MySpace Outrage Was a Bit off Base

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Mother Jones blogged earlier this week about the Pentagon’s decision to prohibit soldiers from using MySpace or YouTube on DOD computers. There was a lot of outrage, but I think a clarification is in order: Troops in Iraq and Afghanistan have never been allowed to use these sites on DOD-issue computers. They have been—and will continue to be—permitted to access them on privately issued computers available in internet “cafés” on base. In fact, soldiers, like the rest of us, are theoretically prohibited from conducting any personal business on company-issue computers. But up until now, troops deployed outside of war theatres have not been specifically blocked from using the bandwidth-consuming social networking sites. They and their families are the ones the ban will affect (although they, too, usually have some access to non-governmental computers).

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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