While I, in no way, condone the events that happened, I’m quite happy with this ruling in the favour of MySpace.  It’s one thing that has been troubling me, in regards to parenting and even down to the learning of personal responsibility by children.  We cannot continue to “let them be kids” by allowing them to shirk the lessons needed to be a functioning and socially responsible adult.

As I said, I in no way condone the fact that the girl in the case was assaulted.  However, the guy who committed the act has been found guilty and faces up to 20 years in prison for assaulting her.  The parents, chose to seek recourse against MySpace through a lawsuit, claiming they failed to protect their daughter.  However, they failed to hold their daughter accountable for allowing MySpace to protect her, by falsifying her age (she was 13, but represented herself via myspace as 18).

Couch that, I’m big on personal safety, and doing what is necessary to ensure that one remains as safe as possible.  Does that mean I think someone going out is asking for an attack of any sort?  No, it does not.  But if one chooses to participate in an activity that puts them in the position of being a possible target, one needs to accept the potential consequences and do what is necessary to minimize those consequences – e.g. walking in groups or near groups of people, making online profiles private, reducing the amount of personal info available for general searches, etc, etc.  Ya know, that whole personal responsibility thing…

2 comments

  1. While I do agree that it was the parent’s responsibility to ensure their kids safety, I don’t agree that victims of crime are somehow responsible for their victimization. The responsibility always lies with the perpetrator.

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    1. Yes, the responsibility to commit, or not commit a crime lies with the person who perpetrates the act. In this case, I don’t know the details, so not going to speculate outside of the fact that he is going to serve prison time. That said, the responsibility for personal safety lies with the individual. Which is what I’m trying to get at, here. In this case, against MySpace, yes, they would have held some responsibility had she represented herself as being under 18. But, she didn’t, yet the parents were seeking to have blame placed on MySpace, instead of recognizing their failure to teach their daughter preventative skills to minimize her chances of being a victim.

      That said, were I to lay blame at the daughter’s feet, would be to say that had she represented herself as being under 18, or even if she was 18, this would not have happened. Which is a false statement, as neither statement is true. The measures I presented above are means to minimize the chances of being a victim or the effects of an attack, they do not 100% prevent any chance of attack.

      No one asks to be a victim, and in a perfect society, it would not happen. However, we live in an imperfect society, where the responsibility for our safety lies with the individual. If we teach our kids this when they’re young, they will grow up being more aware and able to reduce the chances that they’re attacked, or minimize the level of an attack, of any sort.

      And, me being me, I see this as a chance for the parents, or any parent, to use this as a lesson to move on and recover from the incident (assuming the guy was seeking to damage the girl) as well as work towards prevention in the future.

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