Social Networking used as a scapegoat..

It sickens me the way the media and parents instantly point the finger at bebo and myspace when there’s any hint of trouble with teens. Bebo and Myspace are the equivilent of car manufacturers. People can do whatever the hell they want with their cars once they own one.

You wouldn’t blame Ford or Mazda if a driver was drunk at the wheel and careered into a brick wall, so why blame bebo and myspace when, at the end of the day, that’s the amount of blame they have in this sort of stuff.

Just up the road from me in Armagh, there were 3 young lads who took their own lives all from the save school, all within a few weeks of each other. Here‘s one of many articles on the whole story.

Here’s what the NI health minister said:

One of the questions we have to ask though is what responsibility are Internet operators assuming in this because the Internet is being used widely as part of the contagion?

How are they fitting in with the suicide prevention strategy and the prevention mechanisms? How do they see themselves fitting in with that? Or do they see themselves simply making a buck?”

*note that although no specific sites are mentioned here, they are mentioned in other articles..

What ridiculous comments to make 🙄 Bebo and Myspace are user generated sites with imo, adequate protection in place. Bebo and Myspace both offer the user the chance to shut off their profile only to direct friends. Every member MUST accept or reject a friendship. So what’s the problem? Users have full control.

Blaming or even attempting to blame social networking sites for suicide is outrageous. Like i’ve said, Ford can’t control how a car owner drives. If they could, there’d be fewer deaths on the roads and less roadrage. But get with it, you can’t control people. People come to these sites for FREEDOM. Think about it. If bebo was exclusively over 18’s and you had ‘teachers’ moderating all of your comments and pictures to be politically correct or courteous to other users, you’d leave straight away. That’s a schoolteacher/pupil situation and it doesn’t work. That’s the complete opposite of how the internet works.

Ok, you have a small minority who will use them to formulate terrorist/illegal/suicide activity etc.. but it’s the same in any industry. If you’re desperate to get drugs, you’ll think of some way to get them. Nothing will stop you. It’s like getting into a club as a young teen; if you’re desperate enough to get in, you’ll use a back door or hide in a group or get a fake ID. You’ll find a way past the bouncers.

But why shut down a club or hire an army of security guards just deal with a few people who are probably very determined to get in? It doesn’t make sense. Warn them, kick them out and keep an eye out for them, don’t spend the night watching their every move. You’ve set you’re stall out and they know they aren’t allowed in. It’s their own decision at the end of the day if they want to go in.

Communism is a nice idea, but it doesn’t work. If you were to censor/ban/heavily moderate social networking sites or chatrooms etc.. you would be going backwards. Emphasis should be on education of the individual, making people aware of dangers/problems/good/bad… blaming technology or web 2.0 culture is an easy way out – a scapegoat to paint over the cracks that lie deeper in modern society.

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