MySpace Censorship

Nick Carr’s post alerted me to a purge going on at MySpace (reported by FT). 

MySpace, a division of media giant News Corp, has kicked some 200,000 "friends" off the site for posting objectionable material:

Ross Levinsohn, head of News Corp’s internet division,
said some of the material taken down contained “hate speech”. Some of
it, he said, was “too risqué”. “It’s a problem that’s endemic to the
internet – not just MySpace,” Mr Levinsohn said. “The site, in the last
two months, I think has become safer.”

Notwithstanding the operations challenge of policing such vast landscape, this move will act as a good test of the users’ perception of MySpace.  All of a sudden, the closed room where the youth goes to escape from authority (parents, teachers…), the authority is making its presence felt.  I doubt MySpace would have made such a move as an independent company.  The liability-conscious News Corp cannot face some of the risks that Intermix could have.

This fact can mean an inherent advantage for some of the scrappier independent platforms down the line.

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