Predator Sting: Producers on MySpace

An Open Door into Your Home

No discussion of Internet predators would be complete without a mention of social networking Web site MySpace.com. Dr. Phil explains, "It now has over 73 million members. Kids are giving out their personal information to complete strangers. And complete strangers and potential predators can easily get in touch with your kids through this Web site."

To prove this point, Dr. Phil producer Stephanie posted a fake profile posing as a 15-year-old girl. She asked Sarah, another member of the production staff, to pose as a 15-year-old, when she's really 25. Sarah posed in provocative pictures so that she looked a little seductive. Stephanie then typed in her fake profile of what she likes, what she dislikes, movies and music that she likes. "Anything that I thought 15-year-old might like," says Stephanie.

"So, it's been about two days since we got this site rolling, and we've had over 300 people look at Little Miss Not-So-Innocent, and we have over 400 friends. Every time you log on, you can check your inbox and you can see what kind of e-mails you get from other people, and that's where I would get some crazy e-mails from older men. We've gotten a lot of really strange e-mails from men, saying, 'You're hot. You're beautiful,' and a lot of them are over 20. A couple are over 30. The oldest male friend that we have right now, he's 45 years old. He's a 45-year-old man, who is paying attention to a 15-year-old girl."

Dr. Phil introduces Stephanie and Sarah in person. "You guys are staff members here. We used you because you look young," he says. "And by the way, what was up on this site is not at all unusual, and in just three days you had 448 people registered to contact you, right? "

They both confirm. Dr. Phil breaks down their age ranges.
Seventy-five were in their 20s, 22 in their 30s, 10 in their 40s " all vying for contact with a 15-year-old girl. "What sort of things are you finding?" he asks Stephanie.

"Well, the scariest one for me was the one I read this morning from a 44-year-old man, and he wrote, 'Well, little cutie, I look forward to seeing more of you. Not so innocent, huh? We'll have to see about that,' and he's 44 years old."


Dr. Phil turns to Sarah and says, "Now, you're 25, right?" Sarah confirms.


"OK, I want everybody to know, we did not put a 15-year-old on there," he says.

 

Dr. Phil continues, "With over 73 million people on the Web site MySpace, it has become a great concern to parents, and if you're not concerned about it, you need to be concerned about it. Let me say, there's nothing evil or wrong about MySpace, it's the perversions of it that are the problem."