How to Catch a MySpace Creep
Six months ago, Wired News launched an investigation of MySpace with the goal of comparing the company's 120 million user profiles against public sex offender registries to see how many matches we could find.
The project began when Wired News contributor Jenn Shreve found a handful of matches based on a random search. How many would you find with a software script that systematically went through those records and compared them all?
We decided to find out. I wrote a series of Perl scripts and began sifting the data.
The technique was crude, like searching for a needle in a haystack. When I began checking ostensible matches by hand, false positives registered in the thousands. Wired News: How to Catch a MySpace Creep
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