Social networking is a term used to describe a recent trend in websites which has also been referred to as an online community. There are many things users can do at these online communities like post journals, find friends and family, and generate relationships with people all over the world with others who use the website all over the world. Social network sites are extremely popular with teens and young adults which is why there has been some serious issues with safety concerns.
MySpace is one of the largest social networks in the world and quite possibly the largest. It has all kinds of users around the world using its network to find friends, family, and relationships of all kinds. Along with being quite possibly the largest social networking web site on the Internet today, it is has gained more recognition and fame through a recent scandal that had to do with an adult, a young teenager, and cyberbullying. So how has this MySpace hoax affected the safety policies and law with social networking? Let’s take a closer look
It was a classic girl meets boy story that went horribly wrong in October of 2006. Thirteen year old Megan Meier was found hanging in her bedroom closet after a social networking relationship went wrong and the person ultimately responsible for it will have serious consequences. Lori Drew is responsible for creating a fake MySpace account using the name John Evans and pretending to be a sixteen year old boy that was interested in Megan. As things started going well the “friend” began sending disturbing emails to Megan that ultimately led to her suicide. The term used today for the devastating outcome of Megan Meier is known as cyberbullying and MySpace felt the repercussions of everything following the tragic event.
Since this event has taken place, MySpace has made some better attempts to detect sexual predators and individual users who are attempting to harass and misuse their profiles.
MySpace has partnered with Sentinel Tech Holding to help build a searchable database that contains names, physical descriptions, and other characteristics that will help identify sex offenders trying to abuse the social network MySpace. The database will help spot abusers of MySpace and automatically delete their pages; this will be help specifically identify sex offenders trying to use the site to find victims in the network.
While this hoax among the MySpace social network has thrown the company and many of its users for a loop, it still continues to be the number one social network. Parents however should be cautioned strongly as to letting their young children use social networking web sites. And as far as children using social networks here are some suggestions to you before you get involved in something you might not want to:
•Make sure you talk with your parents about signing up for a profile so you can learn and understand the role of social networking
•Don’t ever put anything under your profile that you wouldn’t want a parent, teacher, or future employee to see.
•Don’t ever post your personal information on the web; phone numbers, email addresses, street address. Any information you put on the web can put you at risk for being a victim of harassment and sexual predators.
•Only add people as friends if you know them in real life and use your privacy settings.
Yes, this MySpace hoax has affected their safety policies and law when it comes to social networking, but it has also made parents more aware of what their children are doing on the Internet.