News Burst: Yahoo! moves 'adult' IM chat rooms

Family-orientated Instant Messenger pushes adult chatrooms

Adult-rated chat rooms have been moved off the main interface of Yahoo!'s Instant Messenger client a week after the software was upgraded.

The new Messenger client V3.5 highlighted conversations on subjects such as "pre-teen sex" and "11 to 19 year old sluts" under the root directory of its recommended chat categories.

Chatrooms alluding to discussion threads clearly inappropriate for children remain easily accessible to anyone using Yahoo! Messenger. Two clicks from the main screen will take any user to myriad rooms where ZDNet has witnessed users claiming to be in their thirties or older looking for young girls and boys.

None of the rooms are hidden from young users and none are located in an 'adult' section. Some now sit under a 'Teen' banner, located in the 'Culture & Communities' section of Yahoo! Messenger. Others now sit under a 'Romance' sub-heading.

A week before Yahoo! upgraded its IM software, child molester Patrick Green was sentenced to five years for attacking a 13 year old after using a chatroom. According to the police, Green had frequently used Yahoo! chatrooms.

Recent research conducted by Campaign Magazine found teenagers to spend an average of 191.2 minutes a month on the Yahoo! family-orientated Instant Messenger, making it the most popular 'site' (sic) in that age group.

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