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Yahoo Closes Chat Rooms to Anyone Under 18

samzenpus posted more than 8 years ago | 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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Won't somebody think of the children? (5, Funny)

Carthag (643047) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777716)

Where are they going to chat now?

Re:Won't somebody think of the children? (2, Interesting)

cyborg_zx (893396) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777729)

Oh... any one of a million other chat systems. Who's gonna be checking up on this shit anyway?

Re:Won't somebody think of the children? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13777739)

on Intarweb Relay Chat. until that too is closed down to protect the children.
i still remember the day that a crude 'cowsay' forevar warped my fragile little mind...

Re:Won't somebody think of the children? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13777740)

Where are they going to chat now?

They'll have to meet 40 year old men pretending to be 14 year old girls in person now.

Re:Won't somebody think of the children? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13777747)


Re:Won't somebody think of the children? (5, Funny)

femto (459605) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777749)

Yahoo's shopping centre?

Re:Won't somebody think of the children? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13777757)

Oviously these teens will just stop chatting, ensuring their safety.

Also if you make using a condom a sinful act, teens will stop having sex.

Haven't you figured it out yet? :P

Re:Won't somebody think of the children? (5, Insightful)

Craptastic Weasel (770572) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777760)

Well.. seeing as how a simple age restriction does nothing to prevent children under the ages required to smoke, drink or view porn, they'll be there, just now they will all be lying about their age.

This seems like a political solution to a problem that would be better handled by actual parents moderating chat rooms and moderating their children...

But then again that problem exists in society as a whole (see also: Video Games, Television etc.) so maybe the solution is not so easy.

Re:Won't somebody think of the children? (5, Funny)

xero314 (722674) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777883)

What? Parents actully have some clue of what their children are doing? Not here in the US (hopefully other countries are a little better than us).

I have been saying this same thing for a long time. I only hope that some day I see a Slashdot article that reads "Parent Jailed for not knowing what their child is doing"

The solution is "easy", even if it is a bit authoritarian. Mandatory sterilization.

Re:Won't somebody think of the children? (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777777)

I'm only being a bit snyde when I say that this seems like the only realistic solution to protecting stupid children and stupid teenagers who don't have parents who teach them properly and are aware of their children's lives.

I mean, when you hear stories like that one chick from MySpace who disapeared and turned out to have been killed by some guy she met on MySpace, you have to wonder "how fucking stupid have kids and young adults become?". If your child is really stupid and gullible and you're not willing to parent your child properly and imbue them with common sense, I guess other people have to do it for you. Plus, now Yahoo! won't suffer any lawsuits the next time some 16 year old chick goes off with some strange 32 year old from the internet and gets tortured and gutted.

Anyway, really, who uses Yahoo! or AOL chat rooms or anything? That's sort of the discussion version of using the really giant toddler-sized legos instead of a real lego kit.

Re:Won't somebody think of the children? (5, Insightful)

tyllwin (513130) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777866)

Because God knows that "younger girl running away from her parent's house with some older guy" was UTTERLY UNHEARD OF in all of human history before the Internet arrived.

Re:Won't somebody think of the children? (5, Funny)

Seumas (6865) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777942)

Considering the number of people who molest their kids or have child molestors in their family that abuse their kids and the number of people who seem to look the other way when their underage children are screwing around with adults twice their age, I have to wonder why we don't take children away from all parents. I mean, sure there are some responsible parents just like there are responsible children on the internet, but you can't take that kind of risk. Should just take children out of the home as a preventative safety measure.

Re:Won't somebody think of the children? (4, Insightful)

X-rated Ouroboros (526150) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777875)

Funny, when I heard that story about that one chick from MySpace my reaction was that the only reason this story was semi-national news was because it had a "The Internet" angle. Older weirdos killing teenage girls isn't something new that requires the interent.

And as long as we're on the MySpace chick... she'd apparently met the guy several times in meatspace. It wasn't: "Hi! It's nice to meet you for the FIRST TIME! What are you going to do with those trash bags and rope? TEE HEE!" She had a chance to figure out that this guy wasn't quite right... the internet is no more at fault than any other place where people can get to know other people.

Re:Won't somebody think of the children? (5, Insightful)

haydon4 (123439) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777855)

Where are they going to chat now?

Oh, I don't know, how about face to face with people their own age where they can learn such things as manners, etiquette, constructive dialog, the fact that "teh" is not a word. Not to mention that one kid can't say something disrespectful, disparaging, or derogatory about another without immediately being smacked in the face like we used to do in the good ol' days.

Re:Won't somebody think of the children? (4, Insightful)

3nd32 (855123) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777896)

Sorry, doesn't work that way. Remember, "violence never solved anything". Smack anyone and get suspended. It matters less and less whether you're at school. Oh, and your parents'll get sued.

There goes (5, Funny)

DustyShadow (691635) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777718)

90% of their traffic...

Re:There goes (3, Insightful)

bombadillo (706765) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777781)

Parent poster is right. There goes a lot of there business. If parents are truly worried they should put their childs computer in the living room. Our society seems eager to blame businesses and schools instead of the lack of parenting.

Re:There goes (2)

Seumas (6865) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777857)

Actually, it's amazing how far a little common sense will go. Even with children. Your children are going to be curious and get into some weird crap. Hell, I was seeing chicks having sex with eels on tarps on BBSes in 1989 when I was 12 years old. It's no big deal. And if the only thing preventing your child from hopping on a plane and flying across the country to meet some stranger two or three times their age and getting raped and murdered or kidnapped is that you're putting the computer in the living room, you should just burn off your genitals and not ever reproduce again.

Of course, businesses shouldn't have to be responsible for what stupid people do over the internet. However, I wouldn't risk my multi-billion dollar business on using that defense in court when computer illiterate parents and Jack Thompson style lawyers present - to a computer illiterate jury - that it's all big bad Yahoo!'s fault that little Lisa or Timmy got butt-jacked by some phys-ed teacher in their city that sweet-talked them over the internet late at night while mommy and daddy where busy watching Amazing Race.

Re:There goes (1)

Cave_Monster (918103) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777803)

And the other 10% are those dirty old buggers trying to pick up the younger generation. So with no under 18s, there won't be any of the other 10% and hence nobody using yahoo chat at all :P

Re:There goes (0, Troll)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777839)

90% of their traffic...


But trafic = Revenues...


However, it's not like children BUY things when chatting... so this is actually a gain.



Re:There goes (1)

Belisarivs (526071) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777843)

Only if they ban all the people *pretending* to be 16-year old girls . . .

On the bright side... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13777849)

There goes 90% of their traffic.

Yea, but the intelligence just went up %300.

Re:There goes (4, Insightful)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777911)

Actually, 90% of their traffic will just have several consecutive birthdays and then update their Yahoo profile. Methinks Yahoo! will be getting a lot of 18 year olds very soon ;^)

Yeah right (3, Insightful)

scenestar (828656) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777722)

And how are they going to verify age?

Re:Yeah right (1)

rob_squared (821479) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777770)

They'll tell little Timmy to go into his dad's wallet to get a credit card they can verify.

Re:Yeah right (1)

Cave_Monster (918103) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777775)

I had the very same question :)

I know when I sign up for things, I enter a random birthdate when required. The only thing I can think of, and something which I have seen used before, is for the person registering to enter their credit card number. But then again, it isn't hard to circumvent this either.

Re:Yeah right (2, Insightful)

ErisCalmsme (212887) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777795)

yeah... no kid is smart enough to lie about their birthday when they sign up for a yahoo account...

Re:Yeah right (1)

askegg (599634) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777898)

The same way any porn site verifies your age - it asks you for your birthday and trusts the answer. Kid don't lie. Right?

In other words... (1)

Tuxedo Jack (648130) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777725)

"We're gonna cave to the AG's request so he doesn't start poking around and seeing what our users are doing that we could get sued or blamed for if people felt like it."

Whew! The perfect solution! (4, Funny)

rbanzai (596355) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777726)

Good thing there's no way around this system. It's not like anyone could lie about their age on the internet.

Way to go Yahoo/Spitzer!

Think of the Children! (1)

geomon (78680) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777727)

Who would want to protect children [] anyhow?

And so that stops us how? (3, Interesting)

yamamushi (903955) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777728)

I seriously doubt they are going to effectively stop anyone under 18 from using their chatrooms. It's just a minor change to your DOB and wha-la, your in.

This is retarded. (2, Insightful)

w1z7ard (227376) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777793)

Talking online is not like drinking alcohol, having sex, looking at porn, driving, etc. It's just a textual form of communication- a freedom of speech that utilizes technology. This seems to me like yahoo is just trying to cover their ass and avoid further obnoxious law suits that they shoudn't be responsible for. Frankly children still have a variety of other online chat choices so this act of "vigilance" would hardly put a dent in the "minors talking online" industry (not to mention VOIP and webcams- christ!).

Re:And so that stops us how? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13777933)

It's voilà. You sound like a fucking moron when you say "wha-la".

How about... (1)

lenmaster (598077) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777732)

...we all start using IRC again.

Re:How about... (1)

Trillan (597339) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777828)

What was stopping you?

ICQ chats are accessible via

Ban Phones (3, Insightful)

codepunk (167897) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777734)

Well hell people could talk to each other on there, they had better ban phones also.

Re:Ban Phones (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13777890)

Yes, I'm sure they'll do that.

It's about time. (-1, Troll)

merreborn (853723) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777736)

Yahoo chat has been a cesspool for over a decade.

Back in freshman year of highschool (mid-late 90's), a friend and I used to log in to yahoo chat at lunch time and did our best to abuse everyone until they all left the room.

The rest of the chat room was invariably spamming 'type 2222 if u wants 2 cybor wit i'

Oh No! (1)

phaetonic (621542) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777738)

Now everyone will go to AOL Chat Rooms .. and for the uber leet, IRC.

Re:Oh No! (1)

Scootesti (879866) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777885)

that's ub3r l337

This will help a lot (5, Funny)

CaptainCarrot (84625) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777741)

Because, you know, there are no other chat rooms anywhere else on the Internet.

So what? (1)

bljohnson0 (114084) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777742)

How do they plan on verifying age? A little checkbox saying "I am at least 18 years old"? Like that's going to make any difference.

Adult chat rooms (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13777745)

How is that I can never find these chat rooms with people opening talking about sex?

that will really work (1)

Awol411 (799294) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777746)

how do they think they will enforce that? is it just like the websites where you have to be 18 to look at the porn but you have every teenage boy going there. yahoo is just covering their asses from potential law suits from saying if youre under 18, you shouldnt be here. unless they make everyone get like a cyberage id or some other sort of age verification system, it will never work in practice

Under 18/Using a Mac... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13777750)

They shut those down to anyone using a Mac a long time ago.

Aww, now some people are never going to lose their virginity to a 48 year old divorced man pretending to be a nubile 16 year old girl.

crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13777754)

Well, there goes my nightlife when I'm on furlough.

In other news. . . (5, Insightful)

Talondel (693866) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777755)

New York officials also annouced plans to close public parks to anyone under 18. They made this decision after realizing that child predators know that children like to play unsupervised in parks. When asked about this decision, officals replied "We need to be vigilant to protect our children."

Re:In other news. . . (2, Funny)

SB5 (165464) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777823)

And by the end of the year, plans are in place to outfit every child with an ankle bracelet and barcode on their forehead. And children will only be allowed to not leave their residence except for school. All other activities are banned in an effort to be vigilant to protect the children. Children will also not be allowed to play in their yard. Any child violating these laws will be confiscated and sold to the highest bidder. If there are no bids, they will be fed to Cthulhu.

the end (2, Interesting)

Roadkills-R-Us (122219) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777919)

The NY AG's office has announced that they will now prosecute anyone found in a bedroom, because children are molested in bedrooms. The NYC DA, not wishing to be outdone, has promised to prosecute people found indoors without a permit, which his office won't be prepared to provide for at least another year. NY Senator Hilary Rodham Clinton later announced that if elected president, she will just generally outlaw people.

Fragging children. (4, Insightful)

SB5 (165464) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777756)

Seriously. Why is it the government's job to protect the children? Thats a parental responsibility. What next, ban AOL IM under the age of 18? It is IMPOSSIBLE to enforce such an age limit. If you protect them from every single thing that can hurt them, when they grow up they will have no defenses to deal with any situation.

Sadly. I also agree with Yahoo's decision here. Although now the defense of... "Yahoo doesn't allow underage people from chatting, so I thought he/she was at least 18!

Re:Fragging children. (4, Insightful)

stfvon007 (632997) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777835)

Lets just put each child in a room with padded walls, no windows and a TV tuned to Seseme Street 24 hours a day. They will be provided with KidChow(TM) and Water. When they reach 18 they will be released into the wild safely having grown up without anything evil affecting them.

Re:Fragging children. (5, Funny)

Seumas (6865) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777904)

Lets just put each child in a room with padded walls, no windows and a TV tuned to Seseme Street 24 hours a day. They will be provided with KidChow(TM) and Water.

Dad, is that you?

Re:Fragging children. (2, Informative)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Re:Fragging children. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13777944)

It's the government's job to protect everyone. Since kids are less powerful than adults and targeted by them, they try to protect kids more. It goes awry sometimes (like this time), but there's a good reason that kids get more overbearing laws in most cases.

Surprised (1)

thesupermikey (220055) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777759)

Not really

I wonder why Yahoo didn't do this years ago. At least from a liability standpoint this seems like Yahoo would not want to put itself in the place were it was the medium for a pedophile getting some kid into his van. Or two 13 year olds hooking up and running away together.

I know it wasn't Yahoo's fault if something like this were to happen. But having it happen in their backyard might piss a lot of people off

Genders next... (5, Funny)

TexTex (323298) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777762)

Pretty soon they'll close their chat rooms to men who pretend to be women online... That should cut back on traffic as well.

Re:Genders next... (1)

lilmouse (310335) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777906)

Well, if they closed their chat rooms to women, that would eliminate most everything else!


Yahoooo! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13777776)

Won't someone think of the children? I am glad that this system of age discrimination will insure that people under 18 years old just cannot, cannot get onto Yahoo chat. Now we can breathe a sigh of relief and sit back and not monitor the chats. See, it's safe now.

Not surprising at all... (1)

lbbros (900904) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777785)

I've been in those chat rooms three or four times, and I was surprised at the amount of nuts I found there.

Re:Not surprising at all... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13777806)

And quite a few men talking, playing with them too....

Parenting (1)

qw0ntum (831414) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777787)

I guess they don't really have a choice (since it is a court order), but it's kind of pathetic that they would have to do this.

Last time I checked, it was the parents' job to ensure their kids were safe. Sure, the state/society has a certain role to play in that as well, but the largest responsibility is on the parent: he/she should make sure his/her kids know right from wrong, not to talk to strangers, etc.

I wonder (3, Interesting)

nEoN nOoDlE (27594) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777788)

It seems like every censorship law these days is being made "for the children." I wonder where this idea comes from, since we've started lapping it up like ice cream. Is there any historical precedence in the US or other countries where the government is so obsessed with "the children" being exposed to anything that might be considered harmful or innapropriate? I'm just wondering. I was a child of the late 80s and early 90s and wasn't so politically involved then, but don't really remember it being such a craze to shelter all the kids.

Re:I wonder (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13777889)

Yeah, except they didn't have the Internet or the proliferation of cell phones when you were growing up, chief! The advances in communication have sadly made it easier and easier for predators to engage in criminal activity. On the one hand, I dislike that "it's the government's responsibility" but after shows like "My Super Sweet 16" or whatever it's called on MTV and the amount of kids playing M-rated video games, you have to ask how the hell did it get so bad? Look at the average parents these days--kids can get away with anything, even in strict households. Virtually no one raises their kids strictly anymore and the "me first" generation is upon us. May God have mercy on our souls...


Re:I wonder (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777931)

Children't aren't born with internet access, videogames and cellphones. Parent's make those things available to their children and allow those things in their home. So how about a little parent's being responsible and the government staying the fuck out of it.

Of course, the government doesn't want to stay out of it because "the children" offers a great excuse for proliferating their puritan ideals. Hell, most of the people that run our government probably are afraid to have their children in the proximity of anyone who is homosexual because it might rub off on them.

Re:I wonder (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13777928)

Were you awake for Tipper Gore? Didn't you notice that one day you could buy an album and see the whole cover and the next day the cover was partially obscured by a "Warning:Explicit Lyrics" label that was a short-term marketing boon and was also promptly ignored by sales clerks?

And even before our time there's the Comics Code. Many other examples exist; this is a familiar theme in American History.

Re:I wonder (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13777930)

Does Spitzer really think this would work? I used to think he was out to clean up corruption, but now it looks like he's pursuing window dressing. Window dressing is bad, like airport and subway security, it doesn't accomplish anything but it makes it look like government is doing something. It's really a bad allocation of resources, why isn't there a general outcry against this sort of thing the way people rail against corruption and crony capitalism?

If we really cared about children, we'd structure our society to be more oriented around raising children, by letting women have long maternity leave without damage to their professional lives, by educating children instead of placating teachers' unions and using schools as babysitters so parents can work, and protecting their physical health and safety both from pollution and from violence created by economic stratification and organized crime.

Finally... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13777799)

For once, a potential threat to children is solved by kicking the kids out of the room, instead of limiting adult speech.

Verification issues aside, I think it's high time we adopted the "but your kids don't belong here" approach to more shit, and not just the fucking internet.

Re:Finally... (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777915)
An insightful comment from an AC.
I only wish more people would get to read it.

Re:Finally... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13777916)

I adopted yo momma don't belong here policy, it works!

Title and Summary are *GROSSLY* MISLEADING (4, Informative)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777802)

The first link to 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.

Re:Title and Summary are *GROSSLY* MISLEADING (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777909)

I'm more amazed when I see a Slashdot story that doesn't have a misleading, or plain wrong, title and summary. Almost every topic has a high-moderated correction in the comments.

Re:Title and Summary are *GROSSLY* MISLEADING (1)

merreborn (853723) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777913)

Betanews [] has a story from June:

Yahoo has completely shut down its unmonitored user-created chat rooms, which reportedly were being used to promote sex with minors. The company did not say how long the chats would be closed, but will leave open company-created rooms.

WOOHOO!! (0, Offtopic)

macaulay805 (823467) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777809)

September is comming to an end!!!!!!!!!one!11!

When will parents be parents again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13777812)

So everybody else will not be expected to be a parent that child obviously does not have.

Security System (1)

Psychor (603391) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777813)

I predict Yahoo's unbreakable security system will feature a webpage with some text along the lines of "You must be over 18 to use this chat system. Please only click the button below if you are over 18." It will also feature two buttons saying "I am over 18" and "I am not over 18, please show me the Disney store instead". It may take up to two attempts, but I think that unscrupulous Internet hackers might find a way around their near flawless protection.

So basically.. (1)

dirtsurfer (595452) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777814)

..what this means is, all the fat hairy naked men will have to go from spamming
"14/f ne1 wanna cyber?"
"18/f (looks 14) ne1 wanna cyber?"

Re:So basically.. (4, Interesting)

pymike (918985) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777830)

"I swear the EULA said she was 18 officer."

On the bright side... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13777815)

At least now you'll know that "lolipop_13" is really a 45 year old guy.

Age Verification? (1, Redundant)

MMHere (145618) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777816)

So two hundred people are going to say this, I'll try to be first:

There is no real way to verify a Yahoo account-holders age when s/he registers. If the kidz want in, they'll simply lie when they type in their age.

Once inside, they can tell the pedophile that they are "12 and cute..."

Is Spitzer really unaware of this? If he is aware, then this is simply another headline to aid in his eventual goal of running for governor, then president...

Some questions (2, Insightful)

kebes (861706) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777836)

1. How are they going to verify age? If the age-verification is simple, kids will defeat it. If it is complicated, adults will find it inconvenient... in which case people will stop using Yahoo's chat services. There are many other chat networks.

2. Why does New York law affect users all over the world?

3. Who cares? As I said, there are many other chat networks. Kids will simply use another chat program or another network. What does this change, really? (Unless Yahoo believes their chat network is much more vile and filled with adult things than any other network?)

4. Why? I mean, how does preventing kids from going to chat rooms protect them? Sure, they won't be fooled by some pervert in a chat room who tricks them... but they can still be fooled/affected by emails, web pages, and lots of things online. (Besides which, web-based chat-rooms exist...) It's been said on slashdot many times before, but it should be more about parents monitoring their children, and teaching them proper surfing habits, rather than trying to lock down and sanitize the net (which is an impossible task anyway).

5. Why 18? It's great that Yahoo is taking measures to protect children... removing a "bad" chatrooms promptly seems fair enough. However I don't understand why they are cutting off at 18... Protecting very young children (who again should be monitored by their parents to a certain extent) is great, but I think a 15 year old can handle him/herself in a chat-room. There is no reason to prevent them from having an online place to discuss. I don't think you need the same level of adult responsibility to chat online as you need for voting, drinking alcohol, driving a car, etc... yet they are placing the threshold at the same level!

Re:Some questions (1)

zakezuke (229119) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777941)

3. Who cares? As I said, there are many other chat networks. Kids will simply use another chat program or another network. What does this change, really? (Unless Yahoo believes their chat network is much more vile and filled with adult things than any other network?)

Perhaps that's what they want. It's like when MSN chat closed their doors to anyone who wasn't a subscriber. Use dropped over 90% and those few who were left on the system msn had their billing information on file. So no only easier to police the system, but you can always trackdown bozos who are doing something trully criminal and vile. The rest that leave, well that's someone else's problem.

Gee, seems he's up for re-election next year... (2, Insightful)

ThePuceGuardian (898399) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777840) Of course he's just a slimebag opportunist trying to pull voters around by the 'protect the children' leash - but given that 99% of 'people' in Yahoo's chat rooms are ad-spamming robots it's hard to work up that much outrage..

How? (2, Interesting)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777841)

And just how to they intend to enforce this decree? Open up local offices around the nation where they will check a photo ID before issuing a userID and password? Nah, this is just a PR stunt.

Maybe Better Tasking for People in Blue? (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777850)

I'm just thinking of all that free time law enforcement is going to have when the children stop talking; If children can stop talking. Who knows? Maybe the people in blue will start looking for bin Ladin; their number one bad guy.

Under 18, sure (1)

1199200 (922424) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777854)

If they are going to use an scheme to avoid the kids enter the chats, I hereby propose rescuing the questions that the engine of the first Larry Laffer game made with the same intention.

They worked, right? Right???

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Various Responses (4, Funny)

efuseekay (138418) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777860)

(a) Eliot Spitze : Heh Heh Heh. Man, I look like a hero, even though I don't give a damn to those kids who parents should know better.

(b) New York State Parents : Rah rah rah! Our children are safe from sexual predators!

(c) Yahoo! : Heh Heh Heh. As though as we can even try to stop childen from U18 from getting in.

(d) Under 18 Kids: Doh, everyone know you have to pretend to be over 18 to hit on anybody anyway.

(e) Over 18 Perverts : Doh, now I have to *really* try to believe those U18 kids online are simply pretending to be Over 18.

(f) Everyone else : Groan.

CS (1)

kd5ujz (640580) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777879)

Now if that Attorney General could just talk to Valve. There are kids under 18 witnessing violence, pornography, and mature language. That should clean up a few servers.......

Who is this protecting? (4, Funny)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777884)

I've been in the Yahoo chat rooms. I needed protection from those that were claiming to be under 18, not the other way around.

Foolproof adult test? (1)

dtfinch (661405) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777886)

Are you 18 or over?
[x] Yes
[ ] No

                            [ Ok ]

I don't think this is going to work. I doubt adults will be willing to share their credit card numbers with Yahoo either.

So who's left? (1)

Kelson (129150) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777888)

If I were to guess, most people in chat rooms are probably 14-18 years old anyway...

Won't somebody.... (0, Redundant)

UNOStudent (667969) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777891)

PLEASE think of the children?!

Darned tootin' (1)

vsprintf (579676) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777894)

Get off my lawn you Yahoos, er kids or chats or whatever you are. BTW, I'm turning the sprinklers on again this Halloween, so you've been warned!

FREE SPEECH (except if your under 18) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13777895)

Yep, there goes another constitutional right of the people - even if they are under 18

It seems to me that if we wanted to protect the innocent, we'd stick the villain's head on a pike in the local city square to ward of future villains that wish to harm those we wish not to be harmed.

Taking away the constitutional right of ALL those under 18, or over 18, to stop a few bad people will just increase the powers of the police state we are. Soon, very soon, we will be asked any time we walk outside our homes,"PAPERS! PLEASE!". We will wonder how we ever got to this point.

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Is that the right way around? (1)

nihilogos (87025) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777897)

Surely it would be a better idea to close them to anyone *over* 18. How many over 18s are there in a Yahoo chat room anyway? And let's face it, if you are over 18 and in a Yahoo chatroom you could do with some legislated life coaching.

Yeah! (1)

Njovich (553857) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777907)

Let's forbid people to have children too! Iff you get children some might actually get hurt! Think of the children!

I don't see how (2, Insightful)

alan_dershowitz (586542) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777923)

I don't see how this protects our children, insofar as that any child can still use ANY OTHER CHAT ROOM ON THE ENTIRE FREAKING INTERNET. Maybe we should start making parks or other arbitrary public places 18-only to prevent child molesters. Do kids not have rights? Yahoo can run their chat rooms however they want, but by what rationale does a lawmaker determine where and where not a child can go in a completely open public place (online or real)? How does a lawmaker determine that kids can't use chat rooms? They didn't go that far, because as they said, they "reached an agreement." Which is roughly analogous to a policeman telling you they won't arrest you for loitering if you walk away now.

The poor children. (1)

blanks (108019) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777926)

"Will somebody PLEASE think of the children"

Because their parents wont,  so everyone else has too.

Seriously there are far worse things in the world then chat rooms, yes they might talk to some peterass on a chat, but I think having streets full of drug addicts/ crooks is far worse then chating nasty with a 18+ year old on the internet.

In other news.... (1)

GeneralEmergency (240687) | more than 8 years ago | (#13777929)

State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer has announced that following an agreement with New York City's Central Park Conservancy and city Mayor Michael Bloomberg, New York's Central Park "will be closed to all persons under the age of eighteen."

Mr. Spitzer elaborated, "We absolutely must think of and protect the children at all times and at all costs. We all know that Central Park is crawling with 'Adults' and some of those adults do nasty things and think nasty thoughts."

When asked about the remaining available outdoor recreational options for children in Metropolitan Manhattan, Mr. Spitzer replied, "Outdoor recreation? Kids don't need to go outdoors. That's what video games were invented for!"

The park closures will commence October 24th.

great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13777943)

it is not yahoos responsibility to babysit kids like that.

i always thought that if more companies just banned minors it would force parents to do their jobs and stop them from bitching.
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