If you want to know what the real threat to kids is at MySpace, read todayâ€™s piece in the New York Times and remember that predators arenâ€™t always interested in sex:
To expand ad sales, especially to big brands, Mr. Levinsohn plans to supplement the MySpace staff with a second sales force linked to the Fox TV sales department. He wants to expand one of Mr. DeWolfeâ€™s advertising ideasâ€”turning advertisers into members of the MySpace community, with their own profiles, like the teenagersâ€™â€”so that the young people who often spend hours each day on MySpace can become â€œfriendsâ€ with movies, cellphone companies, and even deodorants. Young people can link to the profiles set up by these goods and services, as they would to real friends, and these commercial â€œfriendsâ€ can even send them messagesâ€”ads really, but of a whole new kind.
Even worse is that there is a good chance it will work. One college student quoted in the article is trusting MySpace to get a feel for potential dates.
While she does not use the site to meet people, it has become a part of the dating ritual. â€œWhen you meet someone, the question is not â€˜Whatâ€™s your number?â€™ she said. Itâ€™s â€˜Whatâ€™s your MySpace?â€™â€ By checking out a guyâ€™s profile, she said, â€œyou can actually get a feeling for who they are.â€
Especially if they have Old Spice in their profiles, right?
Once again, Iâ€™m struck by how much educating needs to be done here. Too bad the educators in the districts that weâ€™ve been talking about lately wonâ€™t be getting the Times article any time soonâ€¦
We had our local news featured on one of the prime time news shows recently about the MY SPACE problem. I warned my niece and she said,”I only chat with my friends.” Two young girls have been contacted by guys much older than them around our area. It has been on the news no stop around here when a grandfather and father caught a man with a 13 year old in his car in front of their house. They met on MY SPACE.
I had a space on there until all this started to happen. I just wanted to see what all the fuss was about and shortly after I canceled my membership. I am an educator and I don’t need to be associated with such a site. I could not believe all the stuff I found on that site. Music was the best part of the whole site. I can’t say much about the other stuff that goes on since I didn’t chat with anyone. I just wanted a place to blog. I understand know that my niece might not understand, but she really needs to be careful.
It was supposed to say “non-stop around here” and “I understand now….”
Sorry for the typos. 🙂
Young people can link to the profiles set up by these goods and services, as they would to real friends, and these commercial â€œfriendsâ€ can even send them messagesâ€”ads really
i think that if your going to have a membership, then you shouldnt put all of your personal information, thats what ive done and noway im going to chat with people. you just cant trust things like that. just dont put personal info…
I think that it’s okay to have a Myspace just put that your 14 on there and it will make your profile private so no one can look at it until you except them. And when someone asks you for a friend request visit their site and make sure you actually know the person. There is no harm in that I dont think. Just be smart and wise about your decisions with Myspace. Just my opinion!
I Just resently got off myspace because of peditors and my parents thought it was the wrong choice so now i am very woried about my friends and family so i am printing up articles on myspace because i really dont think they understand
I have a myspace.
You people make it sound like everyone who has both testicles and a myspace account is a sexual predator.
You’re all bloody cynics!
It’s not all bad.
get. over. it.
Myspace does not get shut down! Period! If parents are so worried about what their child is doing on myspace than monitor it. It is not the rest of the world’s responsibility to take away from their own lives to make a parent’s life easier!
Get over it. You are a parent! It isn’t supposed to be easy. Why do you think you feel like you have accomplished something when your child finally goes off to college?
News Flash! There are always going to be sexual preditors out there. It is your responsibility to keep your children safe, not ours.
Our local and small private school was contacted by the FBI last fall. They advised the staff that several of the students myspace accounts were being targeted by known pedophiles. The staff reacted quickly and notified parents and we all took it from their. This led me into researching this issue. What I found was very scary. It lead me to create a web site http://www.theparentsedge.com to help parents deal with this massive problem. It was originally intended for our local school but just grew beyond that.
I hope the site helps.
Father of 5 (all internet users)
mr 305 says
I say quit being ignorant and if parents are that worried about their children and their whereabout, monitor it! And remember the internet is a double edged sword with both benefits and misuses. Are you going to allow your 14-15 year old drive your car, seriously not. So why are you gonna let them wander in cyberspace aimlessly if you know the dangers of the public? Ignorance is not an excuse for letting others babysit your children, that’s your responsibility.
mr 305 says
And I mean this by educating your kids, regulating their content, communicating with them, cause obviously the parents who worry the most merely contemplate the dangers but don’t become proactive of their kids activities.
This is ridiculous.
I use MySpace as a means of communication with other writers, my friends, and family.
True, there might be weirdos out there, but common sense will do far more than running around crying foul on a service that millions of users take advantage of with no interest in abusing your children.
MySpace is a great service, and will continue to grow for quite some time. It has given a voice to independent musicians, helps get the word out on evetns and art shows that might otherwise be ignored, and allows for opportunities for growth that do not exist outside of it. It is an invaluable communications tool, a place to find entertaining videos and new music, and even a place to run into someone who has the same interests as you.
Think of it as the pizza place down the street where everyone hangs out, playing video games and listening to the jukebox.
It is a social networking tool, and there is no way to curtail it. In order to prevent children from being victims, they simply have to be watched closely by parents. If that cannot be arranged, then remove the internet access from them altogether. If a child is so wild and unruly they will defy their parents at every turn and go online anyway when they are told not to, will venture into dark corners of cyberspace without regard to their person, then there is a larger problem than just MySpace. It is one between the parents and their children.
Besides, it is far more likely to come across a “predator” elsewhere than on MySpace. It’s really not that kind of site. Safeguards are in place to keep kids’ profiles private, and if someone does hurt someone else, it goes off like a flash all around the site.
It is a very open place – not one to be feared bvut one that can be used by everyone and anyone to communicate with the world at large. Running away from it is absurd.
Justin Ford says
i think myspace is a good website, it will contiune to grow, i just take the advice that you NEVER wanna meet someone on there then you could be in for some trouble.
I have recently joined myspace to get back in touch with friends who live far away. There are always going to be perverts and creeps who will send you messages and request to be added to your friends list. I deny and delete those who represent something I’m not. The same thing applies in the real world. Go to the mall and you will observe the same behaviors. The only difference is that on MySpace it is in print. Stop blaming a website for the bad things that happen in our world.
I have a myspace account where I keep in touch with college friends who’ve moved on and I also reconnected with old high school friends because of myspace. I think it’s the parent’s responsibility to monitor their children when it comes to the Internet. I know that if I were a parent I would definitely talk to my child about the dangers of the Net, the consequences of what will happen if you abuse it, and share real stories with them. Don’t beat around the bush, tell the children what’s at stake if they abuse the Internet. I’m an educator and before I let my students surf the web I ALWAYS include a lesson or two on Internet Safety. I present real situations and consequences to what might happen if you’re being careless. We have long discussions about it in class and I send information home to parents about it. Sometimes I meet with parents and talk to them about it. Remember that little paper parents sign about Internet usage on the first day of school, well I take advantage of that to educate parents about this exact situation. Some parents just dont’ know, others are ready to sign off valuable technology as BAD, and there’s some that are too busy. My opinion is that a technology movement such as myspace is a wonderful idea. Don’t abuse it and tell your children not to post personal information on there. If it’s not myspace, it could be blogger.com, or some other form of tele-communication. Parents need to stop pointing fingers at everything bad that comes along and start pointing those fingers toward home, because ultimately its the parent that has the most influence on a child. They know more about their child and it’s not OUR responsibility. It becomes mine when I allow my students to surf the Net and so I make sure I have things covered on my end. Parents need to do that, too.
john doe says
this is not what myspace was created for. Not for children to be exploited its about the music. If i can further my career by using myspace but some lil mall rat has to get molested for doing something stupid so be it.
Matt thaTheresa Lover says
MySpace is the perfect opportunity for kids to be lied to by sexual predators. It is not safe for kids who are naive and think that it is only their friends that they are talking to. As parents we need to know our kids passwords and check there inboxes and “friends”. I do not trust myspace, but there has to be a safer way for kids to have fun on the internet.
-Matt, Theresa Lover
Adam Biscoff(Mr. 8) says
I agree! It is all about the music man! I mean there our millions of indie bands out there that without myspace would have vertualy no audiance and never made it out of the basement. Myspace has done amazing things for the world of music!
Adam Biscoff(Mr. 8) says
if anyone would want to contact Mr.8 click here
Pleasure Island says
I believe what is so appealing about Myspace.com, is that it too is a den of deception, providing an atmosphere for a lot (not all) of kids and adults alike to be lured and trapped as they did on Pleasure Island. Like Pleasure Island, no doors are locked, no behavior is kept in check and parents and…spouses are nowhere to be found.
Parents through the awareness being raised by the major media are rightfully concerned. The sudden surge in the popularity of such sites as Stopspace.com, is an illustrated testimonial to the backlash against this new virtual hunting ground for on-line predators.
Pinocchio was lured to Pleasure Island by his “trusted” friend Lampwick. You may also be a victim of a clever deception. Especially if you think you’re only conversing with friends or trusted friends of friends on Myspace. Even if your account is set to “Private” (by setting your age to 14), you may be in for a big surprise. The following is not a fairy tale…
While at the mall, my family and I overheard a happy group of teens as they logged on to Myspace. After they left, a couple of young toughs eagerly jumped on the public Internet access port immediately afterward.
“Dude!” one, said to the other. “This Myspace account is still logged in, let’s post some hard stuff!”
That Myspace account was no doubt laid to waste. But look on the bright side… Fortunately, that mischievous teen was not a predator that could have easily laid in waiting there at the mall, or some other public internet access port, hoping to find just such an opportunity to gather all kinds of information about a potential victim. Or, more dastardly, make himself a trusted “friend” on everyone in the victim’s network of friends…and their friends…and their friends…and so on.
In this new digital version of Pleasure Island you have to swim with a lot of sharks to get there. Take for example the Homeland Security Official arrested for soliciting a minor on Myspace. And guess what else…they have evolved to walk right out of the water after you…what happens on Myspace doesn’t always stay in Myspace.
So, like Pinocchio was advised…just don’t go there. Pick up a nice Fender Strat guitar, or a red sable paintbrush, or a blank CD to express yourself. As a parent, block access to Myspace.com. Stopspace makes a simple to use product. Just a double-click and access to Pleasure Island (Myspace.com) is blocked…as is the chance of someone turning into an assâ€¦or something worse.
This is exactly why I created this site.
Bri Bri says
Myspace is a great place people are just to darn stupid to go and meet new ppl on there so dont punish ppl that follow rules 😀
I think myspace is the best to have fun with and i think we deserve a better say in this stuff i am aculy on myspace right now and 4 all those bebo ppl bebo is just as dangeruse same 4 tagworld dont you guys agree ;( ok well thanx and ttyl:D
I think myspace would just be better is ppl would put their stupid profiles on privit and to have a last name to add them and do all that jusnk so it is safer beacsue mysace is not a thret like people have been saying.I think myspace is a great place 4 poeple to be on and talk to friends.They can do it as long as people dont go and give information to the people on there then it would be safe. See people are the ones making it bad so if you guys just do all that then maybe people would stop getting slottered up in this world there all the GOOD junk we can do to myspace !!!!!!!!!
Okay, not to sound stupid; but by not giving out info. Do you mean put in fake info on myspace or when someone from myspace asks you for it? As I put in all the codes and such to prevent stuff from showing. I don’t use myspace for music, but more or less to get some publicity for my writing, join groups, post bulletins, general fun non personal type chatting.
myspace can be a good thing but just add people u dont kno and dont put real information on it thats the only way u can be SAFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Everyone is so worried about sexual predators on myspace bla bla bla.. and there are all these shows on tv where they lure these creepy men to these homes to be sexually involved with a 13 or 14 year old kid.. The thing is.. if this is actually happening out there, then these kids who are agreeing to do this type of actions with grown me are the ones we need to worry about. it is the kids choice to tell them what they are interested in doing, giving out their adresses and phone numbers and so on.. If these kids are messed up enough to want to have sex with a grown man at the age of 14, that it their own choice, and problem. and i just feel bad for them for being so messed up.