This is what Shawn Morton would look like if he had been made of LEGO sMoRTy71.com -- the personal website of Shawn Morton
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Sunday, May 14, 2006
MySpace trashed on SNL
Wow, it sucks to be MySpace right now. Just a few months ago, they were being celebrated for their $500+ million sale to News Corp and their impressive 60+ million members. Since then, they've been slammed for being a haven for perverts and pedophiles.

Last night, Saturday Night Live decided to take their shot at MySpace. In the first half of the show, there was a skit where Andy Samberg is teaching a continuing education class on setting up a MySpace page. Host Julia Louis-Dreyfuss is a concerned mom who wants to know more about what her teenagers are doing. The rest of the class was made up of older men looking to learn more about picking up teenage girls (and, in one case, boys).

One of the things that was repeated throughout the skit was that MySpace didn't police certain things (like verifying age or verifying photos). I wonder how long it is going to be until they are forced (by pressure from parents, lawmakers, etc.) to do just that.

As someone who builds community and social networking features for a living, I don't necessarily welcome the idea of Congress legislating online community standards. I would rather see companies step up and make sure their tools aren't being abused by perverts. However, when you're dealing with children, it is hard to take a wait-and-see approach.

MySpace claims it is dedicating 1/3 of its workforce (100 employees) to protect its younger members; however, I wonder if Congress will wait long enough to see if those measures help before they step in.

About Shawn Morton

Married father of 6; VP of Social Media at JPMorgan Chase; gluten-free; gadget enthusiast; hair metal aficionado; #Movember man View more on LinkedIn.