May 4th, 2006

MySpace Still Ticking

by

Every media observer with a pulse continues to believe that News Corp’s acquisition of MySpace was the most brilliant M&A move of the digital age — and the view from the other side continues to be a lonely watch.

From “MySpace faces call to crackdown on predators“:

Massachusetts on Tuesday called on popular teen social networking Web site MySpace.com to strengthen protection of children against sexual predators, including raising the minimum age for users to 18 from 14.

The arrest on Tuesday of a 27-year-old man in Connecticut on charges of illegal sexual contact with a 13-year-old girl he met through MySpace underlines the risks of the fast-growing Internet site that boasts about 60 million members.

“MySpace has not taken sufficient steps to ensure that the MySpace Web site is a safe place for minors,” Massachusetts Attorney General Tom Reilly said in a letter to MySpace.

He said a three-month investigation found that potential child predators were surfing MySpace seeking chats with potential victims and violent images or content were being posted to bully children.

Sure, it’s just this “banal” space, with hazards akin to riding a bicycle.

I guess we all believe what we need to believe.

But in the meantime, the Attorneys General continue to circle…tick, tick, tick

  • Seth, first of all, things in fact have NOT ended well for AOL. Second, MySpace isn't even aspiring to be a "family system" -- it's the open wilderness.

  • Set the WayBack machine for ten years ago, and you'd see similar articles about AOL. Here's a good one:

    1995:

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/1995/09/21/DD22231.DTL

    "AOL wants to have its cake and eat it, too. It wants a family system that appeals to kids. It also wants to keep making money off the hot- chat crowd. And it's terrified that the Microsoft Network is going to eat its lunch, so it's selling harder than ever.

    Unfortunately, in the process it's built a system that makes it easy for predators to operate, and has then turned around and aggressively marketed it to prey. AOL had better figure something out. As it stands, this is not going to end well for it. "

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