Friday, July 27, 2007


I'm no longer ambivalent about MySpace. Before,* I was prejudiced against all social network sites primarily because of their rigorous brand exclusivity and various levels of restrictions and moderations serving to not only augment the user's security, but to also control that user. I dislike the insular and cliqued communities that naturally arise whenever displays of connectivity are de rigueur, promoting persona management while devaluing meaningful content. Still, devaluation isn't necessarily limitation, and MySpace offers the user an arsenal of tools to ensure content reaches a custom-made audience in manageable ways. So I've also toyed with signing up. My primary reasons for throwing my chips into the blogosphere included keeping touch with a distant social base, many MySpace subscribers already. Today, I fully regret my decision to avoid subscribing--I would dearly love to cancel a MySpace account in protest. Yesterday the company announced* they'd identified and eliminated some twenty-nine thousand registered sex offenders using their free service; a move that falls uncomfortably between double jeopardy and preventative policing. Say, I don't mean to indicate that I'm somehow supporting sex offenders. But MySpace seems to be accepting an unsupportable myth of widespread internet predation--while admitting to even-less-supportable ties between predation and its own service--by adopting the dubious precedent of Megan's Law.* Consider these factors: MySpace can only ever create the illusion of increased security using limited US sex offender lists while offering worldwide services. Since offender-registrants have already been sentenced, this censure of liberties amounts to further penalty being meted by a non-judicial, non-regulated organ. Depending on the US state, sex offences can include conviction of public nudity, consensual homosexual intercourse, consensual intercourse between underage peers, or the purchase of adult materials. MySpace is attempting to moderate a misunderstood reality with a culture-of-fear statistic. Here's coverage. [Cavin]

Then, a 0 sided conversation ensued...

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