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Yahoo Slams Door On Kiddy Porn Chat Rooms

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Yahoo slammed the door on hundreds of chat rooms after key advertisers pulled their sponsorship after a number of these chat rooms appeared to encourage child molestation/child pornography.

Yahoo said many users, by creating said rooms, violated the terms of service for Yahoo’s Instant Messenger Chat Room feature. Spokespeople for Yahoo didn’t go into dramatic detail.

An AP story reported Yahoo spokesperson Mary Osako as saying that aspect of service is down for improvements and to “ensure compliance with our terms of service.”

Yahoo Slams Door On Kiddy Porn Chat Rooms

Those terms of service require users not to “harm minors in anyway”, could get Yahoo into legal trouble or if the content is basically patently offensive to people. Unfortunately for Yahoo, this incident fits into all three categories. Yahoo has been criticized about the lack of moderation in their chat rooms in the past.

This story blew up in Yahoo’s face when Texas television station KPRC did some investigative work and uncovered a number of colorful chat room titles like “9-17 Year Olds Wantin’ Sex” and “Girls 12 and Under for Older Guys”. The Houston TV station reported men were sending lewd webcam photos of themselves to minors. Apparently, the lewd chat rooms designed to lure children in have been around for some time although no one is sure just how long.

The big squeeze came for Yahoo when PepsiCo, Georgia Pacific and State Farm Insurance pulled their ads in protest of Yahoo’s lack of moderation and Yahoo has been recently slapped with $10 million in fines for allowing the chats to begin with.

For those Yahoodlums following the rules and only looking for lewd content involving adults, they too must do without the user created chat rooms. Osako didn’t say when the service would be reappearing.

John Stith is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

Yahoo Slams Door On Kiddy Porn Chat Rooms
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