[The following may appear at first to have little to do with unsigned bands - that is until you consider the importance of social networking outlets for band promotion (and thus viability) in the current global music marketplace and how restrictions upon such effect this, our most underrepresented and vulnerable class of musicians]
Yesterday the Powers That Be at MySpace informed me they are blocking all links back to my blog site - leftunsigned.blogspot.com. Here’s how they explained it:
We've recently discovered that BlogSpot pages are being used by spammers to send spam, so all links to that site have been disabled.
Although you or your blog may not be associated with or linked to spam or spammers, to protect all MySpace Profiles from spam, phishing, and online scams, all links to BlogSpot are blocked.
We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. Thanks for keeping MySpace a safe and secure place to socialize with friends.
Sounds pretty final, huh? I'm kinda new to social networking (and most other electronic media, as well), so help me with the logic. The folks managing MySpace are concerned about receiving spam, so they block OUTgoing links? OK, so perhaps you can't block the incoming without doing likewise to the outgoing? Again, not really up to snuff on all this, so perhaps this is true. I simply don’t know. But what I don't get is this: can't a person wishing to spam, phish or scam do so freely from pretty much any site on the planet with the ability to broadcast from one server to another? So why not block every single link coming in or going out? Absurd, right? Well isn't it just as absurd to prevent MySpace users from providing links to their own blog sites? Isn't there possibly some other means for "keeping MySpace a safe and secure place....?"
Strangely, while researching this issue I found that some MySpace users were informed of this blockage as far back as March, others, like my self, only within the past week. I also found I was not alone in my suspicions that MySpace was hiding behind the guise of SECURITY to gloss over what might, in reality, be a case of blanket CENSORSHIP.
I mean is it remotely possible that this has anything at all to do with corporate anomy between competing media conglomerates News Corp (recent acquirer of MySpace) and Google (owner of Blogger)? After all, isn’t it common knowledge that both entities have been engaged in a winner-take-all competition for information-world dominance for a while now? (Perhaps ‘common knowledge’ is a bit of a sketchy source to site here. For more evidence of this contention follow this link and draw your own conclusions). For those who don’t know, News Corp. is owned by Rupert Murdoch, who also owns Fox News – so you know fairness and ethical behavior are not at the top of the MySpace list of priorities. Not implying here that Google is run by a consortium of altruistic and on high angelic types… just wish these Olympians would keep the rest of us helpless mortals out of their fray.