Myspace.com is a virtual home for many teenagers and young adults, but around 200,000 users will be sad to find out that their profile pages have been deleted. News Corp, the parent company of Myspace.com, said it has deleted pages that it considered to be hateful or “risqué”. Schools and parental groups have voiced concerns that Myspace pages have crossed the bounds of decency. In some cases, Myspace.com users have even been arrested for their postings.
Myspace allows users to set up profile pages, which are basically miniature websites with photos, a blog and links to their friends. Usually these pages contain harmless ramblings or vacation pictures, but some members have decided to spice up their pages.
Some teenagers have used Myspace.com as a sort of online popularity contest. They try to add sexy pictures or emotion-driven, sometimes hateful, messages to their pages, in order to increase their number of friends linking to their page. Myspace has generally been very lenient on what is published on the pages, but is now deleting some of the more extreme ones.
Two months ago, 20 students at a Costa Mesa California middle school were suspended after posting threats on Myspace against another student. Last month, a high school student in Shelbyville Tennessee was arrested for posting a death threat on Myspace.
But not everything about Myspace can be considered negative. Many members just post profiles with simple biographical information. In addition, celebrities have taken notice of the site’s popularity and have set up their own official Myspace pages.