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Microsoft's PR trick

Posted on September 30, 2003 at 11:16 AM in Web/Tech | Permalink

It would appear that Microsoft's benevolent decision to close it's chatrooms "For the sake of the children" may not have been quite so altruistic.

The fact that Microsoft is closing its chatrooms in all but five countries just a day before it locks down its MSN Messenger network appears to have escaped many people.

...

The decision to close the chatrooms has been painted as one driven by the need to protect children. Nobody, bar nobody, would dare oppose such a thing. It's a soft touch.

But if Microsoft is so conscious about protecting children, then MSN Messenger should be thrown out as well.

Very true. While I think that having unmodulated, unrestricted chat rooms are really just asking for trouble, the fact of the matter is that the IM clients create much the same situation.

NineMSN's spokesperson Ngaire Moyes says that MSN Messenger offers a very much reduced risk of paedophilic activity, but gives no explanation as to how this is. I would say that Messenger has a higher risk, as it not only gives chat services, but provides a plethora of other information like age, location, gender, birthdays, etc. Now, it is true that this information is all optional, but young children are more likely to want to put this info in. Until this situation I rectified, I fail to see how Microsoft are acting in the best interests of the child.

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