The Blame MySpace Movement Gathers Steam

from the blame-the-party-that-has-the-money dept

The legal woes at MySpace keep piling up. Last summer, a mother and her daughter filed suit against the company, seeking $330 million, after a boy she met on the site sexually assaulted her. Now a new wave of lawsuits have been filed all on similar grounds, as the families of MySpace-borne sexual assault victims claim the company has been negligent when it comes to protecting its members from predators. Although the families’ anger is understandable, the blame is clearly being misplaced. As we said after the first such case, if MySpace is somehow responsible for what happens on its network, then why not blame the ISP? Or why not blame a shopping mall if an attacker met their victim there? The families says that MySpace should have done more to enact security measures, but as the company’s chief security officer points out, security is a two-way street. There’s only so much MySpace can do, while the rest of the job has to be done by parents, who are in a position to teach their children about using common sense online. Somehow, we imagine, that the only ones who are going to benefit from this unfortunate situation are the lawyers.


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Comments on “The Blame MySpace Movement Gathers Steam”

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55 Comments
Reed says:

Can not wait until I can blame all my problems on

What are modern US laws coming to anyways…. Will we reach the point someday where we can all sue someone else for everything that goes wrong in our lives?

I long for a time where an accident was just an accident. You know, when something went wrong you just accepted it rather than hire a lawyer to sue someone who had nothing to do with it.

The infamous Joe says:

.....

Is it April Fools day already?

This is freakin’ ridiculous.

I got an idea.. maybe the guy who sexually assaulted her is to blame? No, he probably doesn’t have millions of dollars they can squeeze out of him, MySpace must have made him sexually assault her.

This really pisses me off. I need to go home and gank some people on World of Warcraft now. ๐Ÿ˜›

KevinG79 (profile) says:

Outofhand

The next thing you know, over weight people will be trying to sue McDonalds for supersizing thier Big Mac Meal Deal…

This has been done. A few years ago two fat girls tried to sue McDonalds because they ate there EVERYDAY and it made them FAT. But somehow, this is McDonald’s fault?

People will do anything these days to make their sorry selves look good. Those girls got fat because THEY made THEMSELVES fat. But hey, let’s blame McDonald’s — that’s so much better than actually admitting they did something…bad for themselves. Good heavens, the horror!!! Can’t possibly fess up to your own mistakes and poor decisions. What the hell is this world coming to.

Bottom line: I have no pity for what happened to that kid on myspace. it is 150% the PARENT’S fault and NO ONE ELSES. Parents — if you’re going to have kids, make sure you’re willing to be INVOLVED in their lives. Supervise them, love them, care for them. If not, please wear a damn condom.

buck says:

It’s probably a conspiracy like the whole “finger in my chilli” at Wendy’s. I hope myspace counter-sues for loss of time at work.. It’s people like this psycho lady and her daughter that ruin cool things for everyone… how the hell is myspace moderators supposed to tell if he’s a predator or not… if it’s that obvious, then the little bitch should have known to stay away

Jane says:

hmmm, come party at MyHouse, I don't care what hap

$300 million is without a doubt excessive. However, there is an issue of culpability on MySpace’s part: They run a social-networking site; one of their main target audiences are under-age minors; there have been repeated incidences of assault of some minors by predators who MAY have been aided by their use of MySpace. IF MySpace is aware of these assaults and does not attempt to mitigate the dangers using reasonable precautions, then certainly the issue of liability is on the table. Let a judge and jury decide. You can factor the parent’s responsibility in at trial and in any possible judgment for damages.

Jane says:

target audience

Eligibility. http://www.myspace.com/Modules/Common/Pages/TermsConditions.aspx

Use of and Membership in the MySpace Services is void where prohibited. By using the MySpace Services, you represent and warrant that (a) all registration information you submit is truthful and accurate; (b) you will maintain the accuracy of such information; (c) you are 14 years of age or older; and (d) your use of the MySpace Services does not violate any applicable law or regulation. Your profile may be deleted and your Membership may be terminated without warning, if we believe that you are under 14 years of age.

Chronno S. Trigger says:

Re: target audience

From your own post

“your use of the MySpace Services does not violate any applicable law or regulation”

I’m sure soliciting minors for sexual activities counts.

With however many millions of people using MySpace every day how can they see that one person saying evil things, if he said anything like that at all. It could have been “Hay were friends now. wanna get together some time” not raising any automated flags. Should have raised flags from her and her mother.

Anonymous Coward says:

I was just talking to a musician friend who markets his band via MySpace. My quote to him was, “Marketing your band through MySpace is like saying, “I’m a moron! You can find my new CD in the discount bin.””

Within a day he had bought the band’s domain name, put together a decent site with plenty of mp3 downloads, a video or two, and a tour calendar.

Basically, MySpace is dead. Beyond just not using it, people are getting their accounts completely deleted because they don’t even want to show up on it.

I’m sure that MySpace will contiinue to spin all kinds of absolutely fabricated traffic numbers, but they have one foot on a banana peel in their grave…

Jane says:

reasonable precautions

Here’s one; didn’t say it was effective, but it shows a pattern of responsible conduct on the part of MySpace.

http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2007/01/18/1168709870508.html

MySpace ‘spy’ tool for parents

The popular online hangout MySpace.com has been quietly developing software designed to give parents the bare-bones of what their kids are doing on the site.

The tool, which will alert parents of the username, age and location a child lists on personal MySpace pages known as profiles, is designed to spark conversations about Internet safety.

The infamoue Joe says:

Re: reasonable precautions

I hate to be the one to point this out, Jane, but that myspace parent spy tool only works if you assume the badguy makes an honest account– how much to you want to bet it didn’t say “I’m a 34 year old man who lives with his mother and likes to touch little girls.”

They’re probably making pages to make themselves look like kids. That’s the great(?) thing about Myspace. 14 year old little girls can say they’re 18, and 34 year old perverts can say they’re 16.

Spying on your child won’t fix it. Education is the only way to go.

On another point, I’d like to hear what you and these parents think a good solution would be? Should myspace ask for your social security (or tax ID) number and perform background checks?

It seems like a similar situation as youtube.. they aren’t responsible for what you do/put up on their site, they’re just hosting it for you.

It’s called personal accountablilty.

QueenOfTheNile says:

Re: Re: reasonable precautions

I see to it that my children don’t go to MySpace. I’ts not a good place for children. I’m sorry but that’s true. I have to keep track of who they’re talking to. That’s my responsibility. [don’t clap or sneer]

It’s called personal accountablilty.

You’re right there. But how about social responsibility on the part of MySpace? This is not the first case that happened over that site.

Though I believe that parents have responsibility and all those blame the parents blah blahs…what’s MySpace going to do with it? It’s a vicious cycle. I’ve never heard of it in other sites. It’s always over there. What’s wrong?

safusa says:

Blame

This type of thing could have happened on any number of sites where you can register and create a profile with no validation. It could just as easily happened with AIM, YIM, ICQ. Parents need to teach their kids to be safe, you don’t trust strangers and go met them on your own. I have 2 daughters that use the computer, I monitor what they do, I double check the friends they add to their myspace, etc. I have taught my daughters to becareful and not give out personal information etc. I don’t see how they could have case against myspace, with out filing against everybody else that had anything to do with the network access, the ISP’s, the cable company, etc. Because their kids screwed up they are tyring to put the blame somewhere else.

I guess if they burned themself playing with matches, they would blame the match company too.

Davey says:

I wonder if the guy called her

or sent a text message? Then these leech people could sue AT&T for letting bad people use their service. Where did the lttle jerk meet her “date”? Maybe they should sue the city and the neighborhood and the restaurant or whatever, and the guy’s landlord or mortgagor for letting bad people use their stuff. This clueless kid should hire this lawyer to sue her parents for raising her as an idiot.

What we need a law allowing judges and juries to force the plaintiff and his attorney to pay the defendant up to the amount of damages being sought, if it determines that the suit is frivolous and predatory.

Jane says:

Blame the matches2

BIC lighters loses lawsuit in Texas case

Unsupervised child fire play resulted in severe burns to a six-year-old girl in 1998. A jury recently awarded the child $5 million in damages in a lawsuit against BIC, the alleged maker of the lighter involved….the lighter had inadequate child-resistant mechanisms. Expert witnesses for the plaintiff testified that BIC lighters did not meet the specifications of the CPSC standard for child resistance.

me2 says:

whose fault is it???/

initially the net was not invented for the purposes that many low-lifes use it for today. as all of the new services has come online..there was never any real intent to make it secure…just keep it lose and get it out quickly…and then work out the kinks later…although later never comes. instead we have a new world for sexual predators…identity theft and fraud…and the user is left to fend for themselves and in find small print somewhere is the declaimer…surfer beware…unfortunately when you are young…you don’t always understand the fine print….so in the end nobody wants to take responbility for anything anymore.

Davey says:

Re: whose fault is it???/

me2, please. There’s no “fine print” that says “if you hook up with strange men you might get assaulted”. It’s just part of the common knowledge, like knowing you don’t drink drain cleaner or play in traffic. The Internet has nothing to do with this, any more than the telephone, the Post Office, or the coffee shop or bar. It’s just what used to be called common sense.

Last I saw, the vast majority of child abuse is perpetrated by parents. But that doesn’t get audience share like INTERNET PREDATORS — IS YOUR CHILD AT RISK? The trouble with all this bullshit grandstanding by the media and the pols is that some people, like the jerkoff parents in this case, take it to be reality, and find some shyster ready to take their so-called case.

Anonymous Coward says:

People lie about themselves online?!?!

If these girls aren’t smart enough to know that not everyone tells the truth all the time then they are doomed to be screwed over by life in general.

One thing– in the discussion about ages above– that everyone seems to forget is that if a minor is truthful about their age then their profile automatically becomes un-veiwable to anyone 18 and over unless that minor invites that person to be their friend. That is a perfect example of what myspace can, and has, done to change the game to help avoid these types of situations. The only reasons this suit has come up 1) precedent set by that last bitch
2) that group that showed that myspace was capable of screening it’s members list against the national predator list.

Of course, if 15 year old girls would just stop lying about their age then those predators wouldn’t ever have been able to befriend them and it wouldn’t have mattered. Unless those guys lied about their identity, in which case the screening wouldn’t have done squat
Of course some of those cases involved same age male and female meetings, in which case the girls are guilty of a whole different type of bad judgment. And that is the parents fault for not raising children with the ability to take care of themselves/keep themselves out of trouble.

hoolahoop says:

parents these days have the mentality that they dont have to raise their children anymore, thats what technology is for (ironically technology they dont understand in the least bit)…because god forbid they would have to actually talk to their children or be a part of their lives.

a lot of things dont make sense in this country anymore, the mass majority of the population is completley and utterly ignorant.

Amerin says:

OK, so they sue

I think the only way lawyers can collect when they sue, if they win, is to have a solution for Myspace on exactly what they should do to prevent this, how to implement it, and it would have to be reasonably cost effective.

You can’t just complain about the problem, if you cant come up with how to fix it. not just its your falut give me some money for pain and suffering.

freaking lawyers.

Sadie says:

Come on, now. While I’m sure that these irate parents have enough to take Myspace to court, I’d be flabbergasted if they actually won. As other people have pointed out, they do take precautions about minors, but honestly there is only so much you can do. It’s the internet! Stuff like this can happen anywhere online. When I was 12 I was using AIM chatrooms to talk to people, but I knew better than to give out any personal information. I rarely even told anybody my first name! Still don’t, actually.

My mother made sure that when I used the internet I knew what NOT to do. She kept the computer in the family room and I could use it when she was there. She trusted I wouldn’t do anything stupid like give out my address or agree to meet some 40 year old skeeve pretending to be 14 because she had made the consequences very clear. That was her responsibility – to make sure I was safe when I went on the internet. Parents are responsible for making sure their children keep safe when they use the internet.

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