Girl Gets Raped, Says it's Myspace's Fault
This is a classic case of someone who sues Starbucks because they serve their coffee hot to scorch the skin or tongue, filing suit against a fast food restaraunt for making people fat, or suing a car company that didn't specify that "cruise control" did not drive the car by itself in the user's manual. It is, sadly, the death of common sense, which has been six feet under since the dawning of popular society. It seems in today's world we must have disclaimers and warnings on anything and everything because people are too stupid to figure things out for themselves. Everytime I see a news story like this it makes me disgusted to see a person who tries to compensate for their own stupidity and lack of common sense by laying the blame on someone else. There is no feasable way that a company of MySpace's sheer capacity to physically monitor everyone that uses their service, and I do not and cannot lay any blame on them.
A girl who is in the second year of her teens, going through puberty, getting curious about the opposite sex, and growing up in this technology-oriented world met a guy online whom she knew was at least the same age as her, perhaps even older - the article does not state if the girl had prior knowledge of the guy's age, but I can safely bet $7.32 that she knew he was an older man. This adolescent then gave him her phone number, of which he, of course, called to set up a date. The moment that she gave out her phone number on the web she consented to any and every consequence that could arise from it - good or bad. Once again, this is due to her lack of brain matter and common sense that she gave out her personal information on the web. MySpace did not tell her not to share that information, but neither did they endorse sharing that type of information. Anything can happen anywhere on the web, and MySpace is far too large to monitor every tiny conversation that happens on their servers. Yes, MySpace is trying to combat and prevent assault cases like these by issuing moderators that act as a "MySpace Police Department," but this cannot garauntee the prevention of internet predators.
It is far too easy to anonomize oneself on the net, which is why sexual predators still thrive on the net. What is missing here is the apparent lack of knowledge by ignorant girls like the one in this article. If MySpace is to blame because of their "lack of action" to prevent this girl from being sexually assaulted, then this girl's parents should be to blame as well. Her parents obviously did not educate her in how to pervceive others on the internet. These parents did not inform their beloved daughter, of which they care for oh so much, of the dangers of the internet. I know that these parents have access to news in some form or another, for if their daughter has a computer with internet then the parents would at least accept the technology of the television. People still produce news on that device, right? The television, I mean. I don't watch it all that much, but I know my parents watch it everyday - especially the news channels. These parents had to have heard and seen some featured news story about sexual predators on the internet on one of the many channels that a television set provides, and yet they were too ignorant and proud thinking "That could never happen to our daughter" to inform their daughter of the dangers of interacting with others on the internet. So shouldn't the parents be sued by their daughter as well for not providing such information? If the answer is no, then how can MySpace be held accountable? Would it be because Myspace provided the means of communication for the sexual assaulter to interact with her? If that is the case, then the parents should be held accountable as well because not only do they pay for internet access to their house which allowed the girl to contact this man, but the parents also pay for the cellular phone bill of which this girl used to talk to him as well. This girl is 14 years old, she can't hold a job currently, so how do these services get paid for? Through parents.
Parents cannot put off their own personal responsibilites to their children. Parents are abandoning their responsibilities as parents and are placing them in the hands of online companies like MySpace, AOL Instant Messenger, Yahoo!, etc. These companies only havve one responsibility: to provide services for their customers. They are in now way accountable nor responsible for raising someone else's children - otherwise, what are the parents' jobs? Parents today live in a very different world than what they used to, for when they were growing up gas was less than $1 and Macs hadn't even been invented yet. If their excuse is because they do not understand the technology, then they have another responsiblity to learn it. Parenting is the same as a fulltime career - it's a lifetime commitment. If the parents of this girl cannot be held to blame, then neither can MySpace.
Once again, events like these occur because of the sad death of Common Sense. It lived a good life, but the stupdity and ignorance of men, women, and children alike too arrogant and stubborn to admit that they themselves made an idiotic mistake put a swift and silent knife through Common Sense's heart. Common Sense must be resurrected by people not only educating other, but educating themselves by doing the most simplest of tasks: looking around and becoming aware of one's surroundings and one's actions.