Is MySpace Concerned About Identity Theft?
Oct. 5 (KGO) -- MySpace.com has millions of users and that means there are bound to be a few bad actors. So what happens if you are targeted? 7 On Your Side has been looking into that.
We became curious when a Stockton viewer contacted us with real concerns with MySpace. Where those concerns lead us surprised us.
Diona Shelbourne like many today is browsing MySpace.com. She is showing me her real MySpace profile, and talking about the fake profile that was set up in her name.
Diona Shelbourne: "It was rather nasty."
Here it is, we can't show you much of it because it's nasty. The fake has a picture of Diona, apparently taken from this photo on Diona's real profile.
Diona Shelbourne, Stockton: "It just blew my mind, it blew my mind. I couldn't believe someone would stoop that low."
Down at the bottom of the page there is a way to report inappropriate postings. Diona clicked, emailed and nothing happened. She says she tried numerous times.
Diona: "So I said let me get a hold of 7 On Your Side, because I need someone to get a hold of them."
She did, we did, and MySpace removed the imposter right away telling us:
"Unfortunately, the alleged victim's complaint to us was delayed in routing to the appropriate team. We are taking this experience as an opportunity to review and improve our reporting procedures."
But that still leaves Diona on the hook because her address and phone number had been available.
Diona Shelbourne: "This is slandering my name, this is putting me in danger. It is putting my son in danger. This isn't a game anymore."
Which brings us to legal responsibility. We showed the fake website to our legal consultant, Dean Johnson.
Michael Finney: "Does MySpace have any obligation to take that off."
Dean Johnson, ABC7 News legal consultant: "No, the law is very clear. There is a thing called the Communication Act of 1996 that says for these purposes that anyone who provides a service on the internet, AOL, YouTube or MySpace is not considered the publisher, but is merely the distributor."
It is like they are the phone company, not responsible for what is said. Dean tells me there is slander here, but Diona will have to sue the person who posted the information. And of course few individuals have enough money to make a law suit worth it.
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