I was hecka shocked when I read this article on Friday morning before school. Read it and you'll find out yourself. In fact, it seems so ultra conservative and all that. It shows how kids can get in trouble on Myspace yet doesn't point out that there's settings where you can protect yourself. Here's a few excerpts from the article:
"Meet the new permanent record. Those cute and chatty Web pages kids create on MySpace, Xanga and similar sites often include revealing photos, chronicles of partying -- some real, some exaggerated -- and blog entries peppered with foul language. The sites, easily accessible by parents, principals and even predators, could do lasting damage to a teen's reputation, and now more parents and school officials are taking action."
Not always the permament record. Besides, you can change your settings so that you read your comments before they get published on your site. How? Easy.
1. Go to the myspace home page when logged in.
2. Click "Account Settings"
3. Click on the words "Change Settings" next to the section "Privacy Settings"
4. The second checkbox on that options page reads "Approve Comments Before Posting". Check that box. Click "Change Settings".
5. Now you must read the comments that your friends enter in your coments box before you publish them. It's your choice wheter or not you wanna take the time to read comments before publishing them. If you get about tens or hundres of comments per day or everytime you check Myspace, man, it's gonna be a hectic thing for you to do. It's your choice. Oh, on the other hand, if you've been getting harrased online, I definitely recommend you check this option. Better yet, SEE A PARENT OR SCHOOL COUNSELOR/ADMINSTRATOR IMMEDIATELY. I'm sure they can do somehting about it too.
5b. Oh yeah, I forgot. Blog entries and bulletin are also the forums of communication on Myspace where people can haras you if you block their comments. So if they harrass you there, cry uncle.
Now from that excerpt it also pointed out the nasty content that's peppered all over the site. I'm a liberal and absolutely hate those idiots like Jack Thompson and the right-wingers who blast the media for corrupting our kids, so I don't necesarly have a problem with that. And regarding the site being esily accessible, heck no. There are ways where you can edit your profile so that it's hidden to those who you don't know or who could be potential predators. Do Steps 1, 2, and 3 above, only you have to scroll down to the bottom of the "Privacy Settings" page. There are two options: "Anyone under 18 can view my profile", and "Only my friends can view my profile". The safest option is "Only my friends..." because you never know if an apparant child molester out there set his/her birthdate to be under 18. This option is available ONLY IF YOU SET YOUR BIRTHDATE SO THAT YOU'RE UNDER 18. Most people who even bother to read this are under 18, i'm sure, becuase the only peeps over 18 on my friends list are the Wild 94.9 staff. So please be honest wit yourself and show your true age. Oh yeah, faking your birthdate is against the Terms of Service at Myspace, and can get your account deleted and your email will be banned from registration. (And yeah, I do know other friends at high school who fake their birthdates and some middle schoolers who fake theirs too)
"Sonia's father, Daniel Chapiro, said he sat down his daughter after seeing her MySpace page and reminded her that what she posts online is public." Not all the time, if you take the steps mentioned above.
"MySpace doesn't track the number of parents using the site, though officials say 75 percent of its members are over 18." Please note that this is not a true representation of adults using the site, as there ARE lotsa kids who fake their birthdates so they're over 18.
And now THIS..."Gilroy Unified School District blocked the site in November after a South Valley Middle School student complained about being harassed through the site, said Rob van Herk, the district's information technology director." Silly, isn't it? I mean, most middle schoolers should NOT even BE using the site in the first place (Xanga has a 13-and-up age limit so that's an exception) so if a middle school gets complaints about Myspace they should just order the disabling of the pertrator's page because the student--most likely--is underage for legal use of the site. The only middle school students who should get punished for harasing another student over myspace should be the students over 14 (that usually is the 8th graders who rached their 14th birthdays...or really dumb 7th/8th graders who were held back. Hee hee) If they were under 14 and harassing the student online, because they were too young to be even using the site in the first place, both side's accounts should be deleted, no questions asked, because it's a violation of Myspace and FEDERAL LAW (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COPPA) TOO! You know what should be doen to prevent these problems? All schools/districts should ban Myspace so that thye won't have to deal with these sortsa problems this much. Maybe there should be a federal law stating that sites like these are illegal for access in educational institutions or something like that.
So in short, this news article (and all the other articles i mentioned on Tuesday's blog) are just right-wing bullsh*t propaganda against Myspace. I mean, it seems very very obvious that they didn't do enough research to backup their evidence that sites like these fail to guarantee security and safety for their users. BTW, I got sick at the family.org article, since it's one of those religious ultra-right-wing sites formed by a group of dumbazz ignorant soccer moms. I think I should write a "Letter to the Editor" about this obviously biased and wrong news article. You should too. Express yourself at letters [at] mercurynews [dot] com - your letter should be less tan 125 words. No attachments accepted.
Oakland rapper E-40 says that he uses myspace to promote his music, as do other independent/underground musicians like his bay area partner Keak Da Sneak, Christian rock band Building 429, punk rock band AFI, and numerous other musicians, independent, underground, mainstream, you name it. That should bring up some happiness in you after you've read this.