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What they need. (5, Funny)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567135)

Dont they have an "Complete Moron" clause somewhere that says idiots cant sue for being terminally stupid.

Re:What they need. (1)

sycotic (26352) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567144)

heh, $30,000,000 USD is a bit outlandish.

what a dreamer!

How can they? (5, Insightful)

GFLPraxis (745118) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567177)

The lawsuit is just plain stupid. I simply don't understand HOW someone can 'verify' their age over the computer. Short of requiring everyone to scan some sort of documentation of their age and requiring MySpace to hire a staff of thousands more people to daily comb through each user one by one as they register (simply not practical), there is no possible way MySpace (or ANY site on the internet that doesn't require a credit card for that matter) can verify it. They're basicly sueing MySpace for not doing the impossible.

Re:How can they? (1)

HugePedlar (900427) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567190)

TFA states that Myspace was told to require credit card verification, so that answers your question. I'd say RTFA, except that for some reason, since ten minutes ago, it suddenly requires registration.

Re:How can they? (4, Informative)

Ron Bennett (14590) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567240)

Many minors have credit cards; they alone can't be used to verify age ... furthermore, the major credit card companies make clear that credit cards are NOT to be used for age verification purposes.

Verifying age solely on-line is darn near impossible ...

A possible, but expensive, way MySpace could reliably verify age of new users is to open staffed registration centers (could be small staffed kiosks in malls, superstores, etc) throughout the U.S. and other various countries, in which new users would appear in person with a government photo ID / birth certificate, etc in hand along with a parent / guardian, if under the age of majority (gets a bit tricky, since "majority" can defined as something other than 18 in some jurisdictions; age 21 often works when in doubt)...

Bottom line is that verifying age solely on-line is a near impossibility - to do so reliably requires some form of off-line verification procedure, which will require much resources and money to do ...

A simplier answer is for parents to take responsibility and be more aware of what their children do; educate kids so they make smarter, more informed choices about how they conduct themselves.

Ron

Re:How can they? (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567314)

There's a business idea in there somewhere...

Re:How can they? (4, Informative)

ZeroExistenZ (721849) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567317)

Verifying age solely on-line is darn near impossible ...

eID [belgium.be] . Nearly every Belgian has one.
Just pop it into your cardreader, enter your PIN-code and your age is verified.
Oh it also has digital signing and other neat gizmo's :)

Re:How can they? (4, Insightful)

EndlessNameless (673105) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567285)

MySpace was told to require credit card verification by no one who had any authority over them.

If there was a law regarding identity verification that they failed to follow, then and only then are they at fault.

Suppose this girl got dropped off at the mall to hang out with some friends, and she met this guy there. Should we sue the mall for its role in the situation? How is the mall doing anything differently from what MySpace does?

Parents should teach their children not to run off alone with strangers, particularly older ones. The responsibility is shared between the guy for being a worthless piece of scum, the girl for being stupid, and her parents for not teaching her any better. If anyone should be sued, it is the guy... you know, the one who actually acted with malicious intent.

But wait, he probably doesn't have any money, and that's what this is all about.

Re:How can they? (1)

lukas84 (912874) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567311)

you know, the one who actually acted with malicious intent.

Was that really the case? Now, see, i know this question isn't politically correct at all, but it is necessary.

Some stupid 13 year old girl had sex with a guy.
Afterwards she finds out that she wasn't really ready for it yet. But it can't be undone.
Her parents find out, because of whatever.
She claims rape, so that her parents don't punish her.

Guy gets all the troubles.

Assuming the above is true:
Yes, he did something which was wrong by US law. This would've been legal in other countries, like Spain for example.
He should still be punished for this.

However, if he gets sentenced for rape, this is another thing entirely.

Re:How can they? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15567356)

It's called statuatory rape, and it IS illegal for a reason. I don't consider myself a prude, I'm quite liberal when it comes to stuff like this, but even I think that having sex with someone that young when you're that old should be considered a crime. I would have an age of consent of 17 for anyone, and 14 but ONLY if your partner is within, say, 2 years of your age.

They are arbitrary numbers, but I still think it's better than the alternatives.

Re:How can they? (1)

kubrick (27291) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567316)

Suppose this girl got dropped off at the mall to hang out with some friends, and she met this guy there. Should we sue the mall for its role in the situation?

Yes, we should. I believe the legal 'principle' involved means going after the party with the largest bank balance, on the grounds that it's easier for them to pay you to go away; see SCO vs IBM, or countless dubious patent infringement lawsuits.

Re:How can they? (1)

RapedByKateMorrow (974920) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567204)

They could require a credit card.

Re:How can they? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15567335)

So, being 29 without any kind of credit card, I wouldn't be old enough? And even if I had one, I wouldn't give them my credit card number unless I was going to *buy* something. You know, that's what credit cards are for...

Re:What they need. (4, Insightful)

HugePedlar (900427) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567181)

Or even a "parental responsibility" clause. Why did her parents allow her to meet a total stranger without supervision? And why does Myspace have any more responsibility than ANY other community-based website or bulletin board?

Re:What they need. (2, Insightful)

jintxo (698154) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567260)

For that matter, they could have hooked up over the phone or whatever other means you can think of (so all of a sudden ATT or whomever would have to verify age/identity of caller???). I don't really think Myspace has anything to do with this.

Cedric

Re:What they need. (3, Interesting)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567288)

And why does Myspace have any more responsibility than ANY other community-based website or bulletin board?

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

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

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

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

My Prediction, based on historical precedent? MySpace goes the way of GeoCities (socially un-cool and retro), and the kids all start gravitating to their own (and de-centralized) unique TLDs, just like their neo-adult blogging counterparts.

Re:What they need. (4, Interesting)

jmv (93421) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567201)

I'm afraid it's a little more complicated than that. Unlike 10-15 years ago, at least half of people with Internet access would probably fall into your definition of "complete moron" (and remember that you're probably a complete moron about at least one thing). At some point, "something" will have to be done because "bad guys" tend to learn/adapt faster than "complete morons". Should the solution be to make sites responsible (I hope not)? Have an "Internet license" (with a test required like for a driver's license? I've no idea what form it will have and I hope it won't do more damage than it causes, but eventually things will have to change. I guess teens in the ~12-16 range are especially vulnerable because:
1) You can't monitor everything they do on the Internet anymore
2) There's still a lot of things they don't know (but should)
3) They think they know enough

Re:What they need. (1)

lukas84 (912874) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567236)

Then tell them.
Make them aware.

I'am 22 now, and have been using the Internet since i was eleven (back then with 14.4k). My parents didn't understand what i was doing, but i educated myself on using the internet. I learned that forging e-mails was trivial business, that everyone could say everything he wanted, and that it was easy to mimic someones elses behaviour.

Kids in this day and age usually have it better. The internet has become common place, there are less and less families without broadband internet access. Parents should be able to teach their kids what the internet is about, and make them aware of what can be done, technically.

Now, i don't mean the usual "STAY AWAY, IT IS DANGEROUS" crap. That doesn't work. Show them what is actually possible, and let them draw their own conclusions.

Yes, it means parents will have to LEARN TO UNDERSTAND the technology their kids use. But so is life. Educating kids never was an easy task, and probably never will be. It requires alot of time and effort.

If you have neither, don't have kids.

Re:What they need. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15567323)

It requires alot of time and effort.

Sometimes, sadly, that effort is wasted.

Re:What they need. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15567363)

This is not about the internet. No internet knowledge is required to avoid a situation like this. The girl didn't get assaulted over the internet, she went on a date with the guy IN REAL LIFE. Only knowledge needed is real life knowledge like "don't go out with a stranger", "don't trust a stranger" and "make sure there's always someone else around who can help you, unless you're strong enough to handle the situation yourself. The last one isn't even children-specific, everyone should know that.

Re:What they need. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15567296)

"3) They think they know enough"
Man, she knows what she is doing. She is sueing a website for 30 million $. I wish I could do the same thing (and win, of course).
By the way, is she sueing the guy who deceived her? I doubt it. He is the one who bears more responsability, but most likely he has not 30 million $.

Re:What they need. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15567203)

Hey, this guy online said he was going to do me in the butt and then he did me in the butt. someone owes me 30 million.

stupid girl (0)

nihaopaul (782885) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567140)

all i'll say is this girl is stupid. and the government is definatly behind this, first terrorism now human intrest.. gawd

Re:stupid girl (0, Offtopic)

nihaopaul (782885) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567160)

sry i forgot to put the noobish comments "FP!"

Re:stupid girl (2, Funny)

RapedByKateMorrow (974920) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567242)

This girl was also 14 years old (according to the article.) 14 year old girls are not known to be masters of logic. That's a large part of the reason why it's illegal to have sex with them.

Slashdot (-1, Flamebait)

iMaple (769378) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567147)

She should use slashdot then. We have equally bad color schemes and lameness filters unlike myspace which "doesn't do enough to protect users"

In other words (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15567149)

Where money goes, lawsuits follow.

And right now, Myspace has a lotta money.

Wait what (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15567151)

From the article:

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

What kind of 14 year old kid has a credit card or a license?

Re:Wait what (5, Insightful)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567178)

I believe the lawyer is trying to call for more security for the 16s on the site.


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


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


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

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


This lawsuit is just ambulance chasing.

Re:Wait what (2, Insightful)

QueenOfSwords (179856) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567300)

Yeah, it's ambulance chasing.

I am so annoyed with 'mom'. The girl is stupid, and she probably lied to her parents about where she was going, because teens do do that. In fact lets *hope* she lied, because if her mom okayed this without meeting the boy, she's negligent.

But I'm really annoyed with her parents. They failed in their duty of care here after the fact. The girl has had a nasty experience, and she will probably need counselling, but she is still healthy and alive. The perp is in jail. The parent's role now is to be there for her... and reinforce for her that *this is why* you don't go off with strange guys from MySpace. This is *why* when she's so young, she needs to clear her boyfriends with her folks. She might not have been alive to sue anybody.... she was very lucky.

But no. Ohnoes! MySpace! It was the bad innerweb people!

Agggh! *HeadGoBoom*

Re:Wait what (1)

ericdano (113424) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567187)

No, but parents do. It would be a good idea for MySpace to be set up in such a way that anyone under 18 needs to have some sort of screening. I know kids who are 12 that have MySpace accounts. It's insane.

I mean, they have to do some sort of screening. Hiding behind some clause in some click through agreement isn't going to work. There is no warnings at all for Adult content on MySpace.

Re:Wait what (1)

lukas84 (912874) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567291)

There's adult content on the internet. Oh no. We're all going to die a slow and horrible death. Seriously, what's the problem? That anyone can put content online? Should 12 year old be disallowed to create a website? I don't see any reason why that should be. The internet is not physical. It can't rape you. It can't assault you. It can't touch you. The physical, real world however, can do that. Thats why kids need to be educated properly of risks. You can't screen the internet. At least not the way it is currently built.

Re:Wait what (1)

ericdano (113424) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567334)

No, but you can have a site that will police itself and have some sort of standards. MySpace lacks this. I mean, it's supposed to be some sort of social network. Right? And if you have kids on there, and pedophiles as well, wouldn't you want to keep them apart? Or is education of the risks all you are going to rely upon? Creating a site is one thing. Hell, go for it. But MySpace is a "Place for Friends". Are you going to assume EVERYONE is your friend out there and rely on a 14 year old's education to figure it out?

MySpace needs to do screening. It needs a 18 and under safeheaven where they screen things. I mean, they already do this. To view a lot of the content, you have to have an account.

This reminds me of Ebay, or the current Craigslist. At least Ebay has taken steps to verify sellers, and buyers, and give you some sort of protection when buying things. MySpace needs to step up and do something along the same lines. A verification program of some sorts.

Re:Wait what (2, Insightful)

lukas84 (912874) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567358)

Are you going to assume EVERYONE is your friend out there and rely on a 14 year old's education to figure it out?

Nobody should ever assume that "everyone" is your friend. You can be anything you want on the internet. Everything can be spoofed. Theres no way to be secure about anything (There are some exceptions to this, but they don't apply here).
A 14 year old can have the education to be wary of what they read. That needs eduction though.

And if you have kids on there, and pedophiles as well, wouldn't you want to keep them apart?

Yes, but you also have kids and pedophiles in the same, real world. With the only difference that on the internet, a pedophile can't harm you. In the real world, he can.

It needs a 18 and under safeheaven where they screen things.

Dammit. And people over 18 just get the education about issues such as this from where?
Kids need to learn to! If you can read and write on a computer, you should be able to know that ANYONE can write ANYTHING on the internet.

Screening myspace won't help here at all. Nothing helps here. People need education.

Contrary to popular belief, you don't need either (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567328)

Imagine people who do not have a CC or driving license. Yes, may sound strange to a US person, but over here there are a lot of people well over the age of 18 who have neither.

Not to mention that my driving license would certainly not be verifyable to a US page. The numbers on it don't fit into a field formated for US licenses. Even if, what would keep me from using some random numbers, you can't verify it anyway.

The joys of the internet being international...

"In May, after a series of emails and phone calls" (3, Insightful)

HugePedlar (900427) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567152)

I didn't know Myspace was a pre-requisite for the exchange of emails and phone calls, nor that the going rate for "facilitating" rape was thirty fucking million dollars.

Re:"In May, after a series of emails and phone cal (4, Insightful)

Jetson (176002) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567205)

I didn't know Myspace was a pre-requisite for the exchange of emails and phone calls, nor that the going rate for "facilitating" rape was thirty fucking million dollars.

Even if Myspace *was* a pre-requisite for email, the rape didn't occur on-line. She met someone on-line and then decided to follow-up with a personal get-together. Where was her mother when she was getting ready for her "date"? What kind of mother teaches a 14-year-old girl that it's OK to meet strange guys? Finally, what's to say that age-verification would have prevented the rape? Do they really think that she would have been totally safe if she was meeting a completely anonymous boy her own age?

Re:"In May, after a series of emails and phone cal (5, Funny)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567231)

And I may add, it seems equally plausible that the 19 years old guy wasn't even aware he was talking with a minor. I am sure he could sue for another 30 millions...

Re:"In May, after a series of emails and phone cal (3, Funny)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567279)

I am sure he could sue for another 30 millions
Sorry, but due to rampant inflation, the rate today is already $32 millions.
--
Krazy Kat and Ignatz Mouse [ignatzmouse.net]

Re:"In May, after a series of emails and phone cal (1)

ufoot (600287) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567361)

After all, she might as well sue DARPA, for being responsible for this whole Internet thingy. Or maybe she could sue the descendants of Thomas Edison, or maybe those of Alan Turing (but for this, she'd first need to find them out, which might prove quite difficult). Anyway, there must be someone to sue, someone has to be responsible, or else how could we make money???

mooches mooches (5, Insightful)

filthy_mcnasty (958018) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567158)

As much as I detest Myspace and would absolutely love to see them go down.... this is just another frivilous lawsuit with someone trying to play the scapegoat game. Encountering a sexual predator on Myspace is no different than any other million sites where this could have happened but if it weren't for the deep pockets myspace has generated there would be no lawsuit. The users of sites like these (and hell, users of anything in general!!!) are still responsible for THEIR OWN actions and while I'm sorry that she was victimized, this young girl (or rather, her lawyers / parents) is now trying to create another victim. Give me a break, accept responsibility for your own actions. This isn't because "Myspace didn't protect me"

Re:mooches mooches (5, Interesting)

solarbob (959948) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567214)

If she found the same info in the lonley hearts in the newspaper would she sue that paper? Of course not as they would take her to the cleaners by exposing her on the front page (well the british papers would). What about if you met someone in a nighyclub and same thing happened...

Next up: Teen sues the Internet (5, Funny)

KingOfGod (884633) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567229)

A 14-year old is suing the Internet for $30 billin, claiming that the technology failed to protect her from a 19-year old she met...
wait, screw this parody.

What the fuck is a 14-year kid old doing meeting a 19-year old she met om MySpace? I think she should sue her parents for not beating her enough.

(OT) Thom Yorke "The Eraser" torrent? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15567256)

Speaking of MySpace, I've been unable to find a working torrent for Thom Yorke's upcoming release entitled "The Eraser." Some torrent sites have it listed, but they've got tons of peers and no seeders, not a one.

So: Does anyone have a link where an enterprising young freeloader like myself can steal the album, without paying one red ha'penny to the artists, managers, sound engineers, graphic designers, and others who toiled long hours to produce the album and who depend on record sales to feed their families? If anyone ought to know, it's the community of copyright-disrespecting thieves here on Slashdot, right?

Getting justice twice? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15567164)

Doesn't she already get justice by having the 19-year-old jailed?

Re:Getting justice twice? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15567297)

Or even possibly, the 19 year olds actions have been exaggerated to facilitate this greed based lawsuit.

It isnt justice she is after. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15567351)

She just wants a big, fat payout.

i'm conflicted (4, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567165)

on the one hand, personal responsibility, and responsibility of the parents, surrenders: bad thing

on the other hand, this could destroy myspace: good thing

Re:i'm conflicted (1)

ericdano (113424) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567196)

This is true. Parents who give kids unlimited access to the internet and have no clue what little Joe or Sarah is doing. On the other hand, MySpace doesn't do a shred of checking or policing of the site. No warnings of adult pictures (I've never seen any warnings), or content.

Prediction: Big changes ahead for MySpace. A crackdown on content.

Re:i'm conflicted (1)

Shawn is an Asshole (845769) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567234)

While I too do not like the whole Myspace thing, it can be a very useful site.

For example, I have multiple accounts. One has my real name assigned to it, along with my schools. So far several people I knew in high school have contacted me (I'm 24, btw). I've fouund and contacted people I knew. I've been able to meet up with them again, which has been cool.

I also keep another around for talking to women. Myspace has been great for that. Thank's to it, I'm dating two women right now. I've met several others though it, too.

Hi.. (5, Funny)

hyfe (641811) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567167)

Hi, your honour.

I am stupid. Please make them give me money.

yay (2, Funny)

slashdotnickname (882178) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567168)

As an 18 year old big-breasted girl myself, I can totally relate.

Re:yay (3, Funny)

HugePedlar (900427) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567199)

Relate to whom? None of us here. ;)

Re:yay (1)

grahagre (459342) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567326)

wow, just... wow. on /. of all places

Re:yay (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567336)

Since on the internet, 99% of the women are men, we require proof of your statement.

Especially of the "big-breasted" part!

Re:yay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15567341)

Please post pics!!!!!

Guess what? (4, Insightful)

Mancat (831487) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567172)

You are not entitled to money for being stupid and immature. You should not be meeting STRANGERS over the internet, where nothing is ever as it seems, and most people lie about their most basic personal traits.

Re:Guess what? (1)

notanatheist (581086) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567220)

You mean you wouldn't believe me if I told you I was 5'8", blonde, 34C, athletic, 18, and I want you? I can even send you a picture. Let me search Google images for a good one.

fuck you (-1, Flamebait)

zyte (896988) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567173)

fuck you. fuick you. fuck you. you stupid whore. fuck you.

Re:fuck you (1)

Mancat (831487) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567184)

They let you get on Slashdot from your jail cell?

Interesting world we live in (3, Interesting)

Afty0r (263037) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567185)

Where people can say things like "Your site doesn't make it hard enough for me to lie about how old I am" and "Some guy touched me in his car, I want money from a company that lets people engage in speech if they wish to, in the amount of two decades worth of average adult earnings."

Rule of law, Rule of man.... I always assumed Rule of Law was better - but now I'm beginning to wonder... the longer and further we walk down this path the worse it gets.

Re:Interesting world we live in (1)

prurientknave (820507) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567198)

lmao. Mod this guy hilarious

Re:Interesting world we live in (1)

prurientknave (820507) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567207)

btw hook me up with that average job that pays a million dollars a year. I must sleep, mayhap someone from myspace will molest me and i can make ... 30 million dollars ;D

Re:Interesting world we live in (2, Insightful)

caitsith01 (606117) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567225)

in the amount of two decades worth of average adult earnings


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

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

Re:Interesting world we live in (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567354)

I'm don't think you should expand this to the world - just yet at least. She is an American doing the apperntly normal thing of suing.

Wtf (5, Insightful)

eddm (983696) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567194)

I'm sorry, but MySpace are being expected to pay $30 Million to them for being idiots? I'll go hit myself on the head with a hammer and sue Black and Decker for supplying me with a weapon that gave me brain damage.

Re:Wtf (5, Insightful)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567224)

This is a society of the irresponsible looking to point the blame at whoever they can.

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

It sucks to be sure, but this is what an ignorant majority wanted, so this is what our society has produced.

Re:Wtf (1)

mist (67304) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567295)

I'm sure you could do that - after all, there's no suitable warning sticker on the hammer saying "WARNING - do not head head with hammer"

Don't jump to conclusions (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15567213)

It is very easy to say one thing or another about this person's character, how the lawsuit is rediculous, etc. and insert our own editorial commentary about the sanity of a woman who wants $30million after she hooked up with a MySpace liar.

However, just like The Mcdonald's coffee case [wikipedia.org] where people screamed and shouted over the millions of dollars awarded to a woman who spilled hot coffee on herself, there is a lot more at issue here. In the coffee case, if you have read the facts of the case, you will probably agree that the award is not unreasonable. Does myspace have a history of sexual predators meeting others online? I think so. Does this make them culpable? Not necessarily. But just remember, it is not like this is a once-in-a-blue moon case that has never happened before on MySpace, and it is not like myspace is a happy, fun loving site full of real people (which is the image they like to project.)

Re:Don't jump to conclusions (1)

Rekolitus (899752) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567324)

Unlike this case, which is ridiculous, the McDonald's coffee case was actually not. McDonalds routinely served coffee at temperatures that could cause third degree burns in just a few seconds. Read the page you linked.

Wait just a minute... (5, Insightful)

Phroggy (441) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567218)

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

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

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

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

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

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

They started by sending e-mail, then exchanging phone numbers and talking on the phone; at what point do you draw the line and say what these people do is not MySpace's responsibility? If I find a (18+) girl on MySpace, send her e-mail, she e-mails me back, I send her my phone number, she calls me, we talk, we go out for coffee, things go well, we start dating, have dinner a few times, then one day we get into an argument and she punches me in the face - can I sue MySpace for failing to protect me from her?

Re:Wait just a minute... (1)

Rayeh (671840) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567253)

Yes.

Re:Wait just a minute... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15567308)

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

Forget the monetary figure--if it was $1 or $1 billion, the mother and the 14yo are still in the wrong. MySpace didn't lie here. The 19yo lied. I wouldn't be surprised if MySpace has a user agreement noting something regardin pages are the responsibility of the user.

The $30 million is really just a matter of someone suing someone with deep pockets, while using the hysteria of online internet predators as the backdrop to drum up sympathy and support. (I'd also argue the terminology of internet predators is overhyped itself by the media. I don't see anything predatory beyond normal male waiting to screw female indicated here.)

"He knew she was 14, and that's not OK, even if she said yes, which I'm guessing she probably did."

The link just went to some stupid login (it was free originally, maybe if you read it twice it does this) so I can't check what state this suit is in, but in some states, age of consent is 16 but there is exemption for consenting 14yo with a 4 year window (iow, these states have sense to not make many prom night hookups statuatory rape night). iow, 15 does 19, legal. 14 does 18, legal. Age 16, legal with anyone over 14. etc.

As to her consent, I personally do not see the great harm if she consented and she was of sound mind given the minor age difference. Teens having sex with teens being a crime is, well, screwed up in my view. But some people will argue law is law and others have problems with a 32 yo having sex with a 21 yo too.

Re:Wait just a minute... (1)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567321)

Explain to me how verifying a 14-year-old's driver's license or credit card number is going to work.

Presumably, they meant that a 14-year-old would thus not be allowed to get messages from a 19-year -old. Unless, of course, the 19-year-old was pretending to be 15.

Re:Wait just a minute... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15567330)

I'm not excusing the guy's actions. He knew she was 14, and that's not OK, even if she said yes, which I'm guessing she probably did. And lying about your age is generally not cool.

Maybe not, but a lot of people do it, including teenagers wanting to get into "adult" venues and people (especially women) fearing they are too old...

If I find a (18+) girl on MySpace, send her e-mail, she e-mails me back, I send her my phone number, she calls me, we talk, we go out for coffee, things go well, we start dating, have dinner a few times, then one day we get into an argument and she punches me in the face - can I sue MySpace for failing to protect me from her?

What if she turns out to have lied about her age?

Re:Wait just a minute... (2, Insightful)

mpe (36238) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567360)

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

Does MySpace generate an age from a user input date of birth or could he have written the profile when he was 18?
Also since this involves an alleged sexual assault why arn't the police involved...

Dupes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15567222)

Can I sue slashdot for all the fscking dupes?

Re:Dupes (-1, Offtopic)

Khyber (864651) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567243)

I'd rather be able to sue /. for posting an article that showed up on Digg like, five hours ago. Wouldn't that be nice?

Re:Dupes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15567303)

You could, but someone beat you to it.

Require retention of conversations for underage (2, Insightful)

RapedByKateMorrow (974920) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567232)

If teens must use myspace, teenspace, yourspace, funkyspace, pinkspace, lacyspace, or whatever, make the retention of their conversations a requirement. The prohibition of sex with minors, of voting for minors, of access to alcohol and porn to minors, are well founded. Minors are not known for adult reasoning skills. Adult parents are still in their lives for a very good reason: Adults (should be) more knowledgeable and responsible, and should be educating their kids. They should also be monitoring their kids. Give the parent the tools to monitor the chat and messaging behaviour of their kids. Fuck their privacy, or realize it's your fault as parent when they get fucked.

Re:Require retention of conversations for underage (2, Interesting)

dbIII (701233) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567278)

Give the parent the tools to monitor the chat and messaging behaviour of their kids
It is incredibly simple - put the PC in the living room and pay attention to what the children are doing. Blaming the victim is pointless but a couple of simple steps and a bit of parental reponsibility can stop a few future victims. Selling the net as a sanitised, safe environment is just as silly as doing the same thing with a bus terminal - no amount of placebo filtering programs or trying to software restrict to OMG Ponies sites is going to help.

Re:Require retention of conversations for underage (1)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567344)

Give the parent the tools to monitor the chat and messaging behaviour of their kids.

Great idea. I can see teenagers flocking to a site like that. And celibacy is the cure for AIDS.

Execute the lawyer, IMO. (1)

Max Threshold (540114) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567235)

Execute the lawyer who talked her into this, IMO.

Or at least disbar him. But that might not be enough of a deterrent.

Underpants Gnomes (2, Funny)

HenryKoren (735064) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567239)

Phase 1: Sign up on myspace, lie about age
Phase 2: Fuck around with your boyfriend
Phase 3: Lawyer up and sue!
Phase 4: ???
Phase 5: 30 Million Dollars Profit.

Someone has to say it.... (5, Funny)

kjart (941720) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567244)

OMG, $30 million worth of ponies!!!111one

Sue /. (4, Funny)

Patrik_AKA_RedX (624423) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567258)

I think I'm going to sue /. for not protecting me against wasting my time. That should be worth a few millions too, right?
And if that fails I could sue my laywer for not protecting me against sueing someone for rediculous reasons.

All together now .. Show Me The Monnnnnaaaay! (1)

Krolley (65102) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567263)

From TFA: "The lawsuit claims that the Web site does not require users to verify their age and calls the security measures aimed at preventing strangers from contacting users younger than 16 'utterly ineffective'." And then this: "In May, after a series of e-mails and phone calls, he picked her up at school, took her out to eat and to a movie, then drove her to an apartment complex parking lot in South Austin, where he sexually assaulted her, police said. He was arrested May 19."

This suit is bogus, the claimants are going after who has the money. If the girl believed the guy to be much younger than he was based on his online profile, she obviously was not alarmed enough to brush him off upon meeting him. In fact, she spent several hours with him. The fact that this guy allegedly sexually assaulted her has absolutely nothing to do with MySpace at all.

I have no sympathy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15567273)

Myspace didn't do anything wrong.

Myspace may as well be named MeatSpace for all the horny people, but that doesn't entitle anyone to $LIFECHANGINGAMOUNTSOFMONEY for stupid personal decisions. It's like going into a bar, going home with $JRANDOM, and that person being the _OMGWTFBBQwrong_one_. It's tragic, but, but the bar doesn't owe anyone anything. Quitcherbitchin, shut up, and buck up. The Internet was never meant to be kiddie proof.

Crissakes, I wish someone would sexually assault _me_ for once.

Bull... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15567274)

If she is old enough to want 30M$, she is old enough to understand what is going on and protect herself. This is pure greed. And as I guy, feeling threatened by this kind of attitude, I say to her: f***YouVeryMuch.

34

the dumb do get the money... (-1, Troll)

TwoEdge77 (92704) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567281)

Remember McDonalds and the woman who sued because of the hot coffee cup in her lap?

Re:the dumb do get the money... (2, Insightful)

drb_chimaera (879110) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567359)

Not this one again - I know this case is a standard-bearer for the insane lawsuits that come to pass in America but this one was actually not without merit - the coffee was served way too hot (180-odd degrees, which is unfit for consumption - it would burn the mouth) and McDonalds knew it was a problem - there were a *lot* of previous cases and the woman got third degree burns over some *very* sensitive areas.

Oh and the court case found her 1/5 responsible for what happened so was granted "only" 4/5 of the granted compensatory damages.

See now the one where a guy that broke into a house, managed to lock himself in the garage and had to spend two weeks subsisting on dog food and a couple of cans of fizzy drinks because the owners were on holiday and then sued that family for a lot of money - thats a better example :)

Evil and Dangerous (1)

eBayDoug (764290) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567306)

Mothers and Fathers: All 19 year old boys are evil and potentially dangerous to your daughters.

Simple formula (2, Funny)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567318)

Irresponsible person+Lawyer=Profit. Economics 101.

Negative Publicity Backmail, $50K (1)

BlueCoder (223005) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567325)

This is just a pure and simple case of negative publicity blackmail. There is no merit but it certainly attracts lots of negative publicity on myspace, hence this will be paid off in two day for $50K at least. This is why court cases should be kept quiet until they are resolved unless there is truely a redeaming purpose in making it public other than entertainment value. Seal the cases and have anyone that wants to look at it privately sign an NDA.

It all amounts to slander.

What we really need on the internet is a reputation tracking system for lawyers that take on cases like this.

Well they have a small paragraph in the terms... (5, Informative)

dlichterman (868464) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567327)

from the myspace terms and conditions
====
Limitation on Liability. IN NO EVENT SHALL MYSPACE.COM BE LIABLE TO YOU OR ANY THIRD PARTY FOR ANY INDIRECT, CONSEQUENTIAL, EXEMPLARY, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL OR PUNITIVE DAMAGES, INCLUDING LOST PROFIT DAMAGES ARISING FROM YOUR USE OF THE SERVICES, EVEN IF MYSPACE.COM HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES. NOTWITHSTANDING ANYTHING TO THE CONTRARY CONTAINED HEREIN, MYSPACE.COM'S LIABILITY TO YOU FOR ANY CAUSE WHATSOEVER AND REGARDLESS OF THE FORM OF THE ACTION, WILL AT ALL TIMES BE LIMITED TO THE AMOUNT PAID, IF ANY, BY YOU TO MYSPACE.COM FOR THE SERVICES DURING THE TERM OF MEMBERSHIP.

Indemnity. You agree to indemnify and hold MySpace.com, its subsidiaries, and affiliates, and their respective officers, agents, partners and employees, harmless from any loss, liability, claim, or demand, including reasonable attorneys' fees, made by any third party due to or arising out of your use of the Services in violation of this Agreement and/or arising from a breach of this Agreement and/or any breach of your representations and warranties set forth above and/or if any Content that you post on the Website or through the Services causes MySpace.com to be liable to another.
====
http://www1.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=misc. terms [myspace.com]

While we're making up numbers... (2, Funny)

nemik (909434) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567349)

Way to go little girl!

Let's not forget though the other culprits in this crime:
ISP for providing internet access to enable MySpace to enable rape: sue for $16M
Dell/Sony/etc for manufacturing a computer that enabled internet access that enabled MySpace that enabled the raping: sue for $47M
Microsoft/Logitech for providing mouse and keyboard for enabling computer to enable internet to enable MySpace to enable rape: sue for $2.8M
Office Supply Co for providing desk/chair to sit on computer: sue for $4.7M
Electric Company for providing electrical current to run the rape-uter: sue for $5M

Granted I am not a lawyer, I'm sure they can be much more creative than this. :)

What a joke (0, Troll)

Oopsallberries (980852) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567350)

Almost as stupid as the "mcdonalds made me fat" case.

The phone company and ISP? (1)

xav_jones (612754) | more than 8 years ago | (#15567357)

To my mind, they should also be holding the telephone company and internet service provider liable as they also facilitated -- in the same way MySpace.com did -- communication exchanges. Perhaps MySpace could do more but they are, like the ISP and telecom, a service. Use them with adequate (even common!) knowledge!
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