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Yahoo Closes Chat Rooms to Anyone Under 18 680

Posted by samzenpus
from the no-chat-for-you-kid dept.
Talaria writes "Yahoo has announced that they are closing all of their chat rooms to anyone under eighteen, following an agreement with New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. Spitzer, who began investigating the Yahoo! chat situation earlier this year, said "We need to be vigilant to protect our children.""
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Yahoo Closes Chat Rooms to Anyone Under 18

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  • by Rude Turnip (49495) <valuation@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Wednesday October 12, 2005 @06:43PM (#13777802)
    The first link to aunty-spam.com is very misleading. The link to the AG's site is the proverbial "horse's mouth." Here is what really happened: Mr. Spitzer & Yahoo have reached an agreement where Yahoo will close down all chatrooms that promote sexual relations between minors and adults. So in other words, if there was a chat room called "pre-teen hook-ups with older men 50+" or whatever, Yahoo will shut it down.

    Again, minors are still allowed on Yahoo. However, Yahoo is clamping down on certain chatrooms that do not have honorable intentions.
  • by superpulpsicle (533373) on Wednesday October 12, 2005 @06:55PM (#13777901)
    The government is not protecting children. They just sent thousands of 18 year olds to Iraq. They don't give a flying fuck.

    Yahoo and other organizations are blocking out the group with the most potential to make damaging comments bad enough that the forums can get sued. And if you have seen some of the other public forums, teenagers are absolutely out of control.

    And no, politicans are not blocking video game violence for kids. They are doing it for their own political agenda.

  • by daboman (304476) on Wednesday October 12, 2005 @07:07PM (#13777974)
    Once again, the title is completely off the mark from the actual story.
    If you actually read the release the New York Attorney General, all they are checking is the names of the chat rooms. There is nothing about age verification listed anywhere.

    http://www.oag.state.ny.us/press/2005/oct/oct12a_0 5.html [state.ny.us]
    --

    "Under the agreement, one of the nation's leading internet service providers, Yahoo!, has removed and barred the posting of user-created chat rooms with names that promoted sex between minors and adults."

    "Among the illicit chat rooms removed were those with labels such as "girls13 & up for much older men," "8-12 yo girls for older men," and "teen girls for older fat men." Many of these were located within the "Schools and Education" and "Teen" chat categories."
  • by xigxag (167441) on Wednesday October 12, 2005 @07:10PM (#13778000)
    See here: http://help.yahoo.com/help/us/chat/chat-15.html [yahoo.com]

    "Why did Yahoo! remove the ability for users under 18 to access Yahoo! Chat and remove the "Teen" category in Yahoo! Chat? We are removing the Teen category and making Yahoo! Chat available to users 18 or older in order to improve the user experience and compliance with our Terms of Service."

    My reading of this is that Yahoo! accounts set up by minors will not (at this time) be able to access Yahoo! Chat at all. Keep in mind that Yahoo! has a great many more properties than their Chat so minors will still have access to other areas. However, a minor can still use their parent's account (which seems to be allowed according to the rules [yahoo.com]) or conceivably lie about their age (which would certainly constitute a breach of contract). Either might absolve Yahoo! of liability, which is certainly all they're concerned about.

  • by stuttering stan (889500) on Wednesday October 12, 2005 @07:16PM (#13778038)

    Here's an earlier report about Yahoo and MSN merges IMs [slashdot.org]
    And here's a story about a nobody talking smack [slashdot.org] about Linux IM clients.

    Both topics are chock full of MSN IM astro-turfing goodness. Check it out. Looks like the start of a marketing campaign for MSN Messenger 7.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 12, 2005 @07:17PM (#13778044)
    C'mon everyone, read the (second) linked article:

    "Under the agreement, one of the nation's leading internet service providers, Yahoo!, has removed and barred the posting of user-created chat rooms with names that promoted sex between minors and adults"

    No, not all chatrooms... No, not all minors...
  • by Talaria (874527) on Wednesday October 12, 2005 @07:38PM (#13778176)
    Whoa..hey! What part of ""Yahoo is taking further steps to enhance user safety by restricting Yahoo Chat to users 18 and older and removing the Teen category," said (Yahoo spokesperson) Ms. Osako" is unclear??
  • by Talaria (874527) on Wednesday October 12, 2005 @07:42PM (#13778202)
    "Yahoo is taking further steps to enhance user safety by restricting Yahoo Chat to users 18 and older and removing the Teen category," said a Yahoo spokesperson.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 12, 2005 @09:00PM (#13778598)
    All chatrooms, all minors:

    http://today.reuters.co.uk/news/newsArticle.aspx?t ype=internetNews&storyID=2005-10-12T212130Z_01_HAR 253163_RTRIDST_0_OUKIN-UK-YAHOO-SPITZER.XML&archiv ed=False [reuters.co.uk]


    Chat rooms used by child predators will be shut down by Yahoo Inc. ...

      Yahoo agreed to develop education materials promoting the safe use of chat rooms, restrict Yahoo Chat to users 18 and older and remove the Teen category.

  • by JesseMcDonald (536341) on Wednesday October 12, 2005 @09:00PM (#13778599) Homepage
    I think the GP was being sarcastic...
  • by hritcu (871613) on Thursday October 13, 2005 @02:56AM (#13779982) Homepage
    On this thought I'll remind so many of you what happened in Romania. The goverment forced it's people to give up child care to the state. Now, most of those children are HIV positive and or dead.

    Sorry, but you have your fact very very wrong. First, most of the "institutionalized" children are 18+ years now, and there is little anybody can do to help them without their consent. Faith was very unfair with them and very few of them managed to get a normal life. However seems that the leaders have learned from their previous mistakes, and abandoned children are now either addopted or given to families for care, together with a monthly sum of money.

    However this has nothing to do with yet another problem: that of children with AIDS or HIV positive. They usually have families that are caring for them (until their situation becomes very bad, at least). Their problem is usualy caused by the prejudice of the other people. It is hard for them to study in public schools because the parents of the other children will react.

    There is almost no relation between the two problems, and I don't see how this could be given as an example of a goverment that forced it's people to give up child care to the state. Maybe you could explain more. (Yes, I was born in Romania)
  • by alexhs (877055) on Thursday October 13, 2005 @03:07AM (#13780008) Homepage Journal
    Can we at least omit the accented 'a'? Or do we have to learn Unicode to meet Slashdot's strict level of posting standards?

    Ahem. Accented a is part of ISO-8859-1, which I suppose you're using. Only your keyboard lacks accents.

    man iso-8859-1 : "à" is \340 (octal), or decimal 224, so with MS-Windows alt-224 should work.

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