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Thursday, July 26, 2007 

What you won't be reading in the Sun tomorrow part 2.

As an addendum to yesterday's less than serious post on the Scum's inability to report on the discovery of 29,000 sex offenders with profiles on MySpace, could you possibly believe that there's also no article on the matter in today's issue of the nation's biggest selling newspaper? Interestingly, there's also none of the usual reporting on some other child sex scandal which the Sun has dredged up either, unless you count the Chris Langham trial. There is however nearly 350 words on how the creator of Facebook allegedly stole the idea from three friends when they were at Harvard, reporting on the court case currently being pursued. Oddly, comments on the piece have been turned off. The hack behind the piece couldn't resist a plug for MurdochSpace right at the end, though:

Facebook has the second biggest number of users of any site after MySpace.

For comparisons sake, all the other tabloids had articles on the discovery of the profiles, with the Mirror running the story which Rebekah Wade couldn't as she commented on yesterday:

MILLIONS of teenagers will be logging on to a social networking website today.

And more than 100 million have posted personal details and pictures on sites such as MySpace, Facebook, Second Life and Bebo.

But while teenagers chat with friends around the world, paedophiles, stalkers, bullies and fraudsters lurk in the shadows.

There are even fears that these sites are being used by terrorists to communicate, rather than making calls or sending emails which can be more easily traced.

And so on. Both the Mail and Express ran articles remarkably free of hysteria.

More intriguing is the Times' coverage of the revelation. I have to admit I expected it to ignore the news much like the Scum, so I was a little surprised to find an article on it. Unlike all the other articles though, the Times has got the UK police to comment on the matter, to make clear to panicking parents that there is most certainly no danger whatsoever.

Convicted sex offenders should not be prevented from using social networking sites such as MySpace, Scotland Yard said yesterday.

The Metropolitan Police was responding to an announcement by MySpace that it had removed 29,000 convicted sex offenders from its user base in America after cross-checking its members against publicly available sex-offender databases.

The force said that it had no plans to share information about sex offenders with sites such as MySpace and Bebo with a view to having the profiles of such people taken down. “Just because you’re a convicted offender doesn’t mean you’re still offending,” a spokeswoman said. “Why would we pursue them in this way? These are people who have served their time.”

Scotland Yard’s position was backed up by the Home Office, which said it was “not intending to disclose lists of registered sex offenders to individuals or organisations not directly at risk or concerned with law enforcement”.


It has to be said that I most definitely agree with all of that. One has to suspect however that if it had been Facebook or Bebo that the Times wouldn't have gone to the trouble of defending them in the same way as it has the social networking site which just happens to belong to its parent company. Both the Torygraph and Grauniad reported on the matter without needing to dash to the police for comment.

P.S. According to the Scum:

The case for doubling the 28-day limit is incontestable.

We face the biggest threat since World War II.


The Soviet Union? What was that?

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