MySpace's new anti-spam measures hardly useful

Smile wants to be your friend--along with everybody else that offers porn or something to sell.
MySpace is encouraging everybody to participate in voluntary anti-spam measures to protect themselves from nuisance e-mail--an increasing problem that aggravates most everyday MySpace users. The official word from MySpace, via their e-mail newsletter is to try the following techniques: block non-friends from sending you messages, block users over or under the age of 18, depending upon how old you are, and allow only users who are privvy to your last name to send you a friend request.

Interesting--though MySpace touts them as new, none of these features are essential. Nor are any of them especially useful. Nobody under 18 is going to block the over-18 crowd. That's frankly just silly because it cuts off potential messaging between parents and teenagers. Well, if you're a teen upset with your parents, maybe it makes sense.

Then there's the blocking non-friends from e-mailing you. You already have to be a friend to comment somebody's profile, so one wonders, if social-networking is the name of the game, how can it flourish if non-friends can't message each other and then become friends?

Probably the most useful anti-spam measure is the one not mentioned in their newsletter, the one that's been around for a while: the Captcha feature, which requires non-friends to enter a graphically-generated code before they can message you or send you a friend invite. Very handy and underutilized, Captcha nearly eliminates automated "garbage invites" from systems that can't deal with Captcha images. That's the only MySpace anti-spam measure worth using.

Despite a policy against unsolicited messaging, it's just too bad MySpace doesn't take their users' spam reports seriously. Could this be one of the reasons why so many of our business buddies have recently joined Facebook? Or is MySpace's permissiveness a strategic move to maintain their position as the sixth-most heavily trafficked web site?

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