Lawsuit time for MySpace

myspace.jpgI suppose it was bound to happen after the media hype earlier this year. Nevermind the voices of reason. If you’ve failed in your duty as a parent, then it must be someone else’s fault. A 14-year-old girl and her mother are suing MySpace because she was sexually assaulted by a guy she met on MySpace.

The girl is 14. The guy who assaulted her is 19. He contacted her through her profile and said he was a high school senior. After trading e-mails and phone calls, he picked her up at school, took her to a movie and out to eat and then sexually assaulted her. I’m guessing that the mother had no idea this was going on? If she did, why would she allow it? If she didn’t and the girl was stupid enough to meet a guy on the Internet regardless of what site or method she used without telling her parents the situation, then who’s fault is that? I guess they couldn’t sue the Internet.

I registered as a 14 year old on MySpace. From what I can tell, your profile is set to private when you register. It’s also appears that the “Send Message” and “Instant Message” options are disabled. I’m not sure if these features have been added since April when the assault took place. General searches on MySpace only go down to 16 years old, not lower. Of course, a search on google restricted to the domain for “14 years old” will get you some hits. I didn’t try too hard to circumvent the restrictions I found in the first few minutes, but they appear to be making some effort. Their service would suffer if it required a drivers license or credit card. I don’t think it’s fair to put the burden on them just because you’re a shitty parent. $30 million, eh? That’ll be a nice paycheck for Mr. Loewy. This just screams money grubbing lawsuit.

And, yes, I’m a parent of two kids, a girl and a boy. I’m concerned with their safety, especially since one is starting to show interest in the Internet. What am I going to do? Restrict the hell out of him. Keep tabs on what he’s doing and ask him on a regular basis. Yes, this includes monitoring and logging where he’s going and what he’s doing. It also includes talking to him about smart behavior online, exactly what some of the guidelines on MySpace advise. The same goes for my daughter when she starts to venture out into cyberspace. Do I know that’s not what this mother did? No. If I’m doing that and my kid decides to do something stupid on a social networking site, will I blame the provider? No, but the mf’er who would take advantage had better watch out.

Perhaps Mr. Loewy would like to take on the NSA? Sounds like they’re up to something on MySpace. And watch out for those guys from Buda.

1 Comment so far

  1. Mik (unregistered) on June 23rd, 2006 @ 6:43 pm

    This is really well written. From what I know, you haven’t been able to directly message someone under the age of 14 (if that’s their listed age) on myspace unless you were mutual friends for quite some time.

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