Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Facebook-bashing rears its ugly head.

One of the things we look out for on this blog is not just articles that are obvious bullshit or propaganda, but signs that the Sun is cleaning up its act. It was therefore in a fit of good vibes that the above banner suggested that the Sun was dropping its animus towards News International's main rival in the social networking game, Facebook, and coming clean about its own shortcomings. After all, the last time there was a purge of "pervs" from MySpace, the Sun strangely didn't so much as print a single word about it.

It soon becomes obvious why the Sun has decided to trumpet the fact that so many "sex offenders" have been removed from MySpace - because, obviously, they're all now on Facebook instead!

MYSPACE has banned 90,000 sex offenders from its site — but the pervs may be turning to rival Facebook.

New measures to make online social networking safer resulted in the MySpace purge.

But technology experts claimed last night to have found 8,000-plus sex fiends on Facebook.

John Cardillo, a former New York City cop who runs internet security firm Sentinel, said: “We’ve identified and removed 90,000 sex offenders from MySpace.

“But Facebook could still be a haven for such people. We found 8,487 registered sex offenders on Facebook in just a few days by doing a basic search that any user can access.

“So that’s a small percentage of what is there.

“If you look at the size of its community, there could be as many as 100,000 sex offenders or paedophiles on Facebook.”

Yep, that's right, this entire piece is only appearing for two reasons: to crow about MySpace's great success in deleting the scourge of modern life from their site, while at the same time acting as PR for John Cardillo's company, employed by MySpace; and to bash Facebook for not being so cautious. Also, incredibly coincidentally no doubt, today just happens to be Facebook's 5th birthday; its rival wouldn't be trying to spoil the party, would it? Surely not.

If Facebook is telling the full story, than Cardillo's programme seems to be incredibly crude in any case: it seems to search for the names of registered sex offenders and little else, which MySpace then removes. Either that, or Cardillo, when applying his software to Facebook, just searched for the names and didn't remove the false positives for propaganda reasons.

The Sun had actually seemed to be letting the rivalry with Facebook go, perhaps because Murdoch himself is wondering whether his purchase of the company was worth it when Facebook is both far more popular and objectively a better site. That might still be the case, and the Scum was just determined to pop Facebook's own publicity bubble. Regardless, any real newspaper when dealing with such a story would have pointed out the obvious huge conflicts of interest: the Sun instead just treats its own readers as fools and ciphers in their own propaganda war.

1 comment:

Sim-O said...

Digital Journal:
...John Cardillo has called Facebook a "safe haven" for sex offenders Sentinel helps other social networks ID sex offenders. Facebook is not a client.