your social skills.

I took up your advice, gave the sink a thorough kicking, and watched it explode in a shower of ceramic and water.

As the fountain arched higher into the air, I gave the plumber a call to help me out, who arrived with giant moustache, Danish accent, and a seventies theme tune.

I then knew this was my chance, but I would need preperation, so I made some excuse about needing to get some milk for his tea, and left him playing with his spanner.

Knowing now his mind would be occupied with thoughts of work and future rewards, I went over to his house and fucked his wife senseless.

Re:Hype? Of course it is (2, Interesting)

Fishstick (150821) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816322)

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

She started off with some reasonable advice: put the computer in a central, common area where you could keep tabs on how much time they spent and what they were doing -- get involved and educate yourself about things so you can understand what your child is doing and give them guidance about what is safe and acceptible use of the computer.

Then she dove into this thing about how these online communities made it easy for predators to search for your child by age and location. She basically said you shouldn't allow your kid to have any personal web space at all. She also posited that kids should turn off the computer alltogether and go outside.

The host on CNN didn't ask any critical questions, lapped it all up and wholeheartedly thanked her for enlightening the unwashed masses.

But... this is the INTERNET! (2, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 8 years ago | (#14815962)

And we all know the internet is the place where all the creepy and dangerous people are. Watch your TV, it tells you so! Or don't you believe anymore what you see on TV?

Free expression, free opinion, thinking for yourself? What for, when you can have Fox?

Re:But... this is the INTERNET! (3, Interesting)

garcia (6573) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816094)

And we all know the internet is the place where all the creepy and dangerous people are. Watch your TV, it tells you so! Or don't you believe anymore what you see on TV?

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

Boy have times changed ;)

I Don't Know (1)

Myriad (89793) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816238)

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

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

Re:But... this is the INTERNET! (1)

alexandreracine (859693) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816114)

...and anything you do on the Internet should be done exactly the same you do when you are walking on the streets.

Uh.... (1, Informative)

lucabrasi999 (585141) | more than 8 years ago | (#14815981)

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.

Re:Uh.... (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816129)

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

You must be fun at parties.

Re:Uh.... (3, Insightful)

epiphani (254981) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816175)

I would moderate you flamebait if I could, instead I'll just (impersonally) flame you.

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

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

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

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

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

When my dad started dating my mom, he was 22 and she was 16. 30 years ago, that was still a big age difference, but when they past their 30th anniversary this year, it made me wonder what kinda fuss they went through and weather it would be more or less flac if I dated someone 6 years my junior now.

Re:Uh.... (1)

lucabrasi999 (585141) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816298)

So what, now -talking- about having underage sex is illigal, should be reported as sexual harrassment or such. My issues with the legal age aside, you can NOT compare phonesex with a minor to statitory rape.

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

And, you just so happened to skip over the another part of my post. I pointed out that parents should be doing their JOB. It is not Myspace's fault that teenagers are posting private information. It is the parent's fault. In my OPIONION, the job of "parent" includes removing a computer from the child's bedroom. My son does not have a computer in his bedroom, nor will he ever. If you want your child to have a computer in their bedroom, go ahead and do so. I don't care how you raise your kids. But, then, after you do so, don't turn around and complain that sites like "MYSPACE" are dangerous.

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

A computer in my son's bedroom becomes acceptable when I say it becomes acceptable. I am a parent. I make the decisions for my child. Don't question how I raise him As long as I am not abusing the child, it isn't anybody's business.

No. (1)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816237)

These dangers include the fact that you can easily find out alot of personal information about someone. And, that information is readily available to millions of people on the web.
No, that's not the danger at all. The danger is that there are kids putting that information out there in the first place. The only remedy is to educate your kids about the dangers before they put themselves in such a position, whether they do it on Myspace, Livejournal, Geocities, or a fully hosted, hand-coded personal site.

Re:Uh.... (1)

Ibix (600618) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816258)

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.

You're not wrong, this is a real apples-and-oranges comparison. It's not like you can move to MySpace to get out of that dangerous environment in California. There's also a wider range of attackers in a physical region than online - family members, friends, professional people (there have been paedophile rings in child care centers in the UK). Online, you're only going to find what you might call "active hunter" paedophiles, ones who go out and seek a child to attack rather than going for the one infront of them. That stereotype probably doesn't fit most paedophiles in the real world[1].

I

[1] That's a guess based on adult rape statistics, where most attackers know their victim.

Re:Uh.... (1)

lucabrasi999 (585141) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816405)

Online, you're only going to find what you might call "active hunter" paedophiles, ones who go out and seek a child to attack rather than going for the one infront of them.

While the 'distance factor' of MySpace does make it less likely that a child will be assaulted by a lurker, the distance factor also doesn't make MySpace completely safe.

As I posted, the parent should be aware of what their child is doing on-line. It may not prevent them from all dangers, but, it could help the parent spot a dangerous situation.

Re:Uh.... (1)

anonicon (215837) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816265)

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

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

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

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

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.

This is based on your extensive experiences as a parent? Methinks not. Go ahead, stick a laptop and its extended power cord on the kitchen table, assuming you have a kitchen with space for that. I'll give it 6 months - tops - before it's whiplashed off the table and destroyed.

Chuck

Re:Uh.... (1)

lucabrasi999 (585141) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816359)

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

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

Nice job of splitting up my comment. If parents did their job, they would know that children are potentially posting private information on a public web-site. If the parent isn't aware of what their child is doing on the web (in other words, NOT doing their job), then the parent should stop complaining about sites like MySpace.

This is based on your extensive experiences as a parent? Methinks not. Go ahead, stick a laptop and its extended power cord on the kitchen table, assuming you have a kitchen with space for that. I'll give it 6 months - tops - before it's whiplashed off the table and destroyed.

Uh, yes, it is based on experience. If you teach the child how to interact with the expensive equipment, they will treat it carefully. My 2 1/2 year old son has been using my laptop for over six months. I do sit with him and help him out. So far, no problems. If you are afraid of the kitchen table you could put the laptop on the floor or put it on a coffee table. Or, you could get a desktop and put it in a public place in your house.

Good for the ratings (1)

gasmonso (929871) | more than 8 years ago | (#14815986)

Stoies like this appear because its good for ratings. Moms everywhere will watch the report because they don't understand MySpace.com and will think their kids are being preyed on. It's a non-isssue for now.

http://religiousfreaks.com/ [religiousfreaks.com]

MySpace: The Movie (1)

PIPBoy3000 (619296) | more than 8 years ago | (#14815988)

After watching this movie [youtube.com] , I have to say that the government crackdown can't come fast enough.

What do they expect? (2, Insightful)

jdwclemson (953895) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816013)

Every time there is new technology, it makes crime easier, and some news guru will always spin an article out of that. Do you know how criminals usually find out that it makes crime easier? They realize the technology makes LIFE easier and just start to apply it to their crimes. Look at cell phones, internet, with emails. These are all used all the time by criminals and new laws have been made because of these technologies, but its not likw the technology is the problem. Just about every step forward for technological progress turns into a step forward for criminals, but the pros just about always will out weight the cons. Just remember that you read the articles with these headlines, so reports will always be there to produce them, stating the hazards of fusion, quantum computers, and Playstation 4.

It definitely is the parents' fault (4, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816017)

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



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



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

Re:It definitely is the parents' fault (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14816177)

I agree, today's society likes to put the blaim on anyone/anything but themselves. I think we could save a lot of time, money, and trouble if we could expect parents to be parents rather than big brother (government) taking the role of parent. This would have been a non-issue when I was a child. It would have been simple, no dad/mom around, no internet. No dad/mom around, no tv. However, such parenting requires effort and responsibility which most of today's pathetic and worthless society knows nothing of. Welcome to the piggy back society.

Human nature is just more visible on the internet. (2, Insightful)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816199)

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

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

Sluts and teases often are exhibitionists. They enjoy having people drool at them. Some use "mooning" as a socially aceptable outlet for their desire to show their ass to people, and now there's the joy of webcams, where they can, from the security of their own room, show their nubile bodies to countless strangers.

Off course, there are laws against exhibitionism (especially for those under an arbitrary age), as there are laws against oral sex (in some places), but when has it ever been enough to tell teenagers not to do something they want to do? That usually makes them want to do it more just for the joy of rebelling.

Re:It definitely is the parents' fault (2, Insightful)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816228)

You don't need to censor kids who have proper (or at least mildly appropriate) values.

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

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

So maybe the trick is that you shouldn't let your 6 yr old children run rampant on the net. Maybe let them have a computer but disconnect the network. Wait until they're 12 before you let them on unsurpervised. It's like letting your 8 yr old kid loose in a crowded market place. Just not smart.

Tom

Re:It definitely is the parents' fault (1)

Chanc_Gorkon (94133) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816497)

Values is a possible item, however kids are kids. They will want to look at the forbidden. I presonally woud not let kids on the net unsupervised until they are 17-18. Reason being is if he starts to go to something that he probably should not go to, I want to know about it.

Re:It definitely is the parents' fault (1)

Chanc_Gorkon (94133) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816476)

Um....uh....WRONG! I do not think that and I do not know a single parent that thinks this way. My son only gets to use the computer when I am in the room and that will stay that way until he's 18. It may seem a bit harsh, but thats the way I am going to do it. If he wants a computer in his room, IF it has network ability, it will be locked out to him only and access will be controlled. That computer will be used strictly for school work...he will use it only for typing up the paper he needs to submit for class. Any internet access needs to happen ONLY when I or my wife are in the room.

Yeah... (1)

j0nkatz (315168) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816018)

Don't give them a hard time about the underage thing. I have seen many underage girls there post that they are 28 or so.

Anyhow the main problem with MySpace is that the site is coded by a bunch of retarded monkeys with syphilis.

it's true (1)

tehwebguy (860335) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816042)

myspace is really a dangerous place. it's time for parents to start doing something about it!

you can start by forwarding this message (take out the FWD) to as many concerned parents as you can. if enough parents forward this email, the government will shut myspace.com down.

My school blocked MYSPACE (1)

nickyj (142376) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816048)

"Can someone tell me how to unblock myspace at my school?"

That's what so many kids are trying to do at school, I'm glad they blocked it, should be learning. I always laughed at the kids that played games on their TI-85 calcs but couldn't figure out how to graph a simple parabola.

Re:My school blocked MYSPACE (1)

lucabrasi999 (585141) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816086)

That's what so many kids are trying to do at school, I'm glad they blocked it, should be learning.

Should Slashdot be blocked at work?

Re:My school blocked MYSPACE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14816385)

Yes it should. The difference is you can get fired at work if you break their policy, but each parent has their own policy for what's appropriate for their child.

Re:My school blocked MYSPACE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14816136)

Wow, wtf, I've never met a person as l33t as you are before...

Re:My school blocked MYSPACE (1)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816335)

Don't worry, they laughed at your for the exact same thing, but in reverse.

Don't leave a record kids... (2, Informative)

OctoberSky (888619) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

exactly... (1)

spiritraveller (641174) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816064)

It is a drop in the bucket, but people who've never heard of MySpace before don't know this. It's the same thing that happened when the internet was just entering the popular culture. People didn't realize how widespread it already was, so when they heard the horror stories, they thought it was the rule rather than the exception.

I, for one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14816079)

I, for one, welcome Tom as my new overlord.

uh...safer? (1)

UnanimousCoward (9841) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816081)

from TFA (again):

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

It's interesting that this line jumped out to the poster, but it did for me for waaaaaaaaay different reasons: my first thought was, "who's the myopic statistician???" This FACT proves nothing about the safety of MySpace versus deviant California behavior...

Re:uh...safer? (1)

scaryjohn (120394) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816157)

Furthermore, where do they (MySpace or Wired) get this 57M figure? I mean, maybe there's an account for one in one hundred people ON THE PLANET (and I find that hard to believe)... but how many accounts are sockpuppets, throw-away accounts or accounts obtained for the purpose of spamming other members -- that get used for a couple days, locked out, but then not deleted so MySpace can put up huge numbers like that to look more popular. The profile slandering these kids' high school principal, for example is one of the allegedly 57M users?!?! No!

Now to post this in my Livejournal! :-)

Not Just Another Backlash (3, Funny)

mattwarden (699984) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816090)

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

Attention parents (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816098)

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

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

//and if you really didn't, karma will make sure it doubles back twice on them.

Re:Attention parents (1)

jasen666 (88727) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816141)

I know. And I cringe at the thought of the coming years. They might be a pain in the ass now, but my kids are going to kill me when they become teenagers.

Re:Attention parents (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816174)

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

I totally agree, the Hippie Generation is now the Hypocrite Generation
If you are really worried about your teenage daughter dating men from MySpace, just talk to them about it. Show that you love and care for them, then maybe they won't go do stupid things or at least will have some discretion in their dating.

Re:Attention parents (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816306)

But that's exactly my point. Most parents won't do that because the child will undoubtedly say "don't tell me you never did X at some point..." Then they'll have to choose between the following replies:

1) Do as I say, not as I do
2) Yes, but now I realize it was a mistake, and I don't want you to do the same
3) Yes, and it was a lot of fun. But I'm still saying no.
4) Yes, and now that I think about it, it really wasn't all thatbad. Have fun, kid.

And this is just one issue... (1)

MikeyMondavi (705316) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816125)

On top of people externalizing their poor parenting on places like myspace, it seems the wonderful government schools are also using it to spy on their students. Last month here in the town of Athens Georgia several students were suspended and/or expelled for their blog contents. While one student had said something something to the effect of "i wanna fucking kill her sometimes" and was expelled from the school system for such (student had straight a's and was being put in advanced classes) others were suspended for other content like insulting language towards the teacher, the school policy on , or wearing shirts with slogans that supported the expelled student, all whole the only thing to have taken place on school gounds was the shirt thing. Just chalk up another reason not to send your kids to government school i guess.

Re:And this is just one issue... (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816480)

"On top of people externalizing their poor parenting on places like myspace, it seems the wonderful government schools are also using it to spy on their students."

Just to nitpick on semantics here, but you're not really spying on someone if the "spyee" is putting out all that information for the world to see. Stupidity should be punished and it should be painful.

Don't forget The Daily Show ... (1)

YetAnotherName (168064) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816139)

Comedian Demetri Martin [myspace.com] did a hilarious exposé on MySpace [youtube.com] on The Daily Show recently, which tends to reflect some of this backlash.

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

myspace and the news (1)

hsmith (818216) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816147)

does anyone just think it is "coincidence" myspace has been all over the news seemingly since News Corp has purchased them? I never say anything related to myspace before the deal. Now, there are nightly segments on myspace it seems...

Abuse (1)

Wordsmith (183749) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816153)

Myspace abuses me every time I log on ... and I'm just talking about the page design.

What the? (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816159)

What is myspace anyways? ... :-/ -- not hip I guess. I'm old fashioned in my desire for FACE to FACE conversations and journalling IMPORTANT aspects of my life (not all of it)...

Tom

i worry about.... (1)

cybin (141668) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816170)

i don't worry about kids losing their innocence on myspace... i just worry they'll learn poor design skills and bad programming principles, and will simply stop working every 20 minutes or so. that can't be productive for a future economy that has to be built on a service-based, technology-dependent workforce!

Underage dating a crime? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14816172)

The most damning evidence against MySpace are the recent cases of men arrested for dating underage girls they met through the site

Since when it is illegal to simply date underage girls? I realize it would offend a lot of people, but is it actually generally considered a crime in the US?

Thats it! (1)

NIK282000 (737852) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816179)

This has all become far to silly. Those responsible for teenage stupidity online have been sacked.

Myspace Dating (1)

justgosh (957799) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816182)

I haven't gotten 1 date from myspace... then again I'm not a 17 year old girl.

Myspace woman murdered in my county (1)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816191)

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

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

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

Re:Myspace woman murdered in my county (3, Insightful)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816226)

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

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

The guy is the problem, not MySpace.

Re:Myspace woman murdered in my county (2, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816236)

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

I think that the story could have ended there as it's no different than any other date... But nooooo. They had to go on and mention that they met on MySpace. I assume that meeting on MySpace is so much different than meeting in say, a bar, where you would probably be even more vunerable either by way of alcohol or open containers that are easy enough to slip in a drug.

Anything to make a story "interesting".

Re:Myspace woman murdered in my county (2, Insightful)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816271)

Would it make anyone feel any better if they met at a party? Or a bar? Or on a telephone chat line? Or at work? Or at school? Or on a public street?

At what point exactly can we blame the context more than the criminals?

Re:Myspace woman murdered in my county (1)

Phil John (576633) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816273)

How is this any different from if she met him on a dating site? In a bar? In a club? It's not. Standard "stranger danger" common sense still applies.

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

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

Re:Myspace woman murdered in my county (1)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816399)

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

I was actually expecting MySpace to be better because there is the networking aspect. But that seems to mean nothing.

Stalking you on myspace. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14816203)

http://www.myspace.com/johnbstalkingyouonmyspace [myspace.com]

I thought this was great for this topic, have a laugh.

The song sums up the truth about myspace...

Statistics and damn statistics. (1)

CodeShark (17400) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816209)

Seems to me that many of the posts here so far miss a few points so far and just point at lack of parental oversight as the major problem. Statistics don't make the 'Net or the state of California safer. Think about it:
 
  1. If Mr/Ms. Joe/Jane "Child Predator" hangs around the mall watching children for extended periods of time, he or she tends to end up in jail, and not for "statutory rape".
  2. Statistics for statutory rape do not include 1/10th of the sexual assaults on minors that take place. Many cases are plea-bargained, or can't be easily prosecuted because of the high standards for what is/isn't admissable evidence in the US.
  3. More valid to my conserns: when Mr/Ms. Online Predator hands around the 'Net (in MySpace or elsewhere), he/she can pose as just another teen, etc. until vital information is obtained, until he/she knows exactly where to go to find or meet a victim, and remain undetected until the very last minutes. In this situation, there is only a very small window of time in the "real world" for detection and protecting a child from a sure fire sexually abusive situation.

I guess what I am saying is that while there is no substitution for parental monitoring in the real and 'Net worlds, I don't have to worry about sexual predators from all across the country coming to the local mall to target my kids and remainining undetected, I DO have to worry about the uses of technology by those same predators to lead them right to my doorstep.

"men arrested for dating underage girls" (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816225)

"Dating?"

That's a curiously benign way of putting it.

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

No worry. Myspace will implode (1)

Danathar (267989) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816232)

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

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

1. The web design for the user space is GOD AWFUL ugly
2. It's hard to find stuff, it's NOT intuitive
3. myspace seems filled with bogus account (ads for women who want you to sign up for their porn video)
4. It's Sloooooooow

World is dangerous (1)

yoprst (944706) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816245)

but some people are to stupid to see the whole picture. So, this time they're looking at MySpace and see danger. Some day they'll be looking at you.

The parents (1)

bermudatriangleoflov (951747) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816250)

The problem is not Myspace...the problem is that parents do not take an active role in making sure their kids arent going to websites that they should not be or interacting with people they do not know online. Would you let your child go to a park in a town they don't know and talk with complete strangers? Hell no..

Privacy? (4, Interesting)

RealBeanDip (26604) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816276)

From TFA: Concerns over the site fall generally into two categories: unease over the type of content teens are posting, and fear of the type of people they're meeting.

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

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

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

Lets just be honest (1)

XMilkProject (935232) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816318)

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

That is what most of us are thinking isn't it?
<\NaturalSelection>

A drop in the bucket... (1)

Chabil Ha' (875116) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816332)

California, which averaged 62 statutory rape convictions per month in the late 90s, in a state population of 33 million.

Gee, that's comforting. Joseph Stalin is quoted as saying: One death is a tradgedy, a million deaths is a statistic. I hate to sound like a bleeding heart, but that's nearly 750 cases a year. What if you were the parent of a child involved in one of those cases? Those numbers seem really small when compared to the 33 million, but they are 750 people that have had a life altering experience (that they were more than likely not ready for) at the hands of someone else. Why don't we take a stand on that? How can we reduce something tragic like that to just a statistic?

Greasemonkey is a godsend (1)

British (51765) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816336)

There's one greasemonkey script that removes the embed(imbed?) tag as well as iframe from profiles.

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

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

If parents want to get involved with their teens on myspace, how about teaching them not to post risque' images of themselves on their profile? Teach them some self-respect and dignity.

Re:Greasemonkey is a godsend (1)

Neoprofin (871029) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816469)

I don't know, but I think it's great when for whatever reason you oen up 2-3 profiles at a time and hear the ungodly cacaphony of two different Nelly songs overlayed by some Screamo. I tell you nothing brightens up my day like annoyance.

The truth is worse... (1)

BobSutan (467781) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816339)

If people would do a search for registered sex offenders in their area, then they might have something to worry about (its usually far higher than most would expect). Myspace is just another scapegoat for unacceptable social behavior.

Law enforcement also a threat to MySpace users? (1)

Firethorn (177587) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816350)

Dangerous as far as the law goes as well.

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

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

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

However, depending on how he got ahold of the handguns, his holding them was perfectly legal in Colorado. All that would be required would be his parent's permission.

Statutory rape is all politics (2, Interesting)

nanoakron (234907) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816362)

I may go down in a ball of flames for this but...

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

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

WTF?

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

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

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

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

-Nano.

It may not be real rape, but... (1)

Derosian (943622) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816460)

You can't just pass this off, I have known alot of people who started getting out and fucking alot of people way before their time, and alot of them regret it, saying they were stupid kids. Now sure there are the few out there who don't give a damn, and just keep on enjoying themselves, but If a parent is allowed to choose where a kid is going to live, what a kid is going to eat, and many other factors of their life, most of us would rather our kid not be fucking some guy who is just out to fuck a girl with tiny tits. There are the few cases where the guy isn't just out to fuck, but these are few and far between.

Re:Statutory rape is all politics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14816524)

As one of the "victims" in CA of a statutory rape case (I was under the age, she was over), I can confirm there's a good amount of paranoia - it was conceded that in my case, there wasn't any real harm done, but the slippery slope was inevitable were the age of consent not kept universally at 18.

And on a related note... (1)

GigG (887839) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816419)

The HR community is showing it as yet another work time related use of the internet. http://www.hrhero.com/audio/blog/?K793A [hrhero.com]

"LADIES, WATCH OUT!" (1)

F_Scentura (250214) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816434)

I'm sick to holy hell of the series of urban legends perpetuated through myspace. All the kids who didn't go through the FWD: FWD: FWD: BILL GATES TO GIVE 100$ for 1000 forwards> THIS COULD WORK, GUYS! days of email are now interested in the internet through Myspace, and forward all sorts of hoaxes. C'mon people, Bonsai Kitten? "Progesterex the sterilization date-rape drug"?!

At least with email, when I responded to a thread about a hoax the person became so offended that they stopped forwarding me the urban legends they sent to everyone else. I'm not so lucky when it comes to retarded bulletins.

Parents not doing their jobs (1)

Hubbell (850646) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816454)

Parents need to get on the ball and start doing something about their kids. You know, things like teaching your daughters: Don't meet up with MEN you don't know. Don't go off with MEN you meet ONLINE using sexually provocative pictures of yourself. Don't fucking put provocative pics up period. It's obvious these girls parents haven't taught them shit and would rather not do their jobs as PARENTS, the first and foremost of their responsibilities in life.

A story as old as time... (1)

blekkazzen (822163) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816499)

In theory that makes anywhere where underage teens and adults meet a possibly unsafe enviroment because it could lead to them dating.

When I was in high school I knew plenty of girls that were dating older guys and a couple guys that were dating older women. When I graduated I knew a couple guys that were dating freshmen and from what I hear there are people that I graduated with who still haven't "moved on from high school.

So the internet certainly isn't needed for this. I'd be far more concerned about all the teenagers that freely give out their cell phone numbers whether it be on their away messages, their websites, or their journals. I think that be a far greater concern if I was a parent.

This is not a good place for kids/teens (1)

dingosatemybaby (826261) | more than 8 years ago | (#14816528)

Go to my space. Click on Classifieds. Click on Personals (all). Read the titles of the posts. The first one I see is "well hung 4 your pleasure". Keep in mind I have not at any point entered in a login (I dont have one at Myspace) or agreed to any terms whatsoever that I am over 18. How does myspace know how old I am? (hint: they dont).

Believe me I am no prude, but I have 3 daughters, one of which is old enough to start going to various sites, mostly forums for YA scifi/fantasy books she is reading. We use the parental controls under OSX and she isnt allowed to surf without an adult knowing she's on and where she goes. We do our part in accepting responsiblity for our kids and what they see online.

Where this breaks down is when legit sites start using myspace, and encouraging their young adult visitors to go to myspace.com.

Example: Maximum Ride, a young adult book by James Patterson, has a message board she is a member of. One day they announced that they had a Myspace space (I guess their own website and forums werent enough?), and encouraged their young adult visitors to come to myspace and check it out.

Needless to say, I wonder how many YA visitors to maximum ride's site went over to myspace? I wonder how much of what I describe in the first paragraph they saw by accident? I pointed all this out to the maximum ride site admin, but they blew me off, citing (as this post suggests) that the bad press about myspace was just 'backlash'. Thats BS.

I say if something smells like a sewer, and looks like a sewer, call it a sewer. I have no issues with sites that exist for consenting adults to do or see whatever they like, as long as they enforce their own privacy policies and age limits, which myspace does NOT.
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