Wednesday, May 02, 2007



In the summer of 2005, Rupert Murdoch, a far right propaganda magnate with a huge multinational communications network-- including GOP mouthpiece Fox "News"-- realized he made a big mistake. "He told a high-powered audience at the American Society of Newspaper Editors in Washington DC, that he had got something rather important rather wrong. News Corporation, the global media group he controls, had failed properly to engage with the online world-- and risked losing its hard-won position in news as a result." So he bought for $580 million. The 76 year old curmudgeon is betting he can transform a free social network into a colossal marketing machine.

In pursuit of his viciously bigoted social agenda, he well may have screwed it all up today. One thing social networks don't cotton to real well is The Man coming down with rules and regulations based on prejudices. Murdoch is The Man. Last year in an interview with The Independent, The World According to Rupert, the unrepentent homophobe let down his hair and let his nazi flag fly: "I believe it is wrong. I'm considered homophobic and crazy about these things and old fashioned. But I think that the family-- father, mother, children-- is fundamental to our civilisation."

MySpace, on the other hand, is an avatar of "not old fashioned." Progressive political types are complaining about Obama's "top-down campaign structure" and how it displaced a netroots Myspace attitude with a corporate one, Well, that may be true-- and it may even chip away at Obama's youth-friendly image-- but one thing for sure: Myspace hasn't been homophobic or crazy. Until Murdoch decided to push his own little agenda and make some changes. Myspace no longer lets you select “gay” as a sexual preference on the site when you sign up, nor does it allow you to change your sexual preference to “gay." Adam, the DWT Art Director, has been howling with indignation. He sent me a viral email that's burning up the tubes. It asks (rhetorically): "Don't believe us?" And then offers, "Try it out for yourself by clicking on 'Edit Profile' and then 'Background and Lifestyle' if you’re on Rupert’s site." The chatter and outrage and pain among gay Myspace users-- and now ex-users-- is deafening.


"I think that the family--father, mother, children--is fundamental to our civilisation."

--Rupert Murdoch

And the Murdochs are the very model of a warm and cuddly nuclear family.

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At 8:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This note from myspace is on everybody's page:

Latest Update: May 2, 2007 12:30pm, PST

seems like there's more rumors than usual that i'm closing the site or going to start charging for myspace. not true foo'! don't believe what you read in bulletins and rumors.. if there was something important to tell you, i would post an announcement.

oh and some people have asked about the missing orientation option for "gay" on edit profile. that's a bug that should be fixed later tonight... no, myspace does not hate gay people.. duh.

At 9:51 PM, Blogger Jeffie Jeff said...

As an experienced html coder and scripter I have to say this...

The only way for a database driven site to have a bug that deletes an option is if that option was deleted.

There is no "bug" in the script code or the html that could do that.

If it was truly a bug then no choices would be available.

There's the remote possibility that a database corruption removed solely one possible selection out of all the selections it holds...but the odds of that are so astronomical as to be bizarro world kind of "mistakes."

At 10:13 PM, Blogger Billionbucks said...

I reported it to myspace errors and made sure I let them know that I HOPE it is indeed an ERROR that "gay" has been removed!

At 10:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, Lesbian and Bi remain as choices.

At 7:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just tried to send Tom an e-mail asking if, because I 'identify' as gay and don't want kids, will my profile be deleted? He's "not taking mail right now." Convenient.

At 10:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

typical repuglican behavior. If we pretend like something we don't believe in doesn't exist....then it won't!!!

At 11:24 AM, Blogger Jackson Howa said...

Gay is gone, but Bi and Lesbian are still available... looks like a mistake to me.

At 11:26 AM, Blogger Dan Telfer said...

They admitted right away that it was a mistake, and apologized. This was a little dumb and overreactionary for Boing Boing.

Gay people rule, and MySpace knows it too, get off the cross.

At 12:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This just in....Myspace still alive!

The fact that this article was published on July 23, LAST YEAR makes me think if it was gonna kill Myspace, it would've already happened.

I just love johnny-come-lately overreaction and conspiracy theories.

That's what's so great about the U.S. If a billion dollar company wants to exclude somebody, it's their prerogative. Capitalism at it's finest.

At 1:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How'd think a billionaire like Rupert Murdoch would have more pressing things to worry about than whether mySpace users might be (GASP!) gay. For the moment I have to believe this was a simple technical screwup, but stranger things have happened...and if it is true all I have to say is, "Rupert- get a life!"

Quick Trivia!

At 3:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok Chicken Littles, especially you Xeni: The TinFoilHat Princess, the sky's not falling! I just went in to "edit" my MySpace profile as of 6 pm and Gay/Lesbian is once again enabled. So all of you can put away your tinfoil hats now and go congratulate yourselves on a job well done. You showed Tom and Murdoch what for!

At 5:49 AM, Blogger Psychomikeo said...

Damn it!!! I just bought some foil! & why would I want to lable myself?


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