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Yahoo to be porn-free?

When Yahoo! Inc. got rid of the adult videos and DVDs on its shopping pages last month, the popular Internet site wasn't done wrestling with pornography.

During the last few weeks, Yahoo quietly has reconfigured its adult-themed online clubs, message boards and chat rooms, removing links to them and making them harder to find, members say. Many users believe the clubs will fail to attract new members and ultimately disappear altogether.

Those members say they feel betrayed, and have assembled Internet petitions with thousands of complaints. Some also say Yahoo's action actually makes it easier for children to see adult content.

Yahoo users can set up online clubs and post messages, pictures and Internet links on just about any topic. The subjects range from the general, such as bluegrass music, to the very specific - such as places in Delaware where people can meet for sex on their lunch breaks.

It's unclear how many people use the adult clubs, because Yahoo does not disclose those numbers. America Online, Excite, Terra Lycos and Microsoft's MSN also host clubs on thousands of subjects, but some Yahoo users say they can more easily find people with similar interests on the massive Yahoo site.

Users say that in the past few weeks, Yahoo took out a direct link to adult-themed clubs from its overall clubs page. Users had to affirm they were 18 or older to use the link. The members also say Yahoo disabled some search functions that often were used to find the groups. That means that to find a club, users have to know its Internet address and type that in directly.

Some members have re-listed links to their clubs in other parts of the site, including in mainstream sections open to people of all ages.

Also Asian Sirens setup a new and searchable link list at Yahoo! Adult Clubs.


The Facts

Wednesday, April 11, 2001

Yahoo Inc., struggling for profit amid a shaky dot-com marketplace, has become the first top-tier Internet company to embrace the porn industry, opening an online store stocked with thousands of hard-core DVDs and video tapes.

Thursday, April 12, 2001

Yahoo Inc. posted a first-quarter loss as advertising sales declined, and said it will fire 12% of its work force to cut costs.

Friday, April 13, 2001

Yahoo Inc. announced it is removing adult-related products in Shopping, Auctions, and Classifieds. These products include adult-related videos and DVDs available through sellers on Yahoo!'s network. Additionally, Yahoo! will no longer enter into new contracts for adult-related banner advertisements on the Yahoo! network. The implementation of these changes in the United States will take place over the next few weeks.

Saturday, April 14, 2001

As of now there is no longer the Adult Catagory in the Sex and Relationship area on the Yahoo Clubs Home page. If you type in any kind of search for any club, adult or otherwise, you get a message that Yahoo clubs is temporarily unavailable.

Monday, April 16, 2001

Yahoo Inc. said the search function for its popular Internet message boards was temporarily unavailable Monday.

The Santa Clara, Calif., Web portal is conducting "routine maintenance" on the message boards, a spokeswoman said. The search function has been down since at least 8:30 a.m. EDT Monday.

Users can still gain access to message boards by using a directory on the Web site. Yahoo expects to resume the search service soon, the spokeswoman said.


Campaign Against Yahoo!

Send an e-mail to clubs-feedback@yahoo-inc.com or call them at (408) 731-3300 during office hours (8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. PST) to let them know that you don't agree with their current policy!


Selected Links

Yahoo! Experts (Public Q&A)
Yahoo! @ Quicken.com (Actual News)
Don't Close Adult Clubs (Yahoo! Club)

Yahoo's Search for Profit Leads to Pornography (LA Times, Wed 4/11)
Public Outcry Scuttles Yahoo's Plans for Porn (LA Times, Sat 4/12)
Seeking Profit, Yahoo Turns To Smut (TechWeb, Thu 4/12)
Yahoo dismantles porn sales on its sites (The Mercury News, Fri 4/13)
Got Porn? Yahoo Doesn't (Wired, Fri 4/13)
Yahoo Does About-Face On Adult Entertainment (TechWeb, Fri 4/13)
Online Protest Begins (WallStreetNewscast.com, Tue 4/17)
Yahoo Extending Porn Crackdown (Yahoo! News, Wed 5/2)


   

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