Why? Because ignorant or negligent parents have not warned their children about NOT revealing home addresses, phone numbers, etc. on their blogs.
I have started a deconstructive MySpace blog SoMeEx (social media experiment), but it's starting to evolve into more a vice squad detective investigation.
Rampant immorality, underage drinking, drug use, sexual images, and massive disclosure of sensitive private information are abundant in MySpace.
MySpace is fast shaping up as the toilet of the blogosphere, a happy hunting ground for perpetrators, and a Clear and Present Danger for teenagers.
I went to birthday party in a hick farm town today. My wife's rural relatives were there. I took lots of photos, which will appear here soon. I asked the teenagers present, like I always do, if they had blogs. Nope. But they said they did visit the MySpace "blogs" of their friends.
"People can change your blog, that sucks," a teen boy nephew-in-law informed me.
"Nobody can change your blog, unless you give them the password," a female teen clarified.
When I mentioned the Erotic Ads in MySpace, even attached to my SoMeEx blog, parents looked concerned. I told them it seems to be a soft porn hook-up site, where teenagers try to meet people for sexual adventures, called "romance".
This is what I'm starting to discover. I think I'm quickly turning into a MySpace hater.
Now this from the MSM blog "Mank Blog" of MSNBC, which has been exposing the unseemly side of the pseudo-blogosphere called MySpace. Perhaps a better title for this might be "PredatorSpace".
"Why parents must mind MySpace"
by Rob Stafford
January 27, 2006
Margaret Sullivan: "I found all kinds of pictures of kids in revealing positions, and pictures of kids scantily dressed."
It’s a cyber secret teenagers keep from tech-challenged parents who are not as savvy as Margaret. It’s a world where the kids next door can play any role they want. They may not realize everyone with Internet access, including sexual predators, may see the pictures and personal information they post.
When “Dateline” surfed MySpace, we found scenes of binge drinking, apparent drug use, teens posing in underwear, and other members simulating sex, and in some cases even having it.
We also found less provocative pages like Shannon’s was, but potentially even more dangerous.
Teens listed not only their names, and addresses, but even cell phone numbers and after school schedules.
Parry Aftab, Internet lawyer and safety expert: [It’s] one stop shopping for sexual predators, and they can shop by catalogue. Internet lawyer Parry Aftab started the Web site wiredsafety.org, and her safety tips appear on MySpace.com.
Stafford: Do parents have any idea what some kids are posting on these sites?
Aftab: Parents are clueless. They’re caught like deer in the headlights.
Aftab educates parents and kids about the dangers lurking on the Web.
Aftab: Pedophiles are using all of the social networking sites. And every other anonymous Internet technology to find kids. The social networking sites are where kids are.
Aftab says even kids who don’t list their name and address can provide enough personal information— such as the kinds of bands and boys they love— for a pedophile to use to con their way into their lives.
Aftab: If someone knows you "like pina coladas and walks in the rain," it’s very easy online to be exactly what it is you’re looking for— to be your “soul mate.”
Stafford: Who might happen to be a 40 year old predator?
Aftab: Absolutely. The teens just don’t get it. To them, they’re talking to a computer monitor. They’re playing in an area where they don’t recognize the consequences. In the last month, authorities have charged at least three men with sexually assaulting teenagers they found through MySpace.com and just this week police found a missing 15-year-old girl who investigators say was sexually assaulted by a 26-year-old man she met through the site. MySpace members are now warning each other about the danger of sharing information online.
Aftab says parents need to find out what their kids are sharing.
Aftab: Say to your kids, “I’d like to see your profile page tomorrow.” It’s important that you give them a day to clean up their page. That will be the last time you give them warning.
Then Aftab says look at their site: Are the pictures provocative? Their profiles too detailed? Who are they talking to? And perhaps most important— have they kept their profiles private, protected by a password, to keep strangers out?
MySpace.com would not agree to an on-camera interview but did tell “Dateline” via e-mail that it prohibits posting personal information and has a team that searches for and removes both underage users and offensive material.
MySpace said it does not pre-screen the content of its more than 50 million members, but encourages all of them to exercise caution.
Is MySpace the toilet of the blogosphere?
I'm beginning to wonder.
I think blogologists and blog consultants need to speak out on this. You help clients have effective blogs. But what about the teenage children of your clients? Who is protecting them?
Give your blog clients information on online safety and how to prevent sexual predators, homocidal maniacs, and other deviants from preying on children.
Blogs and Murder
I have blogged about "Blogs and Murder" (type those words into the Search This Site text entry box at top of this blog to see my posts).
Another great MSM article on MSNBC web site is:
"When murder hits the blogosphere"
[signed] steven edward streight aka vaspers the grate