The NY Times reports News Corp suffered a backlash from MySpace “bloggers” when the company tried to censor any mention of competitor, YouTube.
Proof for many of those people came earlier this month, when MySpace users began to notice that any references to YouTube, a video-sharing site and a competitor, were erased or blocked from appearing on My-Space. Some MySpace users also reported that when they tried to download videos from YouTube, a patch of white space appeared instead.
It appears to be a “simple misunderstanding” and all links to YouTube are now back. However, News Corp has learned a valuable lesson.
The incident underlines the peril corporations face as they buy blogs and networking sites like MySpace, which depend on the good will of their users. Mr. Murdoch paid $580 million for MySpace, a significant investment for a two-year-old Web site primarily populated by fickle teenagers and users in their 20’s. Like other members of free community Web sites, MySpace users often react with indignation if they believe their content has been tampered with.