myspace agrees to make security changes

a big agreement was reached yesterday between myspace and 45 states (which, by default, will imlicated myspace for everyone). the 45 states had expressed concerns about safety for children and teenagers.

here’s a cnn.com article.

a bit:

Among other measures, MySpace agreed to:

– Allow parents to submit children’s e-mail addresses to MySpace to prevent anyone from misusing the addresses to set up profiles.

– Make the default setting “private” for 16- and 17-year-old users.

– Respond within 72 hours to complaints about inappropriate content and devote more staff and resources to classify photographs and discussion groups.

– Strengthen software to find underage users.

– Create a high school section for users under 18 years old.

it will be interesting to see how this plays out for youth workers. i’m concerned that it could limit youth workers’ ability to interact with teenagers via myspace.

update: i see ypulse has a decent summary of this also.

further update: anastasia has further thoughts, a day later, that are worth reading.

10 thoughts on “myspace agrees to make security changes”

  1. MySpace can implement all the changes in the world and it would never replace good ol’ fashioned parental involvement! That doesn’t completely release sites like MySpace from trying to be as safe as possible, but IMO there is more of a responsibility of parents to keep their kids safe. Not to mention it’s still really easy for predators to get what they want off myspace or any space on the internet. As for youth workers, I don’t know. 9 times out of 10 I get the requests from my kids instead of me seeking them out.

  2. I saw a news report this morning where a 12 yr old girl opened a new MySpace account with the new security measures. All she had to do was lie about her age and it accepted her. Not too secure at all if you asked me.

  3. yeah, candy — i don’t get the sense that they’ve implemented these new security measures. they’ve just agreed to make them.

  4. I am never opposed to making sure that students are safe…especially in the myspace world. That being said, myspace is my primary means of communication with them, so….it might suck….I am not a big fan of the ol cell phone calling thing.

  5. there is a 11 yr old kid in my church that has a myspace account. Supposedly his parents know, but I’m not sure of the supervision. I also think that it will possibly limit youth workers contacts via myspace.

  6. well, it may or may not limit youth workers; but i think you’re missing the point here. myspace has AGREED to make these adjustments — they haven’t made them yet. so an 11 year-old having an account is exactly what they’re saying they’re going to address. and two of the things they say they’ll do are:
    1. age verification (which would keep under 14s from having myspace, and limit 14 – 18s to the high school section).
    2. create a high school section that people older than 18 couldn’t access UNLESS the student invites them to their page.

    if those two things DO occur…. now you see my point?

  7. As an OLD youth worker, I remember times when the internet wasn’t all that popular yet and it was still possible to do quality youth work. If these restrictions are put into place and adults are more restricted from communicating with teenagers via myspace(and similar sites) it won’t kill youth work. We’ll just have to figure out ways to do it differently. It might be a good thing to actually spend more time WITH students anyway!

  8. hmmm… it’s interesting though the perception that quality youth work and using the web are somehow on opposite sides of the chasm? I’m exaggerating your point, I’m sure, but still…

    There is are language, culture and safety thresholds that mean the internet is sometimes just as safe a starting point in relationship with a young person as anything else.

    We’ve done everything from online bible study, to accountability groups – you name it. I’m not saying that internet should replace time spent with young people .. but it sure can be helpful sometimes.

  9. oh doh! i broke my own golden rule and took my comment way off track of the original post. sorry marko. :(.

    in addition – i can wholeheartedly see the track you’re looking down and i’m thinking the exact same thing about limiting the ability of youthworkers to interact online. We ought be making the most of the opportunities that the internet and web-based tools do allow for when it comes to holistic youth care & integration.

    from my own experience I think it’s a heck of a lot easier to talk about holistic care and holistic living with young people when there’s little opportunity to hide the ‘second life’.

    So far I have far more positive web experiences with young people than negative. So yeah, I’d be feeling pretty stink about losing that, if.. (BIG IF) Myspace are able to follow through.

    Interestingly enough – it seems like Facebook are a little more proactive. One of my associates had direct contact from the organisation and their account deleted over what was deemed inappropriate behaviour.

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