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May 18, 2010

MySpace tries to stage a 'private' coup

Posted: 10:13 AM ET

MySpace is not aging well.

The site was the world's largest online social network until 2009, when Facebook whizzed by. Now, MySpace says it has 113 million users to Facebook's 400 million.

But maybe there's a comeback for MySpace yet. This week, as Facebook continues to weather bad press about its non-private privacy settings, MySpace announced its comeback plan: Privacy settings that make sense.

"We respect our users’ desires to balance sharing and privacy, and never push our users to an uncomfortable privacy position," company co-president Mike Jones said in a blog post on Monday.

In coming weeks, MySpace users will be able to choose from three settings that regulate the privacy of their profiles. They are:

"Friends only," meaning only people who you've agreed to be friends with can see your profile.

"Public," meaning anyone can search Google and find everything about you.

"Public to anyone 18 or older," which is pretty self-explanatory.

The default on MySpace will be "friends only." That sets it in stark contrast with Facebook, which describes its default privacy settings this way, in its 5,825-word privacy policy:  "The default privacy setting for certain types of information you post on Facebook is set to 'everyone.' You can review and change the default settings in your privacy settings. If you delete 'everyone' content that you posted on Facebook, we will remove it from your Facebook profile, but have no control over its use outside of Facebook."

Even before MySpace's announcement this week, some tech pundits were calling for Facebook to adopt simplified privacy settings. Farhad Manjoo, Slate's technology columnist, suggested 5-level privacy settings:

"You should be able to go to your privacy settings and see one big dial that lets you choose one of five levels between 'private' and 'public.' This setting would govern your entire profile; the more public you set the dial, the more you'll share with more people," he wrote on May 13. "By default, the dial would be somewhere in the middle, but you'd be able to shift it up or down at any time. You'd still be able to adjust more specific controls—you could set your profile to 'public' but allow only close friends to see pictures of your kid—but few of us would ever need to."

Facebook responded to some of these concerns in an e-mail to CNN.

It seems like three things could come of MySpace's new privacy controls. Facebook's faithful might give the site a second try. MySpace's privacy rethink could become contagious with other sites.

Or, maybe no one will notice.

Cast your vote for the most likely scenario in the comments. Also, does this make MySpace a more enticing social network?

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Filed under: Facebook • MySpace

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Applesfinctor   May 18th, 2010 10:38 am ET

This site still exists? I thought it went defunct a while ago. I guess you could classify this site as being an ant. You can drop it in water and 50 hrs later it will still be slowly treading water: not quite drowned.

Ian   May 18th, 2010 10:51 am ET

MySpace ha ha or maybe we all could go back to MS DOS

Applesfinctor   May 18th, 2010 10:58 am ET

c:// cd [program name]
c://[program name]/ run
Program starts

Ah, the good old days 🙂

ubikuberalles   May 18th, 2010 11:01 am ET

MySpace needs to do a lot more than simplify their privacy settings before I come back to it.

Applesfinctor   May 18th, 2010 11:08 am ET

Don't do it...
Remember what happened when Louis Creed buried Church and then Gage in the Semetary? The same thing will happen if they try to ressurect an already dead MySpace. It will come back evil and hungry for brains!!!!

Redbirdzjj   May 18th, 2010 11:27 am ET

MySpace is the "ghetto" of the internet, way too much trashy user posted content, good riddance.

Aaron   May 18th, 2010 11:59 am ET

Social networking need to go away....I dont really see a difference between mysapce and facebook, both are a waste of time.

iLoveApple App   May 18th, 2010 12:00 pm ET

My Space? Is there an App for that?

Leah (TXanimal)   May 18th, 2010 12:14 pm ET

MySpace is nothing more than a glorified trophy case for 13-year olds who like glittery backgrounds and obnoxious music. It shouldn't even be classified as a social networking site. It's a pain to navigate, and really doesn't encourage much interaction. Facebook isn't going anywhere...they'll come up with a way to finesse the wording of their existing privacy policies that all the morons threatening to leave will buy and everyone will move on. (I say morons because these people thought their information was actually "safe" at one point on FB).

Reniqua   May 18th, 2010 12:21 pm ET

Myspace is the best, because you get to talk and text to your friends. I want to thanks tom for eventing myspace. Thanks for giving me MY SPACE


Auser   May 18th, 2010 12:27 pm ET

CNN and all the other sites that have accepted Facebook's plugin are just as guilty as Facebook when it comes to user privacy.

John   May 18th, 2010 12:35 pm ET

It's funny to hear all the MySpace bashing. You people sound like Boston Red Sox fans bashing the Yankess, when NYers don't even think twice about you, your team OR your city.

MySpace has its purpose. On Facebook, you are intertwined with people you know or friends of friends. On Myspace, you can make NEW friends outside your circle. That's why Myspace will never die. It's the only major social networking site where you can meet new people.

Facebook sucks, IMO. It's like a high school reunion mixed with a family photo album. I have more interesting things to do in life than yammer with old high school people and distant relatives I only see once a year at the holidays.

Facebook is a complete waste of time.

MariahLuvsYewww(:   May 18th, 2010 1:17 pm ET

myspace contains to much drama anyways, thats why i deleted mine. but seriously facebook has already taken over, why even try to bring myspace back. theres no point in it.

BILL COLLECTOR   May 18th, 2010 1:56 pm ET


John E. Reb   May 18th, 2010 2:13 pm ET

Let's be real, they both suck. They both have their ups and downs. The complete personalization options of myspace are appealing. What some people do with it is not. Facebook has a complicated, annoying interface and minimal ability to control what unwanted information comes your way. Somethign else will come along and make facebook obsolete, just like it did to myspace. Facespace or mybook, maybe.

John E. Reb   May 18th, 2010 2:14 pm ET

Oh and as for myspace being the "ghetto" of social networking sites–facebook is the one where you write on the walls.

TheDJOne   May 18th, 2010 2:34 pm ET

Thanks for all of the yelling, Bill.

Actually, AOL is the ghetto of the Internet, followed closely by MySpace. Although, to be fair, MySpace is sort of a Las Vegas-style ghetto. AOL is just the regular type.

michael   May 18th, 2010 3:47 pm ET

newsflash....... morons have facebooks accounts........

dwighthuth   May 18th, 2010 3:51 pm ET

There is a new cell scam making it's way into the Verizon Network as well as companies targeting internet users.

Earlier today I had 24 minutes left on my phone and received a phone call that did not use up more than four or five minutes of time. At about 1447 (2:47pm) I received a text a message relating to having more credits available for a ringtone service for $15.00 a month shortly therefeafter the minutes on my phone went to 0. If you receive a text message with someone called Drake or Lady Antebellum report it to the FBi right away as it is a scam that steals your minutes from your phone and then transfers these minutes to free cell phone services such as safelink dot com where the subscribers get utpo 80 free minutes of air time a month. But where are they getting these minutes from? Stealing minutes from your cell phone after you have opted out of the service. The other new attack on internet users is coming from those before the internet. They want the old world to return to the way it was ten years ago when people went to the library and read books which meant more trees needed to be farmed which more gas was needed to be used. So where is the new attack coming from? Big Oil. They want everyone to stop using the internet because it takes away from their profits as people tend to not want to travel because of high gas prices. Those who are playing the part of the anti-internet group will say things like "It is our generation that is responsible for the internet." Another group are those that harass people at work through the use of inuendo after they have found out the person's screen name. Another group that is funding these short lived and fruitless attacks are those that believe time travel is real. They believe that if certain technologies are gotten rid or reduced in their use then their belief of time traveling into the past can be assumed to be real and proven to actually occur. These groups are all economical terrorists bent on trying to keep big oil in charge, but as their defenses are slowly shown through increased oil prices at the pumps and other geonium tactics are discovered. So if you come across a person or group of people who use inuendo to try to stear you away from using the internet in your daily life they are the new enemy of America, just as the Taliban are both of whom want the old world they grew up in to return. Continue to progress America and stay away from those who are part of the 50/50 group that want everyone to use one source of information half of the time and another source of information the other 50% of the time.

michael   May 18th, 2010 3:53 pm ET

every time u use your facebook account the terrorists win........

gregory new york   May 18th, 2010 5:55 pm ET

myspace is still the best site for music
the interface for finding and connecting with musicians and bands
is much better on myspace. try finding a band on facebook and then try to hear their music and see where they are playing .
it can be very difficult.

Peej   May 18th, 2010 6:08 pm ET

Myspace still fails. No one cares

Matt   May 18th, 2010 6:18 pm ET

I left MySpace a year ago for Facebook. My main problem with the site is that it got way too cluttered with numerous features, and I felt that MySpace had deviated somewhat from their original mission, to connect people with people. The blog feature was nice, but it attached your name to it rather than a pen name, and then Google databased it and made you incredibly searchable. Then the games, apps, and Facebook-like status update feature rolled in, and it all became a bit overwhelming to use. I can play games on other sites, blog on other sites, and status updates are basically all Facebook does. So what use have I for MySpace, when all my friends use Facebook, and I have a happy new home at

If MySpace really wanted to bring people back to their corner, all they'd have to do is follow K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid!). Oh, and I'd be more than willing to go back if Google kept its nose out of MY SPACE! Facebook's privacy and account settings have made it easy for me to share my opinions with my friends, and my friends only. MySpace published my business to the world, and thats the biggest reason I left. I'm nowhere near narcissistic enough for MySpace anymore.


DJ   May 18th, 2010 6:36 pm ET

Facebook is a ridiculous waste of time. "Liking" things and playing pathetic mini-games.

MySpace doesn't want you back. It's a place for music, musicians and fans to connect. Their attempt to add all the additional garbage a'la Facebook is what drove people off I'm sure.

Strip that crap back out and stick to music, and they will come back.

JR   May 18th, 2010 7:21 pm ET


Jon   May 18th, 2010 7:27 pm ET

Myspace is lame. It will never come back. It's like Friendster (or however you spell it).

oni   May 18th, 2010 8:06 pm ET

I've been on myspace for several years now, & will always continue to favor myspace simply because, unlike "Fakebook," users' privacy is respected. There have been changes made to make it easier for friends, etc. to locate you, BUT it is left to the user whether or not to utilise them – not so with Facebook, which prefers to surprise their users with wanton & blatant acts of invasion of privacy.
I tried Facebook. I quit after 48 hours when I realized how extremely easy it is for ANYONE to locate you.
Privacy??? Yeah, right. Just say NO to Fakebook – it's easier than you think.

RT   May 18th, 2010 9:08 pm ET

dwighthuth = crazy ;o}

dorfa   May 18th, 2010 9:38 pm ET

I view MySpace's attempt to lure focus back towards is only to facilitate a 'privacy brinksmanship' between the two sites. Quite honestly, as one who has had a profile on both for over 5 years, I am finding myself 'growing out' of internet social media and reviving my interest in spending more time interacting with people outside these social network media.

paul   May 18th, 2010 9:56 pm ET

There is now an alternative to Facebook.

Check out

Facebook's privacy options don't compare. This is a whole new generation for social networkers.

chris   May 18th, 2010 11:23 pm ET

My question is this: Why does CNN care about Facebook or Myspace since they have an agreement with Twitter to be the exclusive social network of CNN?

Moya   May 18th, 2010 11:45 pm ET

I'm getting really irritated with Facebook because of all the apps my friends (or 'friends of friends') have – I can have a dozen CafeWorld, MafiaFamily, YoVille, Poker posts with their big ugly graphics taking up so much space on my pages that I can't actually find genuine posts or comments to my stuff or from my friends. AND I've gone to the setting to remove these game apps from MY settings and I STILL get 'Suzy found a sad cow – can you help?'. And all that white space – can't they compact it down, instead of posts falling off the newsfeed page so soon?

Myspace is confusing to use and ugly to look at, plus the people still using it seem a lot more narcissistic. Not that FaceBook doesn't have a confusing newsfeed / profile / Wall pages. Neither seem to know what they actually are suppose to be.

mp517   May 19th, 2010 1:22 am ET

my myspace page is

this is what i say in a myspace friends request to attract hot scantily clad girls and women

hi my name is matthew perkins 25/m/nj your my friend ok
please check out my profile
if you have any questions feel free to ask me

this message works good because the women will then add me

good day

awe struck   May 19th, 2010 8:23 am ET

you know i'd actually go back to myspace if user's profiles weren't so spammy with ad

thats what i loved about myspace you could personalize the look and feel of your profile when people came to your page, but it got extremely spammy. if they would take that spam crap away to where i don't have to download sometimes in excess of 20mb of stuff each page visit, it'd be nice.

Jason   May 19th, 2010 8:49 am ET

hahahahah. Poor MySpace. They think by contrasting their privacy settings they will be able to make a comeback? You're a dead graveyard. Unless you completely reinvent your entire website, you'll never get anyone back to your site.

Jazmin   May 19th, 2010 9:00 am ET

ii aqree whid matt !
– MYWHO ? lOL .
yeaa myspacee isz W E A K !
facebook isx whtsz POPPiN ! ! ! = )

H A N D S D O W N . !

awe struck   May 19th, 2010 9:08 am ET

jazmin, please learn to type in coherant sentences before displaying your stupidity online again.

your parents must be proud.

Norm   May 19th, 2010 10:27 am ET

I am waiting for Diaspora. Great new idea by 4 young New York college students, Social networking with no middleman. Once its released I will leave facebook. I have already deleted and modified any contect that could be used for anything I wouldn't want it used for. I deleted myspace 2 years ago.

Josh   May 19th, 2010 10:58 am ET

Unfortunately, for us bands. We're still stuck on myspace!

Sure facebook fan/like pages are OK, but there's no way for us to reach a new audience on facebook!

Facebook needs to make better (free) promotional tools for bands, and i'm pretty sure we'd all make the switch too.

adam   May 20th, 2010 12:54 pm ET

i have used myspace to bang sooo many girls!!!! anytime i breakup with a girl.. or just need a new one... just login to myspace and send an email blast to lots of young hot bored girls. always works like a charm

mp517   May 22nd, 2010 1:04 pm ET

my myspace page has 404-page not found not fair i want my myspace page back


barack obama   May 22nd, 2010 11:00 pm ET

my two mistresses are jessica cianci of vernon township new jersey and laura conway of royersford pennsylvania
shhh dont tell michelle

good day

barack hussein obama
u.s. president

barack obama   June 13th, 2010 11:50 pm ET

According to The National Enquirer, Barack Obama had an affair with the hot, 23 year old jessica cianci of vernon township new jersey
while president obama was on wall street mr obama secretly drove from wall street to vernon nj to jessica ciancis house and had sex with ms cianci while her parents were away without wife michelle ever knowing about it.

wow i like the national enquire thats funny beacuse i did have sexual relations with my mistress ms cianci. oh well michelle so what i banged a 23 year old chick from vernon nj i just could help myself and got a strong sexual craving for ms cianci i masterbate to ms cianci picture she is hot. i hate this bp oil spill i must stop the gulf of mexico oil spill right now then i can be with my mistress ms jessica cianci

good day

barack hussein obama
u.s. president

gala   August 18th, 2010 6:28 pm ET

i don't understand about the privacy thing.... i've been on myspace for over 5 years, and i've always had those same settings.... either private, friends only or everyone, and also everyone over 18. so whats new about it??? if they would leave myspace with 1.0 version, that is the way it is set. right now, myspace is switching to the 3.0 version which so far i have not seen ONE person on myspace that likes it. so why are they switching to it????? if they'd just leave it at 1.0, they would have the same privacy settings, plus people would quit leaving myspace..... right now, the more changes they make the more people that are leaving.... 🙁 🙁 🙁 ........ i don't like facebook AT ALL, and i will never switch over to it, privacy or no privacy...... there is no creativity there at all, only if you play games or like to chat , or else you'll be bored there like me. i love myspace, but they are running people off... i wish they'd quit changing things....

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Wow!! What nice info on this post! All information really useful. I love your stuff very much.


John   November 20th, 2010 10:06 pm ET

I hated myspace from day one, not that faceboook has reinvented the wheel, but myspace reminds me of the early days of web design. Let's make it blink, flash, show animations, and play music just because we can. Oh, and all the background and foreground photos, everything I hate about the web wrapped up in one little (my)space. Privacy? We lost that war years ago.

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