July 31, 2006 4:00 AM PDT

Digital Kids: MySpace blurs line between friends and flacks

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The volume of advertising in MySpace and other social networks is expected to balloon in the next few years, and much of it could blur the lines between socializing, entertainment and marketing.

Kids are especially at risk, critics say, because as a thriving group on social networks, many younger teens are not sophisticated enough to treat with skepticism this new, seductive form of advertising. For example, marketers behind movie characters like "Superman" and products like Wendy's hamburgers pose as potential "friends" for kids to network with on MySpace.

For some consumer advocates, it begs the question: How will kids adapt and cope? And do social networks need to establish clear lines between commercial ads and members' editorial, just as search engines were forced years ago to demarcate their sponsored links? To see the full text of this article, click here.

CONTINUED: Blurring lines to create buzz…
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14 YEAR OLD GIRL MEETS AZ GANGSTERS, MOM UNABLE TO DELETE PROFILE
MY 14 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER WAS SHOWN BY A FRIEND IN SCHOOL HOW TO SET UP A MYSPACE PROFILE. I WAS NOT HAPPY WITH MY DAUGHTER SINCE I TOLD HER "NO" MANY TIMES. AT FIRST SHE ONLY E-MAILED FRIENDS AND FAMILY, BUT SOMEHOW MY DAUGHTER STARTED TO MEET SOME AZ GANGSTER PUNKS THREW THIS SITE. MY DAUGHTER HAS BECOME VERY DISRESPECTFULL, CHANGED HER WHOLE APPERANCE, AND WILL ONLY WEAR BLUE. I TRIED TO CLOSE THE PROFILE ACCOUNT BUT WITH NO PASSWORD THIS IS NOT POSSIBLE. I'VE TRIED TO CONTACT MYSPACE AND HAVE NO REPLY. EVERY DAY I WORRY ABOUT WHO SHE MAY MEET UP WITH AND I HAVE TAKEN AWAY HER COMPUTER AT HOME, BUT NO MATTER WERE SHE GOES INTERNET IS AVAILABLE AND THIS TO ME IS "THE DEVILS PLAYGROUND FOR KIDS" AND CAN BE A PARENTS WORST NIGHTMARE NOT BEING ABLE TO STOP THIS "BS".
Posted by WACKERWORLDAZ (1 comment )
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