MySpace lawyer marketing VP Sean Percival tweeted yesterday that it is company policy to place the page in a state of “purgatory” so it could be preserved for law enforcement. Apparently, the concern is that the page could be hacked or otherwise defaced, so it might not be usable as evidence.
This doesn’t make any sense. A MySpace page isn’t a physical object like a gun or a book. It’s a bunch of bits stored on a computer somewhere, and it can be duplicated endlessly with no loss of resolution.
To preserve this page as evidence, MySpace could make a backup of the page, time stamp it, and put it on a hard drive or computer with no Internet connection. Heck, MySpace could do this every five minutes for the next week.
Instead, MySpace took the page off the Internet entirely.
MySpace owner News Corp has the right to remove or change pages on the site for any reason at all. Maybe MySpace wants to make sure that people don’t post comments offensive to the victims. Or maybe they don’t want to give this guy’s friends or sympathizers any public venue at all. That’s totally understandable. But using law enforcement as an excuse is bogus.