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MySpace Fall From Grace a Federal Case?

3/7/2007 9:29 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Next time you want to go on a field trip to the Internet, make sure you bring a signed permission slip from your mom.

MyspaceAs the AP reports today, MySpace, the wildly popular online social networking site, is getting a little more legal attention than it would probably like.

Viz,

"Connecticut lawmakers unveiled legislation Wednesday that would require MySpace.com and other social-networking sites to verify users' ages and obtain parental consent before minors can post profiles. The bill comes a day after a man was sentenced to 14 years in prison for using MySpace.com to set up a sexual encounter with an 11-year-old Connecticut girl. It was one of the first federal sex cases involving the popular site... Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, who met with other attorneys general on Tuesday, said 10 to 20 other states are considering similar legislation."

I'm all for protecting kids from slimebags, but how a state law would work on the world wide web is beyond me; if ever there was a need for federal legislation on an issue, this is it. It's fine that the states are finally taking action, but as usual, the FCC is nowhere to be seen.

(For proof of the FCC's indolence, look only as far as yesterday's announcement about the largest collective fine in the history of broadcasting: Four radio companies agreed to pay a combined $12.5 million to settle a federal investigation into "pay-for-play" practices, but by the FCC's own admission, only after New York State Attorney General turned Governor Eliot Spitzer did the heavy lifting, did they do anything at all.)

COMMENTS

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1.

Nicky Pratt    

It makes so mad when I read news articles like this. It is truely awful when something like child stalking happens thru the net, but where are the parents. When my daughter was younger we had a computer set up in our kitchen so I could walk in anytime and view what she was doing. Most times she didn't like it, but now that she is older she understands. Then when we were away for something I'd take the keyboard and mouse with me. I know it may sound like overboard, but a parent needs to protect their child. I also became computer savy and would check our computer history/files to see where she had visited. Call me crazy, but she's 21 now and happy that I did it.

2704 days ago
2.

Cinde    

Ok, this whole MySpace thing is outta whack - crazy! I am a member & I love it, because I have control of my site & don't let the whackjobs in. I've had people try to contact me with spam, porn sites & even part of the Nigerian money scam BUT, I have the option to allow them or not. If you are an adult, just use common sense & control. It's even amazing how many people want to 'appear' popular by having 10,000 friends - yet dont really know more than 20 of them. The whole thing is crazy really, but lets not steer away from the purpose of it all - to network or stay in touch with friends and HAVE FUN doing it. Calm down people. As for the kids, they have privacy controls set in place already. I agree that any adult today that has children on the internet should watch over them. There is software available for parents to track their kids every move online. What about doing that & actually controlling your children, or taking away their use altogether when they cant abide by house rules? It has nothing to do with the internet, it's a crazy world altogether. The fact is, simply take responsibility for your children like you would on any other matter in their lives... internet or not. Lay off MySpace - this is something fun for everyone, don't ruin it for all.

2704 days ago
3.

KMART    

cinde, whats your my space name? i want to meet you!!!!!!

2704 days ago
4.

Paula    

What you do is very simple. Kids do NOT need their own computers in their rooms. You keep the computer in the main room of the house where you can keep an eye on them, and you DO NOT give them the password to go online by themselves. That way, the only way that they can go online is if you put them there yourselves, and you can keep an eye on what's going on with them. I did that with my oldest daughter, and then I also got my own myspace account and joined the only group on myspace that I am a member of, called "Parents of Myspace kids", specifically to help with keeping that eye on what she was doing. I can check on her profile any time I want to. She is now almost 20 with a child of her own, and loves that I have my own profile. In fact, she helped me with my background for it, and half of the pictures I have posted are of my granddaughter. So it's called COMMON SENSE! If you keep them where you can see them, and don't give them the freedom to go online any time they want without your assistance, they can't get into the kind of trouble that they could if they had all the privacy that those pedofile creeps are looking for!!!!

2704 days ago
5.

DON    

ok everybody, where was her parents?? why werent her parents around,obviously they werent.. this makes me hella mad. to the parents of the children that bring myspace into them be a whore your daughter was a whore before myspace, and she'd be a whore without myspace. parents and everybody needs to stop blaming myspace. and to the perverts nobody wants you on myspace.

2703 days ago
6.

Nnunny    

I definetly agree with you cinde

2703 days ago
7.

Kris    

I absolutely agree with the other comments posted. In an unsafe world, it's the parent's responsibility to know what their child is doing. Any parent of a child victim should be more ashamed of themselves for not being involved in their child's internet life. Suing after the fact seems more like a cover up sham to hide their own guilt for their negligence. It's far too easy for parents these days to let their kids be raised by the computer or the television. What happened to active parenting? Guidelines people! Wake up! Teach your children to know better. It's no one else's job but your own!

2703 days ago
8.

Cinde    

Cinde, above is a perfect example of the whackjobs you mentioned above... you were so on target..... and didn't you stick up for MySpace too? Hmmm... they cant read either.

2703 days ago
9.

PeaceFrog    

It's incredibly frightening, the psychotics that are out there that have access to a computer. Trolling for an innocent young victim. God, what is this world coming to? It's just amazing that people in this world feel the need to do things like this. And why is it that these people aren't weeded out by their family/neighbors/friends (if they have any) and given a mental evaluation? Surely there's gotta be a better system for finding these whackjobs and confiing them to a place where they can't mentally/physically/emotionally hurt people. Why can't the world be a happy place? One must constantly be looking over his/her shoulder, always on guard against a freaking weirdo who's looking for some demented pleasure by harming others, usually innocent kids. Damned scary...

2703 days ago
10.

Tina Fan    

People are into playing the Blame Game... you know, clumsy woman spills hot coffee in her lap and sues for mega bucks (and wins!) because the coffee was HOT! Well, no shit! These parents that let their children do whatever they want on the internet (and elsewhere) are to blame for whatever trouble their little darlings get into. Like the other posters said, it's called common sense, but it's also called being the fricking ADULT! Take control of what your kids are doing... I applaud and salute the parents who have done that and continue to do that!

2702 days ago
11.

Gabby    

I think this is so outta whack,People have choices to make them selves little sluts on myspace or not the girls an idiot she coulda just ignored thee little shit but she treid to be cool and act like a little slut.its her fauly and her fault alone the ned

2701 days ago
12.

yvonne ward    

This is the best news that I have heard yet. Sites like my space and care bear need to be monitored. There are many children logging on, and they dont know how to control the conversations or when they are talking to a pedifile. Monitoring these sites should have been done a long time ago.

2701 days ago
13.

Kristyn    

Myspace is a great website for you to enjoy but kids these days are taking advantage. You have the option of not talking to someone you dont know. I had an encounter that someone did start talking to me but I told me parents and i saved everyone of his messages he sent me. He sent me four messages but I never talked to him. You cant blame the predator fully, the child has the right to say no and tell someone. Yes child predators are mently ill but something is also wrong with children these days continuing talking to predators. You dont need a siged permission form to use myspace all you need is control on your space. Its still going to happen no matter what!

2701 days ago
14.

kay    

In a word, MySpace is DANGEROUS! What has this world come to? People having so much time on their hands to have their own webpage? Are their lives that interesting? DANGEROUS! To see what lead-in lines that are posted on these young girl's and boy's MySpace page is enough to knock you off you're feet. Very, very dangerous.

2700 days ago
15.

hh    

surely it is tragic and messed up that crimes have been committed against children (or anyone) as a result of using myspace.com ....but, ummmmm hellooooo CHILDREN SHOULD NOT BE USING SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES, PERIOD! I have been a member of myspace since the site was launched, and i HATE seeing 15 years olds posting provacative pictures of themselves on there...and there are many. WHERE ARE THE PARENTS?!!!! don't blame myspace. blame yourselves for having absolutely no clue what your kids are up to. children should always be supervised online, anyhow. it is the parents' job to babysit their own kids, not MYSPACE'S. besides the fact that the site has a feature to make your profile COMPLETELY PRIVATE, viewable only by your chosen friends. I use this feature myself, and I am an adult. members can also BLOCK any user they want, preventing them from contacting them. it's a great way to keep in touch with friends, but it wasn't made for children (anyone under 18 is a child). people just pay attention to your own kids and GET A CLUE!!! don't be ignorant and then cry and blame everybody but yourself because your kids are unsupervised on the internet. dont' ruin it for everybody else!!!

2700 days ago
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