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MSN shuts down its Chatrooms - pressure to shut down all Chatrooms!!

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Bruce Lindfield, Sep 24, 2003.


  1. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    So - this is a big story today :

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/3133192.stm


    MSN is closing all its chatrooms in Europe, the Middle East, Latin America and most of Asia from 14 October, and changing the way others are operated globally.

    "As a responsible leader we feel it necessary to make these changes because online chat services are increasingly being misused," they said.

    Children's charities welcomed the move as "momentous" and said they saw it as a big step towards protecting young web users.

    Abusive contact

    MSN UK's Matt Whittingham told BBC News Online it was not a decision they had taken lightly.

    "We have been concerned about chatrooms for a while and reached a stage where we were no longer prepared to put up with inappropriate communication," he said"



    So - the media here is seeing it as a good thing and there is pressure from children's charities to shut down all chatrooms that are used by children.

    Will this affect TakBass? The idea is apparently that all chatrooms will be validated by credit card to make sure there is no anonymity and presumably keep children under 18 out!

    So - how does everyone see this affecting us?
     
  2. yoshi

    yoshi

    Jul 12, 2002
    England, London
    First off, hats off to microsoft for what they've proposed (unless theres other reasons involved ie publicity).

    I doubt it'll get to the stage where huge forums will be shut down, or the need for 18+ validation either.

    If it does though, Im fine, I was 18 this January :cool:
     
  3. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well they have shut down all their forums in the UK, but it sounds like the 18+ thing is only for the US :

    "Microsoft will close its UK chat services, which currently attract around 1.2 million regular monthly users.

    In the US, users will need to disclose their credit card details to subscribe, making them much easier to identify and trace. Chatrooms in other countries, including Australia, Japan and Canada, will remain free but will be constantly monitored. "

    {From the BBC website again)
     
  4. yoshi

    yoshi

    Jul 12, 2002
    England, London
    It all seems like a great move to me, although some would argue its a bit too late what with all the reports of '14 year old girl goes missing after meeting 14_surfboy_hunk182 who turns out to be in his mid 40s or something.

    The only problem with shtting the chat stations, that will (in my view) effect forums and subsequently tb is that those who 'needed' the chat for 'grooming' as its labelled may pour into message boards instead. Who knows what kind of oard they may target, wheather small geocities ones with 25 members or big ones such as yours truly (TB)...
     
  5. I think that it would force some of this activity(Porn, Undesirable activities) 'underground'.
    Looks like just the start of these sort of reactions....certainly won't stop it, just shuffle it elsewhere.
    I personally see no problem with MSN's action(s) myself.
     
  6. I'm gutted. It's one of the most useful things to have. Thing is with MSN Messenger, is that you only add people you want to add, and also if someone adds you to their list, you can either agree or refuse to be on their list. So it's really the minority of people in chatrooms, who decide they want to add stranger's e-mail to their Messenger service.

    I was planning to keep in touch with friends who went off to university a week ago, via MSN. :(
     
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I tend to agree with you on both counts - but I was wondering what effect this might have on sites like our own TB and other music-related chat rooms?

    I mean - it is quite clear here, that there are many teens, along with those of us who are older. Will Paul be forced to only allow registration by credit card, to avoid anonymity and the danger of children being "lured" to meet up with paedophiles?

    I mean - as a reasonably intelligent older person - I can see how easy it would be to hang aroudn here and pretend to be a teenager - into Korn etc Then suggest meeting up ..... :meh:
     
  8. If things get too ugly I can see harsher actions being taken...and I would understand why.
    I can't see it happening immediately now however.



    'I tend to agree with you on both counts - but I was wondering what effect this might have on sites like our own TB and other music-related chat rooms?

    I mean - it is quite clear here, that there are many teens, along with those of us who are older. Will Paul be forced to only allow registration by credit card, to avoid anonymity and the danger of children being "lured" to meet up with paedophiles?'
     
  9. Now how am i meant to stalk people?

    Spose i still have TB.. hehehe

    :D:D

    Merls
     
  10. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Maybe not - maybe it's comments like this that will force Paul to make registration by credit card compulsory?:meh:
     
  11. yoshi

    yoshi

    Jul 12, 2002
    England, London
    Will we get a suppoerting membership in the process too? ;)
     
  12. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    IF you support and donate some money at the same time!
     
  13. alexclaber

    alexclaber Commercial User

    Jun 19, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Director - Barefaced Ltd
    and start stalking confused funk bassists...

    Alex

    P.S. Thanks for the amp sharing - my round next time!
     
  14. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    I saw that story this morning and I was left wondering if there's more going on than just the benevolent giant attempting to protect innocent children. Why do some regions loose the rooms and not others? Will Microsoft stop people signing up for chatrooms outside their region? Are there actual legislatory implications for chat rooms, forums and other forms on online communication that remain?

    And, could it be that Microsoft have other reason for shutting certain chat rooms down (eg. they're just not making any money) and is just putting this spin on the story to avoid criticism?

    Who knows...

    Wulf
     
  15. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I've been listening to a discussion on Radio 5 live as I work and people have asked questions like this...hence my reason for posting! ;)

    So Nicky Campbell had the MSN person responsible for this and he fielded questions .

    So - he said there was no legislation or litigation pending - but they did feel a responsibility to be seen as "doing something". He said the chat rooms did make them money, but that they had had so many complaints about them and spam or problem email generated, that they were doing this to respond to their "customer base" - to provide a better service. I read between the lines that they they were more hassle than they were worth and it was only going toget worse.
     
  16. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I think you have that first part, the wrong way round! :D
     
  17. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I don't really understand the distinction you make - in my mind, chat rooms are synonymous with message boards. But I think I agree that any music-related 'discussion' sites like TB are liable to become targets eventually if there is nowhere else to go - it's very easy to be anonymous here and put up a username that implies you are young kid, registering via an email address that can't be traced back to you.

    I think this means that people are starting to realise that it is the "anonymity" , that make things like this dangerous to children and easy to manipulate for those who want to target them.

    How long will it be before any sites that allow anonymity will be outlawed and only credit card validation or similar, is legal?
    :meh:
     
  18. thumbtrap

    thumbtrap

    Jun 26, 2003
    The news article I heard mentioned instant messaging as a safer alternative. HULLO - just how is instant messaging different from chat as it pertains to the safety of children?
     
  19. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Since instant messaging is still continuing, I do think a lot of the reason for this move is Microsoft putting a spin on a service they don't want to support any more rather than a real concern to protect child safety.

    Out of interest, have schools started to teach 'Internet Safety' in any formal way yet?

    Wulf
     
  20. Not at all - chat rooms are instananeous, ephemeral and the content disposable in the extreme. As soon as you finish typing something, it's swept off the top of the screen into the digital dustbin and nobody ever sees it again. This is in direct contrast to message boards which retain threads and posts more or less indefinitely. Chat rooms are unrevisitable and uncreatable, and hence unfortunately perfect for stalking purposes.

    On a message board, many people will have the opportunity to read your message - again and again if they want. Moderation and safegaurds become possible then, and so message boards like TB really aren't the problem that chat rooms are.

    Moderated ones, anyway.