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MySpace Pages - allowed? Monitor the content?

  • Hi all,

    So do you let your kids/stepkids have MySpace pages? If so, do you monitor the content?

    For back story...after a long battle with my stepdaughter (14) we finally let her sign up for one. Well, I just logged on today (it had been a while since I had been on there), and found that she is listing herself as 16 (!!!) and while she doesn't have any over-the-top content, there is some language on there that is concerning. Do I (or her dad) call her on it? Do we just chalk it up to being 14 and trying to pretend to be uber-cool in cyberspace? One of our requirements for the page was that it had to be set to "private", which it still is, so that's a small comfort.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by shanita257 on 26th February 2008
  • My step-daughter is only 8 so we haven't had any concerns about this yet. But I do have lots of opinion on it.

    Have her dad talk to her about it. Talk to her about who/what she is looking for on MySpace. If she wants it (or says she wants it) just for her friends at school, then there is no reason to list herself as older than she is. If she wants it to find guys, then listing herself as older is a problem because it will attract older guys - not what you want. Plus, if MySpace customer service figures out the she is 14 and pretending to be older, they will delete her's in the user agreement - bring this up to her. ewpage&placement=safety_pagetips&sspage=1

    Also check out who her friends are. Are they people from school? Are they people that she probably knows in real life or not?

    Also, 16 is the magic age when MySpace lets the user decide if their profile is public or private. When her age is set to 14 she has more restrictions than when her age is 16. If you continue to have problems you can contact MySpace's ParentCare and have them lock the age so she can't change it. afetytips.parentcare
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Jenni on 26th February 2008
  • wow jenni! Great info! i had no idea MySpace had all those regulations! very good to know

    my son is only 20 months but you know, i have a myspace AND a facebook (seriously does the peer pressure ever end? lol) and need to look into the different features to allow who to see what LOL
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Kate on 26th February 2008
  • My 14-year-old and 12-year-old wanted Myspace pages, but we felt that they were took public and too risky. We did allow them to get Facebook pages, under the conditions that they add us as friends AND give us their passwords, so we could monitor things. They were fine with that. Facebook only allows the people you are friends with to see your page -- there is no "public" setting...

    I know the controversy about Facebook and breastfeeding, but I just keep out of that. It's a great social networking (and job networking) resource... I use what I like about it and avoid the things (like the clubs and politics) that I don't...
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Lylah M. Alphonse on 27th February 2008
  • While facebook is far less open than myspace, for adults at least it is more open that some people think. Maybe you already know all this Lylah, but I thought I'd throw it out here for the other parents. It is true that if you do not have a facebook that you cannot see people's pages, but it is sometimes possible see people's pages as long as you have a facebook.

    It does depend on some settings if people other than their friends can see them. If you are part of a Network then depending on your privacy settings, everyone within that network can see all, part or none of your profile - regardless of if they are your friends. This is under Privacy - Profile. Since region networks don't require any kind of authentication to see if you actually live there, I can change my region network to another city and check out other profiles. Facebook does limit the number of times a person can change their region (twice every 60 days) but with the variety of free email accounts a person can also make of plenty of fictitious accounts.

    Okay, now I have to figure out how safe kids really are on Facebook, since I have way too much time on my hands and multiple email accounts. I'm fairly certain that Facebook would delete my accounts if they knew - luckily I'll take care of that myself once I'm done experimenting.

    My new 'person' was born in 1994 (which would make them 13/14 and seriously how am I turning 26 this year?!?). While I can join other networks, I cannot view my teen self when logged in as my adult self. While being my teen self I cannot view anyone's profile. Until I get validated as someone going to a high school, I am cannot view the other profiles in that high school. And kids cannot change when they were born. And adults cannot change their age to less than 18. I'm not going to try it, but I think if I could get validated as a high school student I would be able to see the profiles of other high school students. I'm not going to push my luck though. I'd hate to lose the facebook account that I actually use.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Jenni on 27th February 2008
  • I think Myspace has plenty of privacy settings. Mine is locked down and no one can anonymously view my photos or even my profile without being added. I only add people I know and encourage all of my younger relatives to do the same (of course they don't listen and their parents couldn't give a hoot). I even set my city to "Dreamland" and put in a fake zip code so no one can really browse for me by location. Some of my friends put their age to 99 years old to block them out of age searches. There are lots of ways to make it harder for people to just stumble upon your page.

    I personally do not like Facebook. There are too many of those Add-Ins that people on my list always send me emails to add to my profile or take such and such quiz. Blah... At least with Myspace that doesn't happen.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by on 27th February 2008
  • Jenni, I just want to say that your tips are so extremely helpful. I forward this string to a friend who has a 13 yr old and is dealing with this right now. Please consider writing an article for WIM on this -- we'd love to feature it! Such an important topic!
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Nataly on 27th February 2008
  • I still think that my oldest is too young to have a myspace page. Although when the time comes I will monitor it like there is no tomorrow. My kids aren't even allowed on the computers with out me knowing what sites they are going to. I restrict/limit their access with the help of parental controls Ez Internet Timer I schedule it to stop all kids’ online activity while I or my husband is out. Maybe someone consider that I too protective. But only I and my husband are responsible for what my children do. We are the bad guys, we say no, and do whats BEST for them. NOT what they want.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Mom2teen on 2nd March 2009

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