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.
Flying in the face of its own ad acceptance history, Google has refused to accept an ad from the Northeast Impeachment Coalition and YaliesForImpeachement.org which calls for the impeachment of Vice President Dick Cheney. Writing on Daily Kos, Ralph Lopez reports Google explained its denial of the ad in an email which read, in part,"At this time, Google policy does not permit ad text that advocates against an individual, group, or organization. In addition, this policy does not permit the advertisement of websites that advocate against a group protected by law."
Directly conflicting with that statement are ads currently running on Google that do, in fact, relate to the impeachment of Cheney along with ads that call for the impeachment of President Bush, anti-Bush t-shirts and other ads that run counter to the statement regarding Google's policy against accepting ads which "advocate against a group protected by law."
Word from the Habbo Hotel, a virtual destination with a moderate following: virtual stuff is purchased with real money, so theft is liable for real consequences.
Guess that makes sense.
Odd that it took so long but here's a spoof ad centered on the whole Wal-mart/Julie Roehm thing that touts the chains unbeatable prices and...uh...unbeatable lawyers. Not much else to say other than don't fuck your co-workers and file a lawsuit while employed at Wal-Mart. The outcome will not be pleasant.
While we thought our Maria Sharapova/Dentsu lawsuit headline, "Maria Sharapova's Crotch A Key Element in Dentsu Lawsuit" was good, this one, "Make Every Shot, a Crotch Shot," is pretty good too. We think Canon might like that word play on its "Make Every Shot A Powershot" tagline. Oddly, the Sharapova photo that has the world all aflutter was taken during a Canon photo shoot.
This is just too much fun. And it's over nothing at all. It's a stupid photo originally shared among co-workers and a cultural misunderstanding of what passes for normal behavior in Japan. We're told the whole hot tub thing is as normal as being invited to play golf with your boss. And the crotch shot? It's hardly a celebrity snatch shot the likes of Britney Spears or Paris Hilton sans underwear. Sharapova was fully clothed in tennis attire when the shot was taken. If she was worried about anyone seeing her underwear, she wouldn't have been sitting the way she was in the photo. This is about as racy as a picture of a woman wearing a bikini while sitting on the beach.
Adverganza picks up on a story about a former Dentsu employee, Steve Biegel, who while employed as a creative director for the agency in its New York office claims he was sexually harassed and has sued the agency. The suit claims Biegel's boss, Toyo Shigeta who heads Dentu's US operations "forced him into visiting brothels, distributed lewd pictures of, among other females, tennis star Maria Sharapova (specifically of her crotch), which Shigeta took on a Canon shoot in October 2004 and also insisted that Biegel and others hang out nude in a hot tub with him."
Aside from the fact that sounds like every day, normal behavior for a horny Japanese dude (OK, any dude), excepting, perhaps, the hot tub thing, Biegel says the events left him humiliated and degraded. Biegel complained, got fired and unleashed the legal eagles on Dentsu.
Today, a group of privacy groups declared war on advertisers by asking the Federal Trade Commission to establish an online Do Not Track list similar to the offline Do Not Call list. The Consumer Federation of America and the World Privacy Forum, among others, want marketers to stop using cookies which enable behavioral targeting.
There has been much debate on the merit of cookies and their use to track online behavior. Marketers argue it makes the online experience better because ads are more closely targeted to the individual. Privacy advocates claim advertisers have no business collecting information about where on the internet someone has gone unless consent has been given.
We like checking up on the BBC, mainly because its home nation seems really nervous about the internet (whose merits and demons we were comparably quick to embrace).
In the last few weeks, the BBC has furnished vigilant parents with terror-stricken warnings about Cyber Bullying and ID theft (social networking's mainly to blame), the "worsening" state of child porn, and the denigration of basic human values resulting from virtual worlds. (Well, we could've told you that.)
But we can't hate that hard. NY state is home to investigators that posed as kids to tempt sex predators on Facebook. Nice.
BoingBoing via Beppe Grillo reports that Italian politician Ricardo Franco Levi has proposed a law that requires anyone with a blog or website to register with the government and produce certificates or pay a tax.
This holds even if the publisher has no intention of making money with the site.
The draft was approved by the Council of Ministers on October 12th.
Grillo vows, "My blog won't close. If I have to, I'll transfer lock stock, barrel and server to a democratic State." There's the hot-bloodedness we know and love.
In a thoughtful post-script, he provides Levi's email address to "anyone wishing to express their opinion" about the draft law.
The Nolita ad at left features Isabelle Caro, a French actress suffering from anorexia.
Guess who's responsible for it? Oliviero Toscani, the guy who fell out of Benetton shortly after his controversial "We, On Death Row" campaign in 2000.