Friday, January 19, 2007

I sent my daughter to a nightclub and she got drunk!

In the US parents are suing MySpace because their daughters met dodgy older guys online there, hooked up and got sexually assaulted:

"In our view, MySpace waited entirely too long to attempt to institute meaningful security measures that effectively increase the safety of their underage users," said Jason A. Itkin, an Arnold & Itkin lawyer. The families are seeking monetary damages "in the millions of US dollars," Itkin said. "Hopefully these lawsuits can spur MySpace into action and prevent this from happening to another child somewhere," he said.

At first this tapped into my parental androgens. Yeah, kids at risk, sue their pants off.

But, you know what I really hate as an upcoming parent is the fact that all these young kids are allowed to play with technology for hours on end, naturally being at risk given the nature of the technology, and because some parents allow this others who want to do the right thing and send them outside to play with their peers must feel irresistible pressure to conform.

Instead of "these lawsuits can spur My Space into action..." how about:

"These sex assaults finally spurred lots of idiot parents into curbing their children's internet access, especially to sites that are inherently designed for complete strangers to hook up, and to taking them outside and showing them what a fucking tree looks like!"

I wish. I know, it's going to be damn well impossible.


JahTeh said...

I got caught once with the granddaughters because I hadn't had the computer for long and they knew a lot more than I did. The next visit the rules were firmly stated and I had no trouble but I did walk in and out of the study without notice just to let them know I was around.

There has been so much written about older men doing this on MySpace so the parents must be idiots not to have warned their daughters and checked on them.

Dany le roux said...

My previous cmment did not post.Just testing.

Dany le roux said...

Rupert owns My Space.He would do anything for audience and when broadband becomes ubiquitous one Mbit/sec is enough to deliver a pretty good TV picture which is why he is not worried about not getting a digital channel in Oz.The popularity of My Space is for the same reason that Coke is attractive to kids-parents say it is bad for you.My Space as well as being a source of moral danger is a favourite phishing hole because young people tend to use naive passwords.It is necessarily and demonstrably a bad place-it probably would not have much attraction otherwise.

Mark said...

To an extent, this is not just about MySpace alone, but as you pointed out, Armagnac, it's also about how parents let their kids go online without supervision or little restraint.

And it's not just about the choices between exercise/fresh air and screen time – it's about what our kids do online (and with whom), and the extent to which we participate and spend time with them. So, it's like reading a book to them, playing board games, watching TV together or throwing a ball.

Much harder when their teenagers and want their privacy and own time, but obviously more crucial.

Darlene said...

Who is going to sue the parents for not taking responsibility of what their child was up to?

Heavens, I will say that MySpace needs to make it more difficult for people to set up these sites.

wbb said...

It's easy to blame mum and dad for the ills of the world. But in practice it is not easy to monitor a child's every misstep. They lie, hide, evade and act pretty well. Their friend's activities are a lot more attractive than any adult's ideas by that age. Children are designed to explore and question. For a parent to think they can shelter the child from the world is futile.

Good luck taking a teenager out for a country walk to admire the trees, btw.

The government installs safe road crossing zones outside schools for a good reason.

hazzart said...

Myspace is the equivalent of friday night dances and underage drinking and being loud in public,and stuff behind the bike shed....its bound to appeal to teenagers. That said there are some pretty dodgy types dishing out candy in the playground. There are quizes circulated like "if you were a porn star who would you be?"
Its just an extension of the sex-driven advertising culture into a new medium, already being shamelessly flogged by MSN.. so whats new, just something more to froth at the mouth over. But everyday people find that they can use it to communicate, organise their lives, there's not just Myspace there's a whole gamut of social webpages ranging from the sublime to the read-iculous.. oh and then theres blogs..actually Myspace is just a glorified blog but has more features .. So what should parents do? try to ban it is a bit like banning private diaries. It makes zillions out of letting other people provide the content .So it could afford to pay someone a wage to apply the law. Myspace sucks anyway .

Splatterbottom said...

Speaking as an older man, you are complete spoilsport.

Banning kids off the internet is completely idiotic, and impossible. The parents' job is to teach kids how to use it sensibly.

What we need is balance not the crazed mutterings of neanderthal luddites.