Instant messaging sex chat rooms

The decision has triggered a heated debate among free speech advocates, children's rights groups and Microsoft rivals about the proper way to police online forums, which predate the Web itself and have been critical to the Internet's growth as a mass medium."It's a signal that some of the joyful early days of the Internet have moved on a bit.

In the United States, Canada and Japan, Microsoft will introduce an unsupervised chat service solely for subscribers, who are considered more accountable because their billing details and identities are on record with the company.

Starting October 14, the software giant will shut down its MSN chat services in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and much of Latin America, forcing millions of message board users to find alternative online forums to discuss the topics of the day.

In those regions, said Microsoft, the chat is free and unsupervised, giving rise to a nefarious element that bombards users with spam, much of which is pornographic.

And for a while at least, it all felt harmless and innocent, and fun. My father leaving didn't help, and for the first six months of my life I was placed with a notional "auntie", a family friend who became my surrogate mother throughout my childhood.

LONDON – Microsoft said Wednesday it would shut down its Internet chat rooms in 28 countries, saying the forums had become a haven for peddlers of junk e-mail and sex predators."The straightforward truth of the matter is free, unmoderated chat isn't safe," said Geoff Sutton, European general manager of Microsoft MSN.

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