When 15-year-old Kristin Helms committed suicide in 2006, she blamed Kiley Bowers, the 27-year-old man who traveled across state lines to meet her. Her parents blame MySpace — in fact, they're suing the Internet site for their role in the tragedy.
Though Helms and Bowers didn't meet on MySpace, they did use it to communicate, and Helms's parents called for the policing of sites for sexual predators last Summer. Now, they're taking MySpace on in court.
To learn more about this case as well as another MySpace tragedy,
While Kiley Bowers is serving a nine-year federal prison term in Texas for traveling across state lines to have sex with a minor and transporting child pornography, it's clear that Helms's family needs more — that is, closure in the form of making the Internet safe for minors. I can't help but be reminded of the awful story of Megan Meier, who was taunted by a peer's parent with a fake MySpace profile.
How much responsibility do you think a social networking site should take, both in the event of a tragedy where it's a major player and on a level of prevention?