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.
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.
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.