Posts Tagged ‘MySpace’

New London Times column: MySpace suit

I’ve got a new online column up at the British paper, my second. I discuss the recent lawsuit seeking to blame the social-networking site for not providing a virtual chaperone for a 14-year-old Texas user who went out on an inadvisable date. (Walter Olson, “Teens, sex, and MySpace”, Times (U.K.), Jul. 18). For earlier coverage of the MySpace suit, see Jun. 21, Jun. 23, and Jun. 26.

Nanny-state lawsuits in the New York Times

Tom Zeller, writing on the MySpace lawsuit, quotes observers who unanimously condemn the species of nanny-state lawsuit, and quotes blogger Ken Chan:

“I recognize that there’s a certain part of the population who don’t know a steady fried chicken diet is bad for them. I feel bad for these people,” Mr. Chan wrote. “However, these are probably the same people who don’t put on their seatbelts and who suck down endless coffee during the day and Coors at night. So let’s be honest with ourselves here. You’re not going to save these people. You’re just screwing up the chicken for the rest of us.”

Zeller probably didn’t get the memo from the Times editors about the “benefits” of such lawsuits, but we’ll no doubt see some plaintiffs’ attorney defending the McDonald’s coffee lawsuit in the letters section. (Tom Zeller Jr., “A Lesson for Parents on ‘MySpace Madness'”, New York Times, Jun. 26). Mildly related, and encouraging for what it says about people starting to be annoyed by the food police: Fluffernutter controversy in Massachusetts.

MySpace Cross-Complaint?: Alleged rapist blames site

Via Childs, Pete Solis, the 19-year-old who allegedly sexually assaulted a 13-year-old Austin, Texas, girl whose family is suing the MySpace website where the two met, is, Time Magazine reports, contemplating his own litigation against MySpace on the grounds that it made him think he was meeting a 15-year-old.

“MySpace wasn’t there when they went to Whataburger. MySpace wasn’t there when they went to the movie and MySpace wasn’t there when they climbed in the backseat,” [Solis attorney Adam] Reposa said. “Meeting on MySpace — if that alone is enough, then we can make the same claim for damages.”

By reader acclaim: MySpace sued over alleged assault by date

On MySpace, a 19-year-old Texas youth approached a 14-year-old girl; his profile claimed that he was a high school senior on the football team. She says that following a series of emails and phone calls, she went out with him and their evening on the town culminated in his sexually assaulting her, for which Rupert Murdoch should pay $30 million as owner of the social networking site. Still to come: suits against shopping malls, ice cream shops and music venues for providing environments in which older teens can approach younger ones and sweet-talk them into eventual dangerous situations. (Claire Osborn, “Teen, mom sue for $30 million”, Austin American-Statesman, Jun. 20). Prof. Childs has more, here and here, as do Joanne Jacobs, KipEsquire and Shakespeare’s Sister.