While visiting a site called Look What G-Man Found; a site that provides lots of useful information to people who are either making a living, supplementing their income or just trying to make a few bucks from the Internet (I fall into that last category), I ran across one of G-Man’s posts regarding MySpace.com’s efforts to get rid of the sex offenders who are drawn to places like MySpace. For the most part G-Man is strictly business (i-business that is) so I was a bit surprised (pleasently so) to see him post: “Removing Sex Offender Profiles on MySpace.”
G-Man has pretty much the same take on the MySpace situation as I do; trying to find sex offenders who are either bold enough or dumb enough (depends on how you look at it) to use their real names, addresses, and etc. when registering for one of these ‘social networking’ websites may net you a few offenders, and that in itself is well worth the effort, but this is not a solution to the problem.
It should surprise no one that sex offenders would be drawn to MySpace.com or anywhere else there are lots of people willing to chat and exchange personal thoughts and information. What IS surprising, however, is that ANY of them used their real personal information.
The effort to purge sex offenders from MySpace by matching registration information against sex offender lists was, for the most part, initiated by local news organizations around the country who were trying to protect (and impress) their readership by using their reporting skills and resources. One such investigative report by the Mount Vernon (Ohio) News uncovered “seven personal MySpace pages that appeared to belong to registered Knox County (Ohio) sex offenders.” They turned the information over to the Ohio A.G. and to MySpace and, eventually, three of the questionable pages disappeared. Bravo to them for a job well done.
Just by way of personal commentary: The article never said what the nature of these sex offenders offences were, but of course the majority of the people who read the Mount Vernon News article assumed that these were child sex offenders just because many (if not most) of the MySpace users are kids and teens. Hopefully no one will be too surprised to hear that children are not the only ones at risk. There are many sex offenders who are not at all attracted to children; sex offenders are as different from each other as you and I are different, each with his or her own uncontrollable attraction for a certain age, body type, color hair or eyes and the list goes on forever. Fortunately there are two simple rules that we all know, that will keep us all safe: First of all, never reveal your real personal information (name, address, phone number, etc.). Secondly, avoid the urge (and the many invitations) to put your picture (at least your “real” picture) online.
Mount Vernon news article: 3 profiles dropped from MySpace
PC World article on MySpace: MySpace Tries to Root Out Sex Offenders
A blog post about MySpace Mobile: MySpace Mobile, Sex Offenders, Quicktime Worm
G-Man: Look What G-Man Found
This post was sponsored by Look What G-Man Found