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The Internet Censorship

MySpace Users Revolt Against Murdoch 393

arclightfire writes "Looks like Murdoch's News International have stired up a revolt within users of the MySpace file-sharing site they purchased for $629m (£355m) last July, reports the Independent; "Angry members of MySpace, the personal file-sharing website for young adults, are accusing Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation of censoring their postings and blocking their access to rival sites. The 38 million subscribers to MySpace...discovered that when they wrote to each other about rival video-swapping site YouTube, the words were automatically deleted, and attempts to download video images from YouTube led to blank screens. The intervention by News Corp in the traditionally open-access world of the web - in particular the alteration of personal user profiles - provoked a storm of angry posts...The protests gathered pace, and when 600 MySpace customers complained and a campaign began to boycott the site and relocate to rival sites such as Friendster, Linkedin, and, News Corp relented and restored the links.""
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MySpace Users Revolt Against Murdoch

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  • by siefkencp ( 921228 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @09:19AM (#14426623)
    A prime example of the power of traffic this site was created out of string and bubble gum and its worth 600 Million dollars.... Where's all this consumer data getting sold to?

    You think News Corp. is making that $$ back on adds alone?

    Any one care to let me in on the secret??
    Who buys the data? What name is it resold under?
  • Hm... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cmarguel ( 795687 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @09:21AM (#14426633)
    This is more common than one might think. I'm not surprised that nobody noticed the same thing going on with Yahoo Messenger. It took me months for my friends and I to notice that Imageshack and Friendster links, among others, were being censored whenever we would try to send links to each other. It makes me wonder who else has been doing it behind our backs. Hopefully, the companies that have gone unnoticed will stop doing this, now that they can see what could happen.
  • by surefooted1 ( 838360 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @09:24AM (#14426659)
    When was the last time an internet boycott worked?
  • Shut it down (Score:4, Interesting)

    by sulphurlad ( 772436 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @09:27AM (#14426680)
    My Youngest son was buying his drugs ( mostly pot, at least I fucking hope ) from this site. And after hacking into his profile, tracking his so-called friends and online buddies, my wife and I deetermined that the site was mostly being used by him for getting with his drug buddies. Hell there was a kid on his buddy list and had a picture of like a poiund of pot on his bed with him in it, and it didn't look like Photoshop either. Were it not for my Oldest who uses it for what it was supposed to be, chatting and sharing vid's of his motorcyle movies and stunts, than I would just blacklist the damn thing.

    As it is now, my wife spends alot of time educating parents and showing them what their kids are really up too.
    Some are shocked, some don't seem to care.

    But I guess the REAL PROBLEM is not the website, it's the lack of parents being involved in their kids lives.

    DAMN, I hate it when I'm my own Devil's Advocate........
  • Interesting (Score:2, Interesting)

    by artitumis ( 934987 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @09:37AM (#14426733) Homepage

    I find it wildly amusing that MySpace will lock down hotlinking images and videos to rival's sites, but they have failed to address their users who hotlinked away 1.5 gigs [] of my personal bandwidth over the course of a week in December.

    Before I got slammed for not taking steps myself to prevent hotlinking, I did use the tools provided by my host via cPanel to disable hotlinking. The only problem is it did not work. I had to contact Tech Support and have them apply the correct code to the .htaccess. After comparing the changes the provided utility made and what Tech Support added, it was very different.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 09, 2006 @09:42AM (#14426752)
    Who communicates JUST through MySpace? Sure, it's alright for free downloads but no one uses it as their sole use of communication. They'd use some form of IM as well I suspect. Also, MySpace is a good place for bands to set up, it's free and you have a HUGE potential audience out there, most of which have control over Mummy and Daddy's wallets...

    Seriously, if you were a band you'd need to be nuts not to use MySpace.
  • Strange Comparisons (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 09, 2006 @09:57AM (#14426849)
    Microsoft: Bloated Giant
    News Corp: Bloated Giant

    Microsoft: More or less one guy
    News Corp: More or less one guy

    Microsoft: Doesn't like people using competitors products on their products (Win)
    News Corp: Doesn't like people using competitors products on their products (MySpace)

    Microsoft: Censors the internet (Chinese bloggers)
    News Corp: Censors the internet (MySpace)...

    Scary no?
  • Just be careful (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mindaktiviti ( 630001 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @10:15AM (#14426988)
    Trust issues aside, maybe it's time to teach your son about encryption and the stupidity of using a public forum for buying illegal drugs.

    I'm being serious here.

    Regardless of your disapproval for such a thing, regardless of whether or not he will stop because of your wishes, he has to learn to be a little more discreet, a criminal record is something you wouldn't want your son to experience as it can hamper him in his future job opportunities and across the border travel.

    If you can hack into his account and see exactly what goes on with his other buddies, don't think that it's difficult for that same kid to get arrested for having a picture of a pound of weed, have his computer confiscated, and then have the police go through his conversations with his other friends who'll he will easily rat out for a slap on the wrist.
  • Re:Communities (Score:2, Interesting)

    by lbrandy ( 923907 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @10:22AM (#14427052)
    So much for corporations being less in control at the hands of the communities.

    Maybe I'm crazy but... isn't that exactly what happened? A company had to give up control at the hands of the community?
  • After the company has shown their disrepect for users, why did the users go back at all?

    I wish people would hold companies' feet to fire more often. If the only "punishment" a company suffers after getting caught pulling shitty behavior is a few days of bad PR and having to revert the shittiness, then what's the incentive to not be shitty?

    How many shitty things will they try next? How many shitty things have they done that don't rile the attention of users?

    You know their shitty. I know their shitty. *They* know thier shitty, and don't care, as long as users keep coming back after a perfunctory, insincere sincere apology -- Until the next time they get caught doing something shitty.

    Why do users let the cycle continue?

    This is not just Newscorp I'm talking about. Consider Microsoft (Verizon phones), Sony (DRM Rootkit), etc. Yet people are lining up for the XBox and can't wait for the PS3.

    I'm not much of a gamer, but I've got a PS2. The next gaming system I buy will be a Revolution. Why? Because I haven't heard of Nintendo being shitty to users. (I'm likely wrong, but then I'll have to find which one has the least amount of shittiness. But considering Sony and MS, Nintendo will have to be *really* shitty for me to not go with them.)

    Same with RIAA. Why do people buy their stuff? I'll admit I'm a bit of a hypocrit here, because I broke down and bought my wife an RIAA-disc for christmas. (I got her severals CDs, only one of which has RIAA pawmarks on it.)

    I'd like to own American Idiot, because its good music, but can't bring myself to giving any RIAA organization my money. (I made an exception for my wife's happiness.)

    The only RIAA music I buy now is *used* CDs. With only three or four exceptions in the probably the past five years, I haven't been the original buyer of any RIAA-tainted CDs.

    RIAA is shitty. Therefore, I don't give RIAA money. (Well, mostly. I try very hard.)

    Microsoft is shitty. Therefore, I don't give Microsoft money. (Yay, Ubuntu! Yay, FSF!)

    Disney is shitty. (Senator Disney? Copyright extensions?) Unfortunately, Disney has grudgingly gotten a few of my dollars because of the Disney Princess merchandise and videos -- the crack cocaine of 5-year-old daughters. What's a good alternative to this? Barbie. Is Mattel shitty? I don't know. Anything else?

    The thing is, it takes a little work to be a fully informed consumer. Many corporations count on our ignorance. However, the internet improved user-to-user communication so much that it's hard for companies to hide their shittiness for long.

    Now, if I could only stop my money from supporting the Bush administration without going to jail....

  • Re:Er... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ehrichweiss ( 706417 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @10:38AM (#14427149)
    Nope, it's not a file sharing site. Whoever had the reasoning that since it had links it could be used for file sharing needs to realize that only put every website on the planet on the **AA's hitlist with such a sweeping generalization. Having A building block of file sharing doesn't remotely equate to file sharing. BTW, they do a good job of keeping the 12 year olds off of MySpace, wish they could do that here nearly as well.
  • by InfiniteWisdom ( 530090 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @10:43AM (#14427182) Homepage
    The protests gathered pace, and when 600 MySpace customers complained and a campaign began to boycott the site and relocate to rival sites such as Friendster, Linkedin, and, News Corp relented and restored the links.

    They worked this time, apparently
  • Nothing's Free... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by JTorres176 ( 842422 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @10:50AM (#14427233) Homepage
    I hate to point this out... actually, I don't really mind pointing it out, but Myspace is nothing but a free "make your own crappy website where your friends make their crappy website" hosting places. All they do is make a haven for teenagers and child molesters to make as many "friends" as possible on their web pages for no charge. By providing an over-simplified interface to make as many nasty websites as possible so the friends of their users will look and generate more advertising money.

    Out of the free use, I'd say these people can pretty much enforce whatever they want on their space. If they don't want any racist sites, they can filter out as many sites by Aryans and Black Panthers as they want to maintain this. Extend this as far as they can into things like revenue generators. They get a check from Coke, so the word Pepsi isn't allowed in virtual ads on the individual pages. They get paid by file sharing company A, they're not going to allow file sharing company B into their pages.

    Nothing's free, these people offer a server and maintain complete control over content.

    Now if only I could get my daughter off the damn thing, I'd be happy.
  • by metamatic ( 202216 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @11:55AM (#14427689) Homepage Journal
    Most people just don't care that much. When a corporation does something to them, they'll whine, but they won't care enough to actually inconvenience themselves switching to a competitor.

    I mean, look at the number of people on Slashdot who still run Windows while claiming to hate Microsoft. "Oh, I need all those games", "OpenOffice isn't quite compatible enough", "I don't want to have to learn something new". Bleagh.

    I remember first becoming aware of this in the UK after telecom deregulation. I'd be talking to someone and they'd whine about long distance phone charges. "Well," I'd say, "Why don't you just get a Mercury account?" (Mercury being the first competing long distance provider, with rates less than a quarter of BT's in many cases). There would be a pause, then they'd say something like "Yes, but BT ought to charge less!"

    I remember hearing some statistic about the incredibly tiny proportion of customers willing to switch banks. How many people reading this pay ATM fees, monthly fees, fees for checks, even though they don't need to, because they're too lazy to switch banks? And of course, that's why banks introduce gratuitous fees in the first place.

    Me, I'm a switcher. A bigger bank bought the one I was at, said they were instituting fees. I took my new cards and checks in, withdrew all the money, closed the account, went elsewhere. Left the bank the task of shredding the paper and destroying the cards, told them it was their problem now.

    It's the same with these MySpace whiners. I bet if FOX held to their censorship, 90% of the whiners would just shut up and put up with it, just like most of my friends still use LiveJournal.
  • Re:Net free? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Catbeller ( 118204 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @12:02PM (#14427739) Homepage
    Sure there can be a censor-free zone. Handheld, or smaller, PC's with wireless mesh networking capabilities, creating on-the-move sneakernets. All content encrypted. Maybe with a display polarized so that one has to look directly at it while wearing special lenses.

    And a memory destruct button for when they grab you for whatever excuse they have that year.

    If all goes as I think it will, the sneakernets will be the last holdout in the coming prison state. And they will quickly become illegal. But they will be hard or impossible to censor.
  • Re:Shut it down (Score:4, Interesting)

    by cr0sh ( 43134 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @01:12PM (#14428461) Homepage
    I would make sure your kid knows that smoking pot sometimes is OK, but becoming a drug addict is not.

    AC, your advice would be fine in a country where smoking pot was legal, but in most countries, it isn't.

    In the United States, for instance, in most places, if the police get a search warrant (for whatever reason), toss your house (and they really do toss it - cabinet doors ripped off hinges and everything), and find evidence of drugs and/or drug usage (regardless of who has it - child or adult) - they can "legally" confiscate your property (house and everything in it, if they want), you go to jail (along with anyone else in the house), and your life is pretty much over and done. If you are lucky, you get out, and get some of your stuff back - maybe even your house (maybe). Most of the time, if you aren't the owner/user of the drugs, and there wasn't enough to slap on an "intent to sell" charge, you will just be lucky not to be in jail.

    This isn't paranoia talking - this is the truth. Many, many people in this country have lost nearly everything simply because a son/daughter/renter/housemate was using/selling drugs within the house they were occuppying. It isn't even SOP, even within a police department/jurisdiction - sometimes they grab everything, sometimes they just remove the offender and evidence. Sometimes, something in the middle occurs. It seems completely random, and in a way, I bet this is the way it is meant to be - to control the populace by fear, uncertainty, and doubt - in our illustrious and oh-so-effective "War on (some) Drugs".

    With that said, even if it was legal to use pot, it would probably be restricted to adults only. As a parent he would probably be best to teach his kid proper drug use, and explain why it is only for adults (effects on growing brains, responsible usage, etc). He shouldn't get too whigged out if he catches his kid doing it, but there should be punishment.

    However, in the majority of the 1st world (and most of the rest, as well), illegal drug usage is, well, illegal. Plus, as I have noted above, in the United States, in some random cases, you might be better off (legally and prison sentence length) raping or killing someone than to be caught with drugs. Yes, sadly, our great American society is that fucked up...

  • Haha funny but... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by FauxReal ( 653820 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @04:14PM (#14430153) Homepage
    I use MySpace to keep in contact with my friends, it's a good way to let people know about an upcoming event. I've also been able to contact/been contacted by friends from my past, some I have not heard from in more than 10 years. I'm not sure where this "file-sharing" moniker came from though, I've never used it to send or recieve a file, nor have I seen it mentioned on the site. Regardless, I have used it for social/business networking purposes and have gotten jobs out of it.

    It's also a good forum for unsigned/non-major label music artists to gather their supporting fanbase and recieve more exposure through reccomendations.

    Make fun of it if you must... but please realize it's not just the offspring of the people who made fun of you in highschool (the site is 18+ BTW), it's a useful site. If you do want to make fun of them though... check out the First Annual MySpace Stupid Haircut Awards [].

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