What’s For Sale on MySpace? Find Out Before Your Child Does

Selling sex online is nothing new. What is new, however, is where these companies have set up shop. It is the same place that your child spends hours visiting every day. MySpace.

On the surface, advertisements on MySpace are tame and within acceptable limits. The ads sell MP3 players, cell phones, phone service and promote movies and music download sites. These advertisers aren’t the ones to worry about; it is the “free”, “under the radar” advertisers that should worry you.

MySpace “users” have discovered a highly profitable way to sell their products. Sex traffickers have infiltrated MySpace by setting up profiles, adding themselves to your friend’s list, posting their pictures in blogs and forums, placing modeling classified ads, and setting up user groups. MySpace, once a virtual community, is now home to a large virtual sex market.

Clicking on the images of beautiful men and women posted in the public access areas of MySpace takes you to a profile page where you are encouraged to “check out my video”, “sign up to be my friend”, or “take a look at my pics.” Once you click on the link, you enter sex club sites, web cam sex sites, subscription pornography sites, etc. This also occurs in the forums, classified ads and blogs – no place is safe.

Remember that MySpace uses a rating system (who has the most number of friends, who has the most profile views, etc.). The more friends you have on your list, the higher you rank. This means that when these advertisers submits a request to your child to be added to their friend’s list, chances are high they will be accepted. A door just opened in advertising cyberspace…

Clicking on ErinSexy19’s photo, takes you to her profile page where you are invited to visit her webcam site, a “free” sex-cam site filled with ads for sex. And if that doesn’t hook you, her friend’s list contains images of beautiful females in various states of undress.

FrancineDee’s “space” was filled with sexually explicit photos. She encourages you to visit her website: a portal for purchasing access to pornographic video, images, etc.

This type of advertising is not easily ignored. In fact it is the type of advertising that is sought out. Protect your child from the MySpace “advertisers” that seek your child’s attention by becoming a proactive, internet savvy parent.

Parents should…
become computer literate

actively monitor your child’s computer use.

teach your child about online risks and the danger of posting personal information.

tell your child not to respond to instant messages or emails from strangers.

find out whether your child has a MySpace or other virtual hangout site and view that site

if necessary contact MySpace to have your child’s site removed.

insure that your child chooses gender-neutral screen names that are not sexually suggestive or

contain personal information.

make sure your child never uses their login name in a chat room or forum.

most importantly be vigilant and act on your suspicions

Be wise, be proactive. Protect your child from him/herself!

Rhonda Goetz

Parent Smartz [http://www.ParentSmartz.com]

Empowering Parents…


Rhonda Goetz is an author, speaker and and instructional designer. She designed an easy-to-use online course to help parents learn how to monitor their child’s activities, improve their Internet literacy, and better understand the Internet perils their child deals with every day.