Yahoo dumps porn groups

Yahoo is fast dumping or hiding its pornography, both legal and illegal. But the company, locally at least, is still uncertain about precise policy and tactics.

Yahoo is fast dumping or hiding its pornography, both legal and illegal. But the company, locally at least, is still uncertain about precise policy and tactics.

In recent weeks Computerworld verified the assertions of Wellington anti-child-porn campaigner Les Eldridge (childsafety1st.org.nz) that there was objectionable material featuring children on Yahoo groups. Yahoo had already made plans to block or delete such groups, Sydney-based spokeswoman Anna Featherstone said at the time (see Computerworld, May 7), and some plans have now been put into effect.

However, Yahoo has acted against all adult-oriented material in groups and clubs, reconfiguring adult-themed areas – even those whose content is almost certainly legal in the US and New Zealand. It has removed links to them and made them harder to find, US users say, some of whom have started petitions against the move.

Asked about the precise strategy and tactics for limiting porn, Featherstone says "everything's still being thought about.

"Some categories were taken down (though members can still access them) while the thinking goes on."

Young users should be protected from adult material, but there are fine lines in the regulation of material for adult users, she says. "Unfortunately, it's just not a cut and dried issue, so we need a little more time before we'll have more answers."

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