Flatlining social network Menshn is to be shut down, The Kernel has learned, after a tumultuous month in which co-founder Luke Bozier was exposed by this publication as a “jailbait” enthusiast who sexted “young girls” while in meetings with his business partner, former Tory MP Louise Mensch, and posted nude pictures online (NSFW) while apparently soliciting pictures of underage girls.
The Kernel understands that Twitter rival Menshn, which has been struggling to acquire and retain users after a launch marred by ridicule, is being shuttered after a wave of negative publicity centred its the former co-founder, who has been accused by the Sunday Times of exaggerating his links to Tony Blair.
A source close to Louise Mensch told The Kernel that the site will be taken down in the new year, following a three-week notice period for existing users. It’s not known whether the company will provide any means for existing users to download their data, but the site will be offline by March.
According to The Kernel’s source, who has worked with Mensch in the past: “I think Louise has finally realised it’s a dead-end. She still believes in the product, but the stuff about Luke means the company will find it impossible to raise money, and Louise doesn’t want to put anything more in herself after a everything that’s happened.
“It’s sad, but I’m not sure the company was really going anywhere to be honest.”
A well-known European venture capitalist told The Kernel today: “Frankly I was barely aware this social network existed. I’ve never seen a deck from the company and, if they’ve pitched for serious investment, I never heard about it.
“It’s certainly not something I would fund. I don’t understand the attempt to renegotiate established online conventions and I don’t see the market. Looks like a bootstrapped vanity project to me.”
Luke Bozier was arrested last week and released on bail until February, pending an investigation into his nocturnal surfing habits.
Editor’s Note: Louise Mensch responded on Twitter today to deny that Menshn is shutting down. She insists that the site and its users remain “unaffected” by the revelations about, and loss of, its co-founder.