MSN to Close Adult, Mature Groups

BetaNews has learned that MSN plans to remove mature and adult rated communities from its MSN Groups service in late November. The groups would be moved to a third-party site, WorldGroups, which will handle all adult categorized groups for the service after the transition.

Users will be unable to create or change a group's classification as "adult" or "mature" after October 19. This would be followed by a lockdown of content on these groups on November 2, and then removal of the groups from MSN on November 28.

At that time, it will be prohibited to either post or upload anything that expresses pornography or obscenity, according to a draft of the announcement obtained by BetaNews.

"MSN services are used by a broad audience and we need to ensure that content is appropriate for all viewers," the draft reads.

"To meet these needs, MSN prohibits content and language that is sexually explicit from many MSN sites. We are also unable to provide access to additional adult content and services desired by many of our users."

WorldGroups will offer many of the same features as MSN Groups, however users will have unlimited storage as well as streaming video capabilities, privacy controls, and opportunities to use the groups to generate revenue.

Two types of communities will be offered: Adult WorldGroups, which will allow for the posting of mature content; and Unfiltered, which does not carry the restrictions on dialogue that are directed at an adult audience.

MSN's move follows Yahoo's shuttering of user chats last June. A report on a local TV station in Houston showed that many of the chat rooms were being used for illegal purposes, which prompted several large companies to pull their advertising from the service.

Microsoft had not returned a request for comment as of press time.

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