If you want to know what the real threat to kids is at MySpace, read todayâ€™s piece in the New York Times and remember that predators arenâ€™t always interested in sex:
To expand ad sales, especially to big brands, Mr. Levinsohn plans to supplement the MySpace staff with a second sales force linked to the Fox TV sales department. He wants to expand one of Mr. DeWolfeâ€™s advertising ideasâ€”turning advertisers into members of the MySpace community, with their own profiles, like the teenagersâ€™â€”so that the young people who often spend hours each day on MySpace can become â€œfriendsâ€ with movies, cellphone companies, and even deodorants. Young people can link to the profiles set up by these goods and services, as they would to real friends, and these commercial â€œfriendsâ€ can even send them messagesâ€”ads really, but of a whole new kind.
Even worse is that there is a good chance it will work. One college student quoted in the article is trusting MySpace to get a feel for potential dates.
While she does not use the site to meet people, it has become a part of the dating ritual. â€œWhen you meet someone, the question is not â€˜Whatâ€™s your number?â€™ she said. Itâ€™s â€˜Whatâ€™s your MySpace?â€™â€ By checking out a guyâ€™s profile, she said, â€œyou can actually get a feeling for who they are.â€
Especially if they have Old Spice in their profiles, right?
Once again, Iâ€™m struck by how much educating needs to be done here. Too bad the educators in the districts that weâ€™ve been talking about lately wonâ€™t be getting the Times article any time soonâ€¦
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