MySpace is undeniably hot. It continued its stratospheric growth in the wake of News Corp. plunking down $580 million for it last July. But while its freewheeling nature has attracted flocks of teens, it has also attracted seedier elements. Now, News Corp. is stepping in to bring some order, appointing a safety czar. Rupert and friends realize this is MySpace’s Achilles heel. Although executives claim music is the glue that holds MySpace together, spend some time on the site and it seems like hooking up is the common tie. Nothing wrong with that, but it will definitely make big brands skittish about enmeshing themselves too deeply. The media backlash has begun, spurred on by instances of sexual predators using the social network. Not helping the matter is Playboy’s recruiting drive for a Girls of MySpace issue. (Not so much a work thing.) Dateline has already run an investigative piece, “Why Parents Must Mind MySpace.” More, undoubtedly, is on the way.
—Posted by Brian Morrissey