MySpace in the News

Myspace has been making headlines since it’s inception, as stories of sexual assault and cyberbullying abound. The site serves both teen and adult users, allowing them to form relationships and network from the privacy of their own home. However, there have been a variety of legal cases in the past few years, targeting both the popular website and it’s users.

Myspace sued for for fraud and negligence
http://www.internetnews.com/ec-news/article.php/3654821

Four sets of parents sue Myspace for failure to enact stricter parental controls. Currently, the site does not verify the age of users, making it possible for children or young teens to pose as older than they actually are.

Teenagers posing as adults and adults posing as teens are more common than you might think. Be sure to reinforce the rule that your teen should only interact online with people that they know in real life. This will help keep the chance of them being exposed to a predator low.

Myspace parental controls criticized
http://news.cnet.com/MySpace-reaching-out-to-parents/2009-1041_3-6059679.html

Myspace’s parental controls have been criticized consistently since 2006. The site has done little to alleviate parent’s concerns. New safety guidelines were initiated in January 2007, but they are still weak, leaving the majority of the responsibility for safety in the hands of parents.

Take the time to learn to use the parental controls that Myspace does offer, and put them to use in your home. If you still feel that your child needs stricter limits, consider installing software that monitors or blocks their use of Myspace and other social networking websites.

Myspace Suicide

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,312018,00.html
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24652422/

In this well publicized case, a teen built a relationship with what she thought was a fellow student on Myspace. After being taunted viciously by her online crush, she hung herself. Investigators later learned that the boy had never existed, but instead was the mother of an acquaintance posing as a teenage boy. In May, 2008, she was indicted for her alleged role in the case.

If your child or teenager uses Myspace regularly, these examples only serve as a reminder that tight parental supervision is necessary. You need to know where your teen is going online, as well as what they are doing. If they fight you on this point, you may have to make a rule that Myspace can only be used with adult supervision. Your child’s life or welfare could very well be at stake.

Have a great day!

Lawrence