Chatroom provider fails safety test

One of the world's largest chat service providers is not applying UK Government guidelines on how to protect children online.

The voluntary code, drawn up by government, law enforcers, industry leaders and children's charities is a response to an increased use of the net by paedophiles.

Leading chatroom provider Yahoo has admitted that it has not yet implemented the guidelines and has set no timeframe to do so.

"Currently we are not talking about it but we are looking at the guidelines," a Yahoo spokesperson told BBC News Online.

Chatrooms can pose a particular danger to youngsters because they are easily accessible and there is no way of verifying whether the person a child is talking to is who they say they are.

In the UK, there have been at least 12 cases of youngsters being physically attacked by men they originally met in chatrooms, say experts.

Despite sitting on the committee which came up with the safety rules for net providers, Yahoo has no moderators keeping an eye on its chatrooms and has no easy way for children to report conversations they are uncomfortable with.

News source: BBC News

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