The subject, who is fully identified throughout the episode, is first shown at the front door or pulling up to the house in his car. The subject is subsequently arrested by the local police, sometimes in a dramatic fashion involving multiple officers, chase scenes, or tazers Hansen, ; Hansen, a. Siva Vaidhyanathan Department of Media Studies, University of Virginia provided valuable feedback on earlier versions of this paper. Folk devils and moral panics: Youth, popular culture and moral panics: Thus, I conclude that the furor over MySpace is disproportionate to the amount of harm produced by the site. Social networking sites, best known by the popular examples of MySpace, Friendster and Facebook, have literally exploded in popularity in just a few short years. I do not want to downplay the seriousness of these issues, but conflating them with MySpace is more a rhetorical, persuasive move than one based in empirical fact. The host, Chris Hansen, has appeared on Oprah, testified in front of a Congressional subcommittee and has released a book detailing his experiences Hansen, b.
While NBC suggests that the show provides a public service, McCollum argues that it actually fuels hysteria and spreads misinformation. Hansen reads excerpts from chat and phone transcripts to demonstrate to viewers that the subject is lying. PBS blogger and educator Andy Carver points out that plenty of educators use interactive, social Web sites for educational purposes, and that the idea that filters can be easily removed is simply not accurate: Critically examining the claims During the and hearings about online predators, the following claims were made emphasis mine: Third, teenagers should be encouraged in their use of technology. Similarly, Hindujal and Patchin empirically analyzed the amount of personal information provided on MySpace by teenagers. Hindujal and Patchin, , p. The bill lays out the following criteria to be used when determining whether a particular Web site fits the definition: The house is full of surveillance cameras, and a cadre of police officers is stationed next door or across the street. In this case, the category of people under scrutiny is online predators, or more specifically pedophiles, child molesters, and pornographers. American Library Association Inc. However, the question is not whether child pornography or child abuse exists. Acknowledgements An earlier version of this paper was presented at the Doctoral Colloquium and poster session of the iConference Los Angeles, Calif. MySpace has responded to this issue by hiring Himanshu Nigam as Chief Security Officer, who has publicized a variety of safety efforts. This legislation, which is supported by MySpace and Facebook, would make it a federal offense for sex offenders to lie about their age online. MySpace alone has over 90 million users and it is growing every day. New York University Press. Indeed, the furor over online predators seems also to be disproportionate. But while ten years of study by the FBI found no evidence of Satanic ritual abuse, there are plenty of documented instances of men using the Internet, and specifically MySpace, to meet with minors. A Web search found these stories reproduced on several other Web sites warning parents about the dangers of MySpace. Dateline, in turn, had broadcast the number several times without checking its accuracy. The creation of the mods and rockers. Prohibiting teens from using MySpace will not prevent them from using the site, and instead will dissuade them from talking about any problems that occur. While both of those were quite significant during their respective heydays, they are now rarely talked about in mainstream discourse. The FBI reports that child pornography cases have increased more than 2, percent over the past decade. The final claim, that MySpace has removed , profiles, seems on face to be true.
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