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"We have seen cases where under-16s have been approached by people pretending to be same age, but who are grown adults trying to solicit young people for abusive contact," Mr Whittingham explained.He added that, although most messages in chatrooms were not inappropriate, a "small minority" had spoilt chat for people of all ages.It’s important to explain that you’re not implementing these changes out of a desire to “spy,” but rather to make sure that your child is protected from harmful influences or dangerous people.If she complains that you’re “violating her privacy,” make it clear that you will do your best to respect her online conversations with friends, but point out that, as a minor living under your roof, her privacy is limited."As a responsible leader we feel it necessary to make these changes because online chat services are increasingly being misused," it said.Children's charities welcomed the move as "momentous" and said they saw it as a big step towards protecting young web users, but some have criticised the decision.
Chatrooms on MSN's other global sites will either be supervised - or moderated - by an adult 24 hours a day, or will be on a credit card subscription-basis only.MSN UK's Matt Whittingham told BBC News Online it was not a decision they had taken lightly."We have been concerned about chatrooms for a while and reached a stage where we were no longer prepared to put up with inappropriate communication," he said.Mr Whittingham said all net services offering chatrooms should continue to look at how they can safeguard everyone on the internet, ensuring young people and parents stick to common sense advice.This means never giving out personal information online, and never arranging to see someone they have met online in the real world.