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There was a report today that Yahoo is going to remove all porn advertising, auctions, classifieds, etc. from its site. It was stated that this was apparently the result of vigorous protests from certain quarters after Yahoo had announced plans to expand those areas of its site.

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Guest ButchHarris

Yahoo Pulls the Porn (TheStandard)

 

NEWS - Yahoo Pulls the Porn (TheStandard) - NEWS

 

Web: http://www.TheStandard.com

 

Apr 13 2001 06:35 AM PDT -- In an apparent response to media coverage of its links to adult entertainment, the portal giant sanitizes its offerings. The portal giant doesn’t want to be a porno giant. An article in the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday pointed out various pornography offerings on Yahoo Shopping [ http://shopping.yahoo.com ]. Other news outlets picked up on the story. On Friday morning, Yahoo issued a press release saying that it would remove "adult-related products" from Yahoo Shopping and Yahoo Classifieds [ http://classifieds.yahoo.com ]. The company also said that it would not sign up any new adult-related banner advertising.

 

"While Yahoo has offered controlled access to adult products available via the Internet since launching our commerce services more than two years ago, many of our users voiced concerns this week about some of the products sold by merchants on Yahoo shopping. We heard them and swiftly responded," Yahoo COO and President Jeff Mallett said in a statement.

 

Yahoo's contraction of its adult offerings was a quick reversal of its hard stance from a Tuesday statement and Wednesday interviews given by Mallett. "We're hard and fast on being the largest enabler of commerce on the Web," Reuters quoted Mallet as saying on Wednesday [ http://REUTERS.com ]. "We have chosen to offer adult-oriented content as part of that."

 

Apparently, Yahoo was not as "hard and fast" as it let on.

 

Following Wednesday's news, the American Family Association [ http://AFA.net ], a right-leaning public interest group, drafted a letter to U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft [ http://www.usdoj.gov ] urging him to prosecute Yahoo "for its direct involvement in the sale and distribution of obscene material and child pornography," according to a release on the organization's Web site.

 

Friday's announcement of a new policy followed, and came on the heels of a lackluster earnings announcement from Yahoo on Wednesday evening. The company beat analyst estimates by posting pro forma net income of 1 cent per share on revenue of $180 million. However, it also said it would reduce its 3,510-person workforce by 12 percent. In addition, the company announced the departure of Heather Killen, its senior VP in charge of international operations. Yahoo pulled down the Yahoo Shopping link to its adult offerings Thursday night. However, its search engine, powered by Google, still returns pornographic links, and runs banner ads for sex sites on adult-related searches.

 

"Consumers are at the heart of all our decisions," said Yahoo spokeswoman Nicki Dugan. She acknowledges, however, that media attention "heightened awareness" of adult material on Yahoo Shopping, Auctions and Classifieds [ http://auctions.yahoo.com ]. Current auctions and classifieds in the offending categories will be allowed to run their course. Porn-related shopping links were pulled on Thursday night. Dugan said that there were no breaches of contracts as a result of those actions.

 

"Yahoo wouldn't have done it if there were any significant financial impact," said Rob Martin, an analyst at Friedman, Billings, Ramsey [ http://FBR.com ]. Martin notes that Yahoo's decision was more of an attempt at improving public relations, as investors saw few reasons to sell the stock after the news of the decision broke. Shares closed Thursday at $16.96, up 14.4 percent for the week.

 

According to Dugan, contributions to revenue from adult-related merchandise and services are negligible. Yahoo Shopping collects a minimum of 2 percent of sales on each item, though rates vary by merchant. Yahoo's previous statements on its sale of adult material, Dugan said, were not in defense of the offerings, but mere acknowledgements.

 

In an interview Thursday, Mallett said that advertisers continue to seek Yahoo as a distribution partner. "It comes down to the largest and most connected audience," Mallet said. "That's really what our advertising and content partners are looking for."

 

Yahoo counts more than 190 million users, and 67 million registered users. It’s not clear how many of them utilize the site to find adult-related material.

 

The L.A. Times [ http://LATimes.com ] article by staff writer P.J. Huffstutter came out on Wednesday, just hours before Yahoo's first-quarter earnings announcement, and helped bring mainstream exposure to products that Yahoo says it has had available on or through its site for a while now. Huffstutter noted that Yahoo charges adult-oriented stores three times as much as it charges mainstream stores for a listing in its commerce directory.

 

Top competitors America Online [ http://AOL.com ] and MSN [ http://MSN.com ] have shied away from allowing the sale of explicit DVDs and videos through it commerce offerings. AOL does not accept ads from adult sites. MSN says its online store offers relationship-enhancing products, but not pornography. -- Ari Weinberg

 

Copyright © 2001 Standard Media International

 

Web: http://www.TheStandard.com

 

NEWS - Yahoo Pulls the Porn (TheStandard) - NEWS

 

Butch Harris, Publisher

WEBs and VIDs Online!

Gay Erotica's Best Click! ®

Web: http://www.ManNet.com

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Guest EvilSwine

RE: Yahoo Pulls the Porn (TheStandard)

 

Yahoo's really desperate for revenue. Supposedly they're going to include the adult banner ads in their rush to get rid of all things porn, which contrary to what was said in that article will probably hurt their bottom line because such a high percentage of what is searched for on their site and in any search engine is porn. They were pretty much being assholes, anyway, as they decided to charge ALL commercial listings including free adult sites their "express" business fee and jack up the fee for adult sites to $600 versus just $199 for non-adult sites and at the same time they were modifying the way they presented their search results on major searches by presenting their category listings first in order to get more page views so they could make more off of the advertisers they charge per page view for banner space. This probably did a lot to massage their quarterly numbers, but it's not good for anyone who wants their search engine traffic because of how much it cuts down what your site would get from showing up in the search of the directory the old way the results were presented...

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According to the business section of today's New York Times, there was an very well organized effort that resulted in Yahoo receiving over 10,000 anti-porn e-mails. :-( Although a representative of The Free Speech Coalition was quoted, the article didn't mention if they received any e-mail in support of their decision. So I quess the moral of the story is that those of us who support free speech and adult internet content should send e-mails protesting Yahoo's decision. (Although, I'm guessing that the number of e-mails on this subject will pale in comparision to the anti-porn efforts. x()

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Guest EvilSwine

Yeah...it's unlikely that the people who are in favor porn will ever be nearly as organized as the ones who want to sanitize the internet. It's a lot easier to get together a large group of diehards who are against something than it is to get the vast majority who are in favor or indifferent to speak up. Since I started putting up some porn sites to make a living, I've become much more open to the belief that as long as I don't put up kiddie porn or something that's expressly illegal it's the business of parents to babysit their children and not mine.

 

There's actually an incredible hypocrisy to Yahoo in this because it's very unlikely they'll ever remove the adult listings in their directory. That would result in too great a loss of traffic for them, since such a huge bulk of the searches done are for SEX SEX SEX. I'd hate to think what would happen once they bent over backwards far enough to delete everything but the pictures of girls in bikinis and men in Speedos. I certainly wouldn't want to own their stock.

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