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This is the first big story from Yahoo News this morning..........MySpace plans new restrictions for youths
By ANICK JESDANUN, AP Internet Writer
Wed Jun 21, 12:55 AM ET
NEW YORK - MySpace.com is planning new restrictions on how adults may contact its younger users in response to growing concerns about the safety of teenagers who frequent the popular online social networking site.
The site already prohibits kids 13 and under from setting up accounts and displays only partial profiles for those registered as 14 or 15 years old unless the person viewing the profile is already on the teen's list of friends.
Under the changes, expected to be announced Wednesday and taking effect next week, MySpace users who are 18 or over could no longer request to be on a 14- or 15-year-old's friends' list unless they already know either the youth's e-mail address or full name.
Any user will still be able to get a partial profile of younger users by searching for other attributes, such as display name. The difference is that currently, adults can then request to be added to a youth's list to view the full profile; that option will disappear for adults registered as 18 and over.
However, users under 18 can still make such contact, and MySpace has no mechanism for verifying that users submit their true age when registering. That means adults can sign up as teens and request to join a 14-year-old's list of friends, which would enable the full profiles.
The partial profiles display gender, age and city. Full profiles describe hobbies, schools and any other personal details a user may provide.
Driven largely by word of mouth, MySpace has grown astronomically since its launch in January 2004 and is now second in the United States among all Web sites by total page views, behind only Yahoo Inc. (Nasdaq:YHOO - news), according to comScore Media Metrix. The site currently has some 87 million users, about a quarter registered as minors, according to the company.
At MySpace, which was bought last year by News Corp. for $580 million, users can expand their circles of friends by exploiting existing connections, rather than meeting randomly or by keyword matches alone.
It offers a mix of features — message boards, games, Web journals — designed to keep its youth-oriented visitors clicking on its advertising-supported pages.
MySpace has recently become a target of parents, schools and law enforcement officials concerned that teens who hang out at MySpace can fall victim to sexual predators.
Just this week, a 14-year-old girl who says she was sexually assaulted by a 19-year-old user sued MySpace and News Corp., seeking $30 million in damages. And earlier this month, a 16-year-old girl who tricked her parents into getting her a passport flew to the Mideast to be with a 20-year-old man she met through MySpace. U.S. officials in Jordan persuaded the teen to turn around and go home.
MySpace officials say the new restrictions have been long planned and are unrelated to recent events.
Besides the contact restrictions, all users — not just those 14 and 15 — will have the option to make only partial profiles available to those not already on their friends list.
All users also will get an option to prevent contact from people outside their age group. Currently, they may only choose to require that a person know their e-mail or last name first; that will remain an option to those 16 and over, even as it becomes mandatory for those younger.
MySpace also will beef up its ad-targeting technology, so that it can avoid displaying gambling and other adult-themed sites on minors' profile pages and target special public-service announcements to them.
The changes follow a number of safety-related measures that includes the hiring of a former federal prosecutor and Microsoft Corp. executive as its online safety chief. MySpace already has developed safety tips for parents and children and devotes scores of employees to monitoring the site around the clock.Good start but......... Mich. teen said hiding after Mideast trip
By BRIAN CHARLTON, Associated Press Writer
Mon Jun 12, 7:14 PM ET
CARO, Mich. - A 16-year-old girl who flew to the Middle East to visit a man she met on MySpace.com was in seclusion to escape the attention surrounding her travels, an attorney for the girl's family said Monday.
Lawyer Renee Wood said Katherine R. Lester reunited with her family after she arrived in Flint on a plane late Friday, then went with her father to an undisclosed location.
"Katherine does not want the media attention. The parents don't want the media attention on their daughter," Wood said.
The girl, who turns 17 on June 21, apparently planned to visit a man whose MySpace account describes him as a 25-year-old from Jericho on the West Bank, authorities have said. After the FBI helped track her to the airport in Amman, Jordan, U.S. authorities persuaded her to board a return flight.
MySpace.com is a social networking Web site with more than 72 million members that lets users post photos, blogs and journals. There have been scattered accounts of sexual predators targeting minors they met through the site.
The girl seems to be fine, Wood said at a news conference Monday. The teen's mother, Shawn Lester, and her sister, 19-year-old Mary, stood with Wood at the news conference but did not speak to reporters.
"You will not hear from the family today because they are so traumatized by this incident," Wood said. "They are unable to really talk about it and are still putting it together."
Katherine Lester disappeared June 5 from the house where she lives with her mother in Gilford, a hamlet about 80 miles north of Detroit in Michigan's agricultural Thumb region. Her father lives in Grand Blanc Township.
Wood said the girl called her mother that day and the next to say she was OK and promised each time that she'd be home the following day, but she wouldn't say where she was. Her mother called police Wednesday.
Lester apparently stayed at hotels in Bay City and New York before boarding a flight to Tel Aviv, Israel, with a stop in Amman, but other details about her travels were still unclear, Wood said.
"How does a 16-year-old fly to another country without parental permission? How does she get the money, the tickets? How does she check into a hotel, as we know that she did?" Wood said.
Tuscola County Sheriff Tom Kern said the girl did not want to return home when authorities approached her at the airport in Amman, but once they realized she was 16 and her mother wanted her back, they seized her passport.
Authorities were trying to determine whether any laws were broken. The age of sexual consent in Michigan is 16.
Wood said the FBI is investigating the man and his background. The FBI and sheriff's investigators also said they were interested in a television station's tape of a purported interview with the man.
WNEM-TV in Saginaw broadcast a telephone interview with a man who said he actually was 20 and identified himself only as Abdullah.
In the interview Saturday, he said he was a wealthy businessman who met the teen on MySpace seven months ago. He said he wanted to marry her and sent her money for a plane ticket to visit him.
The station said it got the man's MySpace identity from Mary Lester, who found it on a computer they share.
MySpace forbids youngsters 13 and under from joining and provides special protections for those 14 and 15 — only people on their list of friends can view their profiles. Older users also have the option of restricting certain personal data so it can be seen only by people they have identified as friends.
Associated Press Writer David N. Goodman in Detroit contributed to this report.
This other story, however, is BS... I checked Miss Katherine Lester's Myspace
today and this is what it states....... Last Login: 6/21/2006.
----------------------------------------------So Much For Wanted 'Privacy' !
I,also, checked Mr. Abdullah Jinzawi's Myspace
, (the one who is dating the girl), and this is what was left by Katherine Lester.....
(((((((you are my 1-MYSPACE NAME.
6/14/2006 9:48 AM
Hi baby!!! I MISS U!!! I swear you are so adorable. I love you and noone will change that ever. You are my hero baby, ..my life and i will always be here for you. You are my husband and no matter what ppl say nothing will change that. You are My habibi, ..and u will aways be my habibi. I love you so much...I cant wait to be with you and to hold your hand and to whisper in your ears that i love you, ...I want to be with you forever and ever, .I love u, .. MWAH))))))))UH HUH, WE BELIEVE YOU NOW KATHERINE!
This is just one of many whirlwind events with Myspace. You can check out MyCrimeSpace
for other interesting stories.
If you want to see the two lover's profile pix, well........... WE HAVE THEM HERE!!!!
This is Katherine Lester's Myspace Profile Pic =
This is Mr. Abdullah Jinzawi's Myspace Profile Pic =
Well, that's our first summer rant of the year!!!! Happy Hunting!
Here is my Myspace
for your enjoyment!Have a good day,
The Amazing Christian L.