What is Myspace?

www.myspace .com is basically a “place for friends”, as the website puts it. The site is geared towards 10-30 year olds who would like to create a virtual community of friends. Once you sign up, you can create your profile which can be viewed by visitors to the site. Then people can add you to their network of friends or you can add people to your network. You can exchange message, photos with the people in your network.

The site also allows you to post videos. So if a friend doesn’t show-up for a party you can show them what they missed.

Other features of the site are: chat rooms, blog, games, and movies. There is also a career section powered by SimplyHired, where you can look for job or an internship.

While the site seems like just another site looking to attract the ever growing market of young internet users, myspace has attracted a lot of negative press recently. Parents say that pedophiles and predators are able to look at young teen’s profile and contact them. There have been some incidents where kids were being contacted by predators and were assaulted by them. Although the site’s safety tips to the users says that posting too much reveling information about themselves and their family may be dangerous, many teens have posted sensitive information such as their school’s name or their phone number. Which makes it easier for the predators to get near them. Parents have called on mysapce to have strict guidelines for posting profiles and also on older members contacting young users.

Myspace has said that it is trying to make a safe space for teens. It states that only those above the age of 14 can register to myspace and anyone found to be younger or misrepresenting their age will have their profile deleted.

So what can be done to make myspace.com safe? Well first of all, teens have to be aware that people can be what they want to be on the internet. Someone who says he/she is 16 may be actually be 36 or one who says he is a grad student with great character maybe a criminal in a parole. So don’t believe everything they say and please do not give out sensitive information to strangers. Parents and kids need to have honest conversation on their web surfing habits and whom they contact online. Yes you may say “I need my privacy” but then safety is paramount. And don’t try to meet a total stranger you met online, in person. If you really want to go, take a trusted friend or an adult.

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