Smutty Chat Rooms Force Yahoo! to Take Measures

Another sexual incident

By    June 23rd, 2005 20:00 GMT
Lately, Yahoo! is having some problems generated by its users' online behavior. In March, a woman sued Yahoo over their inability to delete from their dating services nude photos posted by her ex boyfriend, but now the problems have grown exponentially.

Yahoo! was forced to shutdown hundreds of chat rooms which were being used by adults to engage in sexual conversations with children.

Yahoo! is not monitoring what is being discussed in the chat rooms, but the fact that they have been shut down only after companies like PepsiCo Inc, Georgia-Pacific Corp. and State Farm Insurance withdrew their advertisements from the site has affected the company's image.

If a month ago, Claire Barnes's allegations were difficult to prove and Yahoo! could easily hide behind the argument that they don't control the content posted by their members, this time, the company should have taken more drastic measures to stop these incidents.

And Yahoo! was not unaware of what was happening since it has received many requests for a more careful monitoring and filtering of the chat-rooms' content. Actually, Claire Barnes accusations targeted more Yahoo!'s passivity in solving the problem of the nude photos.

Momentarily, Yahoo! will not allow any more personal chat rooms to be initiated, this type of chat being used by adults to lure children.

Anyway, it seems that Yahoo! might get a $10 million penalty for hosting materials that encourage pedophilia; but the damages brought to the company's image are unquantifiable.

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