Habbo: Expose on Child Sex scandals

By:   |   June 18th, 2012   |   Social Media
Habbo Hotel

The Finnish company Sulake to which the popular social game/site belongs, Habbo is to be ‘exposed’ by Channel 4 as a hotbed of sexually explicit material. Channel 4 state:

 

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A investigation has uncovered shocking lapses in the moderation of a hugely popular online game used by young teenagers, including interactions of an explicit sexual nature.

 

 

This is pretty serious news for Sulake, as the site attracts 3 million new users every month, and 9 million visit Habbo each month. 60% of users are between 13 to 16 years of age. An exposé on sex scandals involving young teens and children will see a lot of heat directed at Sulake.

 

One of its European investors – VC Balderton Capital has removed their 13% stake in the company. 3i another investor remains loyal.

 

CEO Paul LaFontaine, of Sulake confirmed that Balderton Capital had withdrawn from the company, but that now Sulake will face this problem and tighten security. He issued the following statement.

 

 “I was incredibly concerned to see this report and to hear about the findings of the Channel Four News investigation. As a parent, I understand the critical importance of making sure teenagers and young people have a safe online experience.

I was sorry to hear of Balderton’s decision to withdraw its involvement, but my priority right now is to address the issues raised by the investigation. In response to Ben’s report, I would like to reassure readers that we at Sulake remain fully committed to the Habbo community and to resolving the issues it currently faces.

Habbo has a strong record in this area with industry commendations and deep experience actively preventing potentially damaging content. Since hearing about the report I have asked my team to tighten security across the site and to strengthen the user rules even further.

I want to take this opportunity to assure our site users that I will be working with my team globally to deliver improved safety levels across the community. Anyone who is concerned can contact me directly on Twitter @PaulLaFo.

 

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An ex user of Habbo described how users would have “virtual sex” and talk explicitly. They were even asked for MSN adds. There of course is aother issue of safety here, of potential paedophilia.

 

The protection of children on the web has been a big issue for some time. Now parents and others alike will be shocked to discover such happenings on a teen – orientated social site.

 

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