Date with history: Myspace is launched

August 1, 2003: Paolo Gerbaudo on the pop platform that allowed online activism to take off

The World Today
2 minute READ

Paolo Gerbaudo

Director, Centre for Digital Culture, King’s College London

Myspace is the epitome of a social media platform that didn’t make it, leaving its cultural importance easy to overlook.

Owned by News Corporation, the music and pop culture social networking site was more than simply the first successful social media platform to reach more than 100 million users. It was also the ‘sandbox’ for a new form of online activism that would influence social movements in the years to come, before Facebook and Twitter took over.

Famous as a place for garage bands to publish their songs, the website soon came to be used to launch political campaigns, such as the protest against HR4437 – a US House of Representatives bill that increased penalties for illegal migration. Barack Obama also used Myspace in his primary campaign before his 2008 presidential run.

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