Myspace under the microscope once again

Posted Thursday, December 7, 2006 - 12:00am

No social security number, no birth certificate, no drivers license, yet still a possibility of having a bad reputation through serving seven countries around the world people and having only reported problems that deal with parental control people tend to believe that this specific site will have little or no dangers that could be associated with it. This philosophy, however, has been proven wrong by the criminal acts that have taken place against not only the residents of Price, but also the student body of the College of Eastern Utah.

The victims' reputations were threatened last month when fake MySpace profiles were created showing their pictures and what Bill Osborn, the assistant dean of students, calls " ... Borderline pornographic ... " ideas depicted on these profiles.

If this wasn't too much for the public to handle, the suspect who posted these comments and photos also sent messages to other Myspace users who are located in the Price community, causing the Price City Police Department to be involved.

This case is an ongoing investigation and the police department welcomes a college-community effort in finding the suspect.

Shane Henrie, the detective on this case, stated that there is a way to remove a "fake" MySpace profile. On the main site,, at the bottom of the page there is a link labeled FAQ that will lead the user to the frequently asked questions section of MySpace.

Once on this page, the top six questions will appear on the left side of the screen. Question six has a link that will lead the user to contact MySpace customer service, or delete the fake profile.

The page reads that "In order to verify your identity, please send us a 'salute'. This means we will need an image of yourself holding a handwritten sign with the word '' and your Friend ID ... " The users friend ID will be found in the web address.

If an instructor, student body officer, or anyone with authority is being affected by this criminal act of defamation, there are different steps to erasing these profiles.

On the FAQ page, the user will find the link under the "Artist/Band Questions," a link that states, "How do we remove a teacher/faculty member's false profile?"

Myspace will have the user fill out a form that will ask for the web address that the profile uses.

So far in the investigation, the local police have found a false IP address to a computer located in an uninhabited house.

Although there has been some dead-ends to this investigation, Detective Henrie reports that this case is "open pending" any additional leads.

The only concrete piece of evidence they have encountered is that one of the pictures used on one of the fake profiles came from a picture that was taken by a photographer for The Eagle newspaper at CEU, a picture of a new faculty member. This picture is only accessible by the staff and the picture never was used in this year's published newspapers.

Filed under: news