Is Myspace Still Sketchy?

MyspaceIt’s no secret that the social networking site, Myspace, is no longer the number one social media platform online. When the inevitable question of, “What happened?” gets asked, most people chalk up the website’s struggles to the simple answer of, “Facebook and Twitter came along, and everyone just kind of switched over.” That’s true. Facebook certainly played a part in stealing eyes away from MySpace pages, and now that Google+ is surging in popularity, the realm of social media has gotten pretty crowded.

But, many argue that Myspace lost its sparkle when the site got blamed for a teen suicide gone horribly wrong, became associated with underage girls getting preyed on, and sexual harassment scandals. Yikes. This is why it’s always a good idea to follow a background check site like Instant Checkmate so you have constant access to safety tips and of course—background checks!

The “Myspace Suicide Case”

Back in 2007, Myspace was dominating headlines in the worst possible way when the story broke that a mom from Missouri created a fake Myspace profile for the sole purpose of harassing a teenager who ended up committing suicide as result of this incessant cyberbullying. The story went national and headlines like, “Myspace Suicide Case” were all over the Internet.

It turns out, not all press is good press, and having your brand associated with topics like cyberbullying and teen suicide puts your company in a pretty deep, dark PR hellhole that is nearly impossible to crawl out of.

Not The First Time

Unfortunately even before the teen sucide scandal, Myspace was already gaining a reputation for being unsafe, and this highly publicized suicide proved to be the final nail in the cyber coffin for this social media site.

In 2009, Myspace revealed that the company had removed over 90,000 sex offenders from their site. While this safety measure was comforting for some, for others it just reinforced how absolutely sketchy this site was becoming. One couldn’t help but think, “OK, so how many more are out there?” It felt like 90,000 was just the tip of the seedy sexual predator iceberg.

Myspace Gets Linked To Sexual Assaults

To make matters even worse, Myspace was already fighting back against a tarnished reputation. In 2006, the social media site was involved in a highly publicized lawsuit when a 14-year-old girl sued the company over being sexually assaulted by another Myspace user.

Her lawyers were seeking a staggering 30 Million from the company laiming that Myspace takes “absolutely no meaningful protections or security measures to protect underage users.”

Think the social media site only dealt with security problems in its early days? Think again! Just last year a man dubbed the “Myspace sexual predator” was sentenced to a total of 100 years behind bars for using the site to prey on girls as young as 11 years old! The Myspace predator would contact young girls, and proceed to “groom” them, eventually luring the underage girls to his home and getting them to pose naked for him.

So, can “the new Myspace” successfully shake its sketchy reputation and attract new users to its music sharing service? Only time will tell if it is in fact possible to fall from social media grace only to reinvent yourself and come back even stronger.

About the Author

Shonna Freeman is a social media journalist living in San Francisco, CA. She writes about online trends, social media marketing, and pretty much anything Internet-related or newsworthy.