MySpace: Tom Anderson and the age thing

So Newsweek magazine has confirmed that Tom Anderson — one of the co-founders of MySpace, and the guy who is automatically added to your list of friends when you create a profile on the site — was actually 31 when the service launched, and not 27 as his profile claimed. That would make him 36 now, rather than 32 as his profile says. Mike Arrington passed along a rumour to that effect awhile back, and Newsweek checked it out using state licensing records, etc.

Opinion seems divided on whether or not anyone really cares about this little tidbit of news or not. A number of commenters on the latest TechCrunch post about it say they really couldn’t care less, and Caroline McCarthy greets the revelation with a yawn and asks for some real news please. Mike, however, responds to critics in the comments section of TechCrunch by pointing out that while it is just a simple “white” lie, it is one that is amplified by the fact that Tom becomes everyone’s friend by default, and also:

“There is significant irony: if you can’t believe what you see in the founder’s profile, then you really can’t believe anything you see on the site.”

I’m going to go with Mike on this one. Do I care that Tom Anderson is 36, or was already 31 when he created MySpace? No, but I do think it’s interesting that he chose to lie about his age — possibly because of the Valley’s ageist approach to startups — and I think it probably will make some people more cautious about what they read on MySpace. And maybe that’s a good thing.

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