Friday, July 14, 2006
You knew that Rupert Murdoch couldn't keep his reality-altering efforts off of MySpace:
After hearing Sen. Ted Stevens' now infamous description of the internet as a "series of tubes," Andrew Raff sang the senator's words over a folksy ditty and anonymously posted it to MySpace.com, where about 2,500 people listened to the tune, thanks to a link from one of the net's top blogs.
On Tuesday, MySpace canceled the TedStevensFanClub account, telling Raff that the social-networking site, now owned by media mogul Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., had received a "credible complaint of your violation of the MySpace Terms of Services." [...]
Raff doesn't contest MySpace's right to enforce its terms of service, but he sees a political lesson in the takedown -- a foreshadowing of the kind of repression of speech that could become commonplace if phone companies prevail in their efforts to create a two-tiered internet. In an e-mail interview, he also questioned MySpace's motives in removing his political commentary from the site [...]
Art Brodsky, communications director for Public Knowledge, questioned the timing of the takedown, noting that News Corp. has interests in the telecommunications bill put forth by the Senate Commerce Committee that Stevens heads, and that some in Congress are looking to regulate MySpace over concerns about pedophiles.
MySpace is currently the highest-trafficked site in the world, with more traffic than Google or Yahoo. MySpace reinstated Raff's account and claimed "error" after the ensuing outcry.
In this case, "error" equals "damage control".