19 March 2006

A rant about ‘My Space’

Category: Randomness,Technology — Posted by Michael at 0812

If you haven’t been living in a cave for the past year or so you’ve probably heard of MySpace.com. Unfortunately, unless you are someone who uses it, the only way you’ve heard about it is probably through the media in the form of stories about how it is evil.

Just in case you aren’t familiar with it, MySpace is a website that allows you to create a profile and share it with the world. This profile is basically a mini-website which can include a photo gallery, personal facts, work and school information, a blog and more.

One of the things that has helped it grow in popularity is the fact thatit offers some useful networking features. You can link to a network of friends. This network allows links to your friends’ pages to be displayed on your homepage and it also allows you to broadcast alerts to all of your friends to keep them up to date on your life. Your friends are also able to leave comments on your homepage.

MySpace was originally created for the purpose of sharing and exposing new independent music groups and artists. However, the general public took a liking to it and it’s now one of the most visited sites on the web. While a lot of children use the site, a lot of adults do as well. Personally I have no real use for the site since I run and maintain my own website. However, if I were someone who did not know how to create my own site without using a tool such as MySpace, then I would most definately use it. Anything that allows people to easily express themselves online is a good thing, in my opinion.

Here’s where the rant begins… Like I said earlier, MySpace gets a bad rap in the media constantly. It’s blamed for people publishing too much personal information on it. It’s blamed for criminals using it to find victims. It’s blamed for kids posting threatening or other inappropriate messages. Are you seeing a pattern here? The website and it’s owners are blamed for everything that people do on it. In other words, the site gives people a forum and people use it in improper and negative ways so naturally it’s the website’s fault. It couldn’t possibly be the fault of these people who are posting on the site. Why get mad at your kids or teach them about personal responsibility when you can get mad at a total stranger who created and maintains a useful website?

The riduculous thing is that MySpace is not the first website that allows people to easily create websites. Geocities, Tripod and Bravenet have been around for years, and newer ones like Face Book and Friendster are extremely similar to MySpace. But because MySpace is so popular it’s the new popular target for anyone who wants an easy way to avoid taking responsibility for their own actions or the actions of their kids.

Oh well, I’m sure if you’re someone who really believes that a website is responsible for the actions of its users, you’re probably not reading this. You’re probably way too busy trying to find a way to sue the owner of the wall you spraypainted last night.

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