The 'dangers' of MySpace

An interview with Henry Jenkins, co-director of the Comparative Media Studies Program at MIT, and Danah Boyd, a graduate student at Berkeley, offers some good insight on the perceived social dangers of MySpace and the federal government's attempt to cash on social fears of online predators with the new proposed Deleting Online Predators Act, which among other things would block access to social networking sites like MySpace in schools and libraries. (An L.A. Times reporter nailed the idiocy of this idea in one clean sentence: "It's not whether lawmakers should bar kids from accessing social networking websites but whether they can.")

One of Boyd's answers gives good background:


Recent federal legislation, Deleting Online Predators Act (DOPA) would require schools and libraries that receive federal aid “to protect minors from commercial social networking websites and chat rooms.” The proposed law would extend current regulations that require all federally funded schools and libraries to deploy internet filters. The law is so broadly defined that it would limit access to any commercial site that allows users to create a profile and communicate with strangers. This legislation is targeting MySpace, but it would also block numerous other sites, including blogging tools, mailing lists, video and podcast sites, photo sharing sites, and educational sites like NeoPets.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close