MySpace is awesome

From time to time in the past I've disparaged MySpace on this blog and others. I take it all back. MySpace is awesome. Sure their security is swiss cheese and the layouts are annoying but it is possible to live forever as a teenager. It is completely possible to easily jump right back into high school. The beauty of MySpace is that all those long-forgotten high school spats and grade-school spitting contests come alive again. Teenagedom at 25, 35, 45... reality TV has nothing on this.

Charges filed after MySpace bragging

Astute users of online services have long been aware of the connection between online identities and their real world persona. With the growth of popularity of MySpace experts have been pointing out employers will be using people's MySpace profiles to get information about a potential hire. Today comes news that two Rockville, Maryland teens were charged with setting 17 fires after they bragged about setting the fires on MySpace.

The announcement brings to mind one profile of an underage teen claiming to be 21 on their MySpace profile. The profile goes on to talk about the teen's drinking binges and chasing the opposite sex. At the same time this teen expresses a desire to be a lawyer one day. What is most amazing about this sort of online bragging is that a simple Google search provides enough collaborating information for any potential employer or law school admissions officer to know the  braggart is at most 19, not the claimed 21. Or maybe just a curious neighborhood police officer stopping by the site.

Political groups should be cautious on MySpace

Earlier I spent some time writing about some cautions for libraries making the leap to MySpace. It bears repeating, however, as political groups thinking of using MySpace to organize need to be aware of ominous terms. No longer is it necessary for the GOP to break in to the Watergate to get political documents. Instead all they need are the overly broad permissions granted in the MySpace terms of service. Those terms give MySpace the right to publish anything posted using the service. So a note to a friend about this weekend's surprise announcement or political rally are fair game for the lead story on Fox News tonight, or simply as a gift to the GOP.

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