Microsoft to close chat rooms

  powerless 23:21 23 Sep 2003
Locked

Or should that be MSN?

Well anyway just on the news (Ch5) they are to close the chat rooms because of recent events involving .....chat rooms.

ALL chat rooms? I think "some"...

  powerless 23:45 23 Sep 2003

Were damn quick.

  wee eddie 09:24 24 Sep 2003

Usually require you to provide payment. In a manner that is identifiable as having come from you as an individual.

So providing an "Audit Trail" which would, theoretically discourage paedophiles.

  wee eddie 22:57 24 Sep 2003

recons that as M$ makes lots of money, therefor they should plough some of it back in the form of free chat rooms.

Why?

How much work do each one of us do for nothing. That is, apart for "pro bono" or charity work.

  Forum Editor 00:26 25 Sep 2003

be as sensible as it seems. If we have to have chat-rooms (and it seems we do) I would rather see them being called 'MSN chat' than 'Sugar Daddy's midnight prowler chat' - which is exactly what will happen.

Nature abhors a vacuum, and if anybody thinks that the threat from chat-room paedophiles and the like will vanish as a result of Microsoft's action they are seriously deluding themselves. It will now be that much more difficult for the involved law-enforcement agencies to monitor and track the very people who've caused the shutdown.

I can't criticise Microsoft's declared motives, although I might well have my own views about what is behind this move.

  wee eddie 18:47 25 Sep 2003

Microsoft's reasons for closing the chat rooms are almost certainly based on the advice of their lawyers.

It is only a matter of time before the parent of a child, molested as a result of a contact through a M$ Chat Room, is persuaded to sue M$ on the basis of the value of the out of Court Settlement alone.

The fact that such a case would (be unlikely to) possibly succeed in court makes the cost of fighting it horrendous and probably similar to the costs that Marlborough and BAT have had to carry for the tobacco industry.

  Forum Editor 23:37 25 Sep 2003

is impossible - the very nature of a chat-room dictates that virtual conversations must flow uninterrupted and uncensored - otherwise there's no point to it.

For a short while I provided consultancy services to a well-known Internet company on the logistics and implications of running chat rooms, and in the course of the work I had to sit and watch a chatroom in full flow. Nobody in the 'room' knew I was there, and although the vast bulk of what transpired was banal and boring rubbish the tone of some of the conversations horrified me. What I saw in the course of a week or so was enough to convince me that chat-rooms provide an ideal environment for those paedophiles who set out to 'groom' children for illegal sexual encounters.

It would be possible to stop conversations that were considered innapropriate, but such a policy would be enormously demanding in terms of resources, and would deter many people from ever taking part.

Like spam, there's no permanent solution to the chat-room problem - least of all that of simply closing large numbers of them down.

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