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Myspace posts potential danger

The daily life of a student usually consists of an eight to nine-hour routine of drama, stress, and excitement. So how would someone escape this hectic lifestyle and express their somewhat hidden personality?

Myspace has transformed itself into the million dollar website from what it was three years ago.

They introduced themselves as a web portal for musicians and were able to launch their music, share information and promote their concerts. Musicians such as, Kelly Osbourne, Shane McMahon, Fall Out Boy, and Tommy Lee were able to promote their music.

Although Myspace has not completely veered off from the music scene, it is now being used for some of the most popular chitchat between friends. Daily gossip is exchanged, relationships sprout, and interests are sparked.

?I think Mypace is a lot of fun,? Larry Orender, volleyball coach, said. ?It provides people with an opportunity to express their interests and views as well as make new friends.?

Personalities are expressed through the various pictures, personal profiles, music, graphics, and comments amongst friends.

But, despite its popularity and creativity, could there be a disturbing side to this web site?

Although Myspace is used for positive things like making friends and having amusing pictures, some people choose to take advantage of what the site is actually for and use it to harm individual?s personal lives.

Popular news reporters from USA Today and Dateline NBC brought to attention the disturbing news that Internet predators have found their way into the lives of unsuspecting users.

And with this new information parents and other authority figures have become increasingly concerned and have chosen to take action on the matter.

According to www.enews.earthlink.net in a Feb. 19, 2006 article by Louise Chu, ?Parents, school administrators and police are increasingly worried that teens are finding trouble online at sites like Myspace, the leader among the social-networking sites that encourage users to build larger and larger circles of friends.?

?Many schools have responded by restricting Internet access from school computers,? Chu wrote. ?One private school in Newark, New Jersey, ordered students to remove all personal blogs from the Internet, even if accessed from home, to prevent them from online predators.?

Through information placed through online blogs, predators may be able to find out what someone looks like, what city they live in, their name, and in some cases even their addresses and school information.

?Myspace forbids minors 13 and under from joining and provides special protections for minors 14 and 15; only those on their friends list can view their profiles. Nonetheless, kids lie when they sign up, and many of their profiles carry photos of themselves in suggestive posses, along with personal information against the sites recommendations.? (Chu)

This form of violation has been mainly targeted to younger adolescent teens under 13 years or younger. However, by not posting personal information one is more able to protect their self against anyone with dangerous intentions.

?Just don?t put information about yourself,? Stephanie Morrison, ?06, said. ? Putting to much information could be really dangerous. Duh.?

Chu went on to write that a Myspace representative said ?it has developed safety tips for parents and children and devotes scores of employees to monitoring the site around the clock. The site also has ways for users to report inappropriate behavior. The company says it removes inappropriate images and closes accounts that violates its rules.?

However Myspace makes available the safety procedures needed to keep an individual protected. They state what the site should be used for and introduce various safety rules for a profile. They recognize the dangers their site may produce and inform ways to stay out of trouble and be kept out of harms way. They want their customer to enjoy the site and enjoy their friends.

If the popularity of Myspace has become a turn off to people, there are various blogs that may be substituted, such as Xanga or MyJournal.

For safety tips on MySpace, go to www.MySpace.com-SafetyTips. Other online web-based blogs are Xanga (www.Xanga.com) and MyJournal (www.MyJournal.com).

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