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June 30, 2008


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I suspect Facebook horror may be seen as more shocking than MySpace horror because it is less expected, since Facebook is perceived as more reputable than MySpace.

After all, everyone knows that MySpace is a mainly teenage haunt full of suicidal emos, wanna-be psycho-killers, creepy paedophiles and cyber-bullies, whereas Facebook started as a social network for more mature college students, and is now used by business. ;-)

I quite like the conspiracy theory that points out that the Courier Mail and MySpace are both owned by Rupert Murdoch, who has recently been trash-talking Facebook and describing it as "just a 'directory'".

If it was called a "Telstra Murder" the government would have come down on them like a ton of bricks, and the public would have been outraged - after all the (older) public knows what the phone system is, whereas social networking sites are those weird places on the interwebs where kids hang out and terrible things happen.

Bryan Alexander

Good point about the shock, Sean. If dana boyd's class analysis model continues to hold, and FB is the upperclass place, horror stories about it will show those signs.

Alexandra Kitty

This reminds me of a story I wrote a few years ago about cybercrime and one professor I interviewed had an interesting point -- computer technology was one of the very few categories that the "weapon" was considered releavant to the act -- cybercrime, versus, let's say "hammer crime" or "car crime" -- we don't hear that in news reports, but journalists aren't feeling threatened by those tools as they are with the Internet. It's more telling on what are journalists' secret fears than anything else.

Bryan Alexander

Quite true, Alexandra. In this case the tool is worth identifying, even when it's not too relevant.

That's one way of looking at technology: not all technology, just what gets your attention.

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