Ryan Jones Blog – dotCULT.com Ryan Jones Blogs About Internet Culture, Marketing, SEO, & Social Media

January 1, 2005

How To Fix MySpace

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ryan Jones @ 12:00 am

Monywa With the recent plague of news articles about sexual predators on MySpace it’s easy to place the blame on dirty old men.

The growing American anti-personal-responsibility trend makes it even easier to point the finger. I’ll assume we’re all tired of hearing about the 14 year old who met a 19 year old, had sex, and then sued MySpace for failing to protect her right?

In fact, some have even gone so far as to characterize MySpace as a bunch of hot teens looking for a hookup, predators looking for hot teens, and cops pretending to be hot teens to look for predators.

Then there’s the predators pretending to be hot teens to look for hot cops pretending to be hot teens to look for predators pretending to be hot teens.

You might want to re-read that. You might not get it now, but you’ll be in bed later and be like “ahh.. haha good one.”

Anyway, not a day goes by anymore where I don’t read a news article about MySpace and predators, and part of me seems to think we’re ignoring the real problem.

What about the kids who think it’s cool to play games of “Bait the Pedophile”? What about the kids who knowingly seek out and meet people twice their age, then give them their phone number, and sometimes go as far as flying to another country to meet them?

When did it become socially acceptable for a 16 year old girl to be sexually interested in a 40 year old man but not the other way around. If you ask me, there’s something wrong with both parties involved.

So how do we fix MySpace? Yeah I know we could do without the background music, animated gifs, backgrounds colors that match the text, horizontal scrolling, and other 1996 style issues, but those aren’t really hurting anybody.

I say it’s time we build personal responsibility into MySpace. Currently, if Joe TeenRaper wants to find a “hot teen hookup”, he searches for a profile and makes a friend request.

For some extremely dumb reason that can only be comprehended by the brilliant “I know what I’m doing” 14 year old mind these girls actually accept the request. Why? Who knows, but that’s the problem right there.

No matter where you go in life, be it MySpace, the mall, or even your church picnic, there are going to be older men who prey on younger girls. I don’t even want to get into the causes of that; they’re irrelevant.

So why not cut it off before at the . MySpace is currently planning on not allowing anybody over 18 to contact anybody under 16 unless they know the person’s full name or email address, but come on, how hard is that? That’s not going to stop anybody.

Why not do it in reverse? Why not prevent anybody over 16 from requesting any friends under 16? Make the minor initiate the friend request.

This helps in 2 ways:

1.) It makes the minors actually search out the older men if they want to be friends, not the other way around.

2.) It puts the responsibility and blame on the shoulders of the minor. Now, it’s their own damn fault if something happens. They shouldn’t be looking for older men in the first place.

Granted it doesn’t stop old men from creating fake profiles, but if you look at the news most of the cases don’t involve fake profiles. That’s right, in most of the cases the girls knew the guy’s age and still went to meet him.

It’s time we hold teens (and their parents) responsible for their own actions. Can you really blame the shark if you jump into it’s tank wearing a brand new fish gut swimsuit?

Let’s shift the burden of initiation onto the minor, hopefully it’ll stop us from having to read the same articles every day. I’m getting tired of them, aren’t you?

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