I'm going to jump in here and play devil's advocate.....
It's not MySpace's job to protect the kids. The *parents* are responsible for knowing what their child does. The predator can stalk the kid online but in order for sexual abuse (or anything else) to occur the child has to meet the predator. While I will not loudly argue the fact that you can not control all of your child's interactions on the web (but really I don't buy that), you can definitely control where they going, whom they are meeting, etc..etc.....
I think parents need to wake up and smell the coffee. As stated in other posts MySpace is a company out to make a buck. Are you going to trust the safety of your children to a company???
I think kids are too spoiled today. Computers and laptops in their bedrooms?? No way. Not in my house. Then again I don't even allow TVs in the bedroom.
The computer is in a common public area. *I* approve any friend requests, I have all the passwords, can check (and do check) all email, IM histories, profiles, etc..etc... I have a keylogger on the system as well. We have also spoken about the hidden dangers of displaying personal information, meeting strangers, etc..etc....... If something happens to the child I'm taking care of (as I do not have my own children, but participate in respite foster care) it is my fault, not MySpace's.
I disagree. I think it's important to make sure children understand the dangers of the internet (been there, done that
), but I don't think it's morally correct to have a keylogger on the system, and check emails & friend applications. I think the internet is somewhat similar to real life. You wouldn't want your parents to open up your mail box? Log everything you say to your friends on the phone? IM is just like chatting. You wouldn't bump into your kid's chat with a friend, right?
I have very private information in my IM logs, and being a teenager, I don't think it's anyone's business. Also, putting up a keylogger without the child actually knowing it, is somewhat shady. I don't want my phone calls recorded, and I think you agree.
I think the key here is proper education. I've never had a MySpace account nor I intend to open one. You can block MySpace. You can educate your kid and make sure he doesn't visit sites like this. Personally, I add only people I know very well from the internet to my personal IM account. People I know less from the internet, I add to my secondary IM account, which doesn't have any private information at all (you also can't fish out the IP address from it). It's just like real life. You don't give your private information to strangers. I don't.
A child should have a minimum amount of privacy, in my opinion. Parents should educate their children, just like in the real world. But reading IM history is, I think, an intrusion to privacy. Even children's chats can contain sensitive information, and you can bump into it without knowing it or realizing it.