From the ever-growing files that document MySpace’s downside risk, the latest from Wired, MySpace Faces a Perp Problem:

Wired News ran the names of randomly selected registered sex offenders in San Francisco and neighboring Sonoma County through MySpace’s user search engine, and turned up no fewer than five men whose self-reported names, photographs, ages, astrological signs, locations and (in two instances) heights matched those of profiles on the state’s online sex offender registry.

and

Assuming the profiles are authentic, the easily verified presence of registered sex offenders in the online community highlights the difficulties MySpace faces as it seeks to clean up its content and public image, while maintaining the flexibility and privacy that has drawn more than 70 million users to its website.

AND

Already, one-third of MySpace’s rapidly growing staff of 300 is dedicated to customer service and support, looking into images and profiles that potentially violate the site’s terms of use. But with an astonishing 270,000 new users registering every day, and a thorny tangle of privacy and legal issues to navigate, MySpace doesn’t aspire to keep tabs on everybody.

At the same time, when your company continuously pops up in the news because your service is allegedly being used by sexual predators to exploit teens, having registered sex offenders posting openly on your site just looks bad.

“Just looks bad.” Indeed.

MySpace my have the greatest audience in the history of the Internet, but it also has the liability to match.

It’s the human carnival in all its ugliness — brought to you by Ovaltine.