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MySpace removes hundreds of thousands of "objectionable" profiles

This is interesting. I thought that profiles on MySpace were being weeded out by Rupert Murdoch's "child safety czar" for pornographic content. But according to this article, all it requires to get thrown off the site sporting over 66 million users is "objectionable" content. Details below.
MySpace acts to calm teen safety fears
By Joshua Chaffin and Aline van Duyn in New York
Published: March 30 2006 20:26

MySpace.com, the fast-growing community website hugely popular with American teens, has removed 200,000 “objectionable” profiles from its site as it steps up efforts to calm fears about the safety of the network for young users.

The site, which allows users to create their own profiles with details of their interests that can be viewed and linked to by other MySpace.com “friends”, was acquired by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp last year and its phenomenal growth has placed it at the centre of the media company’s internet strategy.

Ross Levinsohn, head of News Corp’s internet division, said some of the material taken down contained “hate speech”. Some of it, he said, was “too risqué”.

“It’s a problem that’s endemic to the internet – not just MySpace,” Mr Levinsohn said. “The site, in the last two months, I think has become safer.”

With 66m users, and 250,000 new users signing up every day, MySpace has become one of the top internet destinations.

All the rest ...

My concern with this new development is that the Fox News barron has purchased MySpace because of its potential as a catalyst for revolution. Much of the student walk-outs and protests that have been staged in cities all over the nation over the last few weeks were organized on MySpace. It has become increasingly political, and increasingly "left," if you want to pidgeon-hold it into a political graph. In fact, I am writing a feature article about this for The Lone Star Iconoclast.

And then there is that "hate speech" comment that Levinsohn made. I am on MySpace, and I can personally attest to the censorship of some political content. I've made attempts at posting bulletins which go out to my entire network of friends, only to have the system take me to the home page instead of dispersing the updates. When this has happened, I tried altering a few keywords, such as "fascist" and "dictator." For some reason, that usually worked. The MySpace technical crew told me that the bulletins were not going through because of faulty html code ... but I know better.

In fact, a lot of people know better. Check out this discussion group: Will Rupert Murdoch shut this thing down? The group's founder, Alex Jones, has really stepped up his operations on MySpace. Some brand him fringe left, but I disagree. He is unique unto himself, and his websites, Prison Planet and Info Wars, may tilt far off the radar of the mainstream, but damnit, someone has to seed the fields. I have contacted Mr. Jones for an interview regarding MySpace censorship and the rebirth of the civil rights movement.

It should be interesting.

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