Yahoo Yanks Pedophile Chat After Ads Get Yanked

    June 24, 2005

SEO pioneer Yahoo pulled personal chat rooms from their instant messaging service after advertisers like Pepsi and Georgia Pacific pulled their ads from Yahoo’s IM service. A TV report in Texas revealed room names with title that didn’t leave much to the imagination.

Sporting such titles as “9-17 Year Olds Wantin’ Sex” and “Girls 12 and Under for Older Guys”, the chat rooms aiming for illicit acts with children created quite a stir after being reported on KPRC. The Houston TV station reported men were sending lewd webcam photos of themselves to minors.

Yahoo Yanks Pedophile Chat After Ads Get Yanked

Yahoo wouldn’t say how long they’ve been getting these reports on pedophile chat rooms although some say these rooms have been in existence for quite some time. Interestingly enough, Yahoo didn’t pull the chat rooms until the ads were pulled. Yahoo already faced $10 million lawsuit filed on behalf of a 12-year-old molestation victim. Yahoo has been criticized in the past about their lack of moderation for these chat rooms.

Child protection advocates hailed Yahoo in their decision to help combat pedophilia issues. Those terms of service require users not to “harm minors in anyway” or if the content basically patently offensive to people.

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.”

Critics of Yahoo’s decision were irritated because Yahoo chose to remove all the various personal chat room instead of just those with the offending titles. Yahoo left their own official chat rooms although based on Yahoo’s state policy, they don’t moderate these rooms either.

Yahoo hasn’t announced when they would hasn’t announced when or if the personal chat rooms would be reappearing.

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