MySpace Purges 200,000 Profiles

Posted on March 31, 2006

Financial Times reports that MySpace has terminated 200,000 "objectionable" profiles. Ross Levinsohn, head of News Corp's internet division, told the FT that some of these profiles contained "hate speech" and others were "too risque." The article says MySpace has 66 million users and 250,000 new users each day so the purging it isn't even going to make a dent in the number of MySpace profiles.

Peter Chernin, president and chief operating officer of News Corp, told the Financial Times that, although he and Mr Murdoch were very optimistic about its prospects when they acquired it last year, MySpace had exceeded their expectations.

"MySpace is more potent and powerful than even we knew," Mr Chernin says. "And it is becoming a more integrated part of people's lives." However, as efforts grow to attract more advertisers to the site, News Corp is facing two challenges. Young users have to keep wanting to use the site, rather than switch to a "cooler" alternative.

Also, advertisers have to feel confident their reputation will not be tainted by "inappropriate" content. Teachers and parents are concerned that, because information on MySpace is publicly available, it might put teenagers in contact with predatory adults. In terms of retaining its appeal, Mr Chernin said users had to keep feeling the site was theirs. "We don't want to change the fundamental look and feel of the site," he said. "We do not want users to have any sense that it is corporatised."

MySpace's purge comes as competing social networks like Xianz and Industrious Kid are billing themselves as safe alternatives to large, open social networks like MySpace.



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