MySpace has been criticized by the media due to some members posting nude or indecent pictures of themselves, in violation of the MySpace Terms of Service . Recently there have been a number of criminal cases concerning such materials; authorities once shut the site down to investigate it in more detail. Such images, as well as the level of profanity in some sections of the site have led some US schools and corporations to block access to MySpace .
Many of the responses to criticism have been just as controversial as the criticism itself. While many school districts choose simply to filter the site, others attempt to punish students for their comments posted on the site. When the student is being punished merely for comments, the ACLU and the EFF often become involved, seeing such punishments as a violation of students' free speech rights. Many of these cases are pending in lower courts; however, it would seem that as long as comments on MySpace are written as opinion, they would be considered protected speech.
There are also cases of adults using MySpace to find, meet, and stalk young teenagers. Such cases are typically the result of the victim displaying personal information on their profile unaware of the potential audience. Law enforcement is working to spread knowledge about this subject to users of social networking sites to help prevent cases in the future. These problems are not specific to MySpace, as any social-networking site can be used to find information about underage users, including but not limited to chat rooms, instant-messaging, blogs, and IRC. According to one of the World's leading internet privacy lawyers the incidents of stalkings, while real are often overplayed in the media and are made to appear much more prevalent than they truly are.
Many schools and public libraries in the US and the UK have begun to restrict access to MySpace because it has become "such a haven for student gossip and malicious comments".
Some private schools, particularly those with a religious base, have even attempted to ban their pupils from accessing MySpace at home. Anybody who violates this policy in this setting would have an automatic suspension.
On November 7, 2005 only 400 out of 3,000 students of Warren High School in San Antonio, Texas showed up after two male students posted that they were going to bring guns to school. The threat was seen by officials and the students were arrested before anything could happen . Such threats are not uncommon on MySpace. There have been many similar, less-publicized situations involving high-school students making threats that tend to be less serious.
In 2005, a Connecticut teacher was suspended from teaching after school officials discovered he had a MySpace and used it to communicate with students.
----------------- Original Message ----------------- From: mel Date: Apr 16, 2006 1:49 PM I think it's a mixture of scary and secure. I've received some really wierd friends requests and emails. I have very little personal information on my page for obvious reasons. I swore to myself that I would never use myspace, but after months of a friend begging me to do so, I caved. I'm still having second thoughts.
I think my space is fun! I run into like a million people that I went to school. I really don't think that I would have been able to contact them with out it. I think it is great. Only thing that gets on my nerves is the stupid music groups that try to promote themselves on here. I feel that MySpace is pretty secure. But it is just like anything on the Internet little ones need to be wary of predators. They should only add people that they already know or that their friends know. If people use MySpace as a dating service then I could totally see people getting into trouble. But that really depends on how cautious the user is.