Finding bog snorkelers in MySpace

Well, this isn't just about finding bog snorkelers (for the great unwashed, I'll get to what it is in a moment). It's about how easily journalists and other users of search engines (maybe parents too) can find people in any social-networking site. The article in shows how easily reporters can search social sites for case studies and background info and how easily that can turn up the most specific details about people's lives. Within 10 minutes the writer -who'd set out to "find private information" about someone under 16, including where s/he could be found – "was able to find the mobile number of a 15-year-old girl in South London, the address where a 17-year-old waitress is employed in Kent," etc. The article shows how to do advance searches, for example for "pro-ana" sites (supporting anorexia) or bog snorkelers, preferably in a general search engine such as Google, not in the social site itself: "If you are doing research on the fury caused by pro-anorexia sites on the web then you will find only a handful of 'pro-ana' … references using Bebo's search tool. But more than 170 Bebo pages can be found in Google using this search string: inurl:profile inurl:bebo 'pro-ana'." For "bog snorkeling," 120 results in MySpace were turned up with this string: inurl:myspace inurl:fuseaction "bog snorkelling". As for what bog snorkeling is, it's a competitive sport – sometimes combined with running and mountain biking in a new kind of triathlon – see this page in Wikipedia for more.

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