(NASDAQ: YHOO) closed all of its user-created chat rooms due to controversy over sexually explicit channels aimed at minors.
After a Houston, Texas television station KPRC reported on chat room names such as "Girls 13 And Under For Older Guys" and "Girls 13 And Up For Much Older Men" that were aimed at sex with children, the publicly held business Yahoo!
Other internet portals, such as AOL and MSN, also allow users to create their own chat rooms. in that they are subscription based, and only allow access to the rooms if the user is a subscriber to the service. The result is software providers who take a "hands-off" approach grant internet users the ability to add and create content to the World Wide Web that opens the door to contributions that range from great to sometimes objectionable, to out-right illegal, and often enlightening.
MSN in its earliest versions of chat had monitors watch activity on its servers, but it was abandoned. The text of this article has been released into the public domain.
Efforts to monitor chat for any effect appear to be futile. In the event that this is not legally possible, this article may be used for any purpose, without any condition, unless such conditions are required by law. Copyright terms on images, however, may vary, so please check individual image pages prior to duplication.
Geoff Sutton, the European general manager of Microsoft MSN, told Wired News at the time it cut free chat service in 28 countries that, "The straightforward truth of the matter is free, unmediated chat isn't safe." According to a Reuters news story by Duncan Martell, an investigation by the U. Federal Bureau of Investigation that was targeted at Yahoo Groups users resulted in the arrest of more than 100 people in the United States. Please note that this only applies to Wikinews content created prior to September 25, 2005.
All content created after that date is released under a Creative Commons license which is mentioned at the bottom of each article.