SPANKING MY SPACE

Vanheuse275x125After noting the morally dubious nature of My Space yesterday, I picked up the Wall Street Journal this morning to read an article by Julia Angwin and Brian Steinberg about News Corp’s move to defend its expensive new acquisition. According to WSJ, My Space is full of “swinging” teenagers.

Well, surprise, surprise.

Apparently, “My Space users post sexually explicit photos and list activities such as swinging and spanking among their interests. Oh my God. Kids these days are SO much more depraved than their AOL chat room addicted parents.

The problem, as the WSJ says, is that News Corp wants to “retain My Space’s cool factor.” So Rupert Murdoch has two choices: either maintain the sexually dodgy nature of My Space and retain its 36 million users (8th most visited site on the Internet); or do-the-right-thing and instigate a moral clean-up, thereby losing most of those 36 million users and recycling that $580 million he paid for My Space in one of his uncharacterically all-too-human moments of irrational exuberance.

“We’re going to take some pretty dramatic steps to provide industry-leading safety,” said Ross Levinshohn, president of News Corp’s Fox Interactive Media unit.

Cool, Ross, cool. A firm hand, that’s what needed, with the swingers, the spankers and the spanked. Here are some dramatic, if not necessarily pretty, suggestions:

  • Spank the My Space swingers.
  • Swing the My Space spankers.
  • Spank Rupert Murdoch in real-time – as a new media spectacle on behalf of all those poor little old ladies who own News Corp stock.

Speaking of public spankings, everyone should read Saturday’s Financial Times flogging of the blogosphere by the very talented Trevor Butterworth. At long last we are seeing some more intelligent media coverage on the Web 2.0 nonsense.

Butterworth sent me a most entertaining note yesterday about the great Web 2.0 seduction:

“I was reminded of Richard Rorty's liberal utopia where everyone was a poet constructing stories that are useful and interesting freed from metaphysical illusion of truth...Yes the blogosphere, a giant mfa program where all effort is equally applauded. LOL. However - -if you noted some of the comments on the hastily conceived FTMag blog - my guess is that there's a couple of asteroids assuming a trajectory that will obliterate the Internet as we know it... the telecom clamp down and the media corp crack down on content aggregators...

Butterfield nailed it: the blogosphere as a giant mfa program. And not a very good one at that. Iowa State or, worse still, Stanford.

And to learn more about those asteroids which will obliterate the Internet, a spankingly entertaining conversation with Butterfield will appear on afterTV in the next couple of weeks.