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My Space vs Atheism?

Today is International Delete Your MySpace Account Day and I plan to I am damned tired of My Space's crappy design, banner ads, despicable parent company and spam, not to mention burgeoning privacy problems. If that is not enough to get you to delete your profile and salt the virtual earth, here is infuriating news from the Secular Student Alliance:

Cleveland, OH.— Social networking site, MySpace.com, panders to religious intolerants by deleting atheist users, groups and content.

Early this month, MySpace again deleted the Atheist and Agnostic Group (35,000 members). This deletion, due largely to complaints from people who find atheism offensive, marks the second time MySpace has cancelled the group since November 2007.

What’s unique in this case is that the Atheist and Agnostic Group was the largest collection of organized atheists in the world. The group had its own Wikipedia entry, and in April won the Excellence in Humanist Communication Award (2007) from the Humanist Chaplaincy at Harvard University and the Secular Student Alliance.

“MySpace refuses to undelete the group, although it never violated any terms of service,” said Bryan Pesta, Ph.D., the group’s moderator. “When the largest Christian group was hacked, MySpace’s Founder, Tom Anderson, personally restored the group, and promised to protect it from future deletions.”

“It is an outrage if Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation and the world’s largest social networking site tolerate discrimination against atheists and agnostics-- and if this situation goes unresolved I’ll have little choice but to believe they do,” said Greg Epstein, humanist chaplain of Harvard University. News Corporation, Murdoch’s global media corporation which also includes Fox News, purchased MySpace in 2005.

“My personal profile was deleted as well, and despite weeks of emails to customer service, plus a petition signed by 500 group members, MySpace won’t budge. I think these actions send a clear message to the 30 million godless people in America (and to businesses whose money was spent displaying ads on our group) that we are not welcome on MySpace,” said Pesta.

Myspace.com: a place for friends...in Christ.

Goodbye.

UPDATE (2.1.2008): MySpace.com has reinstated the group, but not without some difficulties. Has this been a concerted effort from Myspace to discriminate against atheists? Maybe not, but their actions and inaction coupled with their other business practices continues to keep me well away from them.

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» Should I go or should I stay? from Pharyngula
I have a MySpace page. It's not much, just a token entry on one of the big social networking sites. Now here's a problem: MySpace is run by religious bigots. They selectively censor atheist groups wholesale; this makes me rather... [Read More]

Comments (2)

The only reason I keep my MySpace page is so I can see what my brothers are doing. If they'd blog and think elsewhere, I'd be gone, but they won't. Still, I wonder what the point of places like MySpace and Friendster and Facebook provide other that new ways to exclude certain people and lie to yourself about how well liked you are.

Okay, I followed in your footsteps because the more I thought about, the more I realized that MySpace really pisses me off and I'd rather encourage my family to quit it, too.

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