Social networks are being demonized these days in Spain. Everything started when a journalist discovered that a 17 year old girl killed in Seville had a profile on Tuenti, a Spanish social network, and so did her friends. One of them has confessed being the criminal.
A local newspaper in Seville published an article under the title “An asassination of the Generation 2.0”. Letters that the killed girl wrote to the boy who killed her were published together with pictures taken from her profile. TV stations were even more radical, comparing this social network with a paradise for criminals.
People at Tuenti are not very happy. They think that mainstream media are using this case as a tool to fight against new media, which are attracting their users. They are very worried by the image that social networks are getting in Spain, specially with concerned parents that could start forbidding their children the use of the Internet.
To the point that Tuenti, which is only available for invited users, has changed its rules. It has deleted all profiles of people related to this case, as they became a “circus”, and has cancelled the possibility of seeing anybody’s picture but for people who are related in first or second degrees.
What mainstream media are not mentioning so much is the fact that social networks have also been used to aggregate solidarity for the girl’s family. Facebook and Tuenti now hold lots of small groups in which people express their support from anywhere in Spain.