Loose Identities on MySpace Compared to Handing Predators 'Loaded Guns'
Here's another cautionary tale for the MySpace scandal scrapbook. Last year, a girl named Megan Meier met a boy on the social network, fell in love, then killed herself after he told her the world would be better without her.
A year later, Megan's parents have come forward to say a couple months after their daughter's death they discovered the boy was the invention of some neighbors they know -- not other kids, mind you, but other adults, trying to find out whether Megan herself spreads rumors about their own spawn.
The incident naturally sparked talk about whether MySpace and the 'net in general should endure more regulation.
During his interview with Alberto Padilla at ad:tech Miami, MySpace CMO Shawn Gold addressed the topic of MySpace predators by saying parents should educate kids about what kind of threats are out there -- not just on the internet, but in the world.
We agree with Shawn in principle. The iffy question of internet regulation has floated around since the days of AOL chat rooms, and over the long-term, the idea seems to yield more disadvantages than advantages.
But you always feel a little differently when the situation comes close to home. What would you say if Megan was your daughter or a kid you knew?