MySpace Gets Cleaned Up For Advertisers, May Wish It Hadn't


Because News Corp. is salivating over the potential millions in ad revenue advertisers eager to reach 60 odd million MySpace members may dump in its lap, the company is cleaning up MySpace, removing racy profiles and "offensive" images. It may all be for not as teens and twenty something will likely say "screw it" to News Corp's attempts at cleanliness and move to other social media spaces or create ones none of us has heard of yet. MySpace became a guerrilla overnight. It could fail overnight too. These days, it's too easy for people to gravitate to a place where they feel comfortable rather than put up with corporate censorship simply to please advertisers. It's the advertisers who will have to adjust rather than the corporations.

It's an endless cycle, of course, with no resolution as advertisers will never be comfortable placing their ads next to a teen in a thong and teens will never stop posting pix of thongs. It's a battle with no end. Today, it's MySpace. Tomorrow, it might be Tagworld. The next day, who knows but it will never end. Individuals will create environments they like and if advertisers don't accept that, every move they make to "clean up" an environment will destroy the very environment they were so excited to tap in the first place.

One can debate the negative aspects of what appears to be the pornification of the teenager but it's really no different that it has been since teens first walked the Earth. The thoughts and feeling were always there but there was never a channel through which to express them. Now, every thought anyone has can be as public as they choose to make it for the entire world to consume. Whether or not those thoughts should be publicized is, again, debatable.

Certainly MySpace will be around for a while but it's lost it's cool. You can just hear the moan of 60 million people wondering what happened to what once was the coolest place to hang. The Internet's done many things but the bigest ting it's done is create an endless supply of continuous change.

by Steve Hall    Apr- 1-06   Click to Comment   
Topic: Online, Opinion   

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I for one will use myspace more if it gets cleaned up. I don't really hear all moans from the 60 million myspacers, I also hear a few sighs of relief, maybe more than just a few.

Posted by: c george on April 2, 2006 6:53 PM

I couldn't agree more with the posting and less-so with the comment.

My posting on drew reference to an insightful paper about myspace and its popularity, which all boiled down to one thing:

MySpace might be a fad, but it will fade for different reasons than Friendster. Friendster has itself to blame - it never loved its never treated them with respect, or learned to understand why they were never gave them what they needed to make themselves at home. Friendster never learned to provide for the diversity of users it had - it wanted them all to be the same.

Advertisers need to stop thinking of ways to sell and find ways to nmake people BUY. (i.e. in their own way)

Posted by: Paul Fabretti on April 3, 2006 7:50 AM

"all for naught"

"became a guerilla overnight"?

Posted by: Ed on April 3, 2006 8:02 AM

Maybe we'll all get lucky and it will revert back to being a site for independent musicians. That's the only way I'd ever be interested in it. Currently, I won't even visit my friends' MySpace pages just because I feel like some creepy stalker.

Posted by: Lesley on April 3, 2006 12:03 PM

Yet myspace has no problem inundating me advertising featuring half naked men for Just because I am gay doesn't mean I need my online space sexed up, giving people walking by my computer the impression I am looking at porn online.

Posted by: L. I. on April 3, 2006 3:29 PM

The two reasons I hear most often for not using MySpace are "too many skanks showing too much skin" and "too many Flash-based ads that slow down my computer". In the limited amount of time that I spend on MySpace, the ads are much racier than the content. Maybe that's just because I'm not friends with any thong-wearing teenagers. Either way, cleaning up would improve the experience for the users that I know.

As for your theory of making changes to attract potential advertisers: They've been attracting advertisers for a long time. As far back as August 2004, they were ranked 24th on the Internet in total ad views (
. In August 2005, they served up one in ten ads on the entire Internet ( They've been big for awhile, and it has taken them more than two years to get to the point they are at today.

Posted by: Kevin Newman on April 3, 2006 5:10 PM

MySpace would be wise to run a PR campaign showing that they can't control all of the content...partially letting advertisers off the hook if their ad ends on a thong-wearing 16 girl's site.

They have to come up with a better solution that this one.

Posted by: Jonathan Trenn on April 3, 2006 5:15 PM

Check this out... A very, very interesting article on "Bubble 2.0", MySpace, social networking websites, how quickly they can loose their "cool", business models, etc...

Actually, I found this Adrant's post because it was being referenced in this article...

Bubble 2.0: Facebook, MySpace, Desperate Dinosaurs, Web 2.0 buzz machines, and gazillion other startups

I can't say that I'm very knowledgeable about this stuff, but the discussion was quite intuitive, and definately worth to check out...

Posted by: Marc M. Fox on April 4, 2006 3:11 AM

That's spelled definitely. Finite => deFINITEly, try to think of it that way if it's helpful...

Posted by: mordacious on April 4, 2006 1:35 PM

Danah Boyd addressed this issue here:

Basically there are 2 factors working against the News Corp:

1) vs
As Danah points out it was this effort to control Friendster that lead to its users migration

2) Law suits
There was an article a few weeks ago (still looking for link) that mentioned News Corps ongoing suits against sights with myspace in their URL.

As News Corp asserts more control, and myspace becomes increasingly mainstream (read middle aged), their user base is likely to flow on to another site. I'm starting to think of social networking sites more like hot clubs or raves then meeting houses.

Posted by: Siddiq Bello on April 4, 2006 3:30 PM

This simply shouldn't have been a big deal, and MySpace made a big mistake by making it one. No doubt there are 200,000+ profiles that clearly violated their Terms of Use. They should have been deleted a long time ago, and they could have just quietly told advertisers they were taking a more aggressive stance toward enforcing their existing user agreement. That would have given them most of the benefit and almost none of the backlash.

Posted by: Scott Allen on April 5, 2006 6:58 PM

You guys need a good editor. I found tons of spelling and grammar errors in this article.

Posted by: Raisa Romaelle on April 12, 2006 1:57 PM

If you're going to get pedantic, that should read "spelling and grammatical errors" or "errors in spelling and grammar". Practise what you preach, please.

Posted by: yorick on April 23, 2007 10:49 PM