MySpace Negligence Suit Dismissed

Last month I blogged about lawsuits seeking damages from MySpace for negligence in connection with sexual assaults on five teenage girls by men the girls met through MySpace. That article mentioned another negligence suit filed against MySpace last year in federal court in Texas on behalf of a 14-year old. The trial court dismissed that suit, ruling that the safe harbor provisions of the Communications Decency Act shield MySpace from liability.

6 Replies to “MySpace Negligence Suit Dismissed”

  1. Wade

    Great blog! Do you have any helpful hints for aspiring writers?

    I’m hoping to start my own blog soon but I’m a little lost on everything.
    Would you advise starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many options out there that I’m totally confused ..

    Any suggestions? Thanks!

  2. Geetika

    I feel that MySpace was rightfully acquitted. It was the responsibility of the parents and not MySpace to protect the girl. I also feel that MySpace should not be held liable for verification of information regarding age because some people might not be comfortable with disclosing their personal information and that might cause MySpace to lose potential users.

  3. Jackie

    Did the girls lie about their age or was it the other way around? The case does not state it clearly and it should definitely effect the ruling. If the men lied about their age, they were purposely seeking out younger girls and already had malicious intent.

    Even though the girls should not have been meeting strangers, they are less likely to be harmed if it is someone their own age; MySpace should just be liable to the extent that they need to verify the information posted on each site is true, like age.

  4. brendanc

    This situation is very unfortunate for the victims, but Myspace cannot be held accountable as the scapegoat. For a sexual assault to even take place the girl must have been in contact with the man in question and agreed to meet this stranger knowing fully well that not all people are who they say they are. On Myspace’s official page, they have a link titled “safety tips,” which when clicked on plainly states: “People aren’t always who they say they are. Be careful about adding strangers to your friends list.” Furthermore, Myspace states: “Don’t mislead people into thinking that you’re older or younger.” Clearly it was the victim’s decision to lie about her age and pursue older men. This suit was rightfully dismissed since the victim was intentionally pursuing a relationship with a total stranger. Ultimately it was her decision to meet with the man.

  5. Daniel K

    I would also argue that MySpace is not at all responsible. It is the obligation of the parents to monitor their children’s friends. MySpace, in no way, induced the underage girls to meet these guys. Meaning, the girl was not found and attacked because of MySpace. The girls provided the information and wanted to meet guys. So as apatidar said, they knew what they were getting into. It should be both the fault between the guys who attacked these girls and the parents that allowed for it to happen. If these 13 and 14 year old girls are going to meet guys unsupervised and getting attacked, I think that a trial should be brought up against the parents for allowing the girls to sit on MySpace trying to meet older guys and meeting them in person, unsupervised. It’s just ridiculous.

  6. apatidar

    I find it ironic that the parents of these girls went after MySpace almost immediately while the criminal case against the 19 year old boy who actually DID the sexual assaulting has yet to go to trial?? This just proves the “Bubba Smith” theory: keep picking at everyone until you find the ball, or in this case, the deepest pocket.

    Nevertheless, I’m glad the suit against MySpace was dismissed. MySpace was in no way involved with what happened. They merely provide an internet venue for users to meet new people. They don’t keep tabs on who their users do or do not talk to you through messaging or wall posts. While the events are unfortunate, the fact still remains that it’s mainly the young girls’ fault for not taking better precautions against the evils of the world. Not to mention that, at least from my experiences, it’s been drilled into girls’ (and boys for that matter) heads since we were 11-12 years old on how to deal with situations like this (i.e. meeting random people on the internet, talking to strangers…etc). The girls can’t really claim that they didn’t know what they were getting into when they went to meet this boy.

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