A 14-year-old Texas girl assaulted by a 19-year-old boy she encountered online is suing MySpace for $30 million for not screening out underage users or sexual predators. From the Austin American-Statesman:
The lawsuit claims that the Web site does not require users to verify their age and calls the security measures aimed at preventing strangers from contacting users younger than 16 “utterly ineffective.”
. . . In May, after a series of e-mails and phone calls, (the 19-year-old) picked her up at school, took her out to eat and to a movie, then drove her to an apartment complex parking lot in South Austin, where he sexually assaulted her, police said. He was arrested May 19.
It’s hard to imagine a world in which trusting 14-year-old girls can be protected from harm.
College students also need to learn that MySpace is a public place, observes Howard Kurtz in the Washington Post.
I’m getting a little tired of reading all these “exposes” of Facebook and MySpace.
Hardly a week goes by without some newscast or newspaper discovering that it can be hazardous to the college or professional careers of young people to post pictures of themselves engaged in drinking, drugging, loving or other racy activity that might be frowned upon by some adult in a position of authority.
Okay, we get it. Hasn’t dumb judgment always been hazardous to your professional health?
Even politicians’ children, who you’d think might be used to public scrutiny, have been acting out on social networking sites. It’s not clear whether voters will condemn the political parents or sympathize.
Via Jeff Jarvis’ Buzz Machine. Like me, Jeff comes from the era when it was possible to act like a fool without sharing the photos with millions of people around the world or preserving youthful folly for posterity.