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When MySpace is front page news

I once had a detailed conversation with a reporter and the now former public editor of the Beacon Journal about why Facebook wasn’t front page news. At least, I didn’t think it was. I talked it through and came away realizing, well, OK, maybe old(er?) people are just slow on the uptake.

So, is MySpace front page news? It is today at the Beacon.

And you know what? I think that it’s a fine place for that story. (And not just because my own loathing of MySpace.) That is a story that needs to be told.

I suspect that the Beacon had more teenage readers today online and in print than any time in the last century. Why? Well, partially for the glory. (Did my friends get a plug? I wonder if I can deduce whose profile he points out. Hey that’s my bondage bear he’s knocking! and so on.) And partially for the “pissed off” factor. I imagine they raced home to post in their MySpace blogs little messages about how now their parents are breathing down their necks, and to sum up the point of the story in the words I suspect will be used most frequently: “F— the Beacon Journal.”

Akron teens, you have a lot of explaining to do.

The thing is, these kids are not stupid. They should know better. Anyone who posts anything on the Internet, whether it’s photos of them passed out with beer bottles beside them or attacks on fellow classmates or coworkers, should assume it’s publicly available. It’s part of the new world order.

I particularly liked this article. I have read what seems like a million stories about the horrors of MySpace and Facebook. This one was different. Why?

It doesn’t preach. It doesn’t make any pretenses or tell parents or teens how horrible they are letting these pages exist. Nope. It just lays it out there. It says this is what I found when I was surfing MySpace. I wasn’t a college admissions clerk. I wasn’t an employer. I wasn’t a pervert. I was just looking to see what was out there. Here’s what Akron teens have to say about life.

And by letting teens incriminate themselves, it is a far more effective story than any I’ve seen on the topic in the past.

2 Responses to “When MySpace is front page news”

  1. Jessica Says:

    When I read that article I thought “I bet Meranda is going to write about it on her blog,” And you did! hahaha.

  2. meranda Says:

    lol. Well, at the Stater we had to kind of embargo any type of MySpace/Facebook coverage because it seemed like we were constantly doing something about them. So the topics usually induce massive eyerolls from me. But in this case, it was kind of refreshing to see Dyer’s approach.

    I actually am considering stealing the idea to see what the kids in the districts I’m covering have posted on their pages. But I can’t get past one page of MySpace without a headache. So alas, they’re safe for now.