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March 24, 2006 / gus3

The Problem With MySpace

MySpace.com seems to be in many crosshairs lately, for facilitating meetings of adults with minors for unlawful purposes. Parents are up in arms with panic and outrage… with good reason. The following may shock those who know my stance on Free Speech:

I believe it is time to shut down MySpace.com. And I think I know how to do it.

There are two important pages on MySpace.com: the Terms and Conditions and the Privacy Policy. Both pages are full of legalese any law school student would love. However, missing from both of these pages is any mention of parental consent. In fact, "parent" and "guardian" are never mentioned at all!

This is particularly disturbing in light of the legal claims of the Terms and Conditions:

By using the Services, you represent and warrant that (a) all registration information you submit is truthful and accurate; (b) you will maintain the accuracy of such information; (c) you are 14 years of age or older; and (d) your use of the Services does not violate any applicable law or regulation.

Fourteen? Are fourteen-year-olds allowed to enter into contracts, or any legally binding agreements, explicit or assumed, without parental consent?

Are any state attorneys general paying attention? I’m not the lawyer, you people are.

Shut down MySpace.com. They are targeting minors and deliberately undermining their parents’ authority.

[Update 2008-05-26: Fixed stale links.]

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