Amy Tiemann asks, in light of MySpace's announcement that it has recently removed the pages of 29,000 registered sex offenders from its site, "What does this news mean for parents?"
Call it knee jerk, but it means that my kids will not be using MySpace. Sure, 29,000 is a "drop in the bucket" compared to the 80 million registered pages on MySpace, but just as I'm careful where I live (yes, we checked the sex offender list before we moved into our home and continue to monitor it), I'm also careful where I go online. We teach the same principle to our kids.
I don't want my kids to be anywhere where 29,000 registered sex offenders feel comfortable signing up for pages using their real names. Period. How many others register under pseudonyms?
The responsibility for creating safe online networks has to go beyond telling individual families to "deal with it."...
Online networking is huge business and these large corporations need to be accountable for creating safe products....If these corporations are going to create products for kids and teens, they should be held accountable for making them reasonably safe, just as car manufacturers, restaurants and amusement parks are responsible for producing safe products and environments for their customers.
Bingo. She's right.
But in the meantime, and in our digitally permissive society, I'm going to continue to think of MySpace as a worthless receptacle of soft porn and pedophiles. The recent news has done nothing to dispel that notion. Time to find other places for my kids to enjoy some time online. MySpace won't be one of them.