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Government traffics Myspace transactions

Author George Orwell predicted the government would eventually create technological devices with the ability to record everything from internet searches to phone calls across the world.

So far, most of Orwell’s predictions have slowly come true. Many do not realize that even the privacy settings on internet sites such as Myspace cannot prevent ?Big Brother?, the term used to describe how the government tracks technology, from watching.

The moment Myspace debuted on the internet, government officials possessed the ability to track anyone who creates a profile. No matter how private profiles may be, “Big Brother” is always behind the scenes, recording each transaction.

Many attracted to the social aspects of the site embrace Myspace as a daily activity. Over 50 million people own a profile, about 20% of them are teenagers.

?There are so many young kids who have a Myspace,? Jessica Massie, ?11, said. ?There are a lot of things that I think are dangerous about Myspace, and that is why I don?t have one.?

Massie?s Myspace concerns consist of more than the publication of personal pictures.

?It?s not just that I don?t like how people don?t care if their picture is up for the whole world to see,? Massie said. ?There are so many sick people out there that take time to find girls over Myspace, and then go after them. It just seems like people don?t even care.?

The California Technology Assistance Project recommends a few exercises in order to avoid a dangerous situation: never agree to meet a Myspace aquaintance in person, do not download music from another?s profile, and do not post personal information online.

These concerns may hinder some from interconnection with “Myspacers”, but fails to slow the progression of the website. Each day records approximately 50 new profiles created.

Some people do not understand the Myspace hype, but others appreciate what this ?blogging? site offers.

?I think that Myspace is pretty awesome.? Brock Lopes, ?10, said. ? When I go on it, it helps me unwind from school. I think its fun too, because I get to talk to my friends. My mom doesn?t really like the fact that I have one because she knows that it is not that safe.?

Parents monitor Myspace usage to prevent the amount of personal information submitted.

?As a parent, I think Myspace is ok as long as there is supervision.? Dina Tenny, mother of Olyvia Franklin (’10), said. ?I know that it can lead to serious harm, but as long as there is very strict supervision, I think it is okay.?

Some students believe supervision is the only precaution needed to avoid the hazards of Myspace, while others like Mike Wilson, ’11, is convinced otherwise.

?I think Myspace is overrated,? Wilson, ?11, said. ?Even though privacy settings are helpful in some ways, you can never prevent danger. It is dangerous because there are people who know how to attach bugs onto a message, so when it is opened it can mess up your whole computer.?

Myspace holds the number one spot on the chart of the most popular blog sites, but another site,, contributes the same privileges as Myspace, with some boundaries.

Dittytalk, a virtual meeting site for teens and adults, aims to encourage all who join to become a stronger follower of Jesus Christ.

?I think Dittytalk is better than Myspace,? Kelsey Gunner, ?11, said. ?It is safer, and it actually offers more. Every time you sign on, a new Bible verse shows up on your screen. It’s reassuring.?, a website that offers the same as Myspace, focuses more toward collegians than teens; the site’s goal is to help users find students from other colleges. The site gives distinct locations of where to find or contact someone at the school they attend.

?I have only had a Facebook profile for a short time,? Ellie Wilhelm, ?07, said. ?I have college friends, and with my Facebook profile, I can talk to them easily. It has the same features as Myspace, but it is geared toward older students.?

Facebook and Myspace share similar dangers, but students try to stay safe when it comes to opening themselves up to the public.

?I know that Facebook and Myspace are dangerous,? Wilhelm said. ? I try as hard as I can to keep people from knowing all my information. The only think that I do over Facebook and Myspace, is talk to my friends. Everything else, I ignore so I stay safe.?

If any inappropriate content has been shared with you over Myspace, call 1-800-843-5678, available for contact 24 hours a day.

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