4/14/2006

From MySpace to Safer Place

MySpace is a growing hit among young adults and teens. They now have over 70 million users, up from 10 million just over a year ago. With the rise in popularity, so comes the rise in the number of sexual predators on the site. This article states that MySpace has been developing new ways of operation to lessen the number of sexual predators using the site. The more they regulate the site, the less appealing it will become to the young audience that uses it. With other similar sites popping up, it needs to maintain its "hip" image to sustain its popularity.

8 comments:

Jake said...

It is interesting that the negative press MySpace has received hasn't seemed to diminish its popularity.

noah said...

Right now myspace.com is the 4th most popular website in the U.S. and 8th most popular in the world. Personally I think they have a social responsibility to do whatever they can to protect children.

will said...

I have to disagree with Jakes comment. Most teens like negative press and the more they hear about something the more intrigued they are. I do agree with Noah however that the website should do whatever it needs to to help protect children. Parents can play a major role in childrens safety on the internet by setting rules and monitoring use of the internet. I have heard a great tip is to place the computer in a high traffic area. I believe it is everyones responsibility to maintain the safety of children.

Dr. Tufte said...

-1 on Will's comment for grammatical errors.

I only think that MySpace is obligated to invest in discouraging predators up to the level at which they encourage potential victims to use their site. MySpace is a good example of a network externality - are you obligated to do a particular thing with your business if it has been adopted by a group that is pursued by predators? I'm just not sure that question has a decent answer.

Matthew said...

Dr Tufte said that MySpace is only obligated to discourage predators up to the level at which they encourage potential victims to their site. I agree with that comment, but think that it may be difficult to measure what that amount would be.

It doesn't seem that MySpace advertises that much – most people are getting referred to MySpace through friends and word of mouth. People stay on MySpace because they like the product/site. If users feel that they are in danger of predators, they will stop using the site. It is at this point that MySpace should analyze the costs and benefits of discouraging predators.

Isaac said...

Dr. Tufte wrote a comment wondering if one is “obligated to do a particular thing with your business if it has been adopted by a group that is pursued by predators?” While agreeing that there is no decent answer, I believe that if your business contains a group that is pursued by predators you have a right to protect them from such individuals. We log onto these websites feeling we are safe and Myspace needs to make sure that feeling continues with the customer. We can see this with the new security measures Myspace is implementing.

William said...

Dr. Tufte,
I think that MySpace has some responsibility to try to protect people from sexual predators. But, I also think that some of the responsibility relies on the people.

So many young children go on and give out way too much information. I think parents need to be held responsible for what their children do. So many times young people are put in these situations because they are not educated on not giving out information.

I think with the increase of technology and the internet this problem is unfortunately only going to increase.

Dr. Tufte said...

OK, Matthew, Isaac and William, let's pursue this a little more. If MySpace should have to do this sort of policing after the fact, should they have to include this in their business plan? If so, how? If so, how would they be funded? Retroactive responsibility is a Pandora's jar.