June 22, 2005

Yeah, Free Speech, Right...

Yahoo has closed and made unavailable all chatrooms made by Yahoo users. This comes after a week of problems with all of the rooms, even the moderated, company operated rooms.

KPRC[TV in Houston, TX] 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."

Now, for a lot of you, this is no big deal. You have lives which allow you to socialize in "Real Life" with friends and family who maintain similar schedules and have similar interests. That's not the case for some people. The things we received from technology and progress which were supposed to bring us all closer as a world community in some ways has pushed us all further apart, isolating so many. And for them, the chatrooms are a haven, a place where people find others who understand, accept, even guide and mentor.

I used to frequent a room established for persons who live and love within the framework of BDSM. Sure, there were posers and wannabes of every ilk in the room, not to mention the trolls, typically swingers, who would come in to use the room as a Sex Convenience Store. And don't even get me started on the "Bots" that would fill your screen with offers of wild abandon and websites full of every kind of kink for nothing more than your time and your credit card number.

But for the most part, these were and remain good people, Dom, Domme, and submissive, who are intelligent, witty, caring, and willing to take the time to get to know a person and accept them as they are. And woe be unto him or her who would try to take advantage of a younger or less experienced room member. Minors? Minors in the room were not tolerated and were immediately "shunned" by use of the ignore feature.

Yes, it was a tight ship, this cyber-room where I found acceptance and even love for a part of my life I had shared with none before. Sadly, it was scuttled along with the rustbuckets and tramps.

So now I sit and wonder when Pepsico will pull its ads from the walls of Conseco Fieldhouse because they discover some pedophile trying to entice a kid into one of the scores of restroom stalls within the building. Or when State Farm will pull all of the Pepsi machines out of State Farm offices because a minor was approached at a Pepsi sponsored concert.

Why not? Just the threat had Yahoo pissing itself.

~makes mental note: find another isp asap, the contract with Yahoo ends in August~

"Mistress Lila"

Posted by Mamamontezz at June 22, 2005 09:41 PM

Time to hit IRC....

Speaking of BDSM rooms, every once in awhile I'd frequent the BDSM chatrooms simply because it was the only place I could find any intelligent conversation that WASN'T purely cybersex related.
(And no, I didn't go there for cybersex. I've never had cybersex because text on a screen doesn't do much for me unless it's a well written piece of erotic fiction). I started my online existence with local chatrooms and BBS's way back in 1988, and I mourned the loss of engaging online conversation when everything went global.

In every single so called "regular" chat room, you'd get a "a/s/l?" query, and then be ignored.
Bah! It's not worth it.

As for Yahoo, I think they'd be better off helping the proper authorities hunt the pedophile assholes down with extream prejudice and making their first catch very public.

A couple of those, and their problems would tone down quite a bit.

Posted by: Graumagus at June 22, 2005 11:04 PM

Oh yeah, now that "I'd only smack you if you were on your knees begging 'Mistress Please'" comment from a week or so ago makes a lot more sense ;)

Posted by: Graumagus at June 22, 2005 11:05 PM

Yep, it's the liberal solution to all problems, don't apprahend and prosecute the offender, just punish them all, all done under the blanket of one size fits all. This does nothing to stop the pediphile except move them into another domain, while painting the legitimate user with the tainted brush. I don't use chat rooms but that's not a reason to close them down. It makes me wonder why the sudden attack of self righteousness? I can't fathom it being religeous in nature therefore it has to be political. Even Google has gotten politicized.

Posted by: Jack at June 23, 2005 09:18 AM

I agree with Graumagus...switch to an IRC server and be done with it. Once you've done IRC, you'll never go back to anything run by a business.

Posted by: Chablis at June 24, 2005 03:48 PM

Sorry, I think you're all missing the point...and I'm delinking pretty quickly. The international scene involving the trafficking of children has operated with relative impunity, including in our own country. If yahoo is making an overly "sweeping" move to try and curb the sexual predation of those under 18 I support it. I'm shocked that as a mother you don't have a shred more patience and tolerance.

Posted by: anonymoose at June 26, 2005 06:08 PM
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