[LINK] Myspace deletes sex offender registered members
cas at taz.net.au
Thu Jul 26 08:43:44 EST 2007
On Wed, Jul 25, 2007 at 11:09:05AM +1000, Rick Welykochy wrote:
> Jan Whitaker wrote:
>> The operators of the social networking website MySpace say they have
>> detected and deleted 29,000 profiles belonging to convicted sex offenders
>> on its service.
> That is interesting, because on the Internet nobody knows you
> are a sex offender (or a dog!)
> How many false positives did this purge involve?
will probably never be known - frankly, how many would want to make a
fuss about themselves being wrongly targetted as a child abuser? mud
like that sticks, for the innocent it's safer and better to just quietly
accept the loss of the account.
> What criteria did Myspace use to identify the offenders?
probably the same stringent criteria used by the US' "no-fly" list. i.e.
better hope you don't have a similar name.
> Recall that loose/fuzzy matching was employed by a data service
> company in 2000 to "clean up" the electoral roles in Florida,
> wrongly disenfranchising tens of thousands of "undesirables"
> (read blacks and latinos).
that's not a very good comparison because the false-positives in that
case were deliberate - the purpose was to disenfranchise as many
likely democrat voters as possible, with or without "justification"
(personally, i think prohibiting felons voting is just plain wrong
anyway, but that's a different issue)
a better comparison is the incident on Live Journal earlier this year,
where LJ were prodded by an anti-child-abuse online vigilante group to
delete accounts of sex offenders, and ended up deleting accounts of
non-offenders including victims of sexual abuse who ran self-help and
personally, i think it's probably better not to delete their accounts
but to report them to the relevant agencies so that they can be
monitored. false-positives wouldn't be affected, the past offenders
who were using the service legitimately and NOT intending to reoffend
wont be unfairly discriminated against, and those who were intending to
reoffend wont know they're being watched and wont go into hiding with a
> As with any criminal activity, why would a sex offender how intends to
> reoffend supply correct contact details to Myspace when registering
well, the smarter ones wouldn't. there's lots of incredibly stupid
criminals around, though.
craig sanders <cas at taz.net.au>
"The Army is a place where you get up early in the morning to be yelled
at by people with short haircuts and tiny brains."
-- Dave Barry
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