14.12.06

Too Open



What do y'all think of the whole "Myspace" thing? I used to have a Myspace account, but I eventually deleted it after having it for about a year because I just got tired of the blinky adverts, the "am I hot or not?" rating thingys,and the women and men who basically pimp themselves by posting near naked or fully naked photos. Myspace says they don't allow naked photos and that anyone who posts them on their site will have their site immediately deleted, but from what I've seen, that doesn't happen too often.

I joined Myspace originally to reconnect with friends I haven't seen in ages and to be introduced to cool bands I'd never heard before. To me, that's the best thing about Myspace. Besides what I mentioned above, I think by far the worst thing about Myspace is that it's a playground for child molesters. When I had my account, I noticed many many accounts of children under the age of 18 (I could be wrong, but I think Myspace has a rule that you have to be 18 in order to have an account, but they don't do any kind of age verification at all.) Most of the children who had accounts put all of their personal information for public display on their account. Let me tell you something, even though I don't have children, this open-ness scares me.

I know every child/teenager has had a different life-some lives are harder than others. By the time a child gets a Myspace account, they may already have been molested (God forbid), but that doesn't mean that they should be prey to it again. As a survivor of repeated child abuse, incest, rape, and molestation, I can say that I wish there had been someone looking out for me. When I was a child, there was no such thing as the internet. Imagine how much easier it is now for pedophiles to find children.

I can't say that all children think that no harm will befall them from meeting new people, but I can say that the hope and naivete that children have is, at the same time, their most endearing yet vulnerable quality.

I'm not trying to sound alarmist here, but I think great care needs to be taken with children and the internet, especially with social networking sites. I don't think children should be denied the internet if their parents have the resources for it and the mind to obtain those services. I'm just saying that children need rules concerning the internet and parents need to be informed about just what is going on with the internet and social networking sites.

This website, Social Shield has all kinds of info to help parents concerning Myspace Safety as well as info on other social networking sites, like Friendster. As you can tell by this post, I'm a strong supporter of anything that helps keep pedophiles away from children. I know what that kind of pain is like and I can tell you that I will do everything in my power to make sure it doesn't happen to another child.

So, if you are a parent and are concerned/want to know just what is up with all these social networking sites, the site I hotlinked above would be a good place to go.



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