Following continuing pressure from politicians (and parts of the media), MySpace is planning to offer parents the chance to download software which will monitor aspects of their children’s activities on the social networking site.
Parents who install the monitoring software on their home computers would be able to find out what name, age and location their children are using to represent themselves on MySpace. The software doesn’t enable parents to read their child’s e-mail or see the child’s profile page and children would be alerted that their information was being shared. The program would continue to send updates about changes in the child’s name, age and location, even when the child logs on from other computers.
From a business point of view, the move appears to be a highly risky one. The young users of social networking sites are notorious for their lack of loyalty — and history suggests that a change like this could tempt many to abandon MySpace for the ‘next cool thing’.