The predator that killed Myspace

Credit: NBC’s “To catch a predator”

An article was recently posted on Soshable.com discussing the fall of the MySpace empire. The author named Mr. Rupert Murdoch as the culprit.

To be fair, it is not very original to blame Rupert Murdoch for anything now-a-days. He’s a popular target, managing to assume public blame for everything from people not having health insurance to people getting paper cuts. So, naturally he could be a great venting point for someone mourning the recent death of their beloved MySpace.

If Fox had anything to do with the fall of MySpace it was just being on the less clever side of a ratings war with NBC. Realistically, the death of MySpace had less to do with Fox News and more to do with one of their biggest competitors Dateline NBC. This is not to start a political conversation, by all means please believe in whatever political faith your little heart desires. Being reasonable though, it was NBC’s “To Catch a Predator” that molested MySpace and put the handcuffs on the entire operation…

Come on, why don’t you just sit down. Have a seat. Let’s talk…

People could not stop watching Chris Hansen talking to those guys in the kitchens of alleged adolescent children.

Chris Hansen on the microphone. Pervert in the kitchen. Camouflaged SWAT team in the bushes outside. All culminating with an ensuing Ray Lewis quality tackle of said pervert by said SWAT team. It was some of the best television ever made. But at that moment, every “digital-immigrant” parent in the United States turned into an angry soccer-mom. MySpace never stood a chance. It lay dead in the tracks of a couple million minivans.?Suddenly every 12-17 year old in America had to shut down their MySpace accounts. If they did not they would be grounded by their parents or sexually harassed by an online predator. This accounted for a loss in probably over half of all regular MySpace users.

And you know who was watching as all of this unfolded? The true murderer of the once mighty MySpace. Mark Zuckerburg, fresh out of his Harvard dorm room.

MySpace was the too-unregulated, too-insecure, too-anything goes social media monster. Facebook began making a point of describing itself as the academic, scholarly, Harvard uniform wearing , safe-to-socialize with sweetheart. It swept America off its feet, and MySpace off the map.

The article does however highlight an important concept.

Social Media has limitations. They are not always finite, but they are everywhere. For anyone looking to utilize social media for any purpose, the nature of the beast must be understood. The success of the initiative is contingent upon the limitations set upon the people involved. Social Media must be managed in a manner that reflects the audience.