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Old 06-20-2006, 03:38 AM   #1 (permalink)
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It was inevitable: MySpace sued because girl gets raped.

http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=32510
Quote:
Girl sues MySpace for getting her assaulted
Sue the medium

A 14 YEAR-OLD girl who claimed she was sexually assaulted by a man she met on MySpace.com has launched a $30 million lawsuit against its operators.

The lawsuit is critical of the fact Myspace does not verify the age of its users and calls measures in place to stop grizly old geezers grooming sweet young things as "utterly ineffective." The suit alleges Myspace fails in its duty to protect minors.

A lawyer representing the girl's family told reporters, "MySpace is more concerned about making money than protecting children online."

The girl and her family filed the suit against Myspace owner News Corp as well as the 19 year-old accused of fiddling with her.

The girl gave out her mobile phone number to the bloke after she met him on the site. She says that after the pair went out one time to see a film and have a bite to eat, he drove her to a car park and sexually assaulted her.

And that's Myspace's fault.

http://www.statesman.com/news/conten...20myspace.html
Quote:
Teen, mom sue MySpace.com for $30 million
Suit filed in Travis County claims popular Internet site fails to protects children from adult sexual predators.

A 14-year-old Travis County girl who said she was sexually assaulted by a Buda man she met on MySpace.com sued the popular social networking site Monday for $30 million, claiming that it fails to protect minors from adult sexual predators.

The lawsuit claims that the Web site does not require users to verify their age and calls the security measures aimed at preventing strangers from contacting users younger than 16 "utterly ineffective."

"MySpace is more concerned about making money than protecting children online," said Adam Loewy, who is representing the girl and her mother in the lawsuit against MySpace, parent company News Corp. and Pete Solis, the 19-year-old accused of sexually assaulting the girl.

Hemanshu Nigam, the chief security officer for MySpace.com, said in a written statement: "We take aggressive measures to protect our members. We encourage everyone on the Internet to engage in smart web practices and have open family dialogue about how to apply offline lessons in the online world."

Founded in 2003, MySpace has more than 80 million registered users worldwide and is the world's third most-viewed Web site, according to the lawsuit.

Loewy said the lawsuit is the first of its kind in the nation against MySpace.

Solis contacted the girl through her MySpace Web site in April, telling her that he was a high school senior who played on the football team, according to the lawsuit.

In May, after a series of e-mails and phone calls, he picked her up at school, took her out to eat and to a movie, then drove her to an apartment complex parking lot in South Austin, where he sexually assaulted her, police said. He was arrested May 19.

The lawsuit includes news reports of other assault cases in which girls were contacted through MySpace. They include a 22-year-old Wisconsin man charged with six counts of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl and a 27-year-old Connecticut man accused of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl.

MySpace says on a "Tips for Parents" page that users must be 14 or older. The Web site does nothing to verify the age of the user, such as requiring a driver's license or credit card number, Loewy said.

To create an account, a MySpace user must list a name, an e-mail address, sex, country and date of birth.

"None of this has to be true," the lawsuit said.

Attorneys general from five states, including Texas, have asked MySpace.com to provide more security, the lawsuit said. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott sent a letter to the MySpace.com chief executive officer May 22, asking him to require users to verify their age and identity with a credit card or verified e-mail account.

Lauren Gelman, associate director of the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School, said she does not think MySpace is legally responsible for what happens away from its site.

"If you interact on MySpace, you are safe, but if a 13-year-old or 14-year-old goes out in person and meets someone she doesn't know, that is always an unsafe endeavor," Gelman said. "We need to teach our kids to be wary of strangers."

Loewy said he was confident about the lawsuit, which he said seeks damages worth 1 percent of the company's estimated worth.

"We feel that 1 percent of that is the bare minimum that they should compensate the girl for their failure to protect her online when they knew sexual predators were on that site," he said.
Well, I can't say I'm surprised. After all if McDonalds can get sued because you are fat...

Perhaps MySpace should sue "Mom" for failing in her responsibilities as a parent, such as teaching her daughter to not go off alone with strangers, espeically not ones who contact you over the internet.

I just hope that this case gets thrown out of court in the blink of an eye. This would be like sueing the city council because you got assaulted walking through a park at night.
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Old 06-20-2006, 03:44 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm sorry, but I don't see how MySpace is at fault here. They offer a forum for people to meet. Apparently this girl and her mother have been in a coma for the past few years and haven't seen every freakin news & investigative report detailing how kids are winding up in exactly this situation. I'm not saying the girl got what she deserved, no one deserves to get raped, but she opened herself up for the attack. Hello, don't meet up with guys over the net!
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Old 06-20-2006, 03:53 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Ah... so mom didn't pay attention to what her underage child was doing on line... underage child got in way over her head and bad things happened... I feel bad for the child... but not 30 million dollars bad.

Mom has to take some responsibility here-- i personally get the charm behind myspace, but come on already...they have stuff in place, if they were to require a credit card verification... what's to stop the precocious brat from stealing mom's credit card?
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Old 06-20-2006, 04:02 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Myspace is making money... of course they are going to be sued.
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Old 06-20-2006, 04:05 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maleficent
Ah... so mom didn't pay attention to what her underage child was doing on line... underage child got in way over her head and bad things happened... I feel bad for the child... but not 30 million dollars bad.
Mom has to take some responsibility here-- i personally get the charm behind myspace, but come on already...they have stuff in place, if they were to require a credit card verification... what's to stop the precocious brat from stealing mom's credit card?
Bingo, where there is a will there is a way! Mom should have possibly been spending quality time with lil miss susie instead of letting her play online unattended. It's too bad that it happened but how is suing myspace going to help?

You get shot with a gun who do you sue? The person that shot you or the person who made the gun? You get hit by a car while crossing the street... who do you sue? The person that hit you or the person who made the car?
You get food poisoning because the chicken was undercooked... who do you sue? The person that cooked the chicken or the person that plucked it?

Common sense isnt that common but then again I feel the mother is mostly at fault therefore I am not overly suprised at who she is suing... she obviously isnt very bright. Its a shame that the daughter has to pay for the overall negligence and I hope if the man did commit said crime that they hang him out to dry.

The views and opinions posted above are the sole opinioins of the poster and are probably not shared by the rest of the forum. The above was not meant to start an argument nor was it meant to be taken offensively, it is simply my views.
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Old 06-20-2006, 04:07 AM   #6 (permalink)
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America has devolved into being a society of victims. During the 50's and 60's, a time of sweeping social reform, the courts began viewing everyone that had a claim as being legitimate. If you were wronged and said so, then it must BE so. The courts didn't seem to recognize that frivolity might prosper and replace good old-fashioned American know-how and common sense. To me, this case is yet another brick in that terrible wall. Why bother thinking for yourself - let the courts do it for you.

Human activity can NOT be regulated without judgment by other humans, and it is a very dangerous (anti-survival) idea that the words of laws and regulations can offer safety and freedom from judgment. No matter how tough or stringent laws and regulations are written, you still get hurt if you don't watch your own ass (in her case, literally).

On a daily basis, Americans feel more and more like our society is falling apart and that things aren't working right anymore. This is the place to start. We need courts (specifically judges) that will look at this case and say, "Lady, you fucked up. When you have children, your entire world should revolve around raising them and teaching them how to behave if no one is looking. That is the very definition of responsibility - and a society needs responsible people, not just obedient ones. This also takes an enormous amount of your time since there is no quick and easy way to raise a responsible child. Therefore, you will have to learn to sacrifice some of your own pleasure and hobbies for your child's sake. It was a tragedy and I'm sorry for your daughter's pain. Now get the hell out of my court."
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Old 06-20-2006, 05:05 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Accountability. No one in the US is accountable for their own actions, PERIOD. Because we have become a nation that wants to sue over everything, and we have no accountability, and Corporations have money, it's become too easy to make them pay (corps) for what happened even though we know right from wrong, but do wrong anyway...

Oh I could go on and on about this....
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Old 06-20-2006, 05:32 AM   #8 (permalink)
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This is the system working.
The right to bring suit is one of our valuable legal rights.
You wouldn't want that right taken away from you, would you?
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Old 06-20-2006, 05:34 AM   #9 (permalink)
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If an 80-year old (Or however old she was) woman can take the lid off of hot coffee, put it between her legs, speed out of the driveway of a McDonald's, spill it on herself (Resulting in severe burns), sue McDonald's and actually win, then you know that the mother in this case is just going to get something.

Failure to warn is a big issue in the legal system. Still, there should be no excuse for a lack of common sense. I mean, everyone knows that you don't just up and meet someone you met on the internet-- Especially if you're only 14. I know the posters prior to me have said this, but what the hell was the mother doing this whole time?

It's not as if MySpace for the girl to meet up with the 19-year old guy. It's a sad thing that the girl was raped, but it seems as if America rewards stupidity. No one is ever responsible for their own actions anymore.

Last edited by Infinite_Loser; 06-20-2006 at 05:39 AM..
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Old 06-20-2006, 05:40 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ARTelevision
This is the system working.
The right to bring suit is one of our valuable legal rights.
You wouldn't want that right taken away from you, would you?
People absolutely have the right to sue... and as the offspring of an attorney, I am very aware of the cases when it is almost mandatory because hitting a company in the wallet is generally the most effective way to stop an injustice...

Generally those types of cases don't make the news because it's not sexy and doesn't sell as well as someone suing myspace...

I do not think that people should lose their right to sue, but I also think that people should use common sense when deciding to sue...
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Old 06-20-2006, 05:45 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maleficent
but I also think that people should use common sense when deciding to sue...
yes, shame that my and your common isn't as vigorous as most others.
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Old 06-20-2006, 05:51 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I'd like to give this woman the benefit of the doubt... That her intentions are honorable and she wants to protect other children from what happened to her daughter... but... I'm having a hard time with it... i don't see this as anything more than capitalizing on a bad situation, a situation that could have been prevented had the mother been a little vigilant.

This comment irks me:
Quote:
lawyer representing the girl's family told reporters, "MySpace is more concerned about making money than protecting children online."
My space is a company in the business of making money.. it's what they do... Is it really up to a company - marketed to young adults, to have to protect children... Isn't it up to the parent to protect their children online? How many Dateline specials have been aired on internet "predators" and how parents shoudl watch what their children do online?
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Old 06-20-2006, 05:55 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ARTelevision
This is the system working.
The right to bring suit is one of our valuable legal rights.
You wouldn't want that right taken away from you, would you?
No, but a suit is similar to an accusation, and there should be some penalty for making false accusations and filing frivilous suits. There seems to be little downside to suing someone nowadays no matter how silly the claim.

I'm surprised she isn't suing her daughter's ISP for making MySpace available.
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Old 06-20-2006, 05:56 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I think people are taking that right to sue to new lows so they don't have to answer to accountability-they can just be stupid, place blame and get that new house.
Not only was the mother totally lax but the daughter obviously doesn't pay any attention either. School's, PSA's, various media all preach the 'do not's' to kids; don't give out personal info over the internet is the most prevailant, followed by don't arrange meetings with people you have 'met' over the internet. Funny how they'll listen to and copy the stupid goings-on of celebrities but the common sense warnings, they think don't apply to them. (every kid thinks they're smarter than everyone else, even experts)
Having a 14 year old daughter that uses Myspace and AIM, I make sure she's not being 'stupid'-I randomly ask her to show me her Myspace, will read over her shoulder as she IM's and we discuss repeatedly the basic 'rules'. Any refusal or hiding on her part takes away her computer privileges.
I feel badly that the girl was raped-that shouldn't happen. But put yourself in a lion's den, expect to get eaten.
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Old 06-20-2006, 05:59 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ARTelevision
This is the system working.
The right to bring suit is one of our valuable legal rights.
You wouldn't want that right taken away from you, would you?
Ah, but there's the rub, ART. Too many people are confusing "rights" with "power." Handing out rights in the last few decades was supposed to provide justice, but social structure cannot be divided up like land. I've always been told that rights are the foundation of a free society, but I still don't know what that means.

As I interpret history, the rights that are the foundation of this country are rights AGAINST law and government encroachment. Freedom of speech, property rights, freedom of assembly, etc., were all supposed to be the antidote against laws that impinged on freedoms - not ammunition in personal injuries. Today, rights aren't really rights at all. They are blunt powers masquerading under the name of rights, and are used incorrectly like a sword instead of a shield.

The threat of lawsuits hinging on the legislation and regulation of personal safety still seems to me to be an abuse of the system that American forefathers died to create.
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Old 06-20-2006, 06:21 AM   #16 (permalink)
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There's no freedom-loving way to decide howto limit the right to sue or to enforce a requirement that people bring only sensible and non-frivolous lawsuits. Who's going to decide that?

The point of having a legal system is to ensure that the legal process will not award people for bringing irrelevant, mean-spirited, stupid, or frivolous suits.

The problem is that the legal system (usually juries of "peers") often hands down absurd verdicts and inappropriate sums of money.

That is where it makes sense to petition for constructive change. You're never going to get people to stop doing things that you consider stupid or wrongheaded without limiting your own rights.
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Old 06-20-2006, 06:21 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flstf
No, but a suit is similar to an accusation, and there should be some penalty for making false accusations and filing frivilous suits. There seems to be little downside to suing someone nowadays no matter how silly the claim.
As you stated, people can bring forth frivilous suits because there is little penalty even if you lose. That's the major downfall of the US court system.

The US court system should mimic the British court system, in the sense that if you bring forth a suit in the United Kingdom and lose, you have to pay for not only your court/lawyer costs but the defendant's as well. That, in itself, prevents such idiotic suits from cluttering up the legal system.

Basically, as it stands, you have nothing to lose by bringing suit against someone, but everything to gain.
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Old 06-20-2006, 08:08 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Loser pays is at the discretion of the court in which the suit is filed, along with ratio of blame, ie; mother and daughter are 60% at fault, Myspace at 20%, rapist at 20%, so they would conceivably 'win' 40% of the suit amount and the losers would pay the ensuing legal fees as well. But most cases are on a contingency basis, making lawyers ask for exhorbitant amounts. They're always the biggest winners since one way or another, the possibility of them going home emptyhanded is small and when they do, there's another lawsuit tomorrow.
We can say and agree that this and others are stupidly frivilous, wastes court time, which in turn wastes taxpayer money, but as Art pointed out, where would a line be drawn?
Side story: My cousin had plastic surgery-an eyelift and tummy tuck. Her surgeon destroyed her eyes-she couldn't blink. She developed blood clots in her legs from the tuck. She sued because of her eyes(she needed several surgeries to correct them and now has blurred vision), the doctor in the meantime died of AIDS, she continued the suit against his estate, they offered a settlement, her lawyer refused it and insisted on a trial. She lost. They said she went into it voluntarily,so too bad. A logical conclusion, perhaps, although the doctor was incompetent.
I have a feeling the same thing will happen with this, only in this case the mother herself was incompetent in simple protection and guidance of a minor child. Either way, in order to have a system where one is allowed to recover loss, we have to withstand friviolities if we want absolute fairness.
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Old 06-20-2006, 09:43 AM   #19 (permalink)
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This also reminds me of other suits I have seen that I deem... worthless and a waste of time and money...

A woman sued a store after she tripped over a todler while shopping in their establishment...that in itself is absurd... what was worse is that the todler was HER OWN CHILD. She won.

A burglar cased out a house and knew the family was going on vacation... fell in a skylight breaking a leg and had to subsist on dog food and bottled water until they came home and found him... he sued and won for punative damages... wasnt HE robbing THEM????

The point I think most of us are trying to make is that people waste time and money and reputations because they want money and dont really have a leg to stand on... the sad thing is that these days the system is so corrupt they win.
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Old 06-20-2006, 10:44 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ngdawg
We can say and agree that this and others are stupidly frivilous, wastes court time, which in turn wastes taxpayer money, but as Art pointed out, where would a line be drawn?
I guess this outlines the problem that I was trying to (poorly) discuss with ART. Most of us have been trained to believe that if a perfect line cannot be envisioned, then one should not be drawn at all. I disagree completely.

Of course, wherever we choose to draw a line, SOMEBODY somewhere is going to be screwed, but that shouldn't prevent us from trying to fix the problem and draw a line somewhere. If we all fold up and quit every time an exception is imagined, the system grinds to a halt (and I'm afraid that's where we've gotten).

I get headaches thinking about how many committees I've been on where the members believed their function was to envision any bizarre scenario where one single person fell through the cracks, thereby scuttling some pretty damn good ideas in the process. I've come to learn that every idea, no matter how great, will always screw somebody somewhere. But that CAN'T be enough of a reason to toss it out.

Where do we draw a line? I don't know, but that's what we elect judges and legislators to do for us - make hard decisions. And they're just not doing it. And the march continues whereby the "rights" of one person somehow outweigh the rights of 250 million.
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Old 06-20-2006, 11:15 AM   #21 (permalink)
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The great part about this is, the dude doesn't even need to be guilty for this to go through.
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Old 06-20-2006, 11:45 AM   #22 (permalink)
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warrrreagl,
I am a pragmatist and nothing else. If something can be made to work (considering the facts of human nature and human institutions), then I see it as worth mentioning. I believe the complaints voiced above are just that - they don't lead to any fixes, just more complaining.

A method of potentially "fixing" a problem like this is petitioning for things like limits to awards for liabilities, etc. - or electing representatives that are more to our liking.

The only other way to fix socio-politrical problems is by having revolutions. Those are easy to talk about but talking about them just makes "revolutionaries" feel good. That isn't interesting to me.

Mostly though, when something represents the facts of human behavior and human institutions well, I see it as a fitting situation.

Again, I have an interest in things that have to do with practical solutions. If I do not see a pragmatic way through a situation, I have no interest in it.

And if I assess that practical solutions will not "fix" something (because people and institutions are the way they are), then I don't pursue the complaining route - the world doesn't need another complainer.

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Edit -
warrrreagl,
I'm only addressing you in general here. I'm not saying you're the object of my descriptions. Basically, I thought I'd take the time to outline my general view of this issue. I'm responding to the whole threadhere.
Thanks,
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Old 06-20-2006, 01:30 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Doesn't the US justice system have judges that can decide to throw out frivilous suits based on the evidence or lack thereof just like on tv?

I would suspect they do so the frivolity will continue.
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Old 06-20-2006, 04:40 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ARTelevision
warrrreagl,
I'm only addressing you in general here. I'm not saying you're the object of my descriptions. Basically, I thought I'd take the time to outline my general view of this issue. I'm responding to the whole threadhere.
Thanks,
Art
Then I consider us to be on the same side after all. For I believe that if enough people voice their displeasure with the frivolity of lawsuits and the fallacy of protective legislation, then judges and legislators can be elected who will start making a difference once again. To me, that is a miraculous solution, my old friend.
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Old 06-20-2006, 04:56 PM   #25 (permalink)
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The attorney for the girl was on MSNBC tonite...

I can see perhaps myspace settling, but I really can't see him winning...

Attorney Interview
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Old 06-20-2006, 06:46 PM   #26 (permalink)
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I wouldn't have nearly as much of a problem with suits like this if the plaintiff even TRIED to make it look like they were working for a change.

She sues MySpace for $30,000,000.00... what will that do ? It will make her rich, and Myspace gets a spanking, but they move on doing what they are doing.

If her lawsuit was for $30,000,000.00 AND that MySpace was now required to (somehow) empyrically verify the user's age, I believe it would at least have an OUNCE of merrit. But just going for cash makes the "greed" flag fly it's grotesque colours in my head.

If she isn't even TRYING to suggest a way MySpace could have prevented this tragedy, she isn't working for a better tomorrow for children, she is working for a better tomorrow for herself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by maleficent
The attorney for the girl was on MSNBC tonite...

I can see perhaps myspace settling, but I really can't see him winning...

Attorney Interview
I find it funny how in that interview she asks him 'So where were the parents in this incident ?" and the lawyer's reply was that "parents cannot watch their children 24/7 and that this situation happened very quickly."

Last I checked, from the article, this took an entire MONTH to happen. Where were this child's parents in that entire month ? This wasn't a quick thing. If the parents were at ALL aware of their child, they would have known what was going on long before she ever decided to meet the guy.

Last edited by 3Z3VH; 06-20-2006 at 06:55 PM.. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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Old 06-20-2006, 07:27 PM   #27 (permalink)
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My roommate and I were having a joke about this. In our native countries (Neither of us were born in the US), if someone were to bring a suit forth such as this one, that person would be ridiculed and most likely beaten.

This reminds me of another case involving (I believe) Johnson and Johnson. Some idiot wanted to dress up as a sheep for Halloween and covered himself in cottonballs. He later (Accidently) lit himself on fire when he went to smoke a cigarette and tried to sue to recover damages. Luckily, he lost his case (And only because he admitted to knowing that cottonballs are flamable).

Still, such things make you wonder. I'm pretty sure that the founding forefathers of the US didn't intend for such a blatant misuse of the legal system.
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Old 06-20-2006, 07:32 PM   #28 (permalink)
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1. It is the parents' responsibility to allow (or not) and monitor their children's use of an internet-accessible computer. This includes teaching them BEFORE they start using it that you don't do things like give away your cellphone number and other personal information to random people. Especially not to 19 year olds when you're 14.

2. If the parents can't "watch their children 24/7", then guess fucking what, the kid doesn't get 24/7 access to the fucking computer (or just the internet). We can't blame every single site on the internet for the fault of the front line of defense- the parents.

3. I hope Myspace does NOT settle, but fights it and proves that stupid parents do not get to blame other people for THEIR stupidity and for THEIR lack of protection of their daughter. Ridiculous.
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Old 06-20-2006, 07:49 PM   #29 (permalink)
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I agree analog, MySpace SHOULD fight it and not settle... but how likely is that to happen ?

It's sad, but settling for even $1,000,000.00 would prolly save them a ton of money in the long run. Any time a business is worth more than a couple million, it becomes less about being a crusade to do the right thing, and more of a cost analysis scenario.
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Old 06-20-2006, 07:59 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Should the suit be allowed to filed?
Yes.
Should MySpace be found liable?
No.
"Will" MySpace be found liable?
I have a sinking feeling ... they will be found liable. (to some degree)
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Old 06-21-2006, 03:04 AM   #31 (permalink)
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The good news is that if they are not found liable then it will set a precedent. This sounds more or less like a fairly weak case to me. I wouldn't be surprised if far nastier things have happened on MySpace.

In my short time on myspace I can say a huge proportion of myspace is under 18. I thought their measures were fairly reasonable, I probably wouldn't have signed up if it needed my credit card and at the end of the day its the internet for god sake you can find videos of women having sex with horses (pm me for url...jk). I would say 50% of the people I communicated with were under 18 which does make me wonder why MySpace don't do something more about if only to stop litigation like this. I don't think they are at fault here but its definately true that they turn a blind eye to this sort of thing. I mean there were people who had written "btw I'm 16/17 I lied about my age to get on MySpace" in their profiles. They can see every god damn message sent through their system they can stop this quite easily.

The internet has far bigger problems right now than sexual predators. Its two of the four horseman of the information apocalypse (child pornographers, kidnappers, drug dealers and terrorists) that the government and media are using to keep you not thinking about the bigger issues - such as the evidence that the NSA is now funding research into mining MySpace and other social networking sites for the purposes of profiling:

http://www.newscientist.com/article/...mg19025556.200

Last edited by MechCow; 06-21-2006 at 03:05 AM.. Reason: keep moderators on their toes
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Old 06-21-2006, 04:50 AM   #32 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlatan
Myspace is making money... of course they are going to be sued.

Yep, unfortunatly those days any business that make good money, specially on the web, will get sued one day or the others...

It's sad for the girl, but I don't think it is myspace fault at all...

It's true that they don't verify age that much, but well, how can you really verify the age of someone on the web unless you ask for credit card details...
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Old 06-21-2006, 07:31 AM   #33 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ARTelevision
This is the system working.
The right to bring suit is one of our valuable legal rights.
You wouldn't want that right taken away from you, would you?
I believe there needs to be a preemptive measure taken with civil suits such as this. There need to be a panel of circuit judges that read over a brief of facts from both sides to determine whether the case ever makes it to court. Not all criminal cases make it past the arrest... the same should be true with lawsuits. You file a suit and the suit is found to be frivolous, you are responsible for a fine for court costs. This will keep only those truly serious about it from launching such cases that cost tax payer dollars and slow the system down to a squeak.

Yes, there should be a right, but there should be checks and balances within the judiciary itself to prevent such utter wastes.

Also, why do parents feel the need to give their FOURTEEN year old children cell phones? WTF? I have an 11-y/o. I've debated giving him a cell... the requirements being that only specific numbers can call it and it can only call specific numbers (I wonder if the Migo has BOTH features). A teenager has no business with a cell phone for the sake of having it. And as mentioned above, I agree 100% 100 times over that American parents need to step up to the plate and start taking responsibility for the children. This isn't a communist country... we're not "all in it together" so to speak when it comes down to everyone else's welfare. While it sounds lovely, it isn't the case...

Last edited by xepherys; 06-21-2006 at 07:34 AM.. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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Old 06-21-2006, 12:21 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Small update on the situation; myspace seem to be reacting to this lawsuit with a couple of changes to how they operate. This article doesn't specifically mention the above lawsuit, but I imagine that their actions aren't entirely unrelated to it.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/21/te...rssnyt&emc=rss
Quote:
MySpace to Add Restrictions to Protect Younger Teenagers

Starting next week, MySpace, the popular online hangout, will make it harder for strangers to send messages to younger teenagers.

The site, which has more than 70 million members, has been under pressure because members are frequently subjected to lewd or inappropriate messages and occasionally lured into dangerous real-world encounters.

The site will also stop showing advertisements for certain products like online dating sites to those under 18.

The owner of MySpace, the News Corporation, has been working to address concerns about the safety of the many teenage users of the site, while not clamping down on the freewheeling and flirtatious interchanges that are the source of its appeal.

Next week, the site will restrict how users over 18 can contact those aged 14 and 15. Older users sending a message asking to become friends with younger users will have to enter the recipients' actual first and last names or their e-mail addresses, rather than simply their user names.

The new policy still allows people under 18 to send messages to those under 16 without knowing their full names or e-mail addresses.

"A lot of 14- and 15-year-olds are friends in school with 16- and 17-year-olds," said Hemanshu Nigam, the chief security officer of News Corporation's Internet unit. "We want to balance the openness of our community with the interest of protecting the member."

Mr. Nigam declined to say how often strangers made such contact with people under 16 or whether such contacts figure into any of the cases where predators have used MySpace.

MySpace will also start to allow all members to designate their profiles as private and thus available only to their named list of friends. MySpace had allowed and encouraged those under 16 to set their profiles to be private, but profiles of anyone older than that have been available for any visitor to the site to read.

Parry Aftab, the executive director of WiredSafety, a group that promotes online privacy for young people, dismissed the change in the contact rules for those under 16 as ineffectual.

"Kids that want to do the open stuff will set their ages to 16," she said. MySpace does not verify users' ages.

But Ms. Aftab praised the change that allows anyone to have a private profile. "I know adults who set their age to be 14," she said, "not to lure kids, but because they want their profiles private."
I'm not sure that this will make much of a difference to anything. It seems to me that myspace are taking these actions, not because they expect to actually achieve anything with them, but rather they want to be seen to be doing something.
All this will do is encourage people to lie about their ages. Older people posing as younger people, so that they can message younger people. And younger people posing as older people for similar reasons.
Ultimately I think that myspace is in a difficult position. If they do nothing, they will continue to be demonised by the media. But adding these pointless restictions is just going to irritate their users - the vast majority of whom, surprisingly enough, aren't actually rapists. It is likely to be irritating enough to drive a number of users users away into the arms of one of their rivals.
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Old 06-21-2006, 01:13 PM   #35 (permalink)
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not that a 14 year old girl getting raped is something to take lightly but the first thought that enters my cynical mind when I read something like this is "just another family taking advantage of an over litigious society"... truly sad.
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Old 06-21-2006, 01:44 PM   #36 (permalink)
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"The only thing you accomplish by making things fool proof, is the breeding of better fools"

Don't know where I heard that, could even have been someone here's sig, but I think it applies.

My opinion... MySpace.com is NOT at fault. Parenting, some teaching of that common sense (ever wonder why its not common anymore? Maybe because we aren't teaching it?), and some supervision of a parent would have gone a long way in preventing this from happening. The sad part, I get the feeling there's a thought process involved here that can best be summed by "Hmmm... Bad thing happened... Sucks to be me... How can I get the most dollars out of this?"

Remember when punishing a criminal was justice, not monetary reparations?
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Old 06-22-2006, 03:44 AM   #37 (permalink)
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The kid should sue her mother for being a bad parent when they lose this suit.
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Old 06-22-2006, 04:07 AM   #38 (permalink)
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A great part - and for me, it is the very greatest part - of what is wrong with parents, children, and the world these days has nothing at all to do with parents.

Kids are influenced - for me they are most influenced - by perverse social pressure and societal programming. This is the combined mind-numbing power of billions of dollars of corporate research into coersion - rendering all of us more powerless - in all situations - than we are at all comfortable in admitting. It is evident to me that parental influence is rendered nearly nil in the face of the unfathomable power of technology and mass media.

No matter how much they try, parents are losing any ability to influence or control their kids because of titanic external forces and it's hardly their fault. Blaming parents for the ills of this or any society is too easy an answer. It sounds good but it doesn't change, answer, or solve anything.
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Old 06-22-2006, 04:47 AM   #39 (permalink)
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When a person makes the choice to become a parent... they've got at least 18 years of responsibility in front of them. One of those responsibilities is knowing what their demon spawn is up to... Kid won't talk? Figure out how to make them talk... Cultivate a relationship with the spawn so that they do talk.

Parenting is not easy and probably 40 percent of the parents out there (and I'm lowballing that number) should not be parents. It's like people who get a puppy for christmas because it's cute and squirmy - then it turns into a dog that wont stop barking and the dog goes to the pound - all because the owner failed in training it. Kids are no different, only there's no kiddie pound. People like babies... babies are cute and sweet and sometimes smell good.. but those babies become teenagers and unless the parent did their job when the kid was a puppy... the parent is in for a world of hurt.
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Old 06-22-2006, 04:55 AM   #40 (permalink)
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Art...for as many times as I've thought that you were off your nut, on a great many issues...this one...you've nailed straight on the head and driven it home.
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