Most generations have heard of the controversies that surround MySpace.com. From the vast media coverage about the site many spin-offs have been generated, one of which includes an uprising phenomena called MyDeathSpace.com. MyDeathSpace is “an archival site, containing news articles, online obituaries, and other publicly available information,” according to the generators of the site. The Web site primarily gives friends and family of deceased MySpace members a chance to pay respect and tribute through comments and online blogs.
Anyone can submit a death notice or obituary with minimal information. A current MySpace account link, an obituary or other online articles about the death of the person and e-mail address of the submitter are all that is needed. A directory of the deceased members’ names is also available.
Some people believe that the site is a morbid way to remember loved ones, and there is a forum within the site where the generators post hate-mail they have received condemning them for the creation of the site.
“As a mother of a murdered daughter and grandson I can tell you that this place sickens me! I am a member of Parents of Murdered Children and I can assure you I will actively work at making this place disappear before any other parent of a murdered/deceased child stumbles on it,” said Lisa, a mother of a murdered girl currently on MyDeathSpace.
Other complaints have been filed to the headquarters of MyDeathSpace creating much media coverage from sources such as USA Today, New York Times, VH1’s Best Week Ever and The Washington Post. But generators of the site, left unnamed, simply evoke their right to the First Amendment.
Deaths are recorded on the site ranging from murder, automobile accidents and suicide. Not only are the names of the deceased posted on MyDeathSpace, but MySpace account holders who have been found guilty of murder are also listed on MyDeathSpace. One of the cases is about a 22- year-old male, Robert Bryant, Jr., who was convicted of murder for shaking his infant son to death. Not only is Bryant on MyDeathSpace, but so is his murdered 7-month-old child.
“MyDeathSpace is like a train wreck; you know you’re not supposed to look, but you can’t help it,” said WCU senior Jason Beck.
Some MySpace profiles that are displayed on MyDeathSpace have been taken over by loved ones and conformed to memorial sites, but others remain as they were prior to the person’s death. In cases of murder or suicide some of the remaining profiles are morbid and disturbing. For instance, a 19-year-old, Lisa Rose, from Corpus Christi, Texas was shot in the head by her boyfriend, but since no one had her information to change her MySpace, the site remains intact with pictures of them happily spending time together and quotes such as, “This is the only man for me” and “The only one that makes my heart beat fast and slow at the same time.”
“I never got into the entire MySpace trend, but the knock-offs are making me volatile. It is just wrong to post morbid pictures and articles about dead people without the consent of a parent or guardian,” said Adam Schreiber, WCU senior.
Since the creation of the site much buzz has been generated about the morality of MyDeathSpace. But no lawsuits or criminal charges have been filed yet. The generators are free to post as many deceased members of MySpace as they wish. MySpace has no affiliation with MyDeathSpace.
For questions or just to cure fascination; MyDeathSpace can be found at www.mydeathspace.com. There is a new forum for members to post their disagreement with the site and a suggestion area on how to improve the site.