back to article Sun's Facebook-slapping hits wrong target

A series of negative stories about Facebook by The Sun newspaper could lead to yet more government intervention directing how individuals are allowed to interact with the internet. The Sun has seen a host of anti-Facebook stories run over the last 12 months, paralleled by positive coverage of near-rival, MySpace. Last week, …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The SUN is guilty!

    The Sun is as responsible as the useless shites in Govt for pushing the PC agenda and the stalinist control over the British people. It's all about control of the agenda by manipulating the stupid masses. The UK is in a spiral of decline where common sense is lost and its identity has been destroyed.

  2. Gareth 11


    If anyone is putting this down to some kind of Murdochian conspiracy, then I am shocked - shocked - by your cynicism. The simple truth is that it's easier to make up pun-based headlines based on the word 'Facebook' than it is for 'MySpace'. Go on, try.


  3. Soruk

    Isn't it obvious?

    The Sun's parent company owns Myspace. Of course then they'll make sure any competitor is seen in a less than favourable light. In this case they're using the paedo card to try to sway the public image and the man on the street will believe it. What's the betting that had this incident happened on myspace the Sun won't have touched it or just referred to the site as an unnamed social networking site?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Media ownership

    I'm not one for illiberal restrictions, but I'll gladly make an exception in this case. The sooner that News International is broken up, and Rupert Murdoch is prevented from having any influence over UK media, the better for our society.

  5. Hermes Conran

    Typical Murdickishness

    I'm with the scousers on boycotting all of his foul emissions!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    the sun?

    Stupid reporting for stupid people, reading the sun is a good sign that a person shouldn't be allowed an opinion, sadly there are a lot of them and the mob rules in the end. I'm being a bit harsh of course, many Sun readers are, err, perfectly representative of the general population of Britain, and likely most of the Western world. Read into that what you may.

    But yes it is funny how the sun is massively anti-facebook and pro-myspace - almost like they have some kind of vested interest in one.

  7. NB


    says it all really, this is clearly just a puerile smear campaign by the sun and newscorp.

  8. Ben Smith

    Nobody's fault but mine

    Yet again, it's a case of "blame anyone but me". With respect to the mother of the young woman who prompted this, blaming Facebook for what happened - sorry, but in real life nasty people exist and it's up to you to educate your child to be safe.

    Trying to police Twitter or Facebook is akin to trying to monitor what gets sent through e-mail, post or what gets said on the phone.

    It's a dangerous world out there - protection is down to the individual, or if they are minor, their parents.

    And a world in which The Sun makes the laws or establishes the moral code - well, God help us all...

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I thought that was what ConfirmID was for

    Doesn't Facebook support this? Or am I misunderstanding what it's for?

  10. seanj

    Says it all...

    "The Sun and social networking site MySpace are both part of News Corp. Facebook is not."

    Using such tragedies to both promote your own product and demonise your rival - especially in a medium that classes itself as "news" (even though we all know it isn't!) - is a shocking, appalling tactic. The Sun and News Corp should be seriously heavily fined/journalists writing such stories removed from whatever writer's union represents them for abusing their position in such a manner.

    Won't happen though, Murdoch runs the world...

  11. Jamie Kitson

    Also: Beatles Dead, Queen Anne Split Up

    So the IWF is ineffectual and the Sun is biased, inaccurate and sensationalist? You're going to be busy if you're going to report on every occasion of that!

  12. Tom Cook

    Shoddy reporting from The Sun?

    Next you'll tell us Microsoft isn't always completely honest about its competitors' products...

    What does the girl on page 3 have to say about it all?

  13. Simon Buttress

    Aaah the Bootnote

    Explains it all.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As A...

    As a forum administrator for a social networking site, there is absolutely zero that can be done to stop paedofiles from signing up.

    The article "disgracebook" I read, the victims mother said they should be doing more. How can they stop people lieing about what they say on their page?

    People need to stop blaming the websites for their inability to check up on what their kids are doing online.

    Ac for obv reasons.

  15. The Indomitable Gall

    Oh you cynics...

    Next you'll be saying that the constant articles relating to Sky television are biased too...

  16. PsychicMonkey

    isn't this....

    the same paper that used to print pictures of a 16 year old Sam fox with her tits out?

    of course, that wasn't in the least bit seedy......

    Fail. because the sun does.....

  17. EvilGav 1

    Paedo Pimping

    Note that the girl who died was 17, but followed by somebody claiming that StalkerBook is used by paedophiles.

    Except, having sex with a 17 year old, in the UK at least, does not a paedophile make. The age of consent is 16.

    It's yet another example of a media agenda to push people to think that sex under 18 = paedophile.

    Anyway, it is the Sun, a newspaper deliberately written with a Kincaid reading level of 8 years old.

  18. Jason Togneri

    @ seanj

    "journalists writing such stories removed from whatever writer's union represents them"

    Um, that would be the National Union of Journalists. Even a wild guess would have been fairly close. Better luck next time.

    As for the Sun... why does this stuff still surprise anybody?

  19. Anonymous Coward

    Never mind Facebook perv...

    Here's a headline for the Sun: Journo-twat (50s) brown-noses boss. Even his Mother doesn't like him, claims disgruntled neighbour, Melissa (23).

    Now I wonder, why don't they publish that story?

    The sooner these miserable excuses for newspapers roll up and die in the new era of free news, by the people, for the people, the better. Fight it if you like Murdoch, you're just hastening the inevitable...

  20. Jerome 0

    Government intervention?

    Much though I love the Murdoch-slapdown aspect of the article, I'm still eagerly awaiting details of how these anti-Facebook stories "could lead to yet more government intervention directing how individuals are allowed to interact with the internet", as mentioned in the first paragraph.

    Unless the quote from Andrea Hall alone is sufficient evidence of impending changes to legislation (which wouldn't surprise me a great deal these days, it has to be said) a few more details would be much appreciated.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    To state the bleeding obvious...

    MySpace is owned by Fox Interactive Media, who are owned by News Corporation, who have a UK subsidiary called News International Ltd., who publish a "news"paper called The Sun. This, for those of you that like to throw around accusations of anti-competative behaviour, is something that could quite easily be interpreted as anti-competative behaviour.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Shouldn't the press complaints commission people be doing something about this? It's clearly running down one service to promote their own. You'd think that facebook would have a valid complaint.

  23. Anonymous Coward

    @ Ben Smith

    Oh Ben, do grow up. Protection is not down to the individual. You live under the constant protection of a society boasting a mature army, police force, judicial system, and medical system. Protection of the innocent - especially the young - is a social function, not an individual one. You could almost *define* society in this way. If it collapses you'll find out what I mean.

    To imply that social networking sites are not in any way culpable for what happens on their sites is equally naive. They should be getting parental approval for anyone who doesn't have an active credit card, and they should be giving the parents full access to the child's account plus full IM logs. If, as you say, nasty people exist, then this would seem like a *very* basic precaution. But it's a bit bad for business isn't it, which is why the subject of legislation *has* to come up.

  24. Captain TickTock

    That's funny...

    Several years ago a friend invited me to MySpace. Not knowing anything about it I joined, and... (drum roll...) "imagine my surprise!" when I started receiving emails from lonely, attractive, young russian girls who'd just broken up with their boyfriends..

    .. and were on their webcam now, waiting for me..

    .. in their pyjamas, or something...

    Anything about that in The Sun's archives? Surely this would be the thing to push MySpace to its readership? Obviously these russian lads have had too much of a good thing.

    Or would that be stealing jobs, sorry romance, from lonely, attractive, young english girls?

    Mine's the dirty mac...

  25. yomchi86

    @ Ben Smith

    I Agree completely mate, Like you say, I have sympathy as nobody deserves that type of thing but it's completely stupid to blame a web site for ignorance and lack of common sense. As a child, my parents always told me "Don't talk to strangers, Don't accept sweets or get in a car etc etc"

    Then when we got a computer with the internet my mum said, albeit jokingly "You're not been groomed" are you. She said it as a joke but the serious message was still there. This was coming from my mother. The woman who had NEVER touched a computer in her life, had no idea or interest in how they worked. Parents need to start taking responsibility for their actions. It's right, its a sad sick world we are living in but there ARE things you can do to protect yourselves and your family. Just my 2 penneth....

  26. David Webb


    Is MySpace as bad or worse than FaceBook? Well there is this child on MySpace who is 16 years old yet has their age set at 18 allowing anyone to contact them, I contacted MySpace to let them know (cause it is against the MySpace rules to lie about being 18 and over...) and even though there were photos of her in her school uniform and such, they said "can't do a thing about it, so yeah, we'll let her continue".

    The girl in question who was murdered, there was no parental responsibility there, none at all "she had 400 friends who she knows personally!" total crock of lies (wtf is a crock anyhow?) if she knew them all personally, she wouldn't have been murdered by a stranger from her friends list....

    Big warning to you kids out there, if you *need* to lie to your parents about the fact you are going to meet someone from the internet, you are in D A N G E R, no if's, no but's, if you can't say to your parents "I'm meeting someone I met on the internet" then you are putting your own life at risk, and parents, if you are not monitoring your childs internet usage so they get into a situation where they have to lie to you about meeting someone off the internet YOU are putting your child in D A N G E R.

    It amazes me how stupid kids can be, from a young age they are taught "don't get into cars with strangers" yet throw them on the internet and they not only get into the car with the stranger, they meet that car in a distant carpark, at night, in the middle of a forest whilst telling their parents they are babysitting next door.

  27. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse

    @ Mycho

    But shouldn't confirmID be renamed confirmEMAILADDRESS? As that is all it really is and reply to the link sent to the registered email address.

  28. PaulR79

    Parental responsibility - a myth?

    Unless I've slipped into a parallel universe I was under the impression that a parent is legally responsible for their child up until the age of 18 in the UK. Why, then, do we continue to hear from grieving families trying to lay blame elsewhere? I read the stories about that girl who met the guy who murdered her on Facebook and even though I despise Facebook I fail to see how any 17 year old would have hundreds of friends and knew every one of them. The mother said essentially that in what I read and that she had been told of the dangers and understood them. Clearly she didn't or she'd likely be alive today!

    How stupid are some of these parents to think they're smarter than their kids by virtue of being parents and taking their kids' word for it? More importantly why are these irresponsible parents suffering the loss of their children allowed to make any kind of stand or propose any law? They're not thinking clearly, they want to blame someone for what's happened and take the easy route. Child met person on X site, it must be the fault of X site for not knowing everything about that person from their age, blood type, hair colour, body shape, last job, thoughts on eating meat ......

    Give it a rest. I'm sorry, I have sympathy for her loss and others like her but that doesn't excuse her stupidity and trying to fix what is ultimately her failing to educate and keep track of her teenage daughter. Here's a big surprise (/sarcasm) - people who do bad things ANYWHERE lie about themselves and things they do. Treating everyone as though they are the same "for the sake of the children" is pathetic. Do a better job of looking after your kids and realise that fucked up people do fucked up things no matter where they are.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @@ Ben Smith

    Oh AC you prove what an idiot you are,

    a: how are you supposed to prove the person with the credit card is the parent of the person they are pretending to be the parent of?

    b: there are a number of people who for one reason or another do not have a credit card, are they to be restricted from sites because they are unable or unwilling to obtain credit.

    c: what is to stop a paedophile using stolen credit card details.

    d: Would anyone want social networking sites using credit cards to "authenticate" users considering how much fraud goes on on the internet?

    e: I could quite easily go on, but you're a bit retarded so I'll move on.

  30. Tzael

    Before social networking... IRC

    Long before Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, back in the days of Geocities being an 'online community' and instant messaging done through mIRC, I had the unfortunate task of kid-proofing a computer with internet access all because the parents didn't understand why they should be monitoring their child's activity online.

    Long story short, my efforts were in vain because the damage had already been done. A fairly normal 12-year old girl had transformed into someone who could make the adults blush when reciting what she had learned online and had been conditioned by unknown individuals on IRC. Far too young for relationships but desperate to share what she had learned with her peers and experiment. Now a 26-year old single mother who has already had her children taken away from her by social services twice.

    I'm totally in agreement with Ben Smith's comment. When it comes to minors going online, it is the parents' responsibility to ensure that their children are not exposed to unsuitable material, or should such exposure occur accidentally then the parents are there to guide their child's moral compass. You don't hand your 12-year old son a copy of the Sun newspaper and expect him to remain innocent after seeing the page 3 model. Why hand him free reign on an internet connection where he'll see much worse than a saucy lady with her knockers on show?

    What we really need to persuade our governments to do is to persecute media outlets who manipulate the public outrage to accomplish their bidding. That'd be you Murdoch, you're a git and you know it.

  31. A J Stiles

    Idea for new legislation

    How about this for a simple law to protect kids from internet paedophiles:


  32. Anonymous Coward

    Journalistic integrity

    The Sun haven't even heard of it.

  33. Graham Marsden
    Thumb Down

    Re: @Ben Smith

    "Protection of the innocent - especially the young - is a social function, not an individual one. "

    Hello, Gordon...

  34. Max Pritchard

    @ David Webb

    One definition of "crock" is an earthenware pot or jar. Often used as a container of metaphorical filth. Another definition is "soot, or smut". Which gives rise to the amusing idea of a crock of crock. He he.

    Yes - I'm getting it.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Don't blame the parents!

    A 17-year-old is damn nearly an adult and perfectly capable of taking responsibility for her own death. Mind you, I don't blame the victim, either. In my opinion, nobody is to blame. What happened was meant to happen. People getting killed is part of the natural order of things. Yin and yang, etc. I'm sure the Taoist Mao Shan masters are with me on this one.

  36. Christopher Rogers

    @Gareth 11

    "Sun Invading My Space hits wrong target"?

  37. GrahamT

    My Space Facebook confusion

    The above reminded me of one of the few good lines on Jam & Jerusalem:

    Jennifer Saunders character:

    "My husband loves the internet. He spends all night sitting on MyFace."

    (may not be verbatim, but you get the idea)

  38. Tom 15

    @AC 13:16

    What a ridiculous load of tosh... you'll be suggesting that next we pass laws to not let anyone without a credit card leave their own house.

    You can't legislate against idiocy; the only solution is education, provided by parents and schools for where they fail in cases such as this.

    A lot of children walk themselves to school from the age of 11 (if not before) but you're suggesting they shouldn't be allowed on the Internet?

  39. Pablo


    Wow, and all because of the internet. Because the change that came over her couldn't possibly have had anything to do with her home life, the peers she associated with at school, or say doing through puberty. No, that's just silly. It must have been the internet what did it.

  40. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge


    that all of the teens killed or paedofiled had, in addition to a facebook account, NO VALID COMMUNIST PARTY MEMBERSHIP CARD (Marxist/Leninist/Zinonviest branch). NOT ONE!!

    This is a clear indication that, if they had been members of the COMMUNIST PARTY (Marxist/Leninist/Zinonviest branch), none of this would have happened!


    Become member of the COMMUNIST PARTY today. For safer yoof!

  41. Joe 3
    Thumb Down

    A bystander said...

    ...that Rupert Murdoch is a "twat." Onlookers commented that he will "say anything for money." A close pal of 'Randy Rupe' revealed that he "knows that he is an awful, awful man."

    This is what I overheard on the bus, anyway. Can I work for the Sun now?

  42. Tom 38 Silver badge


    Ah see thats where they are being clever. They don't mention MySpace ever. IF they mentioned MySpace, they would have to disclose the relationship, and there would be a small paragraph at the end saying that.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Sun and truth = oil and water

    If I read today's date on the front of the Sun, I'd need to get a second opinion.

    I wouldn't use that rag to put down on the floor to house train a puppy.

  44. Chika

    In your bigger, bouncier (sic) Sun today!

    "We put the news first! In big, bold headlines today, we uncover the troof about InYourFacebook and how easy it is to make a killing in sales of newspapers to morons who will believe anything they are spoonfed by the rejected Aussie Merkan wannabe who continues to make a bundle of those silly folk across the pond because they don't have the balls to stand up to the little creep and tell him to sod off!

    Then, on page three... TITS."

    It is not unknown for shared resources, whether it be blogs, web boards, even the venerable IRC, to have undesirable people on them. After all, one problem is that the whole process can render the user anonymous. However, before such so-called "news"papers start in on services such as Facebook, maybe it should look to its own morals. I, for one, would never spend a penny on such a paper because it is totally incapable of reporting actual news or true investigative reporting. This particular story might have good intentions but, given that it is attacking only a small sector of the community (and one that has a perceived rival interest), they have only left themselves open to question and ridicule.

    Oh, and to Ben Smith. Yes, you are totally correct. Any parent that abdicates their responsibility for their children to the care of a computer, television or anything else is more to blame than that computer, television or whatever. That isn't being naive, as one AC had it. That's the truth.

  45. Armitage

    @Idea for new legislation

    shouldn't that be:


  46. Gulfie

    Facebook vs Myspace

    FAIL for the facebook bashing. After all, even if your average Sun reader knows the difference (in ownership) between Facebook and MySpace, they're unlikely to make a disticntion in terms of whether questionable content would appear more on one than the other...

  47. Tim Jenkins

    Sounds familiar?

    "...sensationalising the story and linking it to solutions that do not apply..."

    and there I was thinking The Sun and New(t) Labour had fallen out of love ; )

  48. Anonymous Coward

    The sun is full of shit

    The sun is full of shit

  49. rciafardone

    @Anonimous Coward (Who replied at Ben Smith)

    Dear Anonymous Coward (the one that replied at Ben Smith), obviously you fail to realize the magnitude of the stupidity of what you just said.

    Let check the list of crap you just wrote down:

    1) Control ID by demanding credit card number to ensure the person in over 18 and has given his real name:

    - problems:

    a) So, I suppose a kid can't get his parents number and use it without the parent consent. How are they going to know it? Sending an e-mail to the account that that very kid supplied? Since most of this sites have no charge how is that going to be reflected on the banks account?

    b) So, I suppose in your parallel universe, pedophiles neither can, under any circumstance get a CC number from a third unaware party, or use a fake name and data to get a REAL credit card to begin with.

    c) So, My right to sign in on any of these sites has to be limited by the fact that I don't have a credit card... excellent for freedom.

    2) Giving parents full access to “logs” and data and whatever from the site.

    - Problems:

    a) Why do you think parents will check this info regularly enough to do something about it? Has you seen the amount of info that is received in a single day by the average user of FACEBOOK?

    b) If so, how do you know that once a “connection” between the victim that the aggressor is established in facebook they will not continue communications trough alternative means like another e-mail account, a messenger or just calling by phone?As they will SURELY do since they KNOW the account on facebook is monitored, and kids LOVE to let their parents know what they do. Do you suggest monitoring all this media too? How? China has an iron grip on communications , Google actually filters its content, and even the chinese kids get away with most of what they want on the net.

    I could continue but why bother...

  50. Alpha Tony

    My goodness...,

    ...'Sun Newspaper in self-serving, gutter-press, fact-distorting hackery'

    ..In other news a Mr Holmes of 221b Baker Street, London has reported a case of extreme constipation.

  51. kissingthecarpet

    The weird thing about the Sun & NotW

    is the way they define themselves as a "family newspaper", and star out words like shit or wanker, yet love a bit of soft porn and report stories in the most lurid & titillating light they can.

    I used to know a sub-editor on the Sun - a bigger hypocrite you will never meet. Just when he was at his most smug, they laid him off ha,ha.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Other stories you might like