Thursday, January 18, 2007


Wow, since writing my post this morning about myspace's developing monitoring software for parents they have been hit with a lawsuit from several families whose teenagers were sexually assaulted by sexual preditors through the use of myspace.

according to the associated press:

"The lawyers who filed the latest lawsuits said the plaintiffs include
a 15-year-old girl from Texas who was lured to a meeting, drugged and assaulted
in 2006 by an adult MySpace user, who is currently serving a 10-year sentence in
Texas after pleading guilty to sexual assault."

Now don't get me wrong here, I think MySpace is accountable to make sure that it's neighborhood streets are safe to walk and hang out. But I'm going to go out on a limb here and offer that the route of lawsuits offers individual justice and a wake up call (or possibly a sign of the end?) for MySpace, it won't make steps towards engaging the problem.

How about churches, families, caring adults, and youth peers creating neighborhood watches, and simply walking the myspace "neighborhoods" and being willing to hang out. Maybe I'm too optimistic but I'm not so sure that the parents and adults who are so quick to crucify myspace when something tragic happens in the community are willing to take the responsibility on themselves to admit that they have not been present in the spaces or places where their kids are.


Mary Sue said...

The problem I see with your neighborhood watch system is that MySpace is like a bunch of billboards; you put up your advertisement of who you are and your contact information, and all conversations are held behind closed, email doors.

Which is why I advocate letting kids have their own email addresses, but the parents being the ones who have control of the passwords. This means the parent knows when the kid is online ('cause the parent has to log 'em in), and the parent can get into their email and read it when they want/need to.

Yes, I'm cruel and unusual... and was cruised as a 13 year old on AOL and I was too stupid to realise that was what was happening, and my father had a keystroke reader on the computer, and he took away my Internet access until I was 18.

postmodernmethodist said...

face some of same issues working on a college campus with facebook. the problem as i see it is in the lack of education of those who use these sites on how much they divulge in the way of personal info, the use of photographs, and the way that they interact with those they meet in other realms (email, phone, etc.) i agree that the church stands in a pivotal place to address some of these issues.