There's just something about new technologies and the idea that people like to blame them, rather than the people using them, for crimes. For some reason, that seems to go double with the popular social networking site MySpace. Last year, we wrote about MySpace being blamed for some stupid kids who used it to spread rumors that there was going to be a shooting at school the next day. It was the kids' fault -- not MySpace. Now, there's a new story about a series of sexual assaults on underage girls -- where the meetings were facilitated by MySpace. However, the article seems to focus entirely on the MySpace aspect of this, which really is a minor point. The real culprits are the guys who did this -- and focusing on MySpace is going to put the blame in the wrong space. We've also noticed a trend here. On a few of our older stories about MySpace, we've had a number of angry parents show up, complaining about all the awful things they've found on the MySpace profiles of their kids or their kids' friends. It's easy to blame MySpace -- but if this is what the kids are doing, shouldn't the parents be talking to their kids about this, helping them understand why what they're doing is dangerous? Simply pinning the blame on MySpace doesn't help. If these parents succeed in stopping MySpace, the kids will simply move on to some other service. The real trick is to educate kids on appropriate behavior and the potential risks in dealing with other people online. Then, it won't matter what site they're on -- they'll have a good foundation to know how to act more appropriately.
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