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Yahoo Closes Chat Rooms Over Sex Content ! - 6/23/2005 6:19:31 AM   
SiliconFreak


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Reacting to angry protests from several of its top sponsors, Yahoo Inc. has pulled the plug on perhaps hundreds of chat rooms operating on its site after a media report revealed that some of the rooms were used to promote sex with minors.

Companies such as PepsiCo Inc., State Farm Insurance and Georgia-Pacific Corp. stopped advertising on Yahoo after they were informed that adults were attempting to lure children into sexual encounters within some of Yahoo's user-created chat rooms, according to a report by KPRC-TV in Houston.

KPRC reported that in some cases, men were using Web cameras to send lewd pictures to minors in chat rooms with such titles as "Younger Girls 4 Older Guys" and "Girls 13 And Under for Older Guys."

Yahoo spokeswoman Mary Osako, who declined to say when the service will return or why all the user-created sites were closed, said the Internet portal shuttered the service for improvements and to ensure "compliance with our terms of service."

Yahoo requires users to agree not to "harm minors in any way" or make available any content that is "unlawful, harmful, threatening, abusive, harassing, tortious, defamatory, vulgar, obscene, libelous, ... or otherwise objectionable."

While Yahoo may be cracking down on violators of its terms, others, who presumably were adhering to the terms, have been barred from their chat rooms as well.

Sunnyvale-based Yahoo hosts chat rooms that the company created and those founded by users. Yahoo-created chat rooms remain operational.

How long the chat rooms that allegedly promoted sex with minors have operated is unclear. Yahoo does not monitor the content in the chat rooms, but will close a room if it receives complaints, Osako said.

"We encourage users to notify us when they believe content is in violation of our terms of service," Osako said.


Source : YahooNews
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