Last Friday I received an email from a journalist writing a story about MySpace.com for The Independent on Sunday. Reading through the questions he’d emailed me, it was fairly obvious the article was going to be a hatchet job on myspace, something along the lines of "it’s a dangerous bad place and something must be done…"
So I just HAD TO reply. I pointed out that with many millions of users (the article says 55 million), the number of incidents appearing in the press about myspace has actually been quite low: if you dumped that many people into a park for a music festival you’d expect hundreds if not thousands of arrests. I also pointed out that if Playboy really is doing a "girls of myspace" feature, as the Independent article claims, it’s not really anything to do with myspace. When photographers from FHM or another lads magazine do a feature with "girls on the sofa" talking about sex, or a topless photo spread on beautiful undergraduates, we don’t blame the university and why should we blame myspace?
I tried to reason. I tried to explain that it’s just like any other place where people come together, online or off – some people are bound to be trouble makers whilst the vast majority behave themselves and don’t cause any problems. I tried to point out that myspace simply can’t be held responsible for something Playboy is alledgedly planning.
So what did the journalist do? Well, he didn’t use the interview to balance out the scaremongering piece he’d probably already written titled: My (Porn) Space.com: Rupert Murdoch has been caught with his trousers down by investing in the hugely successful (and smutty) website.
The article doesn’t bring anything new to the table. I just wanted to point out the media backlash that myspace seems to be up against at the moment… wait a second, did I just defend part of the Murdoch empire?!