Yahoo cuts back on the smut—way, way back
A month ago, Weblog noted the unbelievable speed at which Internet site Yahoo! backed away from its plans to sell hardcore pornography in its video store. Apparently they got so much praise for the move that they've kept cutting. "The company has begun making it harder for users to find sexually explicit chat rooms and clubs," reports The New York Times. "The action has sparked anger and fear among users, prompting thousands of them to sign a petition demanding that the company continue to maintain the popular online forums." Yahoo's more sexually active users are claiming that the company's move—designed as a possible first step to eradicating such chat rooms and message boards completely—are a potential "blow to free speech everywhere." That quote comes from Aaron P. Dyson, a North Carolina Wesleyan College criminal justice student who probably won't be getting a law job any time soon. As The New York Times notes in several other quotes from civil rights lawyers, there's no First Amendment concerns if Yahoo isn't the government. "Yahoo isn't the only alternative," says ACLU spokeswoman Emily Whitfield. "I don't see any immediate cause for concern for us right now." (By the way, some Weblog readers who were upset with the initial announcement that Yahoo would be selling porn wondered how they could show their dismay. Now that Yahoo is becoming one of the cleanest major portal sites around, here's how to contact them to show your support: Yahoo, Inc.; 3420 Central Expressway; Santa Clara, CA 95051; Phone: (408) 731-3300; Fax (408) 731-3510; E-mail: investor_relations@yahoo-inc.com)

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