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MP Louise Mensch's social network launches in UK, suffers from security issues

Menshn, the social network launched by Tory MP Louise Mensch, has launched in the UK, after originally being only available in the US. Only a matter of hours after its UK launch, users of the Twitter competitor began pointing to gaps in Menshn's security.

Mensch, who launched the site with former Labour digital adviser Luke Bozier, has described the site as a more on-topic social network platform for users who are "frustrated" with Twitter. Menshn allows members to post 180-character bursts of conversations in dedicated chatrooms; the site launched with "uselection" as the primary topic, and has since added "tech", "ukpolitics", "women" and "euro2012".

"Twitter is just too random," said Bozier at the time of Menshn's US launch. "We want to encourage people to have conversations rather than broadcast their thoughts."

But despite its intentions, the social network has been plagued by security issues.

According to programmer James Coglan, "It's full of trivial web security holes." Hackers could easily access emails and passwords from new members, and could also take over Menshn accounts. "If you're using Menshn, don't," he recommended.

"I've seen what can only be described as a ‘Grab bag' of exploits that'd work," replied a Twitter user going by the name of Duds_2k.

Developer Syd Lawrence, who found a code loophole that allowed him to push his posts above those of other users, said Menshn staff members were not receptive to his comments.

"I reached out to the site owners, but they just claimed there were no issues. It sounded like they were too practiced at sweeping bad news under the carpet, when they could have accepted our help and fixed it in private," he told CNET.

Colgan has since tweeted that he was "in contact with Bozier" and they were working together on "getting things fixed".

After originally denying any weaknesses in Menshn's security, Bozier has since acknowledged the site's flaws and claimed that all serious security issues have been addressed.

"There were a couple of real security issues yesterday, but all have been resolved and no, I repeat no, user data has been stolen or lost," he told CNET. "Menshn is a safe, secure environment."