Remember MySpace? I don't either. But I did find something I wrote about MySpace.com, the former Facebook and Twitter, that appeared on a now-defunct Web site called The WRIToracle. God bless.
The Most Dangerous Site on the Internet: Are Your Children at Risk?
By Michael Frissore
MySpace.com, the planet's most popular social networking site, calls itself "a place for friends" - but 14-year-old Judy Cajuste and 15-year-old Kayla Reed made MySpace friends and were murdered by them. Doesn't sound very friendly, does it?
In response to these tragedies and others, MySpace last year made it so that 14 and 15 year olds' profiles are automatically private and unattainable to anyone over 18. Sixteen and 17 year olds can fend for themselves. But will this stop Internet predators? There are many users on the site listed as being age 100 or older. So all a predator has to do is call himself 14, "pimp out" his page with whatever teens find cool nowadays, use "LOL" a lot, and he can commence with his predatory shopping like a pedophile in a candy shop. Then all he has to worry about is that buttinsky Chris Hansen from Dateline NBC.
My suggestion, which News Corporation, the Rupert Murdoch-owned company that bought MySpace in 2005, will never take, is to make users register at MySpace headquarters in California, submit a birth certificate, and then give them a background check. Maybe then the addictiveness of MySpace won’t be so appealing. You’ve got those long lines at MySpace HQ, like at the DMV or the sex offender registry, and these guys might think twice about registering at all
For kids and predators alike, MySpace is like an addiction, so addictive that some refer to it as "MyCrack." In fact, in a poll I personally conducted, 75% of users told me that MySpace is indeed more addictive than crack. That’s three out of four, and the fourth person responded, “Maybe chewing tobacco.” And if you think that News Corp. is ever going to offer a MySpace support group or negative re-enforcement tools for parents, like electroshock, you’re a fool.
And MySpace could be just as dangerous as crack. So much so that someone started MyDeathSpace.com, a web site listing just about every MySpace user who has died, whether from murder, a car accident, or autoerotic asphyxiation. And it is filled with user profiles. Most of the deaths aren’t necessarily related to MySpace, but it has led some to ask: Is there a MySpace curse? And by some, I mean me. Will we all soon be dead from this site? Everyone from that freak with the default photo of his anus to MySpace kingpin Tom himself? How many people have to die from MySpace? How many funerals does joke-stealing comedian Dane Cook have to attend? This man has over a million friends, for Pete’s sake.
Among those listed on MyDeathSpace is 17-year-old Josh Ballard, who posted his suicide note as a bulletin on MySpace just before actually committing suicide. There's a fine "How do you do!" You're filling out some silly survey, answering what your favorite month is, your favorite venereal disease. Then you get a
bulletin: your friend's going to off himself.
Is MySpace sending messages to teens to kill themselves a la Judas Priest? Sure, it’s only one suicide thus far, but at one point only one person had thrown himself off the Golden Gate Bridge. In five years teens could be R. Bud Dwyering themselves live on MySpace as hundreds of their friends watch.
Who knows, really, how many murders and suicides are linked to MySpace? It’s only been in existence since 2003. So you can’t link it to the deaths of Chandra Levy, JonBenet Ramsey or the Branch Davidians. Believe me, I’ve tried.
But American teens are fighting back. In June of 2006, a 14-year-old girl who claimed she was sexually assaulted by a 19-year-old user sued MySpace and News Corp., seeking $30 million in damages. Well, good! Sue the Internet! Sue Al Gore for inventing it in the first place! Sue the company that makes the digital camera, scanner and PC she used to put her pretty pics up! This lawsuit is still pending and similar suits have been filed since.
Predators aren’t the only problem. MySpace is also filled with whack job celebrities, like Dane Cook, Paris Hilton and the guy who played Pedro in Napolean Dynamite. Is a celebrity with a MySpace profile someone you want your children idolizing, perhaps contacting?
Your child could be in contact with people like Kelly Osbourne, daughter of bat head-biting, Satanic singer Ozzy Osbourne; Anthony Cumia and Jim Norton, two of the three members of The Opie and Anthony Show, a program taken off the air in 2002 after it ran a contest during which contestants had sex in a church; and former Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee. Do you want your kids being friends with this
element? Do you want your children attending a pool party at Tommy Lee's house? I don't think so.
Heck, if MySpace was around when I was a teen, I probably wouldn't be alive today. I escaped Halloween razor blade candy and peer pressure of everything from cigarettes to heroin, but this MySpace might have been the end of me. The next thing I'd have known, I'd have been in a crawlspace wondering what the thing scurrying across my leg tastes like and perhaps have been the founder of MyCrawlSpace, on which children being held prisoner can trade survival tips online.
Still think MySpace isn't filled with sick people?
Last year, 16-year-old Katherine Lester flew to the Middle East after having tricked her parents into getting her a passport in order to be with a 20-year-old man she met through MySpace. Are terrorists infiltrating MySpace to get to our children? To recruit for al-Qaeda, or so some Sultan can put little Katherine in his harem? Maybe. A search for the name "Osama Bin Laden" yields over 800 profiles. Could Bin Laden possibly be found via MySpace?
There are also over 1,300 users with the name "Adolf Hitler." It’s all very nice to be fascinated with Hitler. Everyone from Charles Manson to Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold has been at one time or another. Even Hillary and Hayley Duff admire the Fuhrer, someone told me, but I might be confusing them with Prussian Blue.
The point is, keep it off of sites that children visit regularly. Remember when eBay first banned Nazi and serial killer paraphernalia from being sold? Everyone was like, "Great, where am I gonna get a John Wayne Gacy snow globe now?" Now, years later, who misses it? MySpace, or perhaps MeinSpace, needs to police their site, like eBay does, and get rid of these numbskulls, all of whom come up in the Hitler search:
"ill kill you bitch": This is a 47-year-old user in Arizona with a picture
of a kitten firing a semiautomatic rifle out of a window. Here’s a guy
we need to keep an eye on.
"Jesus LSD": This 17-year-old's headline reads, "I did it for Dahmer." He
belongs to groups called "People Who Had Sex With Alan Sbisa's Mom" and
"USDM: United States of Death Metal."
"Goatwhore": A 16-year-old whose page is filled with swastikas and
references to Satan. This is what America’s youth has come to.
"Tyler": Listed as 69 years old (LOL!), his "About Me" section reads, "i am
a version of Hitler, but much more retarded and dont have any nasty jew blood
in me... and i love telling people they suck at life."
Well, who doesn’t, Tyler?
Finally, there's Adolf Hitler himself. His profile song is an actual WWII Nazi marching song. There are photos of him and other Nazis, as well as a Hitler "About Me" section. Hitler's "Top 8" friends include bin Laden, Idi Amin, and Joseph Stalin. And a look at Idi Amin's "Top 8" includes not only Bid Laden, Hitler and Stalin, but Genghis Khan, Fidel Castro, Satan and Carlton Banks from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
I myself received a friend request from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Who knows if this was the real Jesus, since a search for the name "Jesus Christ" produces 8,060 hits? When the real Jesus comes back to Earth, how will we know which MySpace URL He's using?
So our children are at risk, but, if you think that being a MySpace user over eighteen makes you safe, think again. Several 18-30 year-old women I have spoken with have been contacted by the twisted element of this popular site.
Crystal, 28, of Massachusetts received the following message twice from a man whose profile is chock-full of marijuana references:
"wow pretty girl u have the body of a goddess and the eyes
of an angel they r so amazing and gorgeous they sparkle like
diamonds with a smile that is so beautiful it lights up the sky
everytime u smile hun it puts the moon stars and the sun 2 shame hunny
bun i luv 2 chat and become friends if its alright with u sweetheart"
That's poetry. A little e.e. cummings, a little Prince, and a whole lot of someone any right-minded person would certainly want to avoid or possibly call the police on.
Alison, 25, of Tucson, AZ was subjected to this message:
"hey there gorgeous little Diva tell me babygirl.. WOW your
very sexy ...whats up u sexy sexy babygirl...how r u? i just
had to send u a message.. do u think u could handle something
like me sweetie.......hehe... u seem cool as fuck..."
Sir, you had me at "sexy sexy babygirl." This touched me because this is amazingly close to how I proposed to my wife. And, "cool as fuck," that's a simile you just never hear in poetry anymore.
This same gentleman then described himself:
"spikey dark brown hair and eyes... pierced nipples..celtic
cross tattoo on my right arm, very easy to get along with...kick
back. wild..FREAKY ... KINKY....SWEET guy"
This guy sounds like a lunatic. Do you want freaky, kinky men with spikey brown eyes contacting your daughter?
Finally, Sarah, 30, of Philadelphia, gave me a veritable goldmine of messages she has received, which eventually made her delete the photo of herself that was attracting so many of MySpace's freaks:
"Also please ignore the sick joke my assistant has played on
me of adding everyone she can with barely any clothes. I
only talk to maybe 5 people on here. I just don't have the time
to delete all those supposed friends."
His assistant? What is he? A magician? A mad scientist? Rule number one of MySpace female hunting: lose the naked broads, up with the puppies and kittens.
Here’s another one from Sarah:
"I would never hurt a woman. That goes ageist my morals."
I guess that’s why he lives in the City of Brotherly Love. This is unedited, by the way. These are all unedited, which means that if your child somehow avoids the mouse click of a deranged pedophile psychopath, he or she will almost certainly receive a message or friend request from a complete imbecile. Just read Crystal’s and Alison’s messages again. There isn’t a period or comma to be found, and no capitalization whatsoever. And just look at the spelling: “Hunny,” “luv,” “alright,” using “it’s” incorrectly.
Sure, most of Sarah’s perverts have at least something in terms of a knowledge of grammar, but “ageist morals?” I’ll give you a million dollars if you can find an E in the word he’s trying to use.
Not only that, but “I would never hurt a woman?” What kind of intro is this? “Date me and you won’t have scratches, bruises and black eyes to explain to your co-workers.” Unless your profile contains photos of Ike Turner and Jason Kidd with captions saying, "He knows how to treat a woman!" why would you introduce yourself this way? Hell, why not just type:
What’s the first thing a woman does when she gets out
of the battered women’s shelter?
The dishes, if she knows what’s good for her.
So, parents of youngins of all ages, keep your kids safe by keeping them off of MySpace. If you want them to make friends, put them in an after school program, maybe the glee club or Mathletes. Perhaps they could join a church group or volunteer at a retirement home. Because this MySpace is the devil himself, and it will get your child. It may be a harmless oaf typing with one finger to a 25-30-year-old woman. It may be a loveable pedophile, like Michael Jackson or Peter Lorre in M, asking your child to come ride the Ferris wheel in his backyard. Or it could be worse. There are all types on MySpace.
Unless you want an easy $30 million in cash from a major corporation. Then, by all means, have all your children post profiles.