MySpace.com is an Attractive Nuisance That Should Be Shut Down
How many convicted sex predators are on Myspace.com? Nobody knows. First Myspace.com refused to divulge this number, then in May, when pressured by the Attorneys General of two states, it said there were 7,000. Now it admits that there are 29,000. The word on the street is that there may be several hundred thousand active predators on MySpace.com: that's a couple of football stadiums' worth. After all, the ones that were identified made the mistake of typing in their correct names into MySpace.com's registration forms, which allowed this data to be cross-checked against lists maintained by the government. Sophisticated sexual predators know how to cover their tracks and can easily disguise who they really are when signing up for MySpace.com.
Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, which owns MySpace.com, cannot ensure the safety of the millions of kids on MySpace, despite the repeated utterances of Hemanshu Nigam, its security officer, that "parents need to be part of any answer." This is corporate malfeasance on an epic scale. It's like running a gigantic swimming pool without any life guards or protective railings, and waiting for kids to fall in and drown: the very definition of an "attractive nuisance" whose active maintenance imposes liability on the owner or operator.
When tragedies happen, the swimming pool owner has no defense by claiming that "I was working on a fence," or "I would have sooner or later drained the pool." MySpace.com is an attractive nuisance that should be shut down until such means are devised to protect its many underage participants from sexual predators. Then and only then should it be returned to service.
That's the way the real world works and that's the way it should work in cyberspace. The fact that a company such as News Corp is massively profiting from maintaining this dangerous environment is a crime in itself.