MySpace users angry over News Corp censorship of YouTube

Filed as News on December 22, 2005 8:43 pm

by Duncan

A blogstorm is starting to gather pace in the MySpace blogging community after the now News Corp owned company started deleting links and references to YouTube videos.

Ellis Yu wirtes to the Blog Herald and says:
“My friends and I are trying to make the blogging community aware of a stealth censorship campaign that is being conducted by MySpace. They are not admitting to it, and are trying to do this in secret.”

“For the last few days they have been trying to eradicate all mentions of the site YouTube from our profiles on MySpace. Tons of MySpace profiles have embedded YouTube videos because it is a great service, but now MySpace is feeling threatened by this site and is modifying member profiles to remove any mentions of it. If you mention YouTube in your MySpace profile it gets replaced with “..” We also can’t discuss this on the boards because MySpace is censoring YouTube there as well!”

“There was an outcry by some members after MySpace’s acquisition by News Corp. People were afraid they might start monitoring or censoring MySpace. At the time their CEO said that nothing like that would happen. Well, now it has. MySpace was built on an open community and now they are trying to censor us, putting business interests above its members! We are going to fight back.”

The MySpace group fighting the censorship can be found here.

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  1. By script posted on December 22, 2005 at 11:21 pm
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    F**k News Corp and Rupert Murdoch. He is a freaking douchebag.

  2. By Randy posted on December 23, 2005 at 12:46 pm
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    Is it “censorship” if it’s being exercised by a private company? I don’t think so.

  3. By nick botulism posted on December 24, 2005 at 2:08 am
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    looks like the feud is over and youtube is again allowed at myspace. the youtube myspace group is gone now. i don’t know if it was deleted by the people who made it, or by myspace. seems odd to completely eliminate the group… but myspace mods tend to like to erase any dissenting forum posts in general…

  4. By Salvor posted on December 24, 2005 at 1:52 pm
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    I have written to Justin who created the youtube myspace group, his profile is at myspace.com/jucho and asked him why the group has vanished. It is quit strange that all traces of protest can be eliminated.

    See my blog post
    Misunderstanding??? MySpace swallows and silences YouTube
    http://samkoma.net/videoblog/?p=19

  5. By Salvor posted on December 24, 2005 at 1:53 pm
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    I have written to Justin who created the youtube myspace group, his profile is at myspace.com/jucho and asked him why the group has vanished. It is quit strange that all traces of protest can be eliminated.

    See my blog post
    Misunderstanding??? MySpace swallows and silences YouTube
    http://samkoma.net/videoblog/?p=19

  6. By Proxykillah posted on December 24, 2005 at 5:41 pm
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    The reason it vanished, is because myspace allowed youtube again.

    I got into a rather heated discussion with Tom of myspace ( president?>)

    I guess, after a few straight questions to which I got no reply, the service was no longer blocked.

    When the service was unblocked, the group was deleted, but I dont know if it was deleted by myspace, or the group creator

  7. By Steve posted on December 26, 2005 at 4:31 am
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    If indeed the deleting is over, then chalk up another one to the power of the blog, and the blogosphere…

    Thanks for reporting this!

  8. By itchy posted on January 3, 2006 at 2:02 pm
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    After reading this blog, i would just like to let everyone know that i work at popist.com its a new social network like myspace. We have a ton of better features and WE DO NOT CENSOR you can have whatever you want youtube is welcome on our site!! come sign up for a free profile and the hell with fox the hell with myspace! let freedom prevail!!!

  9. By andrew posted on January 3, 2006 at 2:28 pm
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    I see very little reason for MySpace to block YouTube, as they pose no immediate threat to MySpace or its parent companies, and in fact, it even says on the YouTube site itself that “this was a simple misunderstanding”.

    Anyone who frequents the site knows that Myspace is disabling and enabling things on a very regular basis, be it music in profiles, certain code, videos, etc…I mean christ, the site traffic is crippling, and sometimes to do certain maintenance or structural changes, things need to be tweaked and disabled temporarily.

    As far as the rest of the accusations, they are so weak and largely unsubstantiated, that it is just plain silly. What I got from this is:

    -Tom Anderson didn’t live like a Hilton despite having a lot of money

    -YouTube vids were temporarily disabled and are now back

    -Chris Dewolfe’s wife may have worked for the company at one time

    -In an event that predated the existence of MySpace, euniverse (former name of now parent company of MySpace) was sued over alleged spyware installations via Kazza, and this suit was settled for a small sum of money and there is no evidence that the alleged spyware and MySpace were ever connected in any way whatsoever.

    The other items such as not knowing how the company came to be are just absurd. There have been countless articles on the rise of MySpace, in legit publications like the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Wired Magazine, and others. They didn’t return calls when approached by a student writing a class paper? Shocking. They threatened to sue when someone was going to publish unfounded, unsubstantiated, and slanderous material about them? Horrifying.

    I think this article, and the linked articles are good examples of sensationalistic and irresponsible journalism. The irony is thick, as these same people have slanted this “news” and written these “news articles” are the first people to scream and shout about Fox News. Get some perspective and do your research before writing this drivel.

  10. By nicole posted on January 3, 2006 at 4:55 pm
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    well, i am a myspace user and i don’t use youtube, however, i have used revver.com (a similar download/upload video site) in the past on myspace. upon returning from vacation, i am not able to post video thumbnails with links to revver and furthermore when i made reference to the website in an email to a friend, the actual phrase “revver.com” was replaced with an ellipse! what else are they blocking that we don’t know about?!

  11. By Alex posted on January 4, 2006 at 5:44 pm
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    Yeah what gives, do I dare say this is soooo like Fox and the News Corp to try and secretly seal our mouths with duct tape My friends and I are also trying to make people aware of a stealth censorship campaign that is being conducted on MySpace, I love revver.com, as a filmmaker and and all around free media junkie- revver.com is where its at. I am so dissappointed in myspace….people get mad!

  12. By Alex posted on January 10, 2006 at 7:10 pm
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    Yeah ! Myspace reinstated my videos! See people bitching and moaning DOES actually work. All the same always keep your eyes open people!!!

  13. By Justin Kistner posted on January 12, 2006 at 8:33 pm
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    Looks like it may be time to create open standards for a MySpace like network.

  14. By Anonymous posted on January 13, 2006 at 7:08 am
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    “F**k News Corp and Rupert Murdoch. He is a freaking douchebag”

    I love whiny liberals

  15. By areya petchtone posted on January 14, 2006 at 2:18 am
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    WTF is happening to dis world

  16. By Lori Garcia posted on January 18, 2006 at 8:38 pm
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    I became aware of “myspace.com” via my son who is in the Army. I had originally thought it was a place to meet friends or find long lost friends. It became extremely evident to me in the last few months it has now become a pornographic site and they do not adhere to all there TOS rules that they write. This is public knowledge and even after I write and told them my husbands daughter is only 12 – they still allow her on. It’s sickens me and most likely consequences will continue. Makes me sick to know this is a site that is not monitored and the owners are making high dollars on what apppears to becoming a pornographic site and for future child predators!! YES THIS IS IN AND ALL OF MY OPINION! They should have just renamed it Mypornographicspaceandchildpredators.com site!

  17. By Lori Garcia posted on January 18, 2006 at 8:47 pm
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    P.S. Although somehow a reply was printed twice of mine – in my opinion: Myspace.com has no common standards of print or the provanity this is used. I love this great freedom I have today that I may voice it. Somehow it sure makes them those high profits at any expense to anyone which is sad and what this world has come to this day of January 18, 2006.

  18. By charlie posted on January 18, 2006 at 9:44 pm
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    I agree that it’s bs that fox can take out these things in your profile, but at the same time it IS their right as in the agreement you sign when you sign up and it’s not like this is a huge surprise. Of course we all figured that fox would block random things but as well there is no restriction on what you can put up at youtube. Does fox really want to be on every other news network with a story that blasts them for allowing someone to have a child pornography movie on their site? The answer is no, so frankly as much as it stinks I think it was a good move. And of course youtube is not supposed to post those types of things and fox most likely knows that. But there is NOTHING from stopping people from doing that and even if it’s just up for a second, if someone sees it then fox will get the heat as well as youtube and the poster. Frankly I can’t blame them for doing it, I probably would as well.

    As for this mother who said that myspace.com is a porn site you are not exactly accurate as to the site’s purpose and honestly it’s current state. I am a member of both sites and yes.. sadly porn on both. youtube seems to be better on this aspect but the sad fact remains that they both have it. The real problem is that your daughter must go on the INTERNET to get to both of those sites. If you just put a “dirty” word into any search engine it will return porn sites and I can almost guarantee that she knows that, so honestly if she wanted to get to porn she knows much easier ways than both myspace and youtube. So I’m here to tell you something that you don’t want to hear: It’s more your fault if she starts to look at it. Here’s the basic facts about the situation:

    It is impossible for fox/youtube to block all of the pornographic images. They do their best but there is no program to automatically figure out what is porn and what’s not and frankly it would be impossible to make one (I’m a programmer.. I would know). As well with millions of users they can’t have people checking all of the profiles at all times.

    As for how it’s your fault? There ARE hundreds of programs to monitor what sites she goes to, every key she types, and even take pictures of your daughter’s screen every hour or however often you tell it to. If you’re really that worried that your child is looking at porn then install 1/all of these and then when she is caught punish her accordingly. As well you can block certain sites or any site with certain words in it using what is called “wildcards”. The even better side of this is that many of these programs can be found for free.

    As for her using other people’s computers then those people/parents are liable for allowing minors to see porn. So perhaps inform them that you wouldn’t hesitate to take legal action if they allow her to see anything.

    As for what I really think you should do: In the end really it comes down to your parenting. If you really think that she’s seeking out pornography then perhaps you should talk to your child about the situation. If anything it will weird her out that 1)you know and 2) you want to talk about it. I truly believe that porn really isn’t that bad but if you do or you think that it’s immoral then perhaps you should explain to your daughter that you’re concerned for her well being and that anything you limit her on is only because you really care about her.

    OK that’s all I have to say really, sorry I went off on a rant everyone. But like or hate what I have to say leave a constructive message. And Mrs. Garcia best of luck with your daughter.

    ~Charlie

    PS. for anyone who is mad that the makers of myspace who sold their site.. they did it for 580 million dollars. I’m pretty sure I would have sold it too!

  19. By Lori Garcia posted on January 18, 2006 at 10:18 pm
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    Well Charlie, it so happens to be my “step daughter” and she does not live with me. She mostly resides with a mom which doesn’t give a rat’s behind about what she obviously puts on the internet. I have not a clue whether she goes on any porno sites as she is not allowed to go on any computer while visiting myself and her dad when she is in our home. This is why I have reported her various times since she is only 12. I have no qualms that FOX can take anything out and I have no complaints with that “issue”. They should take out inappropriate comments/video’s on a profile. Personally, I only joined because my son had joined and then so did my husband. I liked having the contact with him and seeing his buddies on the internet. (My son resides out of my state since he’s in the Army) My husband has tried many times to convey to his daughter, that “myspace” is no place for a 12yr old. It’s the mom that does not surpervise and she is again only 12. So in regards to the parenting skills, I’ve done a fine job myself in raising my own son and he has turned out to be a fine young man serving in the United States Army and just came back from Iraq and earned 2 purple hearts I might add. If you like porno and if you perhaps make any profits from it then koodo’s to you I guess?? It is what society is bringing down today and “$hit rolls down hill” as they say. In time more and more lawsuits will approach and eventually just like Napster – it will go down hill. I have no problem with some of the vulger language. If this particular site cannot control or monitor it according to their own TOS rules, then in my opinion it shouldn’t exists. Yes you did go on a rant, but so have I. And YES myspace.com is becoming just that a porno site. You just hate to admit that part Charlie because obviously you like the porno and apparrently feel it is moral to you. I’m sure they wanted to sell it in a hurry before the “lawsuits” start pouring in!! Yeppers indeed…. It will go down in time. ok.. I’m done! You have a grand evening!

  20. By charlie posted on January 19, 2006 at 4:20 am
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    LOL.. I’m sorry Mrs. Garcia.. but that was ridiculous. I honestly tried my best to show you respect and give you information relevant to the issue but you respond back and attempt to ridicule me.. and a poor job you did at that. Now I failed to realize that your daughter was, in fact, your step daughter. For this I apologize as that is a more difficult situation where parenting is much more complicated. However maybe you should not be so quick to judge. For example you might have missed the parts where I said that “sadly” there was porn on these sites. Honestly I would prefer them to have nothing but clean and fun material but that is not the case. So here instead of yelling back and throwing insults at you for humor purposes I would like to discredit your argument.

    First off, I never said that I like porno and certainly not that I make any type of profit from it. I write programs Mrs. Garcia, like the one you’re using now to read this post. The fact that I see no problem with porno simply means that I don’t see how I have the right to judge someone who looks at pornographic sites. I could honestly care less what my neighbors are doing and even less about complete strangers. If you do and you have strong feelings about it then that’s OK, I respect that. However, don’t you dare insinuate me as being immoral or lower than you in any way. You based that on pure speculation where really you have no idea what type of person I am.

    Second, despite what you said it turns out that myspace is entirely within their TOS. In fact if you read it you would see that…

    “Your MySpace.com profile may not include the following items: telephone numbers, street addresses, last names, and any photographs posted by you may not contain nudity, violence, or offensive subject matter. Information provided by other MySpace.com Members (for instance, in their Profile) may contain inaccurate, inappropriate or offensive material, products or services and MySpace.com assumes no responsibility or liability for this material. ”

    they then later state that they may remove material that they deem offensive with no notice to the member and so on and so forth.

    As for them going down like napster you are again mistaken. The real fact is that napster was taken down simply because they had a central server that harnessed all of the information. This facilitated the stealing of songs and therefore illegal. However you might ask why individual people were sued when it came to kazaa. The reason is that kazaa worked around the laws and was perfectly legal, as is Myspace. The artists so desperate to stop what was going on then decided that they had to sue individual people which was the only option left.

    So basically in conclusion many parts of your argument were not entirely correct. They are completely within their terms of service as was/is kazaa. If you actually want to argue who is performing illegal actions then it is: your daughter because she signed up underage and the people who post those pornographic images. As for what you can do, if you really feel that this needs to stop then stop trying to make me look foolish and contact myspace.com with their convenient contact link at the bottom of the page and report inappropriate material.

    If you really want to respond again I’d appreciate it if you gave me some more respect. For the fact of the matter is that if you really want to challenge me in law or computers then you should think about coming better prepared.

    ~Charlie

    On a very different note, I wish nothing but safe travels for your son in IRAQ. I have a few friends in the military so I know your son is a very good man. I thank him for what he has done for our country.

  21. By Lori Garcia posted on January 19, 2006 at 8:22 am
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    Charlie..

    first off, you were the one who made the comment stating you felt there was nothing wrong with pornography. When one instantly becomes defensive in regards to his own comment I do find that rather peculiar. Yes, myspace.com does have pornographic pictures on their profiles, perhaps hoping they might make it into “the buisness”. As far as their rules such as you state;

    “Your MySpace.com profile may not include the following items: telephone numbers, street addresses, last names, and any photographs posted by you may not contain nudity, violence, or offensive subject matter. Information provided by other MySpace.com Members (for instance, in their Profile) may contain inaccurate, inappropriate or offensive material, products or services and MySpace.com assumes no responsibility or liability for this material. �

    People do have this on their profiles and eventually the lawsuits will come despite what you may feel. They always do. I am sorry if you feel you were disrespected in any way, however you must look at the way you wrote to me as well. We can “agree” to “disagree” and that is a freedom we have today. I am “ok” with that. In regards to my step-daughter’s behavior it is better since you do not know me to not judge me as well as I have no control over her behavior when she comes to visit and she does not sign into our computer. Because you do not know the situation between myself and her mother – it is always best the “step-parent” not discipline the child. Although her father may talk to her, the biological mom does not monitor her. I am just a concerned step-mom and you know as well as I do there are child predators everywhere on the internet! You may feel I judged you and I felt you judged me. Me appearing and sounding ridiculous? I felt you appeared and sounded the same. You should also give respect if you wish others to respect you as well. You quoted prior that “I truly believe that porn really isn’t that bad” so it would make one feel or assume perhaps you really don’t care that it is on Myspace.com. What do you expect with making that comment? I apologize for the quote that perhaps you might be making any “profits” from this. My error. You also know nothing about who I am or what I do for a living. I am stating my opinions and how I feel about Myspace.com and what I feel it represents and in fact I am now seeing what it’s all about. You have not a clue what my husband does for a living specifically. I am not challenging you, however writing my opinions and how I feel about the site. Do you not see that? Thank you for you last comment in regards to my son. I have contacted myspace.com in regards to my step daughter being underage and by their reponses to me in my opinion they do not care. So that’s the story. Have a nice day and eventually I will most likely remove myself from this site. It wasn’t what I had anticipated. I thought it was more of the “cleaner” side of the internet but obviously I was so very wrong. It really is ok that we can disagree with certain aspects of this site. I apologize if you feel I came in here in a rage, but I do have opinions and I will “speak out” if I feel I have that right and I do.

    ~~lori

  22. By Lori posted on January 23, 2006 at 1:51 pm
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    Thank you “Keihan” for what you wrote. I was trying to get across to Charlie exactly my concerns of what you have just written. It took several emails to finally get my step-daughter’s account “deleted”. Although I will probably become the horrible “step-mom” that got her deleted she may or may not develop another account I do not know.All I know is what my husband and I were trying to do, and this was to keep her safe and away from exactly what we have been writing about. Although I kept reporting to MySpace how she was seiously underage – they kept writing back and stating “they had not enough evidence”. Because of the “field” I am in I know how dangereous the internet is out there. Finally after my husband emailed them under his name giving them her date of birth and cc to his lawyer and giving them his rank in the Army they FINALLY deleted her account. It was extremely sad that her biological mom was not monitoring her on this. I became so concerned and frightened for her because of what I did see on (her space). If people do not have kids out there sometimes I feel they are so ignorant of so many places the Predators will and can go and what they can find out about our young teens of today. My only son of course you probably read is 22 and is an adult and in the Army. That would have been awful had something happened to your daughter. I am so glad you became aware and are extremely computer savey and smart and knew exactly what to do. It ruins young people lives if they fall prey to internet bullies and child predators out there. If they become a victim it stays with them the rest of their lives. I’m here to say that I work in the Mental Health Field and have dealt with young people and adults that have become a victim of molestation and this new internet of “Myspace” is just an added tool for the convicted Child Molestors that have been let out or have not been caught yet. You have described the internet quite well! You are so right about this. Thank you for sharing your story here. I hope it will help others as well and they will listen to what you wrote. Thank you….!

  23. By Keihan posted on January 24, 2006 at 10:45 am
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    Thanks Lori,

    I also agree with a lot of what Charlie says as well. However the part about the TOS being “binding” (as implied) is hogwash.

    For the record here is the TOS again,

    ——————————————————–
    “Your MySpace.com profile may not include the following items: telephone numbers, street addresses, last names, and any photographs posted by you may not contain nudity, violence, or offensive subject matter. Information provided by other MySpace.com Members (for instance, in their Profile) may contain inaccurate, inappropriate or offensive material, products or services and MySpace.com assumes no responsibility or liability for this material. �
    ——————————————————–

    This is a LEGAL copout. It is only there to say this IS what we don’t allow and aren’t responsible if someone does post this information.

    They are saying that they DON’T police their own TOS is exactly what they are saying.

    In fact, it is just a way to deter lawsuits. The final statement about them “not being responsible” however does not mean that they can’t be held liable. It is something that a court would have to decide should they be sued for created an unsafe atmosphere for children on the internet. That clause also wouldn’t save their arses from a civil suite if someone’s child is harassed or harmed by a child predator due to the atmosphere on the site.

    Keep in mind that in most states, children under the age of 18 cannot enter into a legally binding contract without the approval and signature of a parent or guardian. This is because most children wouldn’t be responsible enough to read a contract much less understand it. Therefore, in the case of children, the TOS is null and void.

  24. By Lori posted on January 24, 2006 at 12:14 pm
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    I agree with you in every aspect here in regards to the TOS rules and you are correct. I don’t know about other states but the very individuals who created this should have known young teens under 18 cannot sign any contracts, after all they were from the State of California, the very State I am from which prompted me to do what I felt was necessary and my step daughters own father. I felt personally if a website were to be created and this be obviously generated more for perhaps the younger generation for 18 and above, it should not includge nudity and vulger language. TOS rules proclaim they monitor and in fact they don’t as you mentioned. Many of us will have an opinion on this matter. This will indeed follow many lawsuits. I found it rather ironic that when my husband wrote the email after myself sending a copy to his lawyer – it was only then Myspace.com deleted her account. It shouldn’t have to come to this if this was monitored legally or if her biological mother would have monitored it. I feel in time this will subside and Myspace will eventually fall and it’s just a matter of time. Unfortunately I feel many young females or young males will fall prey to the many child predators out there today and there are thousands of them. Thank the good Lord above you were able to talk to your daughter. I wished my step-daughter would have listened to her father but she wouldn’t and continued her outrageous behavior. Enough said… take care and I hope more adults will take this seriously and take futher legal action if necessary. I believe they will when it finally involves their own children. Have a great day.

  25. By Christine Dolce posted on February 3, 2006 at 7:41 pm
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    Underage people can easily make their profile private like I do with a profile I keep for just friends and people I plan to meet. You can only do so much because the internet isn’t sublimly safe and that’s a fact. Don’t blame a website because you heard such and such was murdered or molested, blame the internet and if the internet is so much to blame, log off. I think YouTube is just a poster site of Myspace. I don’t understand why Myspace feels threatened by YouTube. I just tried to load YouTube and it took even longer than Myspace on Myspace’s worst day. That’s just my 2 cents

  26. By CJ posted on February 5, 2006 at 2:50 pm
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    Freedom Of Speech also means freedom to monitor and make all forms of media, internet, newspapers, magazines, radio & tv a safe responsible place for all ages.

    If something is proven to be the opposite and continues after warnings – then it should be shut down – removed from the viewing source and the people responsible for this violation should be judged in court and allowed legal representation and then let justice prevail!!!

    All the Youth responding to this BLOG with support are too immature to understand this concept until it happens to them!!!

    It will be too late and like the 13 year old girl – they’ll never grow up to see & realize their youthful exuberance & ignorance be corrected & awaken to teach others they could have mentored in the future. Study the Data before you speak from emotion???

  27. By Church posted on February 7, 2006 at 3:36 am
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    Please read the following and any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Myspace allowed a member to threaten, intimidate, and harass another by posting private information on his blog, information about an upcoming criminal case where the victim was a witness for the prosection.

    The witness contacted LAPD and myspace. Myspace called back and was provided with all the detectives information and was also sent a cease and desist letter demanding they take down the material due to the criminal nature.

    Result; myspace deletes the victim’s account.

    A lawsuit claiming obstruction of justice, defamation, etc will be served on myspace soon. The State Attorney General will also be contacted regarding myspace’s alleged involvement in this criminal behavior. Any suggestions out there? this would make a great dateline story “woman gets loser to harass witness in her criminal case and myspace helps” Please post any suggestions that may help.