Check out the the registered sex offender page below:
Now take a quick glance at this MySpace page ...
Well then, quite clearly, this Texas sex offender has set up shop on MySpace.
And, yesterday, CNET's Elinor Mills (whom I like and respect) ran a story about the "independent research" that fingered the social networking sex offender above:
In carrying out his research, (the private investigator) said he ran a list of 40,000 registered sex offenders against more than 2 million MySpace member pages. He came up with nearly 12,500 likely matches. After comparing the MySpace member photos with mug shots on a registered offender database, Rambam found 100 confirmed matches and said he would have found more if he had continued the research...
..."Based on the number of hits we're getting as a percentage of genuine MySpace users we believe that there are anywhere from 3,000 to 39,000 sex offenders on MySpace," Rambam said on Friday.
But, wait. Look closely. And, consider this about the cornerstone piece of evidence so prominently displayed on CNET:
--Why would anyone use a mugshot as their profile picture -- let alone a sex offender trying to use a social network to lure victims? And, especially one as unappealing as this one? Is this the one digital photo of himself that this guy has access to?
--This profile claims that he'd like to meet "your daughter." Really? That is supposed to appeal to people like, um, your daughter? Just like claiming that he is a bi swinger who "likes kids"?
--Scientologist, too? That knocks the possible population to less than one percent.
--And, why would he list his weight and height accurately but fudge his age by almost a decade? Is the thinking here that a 78-year-old just wouldn't have the same pull with a minor as a 68-year-old?
--As noted in the piece, the investigator who did this research was working on behalf of a lawyer currently in a legal battle with MySpace.
Certainly stupider and more brazen acts have been done. So, there is a possibility that this is a true match. And, if so, it's a bad thing and, regardless of the investigative source, it's good that he's weeded out of the system.
But, it makes you go hmmmm, indeed, when this is the exemplar of research that is currently being reviewed by several state attorney generals.
UPDATE: The investigator, Steven Rambam, writes into the comments below and says, among other things:
I am the Investigator that is the subject of your slightly snarky comments.
While I certainly understand a cynical attitude - I am similarly afflicted - you should have done a bit more careful analysis.
As Michael Carter points out, the Myspace page was posted during 2007. As I do not own a magic time machine, I am not capable of falsifying 2 year old myspace pages (which seems to be what you are implying). (BTW, Michael, we did find dozens of myspace.com pages for current and active accounts.)
Fair enough: So I also note in the comments:
It actually never crossed my mind that you or anyone associated with you would have posted this page in 2007 (and, I noticed that date, too). My guess is that, if it is not "real", the page was created by some joker with too much time on their hands. I'll happily make this more clear on the post, itself.
My issue with this is not the body of your research, but that this particular page was used as the exemplar of it.