For most people, updating your MySpace or Facebook profile is not news. Sure, it might appear in your news feed on the site, but that's just about as far as the story is likely to travel. For Ashley Alexandra Dupre, the woman who reportedly worked as an escort and whose clients included former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, not only has her social networking become a significant news item, but it's even possible that her life-long dream of becoming a professional singer may turn into a reality as a result of getting caught in the prostitution ring that brought down a New York Governor.
In a CNN article
that's been updated on at least one occasion, Mallory Simon details the activity on Dupre's profiles at both MySpace
and Facebook since the time her identity was publicized by the New York Times earlier in the week. According to Simon, "It seemed she was trying to stay one step ahead of journalists, attempting to limit what information they could access."
The damage control was not limited to deleting scantily clad photographs and embarrassing comments from the past but also involved deleting contacts in her network as well. Simon points out that both Facebook and My Space are used by journalists to gleam background information on their subjects and suggests that, "She was seemingly aware that the press would have access to her friends and every word, photo and comment on her profiles, so she began by deleting connections between her friends on Facebook."
In addition to citing the views of two experts on internet privacy, Mallory Simon provides what almost amounts to a play-by-play of Dupre's internet activity stating that "she was staying up all night cleaning up her profile," and outlining the posts she made at both 3:00 and 5:00 a.m. Simon concludes her account by noting that the profiles from both Facebook and MySpace had been deleted by 2:30 p.m. on Thursday but that they "reappeared Friday." It looks like only the MySpace profile is currently active so perhaps Simon is overdue for an update on her investigative profile.
This instantaneous obsession with Ashley Alexandra Dupre is insane, but it shouldn't come as a surprise. Back in 1995 when Hugh Grant was caught in a compromising position with Divine Brown, she too became a fleeting celebrity and was reportedly able to milk $1.65 million
out of the controversy.
Clearly the culture is more infatuated with celebrities, both traditional and unconventional, than ever before and it seems that Ms. Dupre may be able to continue riding that wave for at least a while longer. Her single, "What We Want" has been downloaded by several million people and the track managed to get radio airplay in New York, but according to MTV News
the song's radio play is already fading fast.
It's unclear whether Dupre will be able to sustain her role in popular culture, or even if she intends to try, but she's probably the only person not accused of a vicious crime who has ever had their online activity followed so closely by the media and she'll always have that, just like her and Eliot
will always have Washington DC.
Then again, I'm sure he wishes he would've fallen sick and canceled the rendezvous. The question is: