Friday, June 23, 2006

has myspace screwed the internet?

Over the past few weeks, Myspace has been under scrutiny as being a haven for perverts and pedophiles seeking out teens to have their way with. All this attention is no doubt due to two factors: 1. Dateline's continuing "To Catch a Predator" series, and 2. a recent $30 million lawsuit against the site for preventing a 14 year old girl from getting sexually assaulted.

I guess all this attention finally got congress to try to do something about it, since next week they're voting on restrictions for community sites, such as Myspace, Friendster, Facebook, et al. Details of the restrictions haven't been released yet, but since congress can't even agree on which donut is supreme, Krispy Kreme or Dunkin', then I highly doubt that they'll come to a quick agreement on what the necessary steps are to protect children from internet predators.

Though this vote for restrictions (as well as the lawsuit) may seem like a trival thing (at least to your run-of-the-mill teen Myspace user), it'll no doubt set legal precedence for who is responsible for the safety of the user: the government, the individual or the company?

Myspace has already taken some precautionary measures by blocking an adult's access to view a minor's account unless they have their full name or e-mail address. But, as many news sources have pointed out, there are ways around it, such as changing the age on your account to a minor's status. Addtionally, Myspace is also allowing their adult users to have private accounts, an option only given to minors.

But is it too little, too late? Perhaps. Then again, this isn't the first time the government got bent out of shape due to the content (and consequences) of a glorified message board. It will be interesting to see whether the laws will shape the internet, or if the internet will shape the laws.

2 Comments:

At 2:13 PM , Blogger Shara said...

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At 2:23 PM , Blogger Ronan Jimson said...

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A bit time to relax:
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