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TECHNOLOGY | NATION/WORLD

CompuServe Creates Adults-Only Area

July 30, 1997|(Associated Press)

CompuServe Corp. said it will create an online area containing risque material that will be off-limits to young eyes. The nation's second-largest online service said adults will need a password to gain access to the segregated material. Content ranges from a gay and lesbian forum to lingerie information to adult-themed games. CompuServe's move is the latest industry response to pressure from consumer groups and the White House to protect youngsters from online content deemed offensive. At the same time, the online services want to keep online information freely available to adults. CompuServe said all adult-oriented chat rooms, games and other materials on its flagship CSi online service will be moved into its adult section starting Tuesday. CompuServe does not put pornography online. The content will be screened using technology from Boston-based Microsystems Software Inc., which already provides CompuServe with software that allows parents to control what their children see. In addition to passwords, members signing on to the Adult Community must provide their names, ages and other information. America Online, the largest online provider, does include adult material on its service, but uses Microsystems' guidelines to rate its content. Prodigy announced last week that it would block its members from accessing child pornography. Shares of Columbus, Ohio-based CompuServe closed unchanged at $12 on Nasdaq.

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