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Life of a Law Student, University of Houston Law Center

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MySpace the Gangsta Rap of 2006

By: Luke Gilman | Other Posts by
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MySpace has got to feel someone pinned a bullseye on their back on the issue of personal security on the web. The latest article from the NY Times – Young People’s Web Postings Worry Summer Camp Directors – is choc full of comments like these -

In addition, “We are asking local police enforcement for more of a presence and are beefing up internal security, all of that directly because of MySpace,” said Fritz Seving, Fernwood’s director. “We’re bringing in a child psychologist to spend two days with campers talking about good decision-making.”

Summer camp is not exactly ‘hello mother, hello father’ these days. Notice the logic of Seving’s statement. Because MySpace exists, we need more cops at our camp. Clearly no camp director gets sued for being overprotective, so the incentive is to overcompensate, but isn’t there a little hysteria in such an accusation?

“The biggest concern is the safety of the campers,” said Peg Smith, chief executive officer of the American Camp Association, which is urging camps to monitor Web sites, contact parents, and set rules about what counselors and campers can post. “The information that kids share today often is personal and private information that allows predators to track them down. We’re also concerned about cyber-bullying.”

“This is probably the No. 1 issue facing all camp programs,” said Norman E. Friedman, a partner at AMSkier Insurance, a major camp insurer.

I’m starting to see a trend. MySpace is on its way to becoming the ‘Gangsta Rap’ of 2006. What can we expect in the near future? More outlandish accusations pinning more of society’s ills on the existence of MySpace, Congressional hearings, at the very least, because congressmen have the same incentive to be overprotective that camp directors do.

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