Children's Chatrooms Closed

By: Venton D. Blandin
By: Venton D. Blandin

October 12, 2005

Safety and internet are two words which often alarm parents, but that's about to change.

When it comes to kids cruising along on the information superhighway, safety is a major concern. Now, one internet service provider is taking away one of the problems.

Yahoo!, one of the largest online companies in the United States, is doing its part to make the internet safer for children. The company recently announced the voluntary removal of chat rooms with names that promote sex between children and adults.

"If people really want to find something they certainly can still do it. I think the chance of people stumbling, or picking the children, will be diminished quite a bit with them doing this, said Lieutenant Gary Pleasants, of the Charlottesville Police Department.

The removal, part of an agreement brought on by attorneys general in New York and Nebraska, also makes it easier for Yahoo! to report threats against children and develop chat room education programs. Still, some say parents should still know what their child is doing online.

"Parents should just be there. If they are not able to be there, they should just follow-up to find out where their children have been on the internet," said Brian Dickert, a father of a seven-year-old.

While Yahoo.com is making the internet a better place to search for children, another website is making the world a better place to live.

Fans of the Google search engine may like to hear, the Google company is giving up about $1 billion, to start a charitable foundation.

It's all part of a pledge the co-founders made when Google went public last year. The organization, Google.org, will work to do "good things for the world" and apply innovation and resources to worldwide problems.

The company calls the effort 'the philanthropic arm of Google.' Yahoo! will also donate $175,000 to the Center for Missing and Exploited Children in New York.


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