Ghost Sites of the Web

Web 1.0 history, forgotten web celebrities, old web sites, commentary, and news by Steve Baldwin. Published erratically since 1996.

July 25, 2007 is an Attractive Nuisance That Should Be Shut Down is an Attractive Nuisance That Should Be Shut Down
How many convicted sex predators are on Nobody knows. First 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 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'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

Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, which owns, 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." 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.

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Wired Magazine Officially Declares Second Life a "Ghost Site"

Wired Magazine Officially Declares Second Life a Ghost Site
Wired's Frank Rose wrote an excellent article on how Second Life, Linden Labs' 3-D, avatar-driven world, became a black hole for Madison Avenue, gobbling up millions while providing nothing more than an empty stage for America's foremost brands. Rose writes correctly that the lemming-like march toward Second Life has its roots in desperation: Madison Avenue continually underestimates the skill required to conduct successful targeted advertising campaigns, remaining fixated on easy to fathom models such as that offered by Second Life, which replicates the billboard/trade show environment. The problem is that nobody's there: all those millions of dollars created a vast ghost world inhabited by nobody: the only thing missing are tumbleweeds spiraling past the Coca-Cola display.

Now all we need is someone to investigate MySpace and its Web 2.0 ilk and prove, using hard data, that it's a platform unsuitable for effective advertising.

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