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Mercutio
31st January 2008, 05:49 AM
Yesterday on RichardDawkins.net, an article, about which I think maybe Pesta can probably speak more authoritatively than I can. After all... he wrote it.

MySpace Deletes Largest Atheist Group in the World. (http://richarddawkins.net/article,2197,MySpace-No-place-for-Atheists,Secular-Student-Alliance) Yes, it's old news here, but the article is new.
Cleveland, OH.— Social networking site, MySpace.com, panders to religious intolerants by deleting atheist users, groups and content.

Early this month, MySpace again deleted the "Atheist and Agnostic Group (35,000 members). This deletion, due largely to complaints from people who find atheism offensive, marks the second time MySpace has cancelled the group since November 2007.

What's unique in this case is that the Atheist and Agnostic Group was the largest collection of organized atheists in the world. The group had its own Wikipedia entry, and in April won the Excellence in Humanist Communication Award (2007) from the Humanist Chaplaincy at Harvard University and the Secular Student Alliance.

(I consider this a current event--if mods want it in R&P, fine.)

TheDoLittle
31st January 2008, 07:10 AM
Also, and not to nitpick, shouldn't the title read "MySpace and Athiest"?

tsg
31st January 2008, 08:38 AM
MySpace exists for one reason: advertising revenue. If we can get a hold of a list of companies that advertise on MySpace, I'll start writing letters tonight.

Puppycow
31st January 2008, 08:41 AM
Do they allow religious groups like Christians, Jews, etc?

Myself, I've never used it, although I do link to atheist rapper Greydon Square's MySpace page in my sig.

Beerina
31st January 2008, 08:44 AM
A Myspace group with 35,000 members who put, as their masthead, "We will boycott any product that advertises with Myspace if they should cancel us again", combined with letters to all the companies pointing out what will happen, should see some results.

tsg
31st January 2008, 08:46 AM
Do they allow religious groups like Christians, Jews, etc?


According to Pesta:
“MySpace refuses to undelete the group, although it never violated any terms of service,” said Bryan Pesta, Ph.D., the group’s moderator. “When the largest Christian group was hacked, MySpace’s Founder, Tom Anderson, personally restored the group, and promised to protect it from future deletions.”

tkingdoll
31st January 2008, 10:29 AM
Is BP still active here? I want to contact him about getting some bigger publicity for this story but not sure if he's here to read his PMs. I'll send one anyway but if anyone knows of a better method of contact, let me know.

Jeff Corey
31st January 2008, 11:44 AM
Is BP still active here? I want to contact him about getting some bigger publicity for this story but not sure if he's here to read his PMs. I'll send one anyway but if anyone knows of a better method of contact, let me know.
His email address is listed under his name at the beginning of the article linked in the OP.

El Greco
31st January 2008, 12:02 PM
Did MySpace have reasons to believe that the presence of such a large atheist group would result in reduced revenue ? If yes, then it's just business as usual. If not, then it's just idiocy as usual.

Morwen
31st January 2008, 12:05 PM
Didn't something similar happen to an atheist group in yahoo? Maybe it was the spanish-speaking group. I'll see if I can dig up something.

ETA: Yes, the "Unión de Ciberateos" was pulled off Yahoogroups without explanation on March 2007. They sent a message to the moderatos, saying something about violations of the Terms and Conditions, but not explaining which violations were those, exactly. 20 minutes after sending the message, the group was closed.

After lots of media attention and lawyer involvement, Yahoo finally said that they had closed the group because of some photographs in the archives. They are indeed very irreverent (to Christians in general and Catholics in particular) and NSFW (lots of full nudity and sexual situations), but they had been there for months.

In any case, Yahoo Spain agreed to reopen the group if the photographs were removed. They were, and the group reopened, but then the community moved over to google groups.

brodski
31st January 2008, 12:16 PM
Is BP still active here?

He last posted 4 days ago, with no indication that he was leaving, so he seems to be about.

tkingdoll
31st January 2008, 03:59 PM
His email address is listed under his name at the beginning of the article linked in the OP.

Lol, so it is. Cheers!

tsg
31st January 2008, 07:34 PM
Did MySpace have reasons to believe that the presence of such a large atheist group would result in reduced revenue ?


My guess is yes. That doesn't mean we can't push back.

If yes, then it's just business as usual. If not, then it's just idiocy as usual.

It sounds like both to me.

Worm
1st February 2008, 06:24 AM
To be fair, at least one instance of the group being 'deleted' is recorded down to a hacking incident, not directly from MySpace.

Travis
3rd February 2008, 08:48 AM
My little brother was a member of that group and was quite upset when it was shut down. I had no idea our own Pesta was the moderator.

Beerina
3rd February 2008, 11:15 AM
1. Is this incident hacking?

2. What's MySpace's official policy regarding restoring hacked pages?