Updated 06 October 2003, 09.34
Giant computer company Microsoft are closing all their unsupervised chatrooms in loads of countries.
Will this put you off unsupervised chatrooms? Do you use moderated chatrooms?
Do you think it will make any difference at all? Or will you just stick to instant messaging?
I think that chat rooms that are unmonitored should be banned, because it is unsafe. But I think that if Microsoft wants to be responsible, it should have it's chat rooms monitored. This way, people can communicate and be safe.
Amisha, 12, Mumbai
People will still be able to chat to friends, services such as Instant Messenger will continue, it is only MSN's public access chat that will be stopped.
By using Instant Messenger you can be in your 'Chat Room' whenevr you are online, and you can still chat to anyone online.
Alex, 15, Hastings
MSN has to stay. I've been using it for ages, and it's the best way to chat with my mates. If it goes, lots of people will not be able to chat to long distant family and friends. MSN is made for chatting to your friends, and if you don't know someone, well delete them, then there's no harm done. MSN HAS TO STAY.
Dani, 16 London
I think it's a terrible idea to get rid of the chat rooms! Most people who use the chat rooms know what they are doing, and know not to give out personal information!! People who do give out info, shouldn't have access to the internet!! MSN should stay!!
Hannah, 14, Beverley
I think it's a bad idea to close the chat rooms. I have a lot of friends online and we have a laugh talking on MSN messenger, but we all know we're never going to meet in the flesh!! Chat rooms are great; you can meet people of the same interests and have conversations with people who have the same views as you!!!
Gina, 13, Rotherham
I would really hate it if chat rooms go because that is the only way I can talk to my friends in Warrington, England.
William, 13, Avondale, PA, USA
I used to love chat rooms, and had some REALLY good debates on them and then I just kind of hung out on msn messenger for a while and when I went back to the chat rooms it was just a bunch of idiots swearing at each other. I'd rather go onto MSN and randomly chat with a stranger from going to find a contact then go into a chat room. I think sites that have one chat room or something like that should stay but these sites with hundreds to thousands or chat rooms need to go, and that the decision to stop so many people from going into chat rooms is a good idea. It's easier to talk to your buds anyways.
Bet, 14, Niagara Falls, CANADA
I think that chat rooms should stay. Most people do not meet up with people they meet on the internet. It's just a few silly people who do that.
Stephanie, 14, Brighton
Chat rooms are totally cool; some people may disagree but we are all entitled to are own say! My mum doesn't like me to go on chat rooms but I do sneak on her computer some times!!!! I would never give away my number on the net though!! I think its ok as long as you don't give away personal information!!!
Lily, 11, Birmingham
I have used msn chat for ages and I think it's stupid to shut down. Why don't they shut chat rooms like yahoo or even less popular ones? I have had good times on chat rooms and I have never given out personal details. To register to chat rooms you have to be 13 or over and 7 year olds have been lying about there age. All chat rooms should say enter at own risk and not have Msn watched by people to make it safe. I'm not very happy and have even signed and will complain until they stop. It's a huge mistake. And why are some countries not getting it off?
Peter, 14, Carlisle
Closing down chat rooms will mean all the people who pretend they are someone else will congregate in the remaining chat rooms, increasing the odds of you running into one of them online.
Hanna, 14, Manchester
I think that chat rooms r safe and a fun way to communicate with new and different people as long as the people on the chat room know the rules.
Rachel, 15, Essex
If the safer chat rooms such as MSN close down, then kids will go on the less protected ones, where they are more likely to be in danger.
Alexa, 13, Lancaster
I don't think closing the chat rooms is a good idea as I would go on them to contact my friends outside of school! And people that usually go on them all the time are going to give out their personal info to people they have met on the chat! I mean what's the point???
Shelly, 12, Belfast
I have never ever used chat rooms but I am a member plus on msn zone. These are very strict moderators and keep the room in good order. Personally these sorts of things are absolutely fantastic. But things like gaming websites should be kept up and running where as all chat rooms should be canned and shut down. They are very dangerous and should be shut down immediately.
Will, 15, Coventry
My mother never let's me go on any chat room, forums nor message boards. Closing chat rooms helps children, especially girls to stay safe in their communities and homes. Those that want chat rooms to stay don't understand the dangers of chat rooms.
Josie, 14, London
I loved chatting on MSN chat rooms, and was shocked and disappointed when I heard they were going. As long as Messenger stays, then I don't mind. I talk to all my online friends on Messenger. I love it!
Mark, 15, York
Just take a step back and think. There has been a fair amount of cases with children my age and under meeting up with people they don't know. That is irresponsible. If we close Msn down, however, there will be lots of last minutes dash meeting being arranged for fear in the teenage mind that their '13 year old friend' will be lost from contact forever. This will cause lots of people to meet up without taking time to think over what we are getting ourselves into. Msn is safe and it is the only cheap way I can keep in contact with my cousin who lives in Canada. There is no easy alternative to beating bad people back, but what we must not do is let them win. If we are all so bothered with them, then do yourself a favour and DON'T MEET THEM!
Hanna, 13, Birkenhead
I think that msn messenger should not be shut down because you can only speak to people you want to speak to and who have your email address. I think it's good that they are shutting down chat rooms as they're dangerous.
Ruth, 13, Birmingham
Chat rooms can be okay if you are familiar with the chat site but otherwise you have to be careful because you never know who is on the other end.
Amy, 15, Hertforshire
I think that MSN messenger shouldn't close down because you can choose who to speak to because you can only talk to people that have your address. I think maybe the unsupervised chat room like the normal chat rooms should be banned coz they are more dangerous. I sometimes have doubts about people that I get introduced to over MSN via friends, but at the end of the day, if your friends know them, they can't be that dangerous, can they?
Beeta, 13, Surrey
I think that chat rooms shouldn't be banned because they are good; you get to know lots of people around the world.
Chloe, 12, Barnstaple
I think Microsoft is being a bit too over protective, as they can't control what other people are doing. If they stop MSN altogether I will be most disappointed! I found some of the best friends using MSN, and I'm so happy to know them.
Charlie, 14, London
People have the right to use the chat rooms, and it is wrong to close them down. If parents feel unsafe with there children on them, then they show have the related sites and rooms blocked, from there ISP. Places like MSN are good for world wide communication, without it relations with people around the world will suffer.
Steven, 15, Dewsbury
I don't know why they are shutting down the MSN. I think is a really bad idea, I mean what shall we do? I am just going to say MSN messenger is good! Don't mess it up!
I don't understand why they shut down all of the rooms. Why can't such a large company like Microsoft appoint moderators on all continents?
Stijn, 14, Dordrecht, Netherlands
I never go on any chat rooms except the Newsround ones. I am just too scared to do so. I think it is a good thing that Microsoft is closing them down or getting them supervised.
Georgina, 13, Oxted
I think that msn shouldn't shut down MSN chat only because a few people haven't got any common sense. Why should those people spoil it for the rest of us?
Adam, 15, Swanwick
I think it's a cool idea. It does make millions of children a lot safer. I do chat a lot in these rooms, but I'm not really bothered. I would just recommend people to get onto MSN Messenger. WELL DONE!!!
Jason, 16, Grimsby
I believe true un-moderated chat rooms should be kicked out the window because they are dangerous as knives and weapons; moderated chat rooms are ok because you can only talk to whom you want. If they do shut down ALL chat rooms they might as well shut down the internet. Msn should stay as long as people don't give out there personal detail. There's more rubbish on the internet than the chat rooms. Most of my friends use them.
Rory, 14, Crewe
That's a good idea, to close those chat rooms. People abuse those so much, I hate them. They're horrible. Those that talk to their friends through chat rooms can switch the instant messenger, or yahoo messenger. Chat rooms are dangerous.
Kayla, 12, USA
I think it is a silly idea. If you decide to shut chat rooms down then people are going to give out there personal details to keep in touch. I have many mates online who I am talking to now. I only talk to the people who sound ok. If you are going to meet someone, then let your parents know. I let my parents know before and now we get to see each other once every couple of months. Make sure your parents are ok bout you going into chat rooms before you go on! Remember.... IT'S YOUR SAFETY AT RISK!
Emma, 13, Wolverhampton
I think that it is so unfair that chat rooms are being shut down. I can only talk to some people on chat rooms and I will never get to hear from them again. I have always agreed with Microsoft on the choices but not this time. This time they have chosen the wrong option.
Toby, 13, Bournemouth
I think that the reason chat rooms are being used is because people don't know how to use the internet or to find decent site; I go on Msn messenger and talk to my friends whilst surfing the net; I think that if people knew that there was more to the internet than chat rooms then less of them would be used.
Heather, 13, Manchester
I only use MSN messenger, which allows you to talk directly with people you know, so I know who I am talking to. That way, I can talk to friends and still feel safe.
Tom, 15, london
I am glad that MSN messenger is going because all the people I know spend too much time on it, and I think that it is better actually talking to someone in real life than talking to them on chat rooms.
Matthew, 13, Dewsbury
It is so unfair. Chat rooms are the only way for me to contact my friends outside school. I am not aloud to go out to meet them because I live in a rough area.
Juliette, 12, Cardiff
I don't think shutting down the chat rooms will help at all because there are loads of other chat rooms on the internet so it'll just make more people and children go to those other ones and probably make the problem even worse. I don't think children are being told enough about internet safety either. If parents watch over their children's backs all the time they will feel like they aren't trusted, so they will keep any of their "special" friends a secret, which isn't good in case they turn out to be somebody they aren't.
Becky, 13, Southampton
Why don't they just put moderators in them?
Oliver, 11, Leytonstone
I used to go on chat rooms and they were really good fun and I never gave out any information apart from my age, and what king of music I was into and stuff like that; I thought what I was doing was perfectly safe; I've never had any problems apart from my mum nagging me and saying she doesn't like the idea of me going on them. I don't go on them much now because I have other things to do, but they can be perfectly safe if you don't do anything stupid and give away too much info about yourself and NEVER EVER agree to meet. That's when you start getting in to hot water.
Kate, 14, Leeds
I really want MSN to stay. There's nothing wrong with it. YOU decide who can talk to you and who can't. If it still doesn't work out you can block them. I used to live in the Caribbean, so if they shut down MSN, I won't be able to actually talk or see my friends via web cam or micro on a regular basis which is very important to me! If they do they're shutting down my world so please don't!!!!
Alissa, 13, Hilversum, Holland
I believe that shutting down all chat rooms is the wrong action. I myself run chat rooms and know that there are other methods that can be taken to help people. There is no trouble in simply talking and all information passed is monitored anyway. I think that Microsoft should think of other less extreme methods before destroying chat rooms. I do not use the MSN chat rooms because by using messenger you can chat with people you have added off chat rooms, yet this service stays.
James, 15, Hemingbrough, Selby
I have to be totally honest here I have tried using other chat rooms like on yahoo and Lycos and I've found that MSN ones are the cleanest chat rooms and the friendliest that I have found and I think it is very unfair that people in the UK are always the ones that have to suffer. I don't think I will be using chat rooms again if I can't go on MSN ones.
Donna, 17, Ware
This is insane! The media has over-hyped this issue beyond belief. To put things in perspective: The world would be a safer place without lighters, kitchen knives, kettles (boiling water hurts you know!) ... are we going to start getting paranoid over those things too? "Oh my goodness! You have a kettle!?! That is SO dangerous!" ...need I say more? As with many things in life, chat rooms have legitimate uses, just because some people misuse them doesn't mean they should be shut down.
Rob, 16, Berkshire
I don't think shutting chat rooms is good at all, it's not fair that we should all suffer just because some people are silly enough to go and meet people, there's no point, so please stop coz it isn't fare on the rest of us!!!
Carly, 14, Birmingham
I'm totally against this idea of closing the msn chat rooms because I have friends who come online from my holidays and I'll never be able to speak to them again. I go on chat rooms all the time and I don't find anything wrong with them as long as you don't give any of your personal details away!
Lauren 13, Billingham
I think it's annoying that they are being closed but then in a way you know it's going to be effective and this is happening for a reason... hopefully people will be safer, but all chat rooms need to do it for it to be effective!!!
Gloria, 13, Harlow
Keep Chat rooms Up! We depend on them!
Josh, 13, middlesbrough
Chat rooms should not be banned. People are only thinking of the negative points. What about all the positive things that chat rooms are responsible for? Meeting new people, people of the same interest, even people to help with your homework. For less confident people it is definitely worthwhile as they can show their true personality rather than being so shy all the time. You can even talk to people on the other side of the world and learn a lot from them and just generally have fun. If people get into trouble using chat rooms, it's their own fault as everyone definitely knows the consequences. I know some friends who have met up with people from chat rooms and now they are really good mates.
Amy, 15, Cheltenham
Chat rooms are dangerous and I'm sooo happy they are closing down. It's good that people can still go on monitored ones.
Julia, 12, Glasgow
I never use chat rooms because I can never understand what everyone is saying coz so many people are talking at the same time! I just use Msn instant messaging so I can talk only to my friends and their friends...people that I know.
Kezzie, 13, Salisbury
I don't get why they have to shut chat rooms for, that's soooo unfair just coz other kids are being silly; it doesn't mean that the whole world will do it. I am sensible coz I only chat to my mates and that's it. I mean if your sensible, then nothing will happen, but if you not, then obviously something will happen.
Sharon 13, London
I am glad that MSN messenger is still on! However I am glad that those chat rooms are closed down. In the teens sections you can get really dirty people who have indecent pics on their profile. When I saw them I told my mum, because I was so shocked; I also complained about it to the hosts, because there was no warning about it!
Alexandra, 15, Surrey
I believe that moderated chat rooms should stay available on the internet but the unsafe rooms should go. Even if they go, MSN Messenger will still be available which is quite safe.
Chris, 15, Newport
I think Microsoft should maybe keep 1 or 2 chat rooms open as long as they're watched. Closing down Msn chat doesn't mean people will stop using chat rooms, there are plenty more. I myself can name about 5 with just as easy access, maybe even easier. All chat rooms will never close down and this problem will always be with us.
Vicky, 15, Whitton
They can't do that! They can't shut down MSN! It's my life! How will I cope?! And why are they doing it anyway, it's not like you don't have control over who you add to your contacts!
Kate, 12, Aylesbury
I think chat rooms are great, as long as you're sensible. You just have to remember that there are people out there who will abuse the system, and as long as you have that in your head and watch what you say in a chat room, you should be fine.
Sarah, 15, Southampton
They shouldn't close Msn at all. You have control over the different people you speak to. I know they are just trying to protect children, but children should know it's dangerous to meet up unless you actually know the person from school or a club or some sort.
Anna, 13, Glasgow
I think that chat rooms should be banned. I started to go in to chat rooms but I stopped once I heard all about the two girls that got into trouble. I think that we all know the consequences.
Aliya, 15, London
I think it's great that unsupervised chat rooms are closing down. I think chat rooms are very unsafe. Isn't it better to chat to someone you know?
Rebecca, 14, Surrey
In Holland there are lots of unsafe chat rooms. These are not moderated and feel that they should be shut down because of safety! Even if you don't give your email you get hacked, or something like that.
Lars, 12, Rotterdam
Please don't close chat rooms it's like a life for me and many people in our room. We meet daily and it's just like a family. Please don't close chat rooms don't drift apart friends from each other.
I don't use chatrooms at all, I just use msn messenger where I have control over who I speak to.
Jason, 14, Birmingham
I think that chat rooms should be moderated, besides, MSN are only closing the FREE Chat Rooms, I think they must be doing this for financial reasons!!
Dean, 12, Chippenham
I think MSN chat rooms should ALL stay open - but have security in place for example when you register your computer operating system, it should be done through the post like a driving application is, with passport photo etc. When the application is received at Microsoft and after processing they should send you out some kind of card with an ID and password on to gain access to a chatroom.
Andrew, 17, Kendal
I never go on chatrooms because they mess up my computer, but I think message boards and instant messengers are safer. I can understand why chatrooms are gonna be banned, seeing as there are lots of paedophiles surfing the 'net.
Amy, 12, Woking
Yes, I will still use chat rooms coz I have made two friends on chat rooms so I will continue using them; I will be well upset if it closes down.
Sarah, 14, Bromley
Of course I go into chat rooms. As long as you don't give out things like phone number and address you are ok. I'm glad that MSN Messenger is staying.
Stephen, 17, Ormskirk
I will still use the chatrooms; as long as I don't give my information out to anyone! Really, people should be told more about them!
Cheryl, 14, Essex
I didn't go on chat rooms in the first place coz they are not safe, and I think it is a good idea closing them down!
Caitlin, 12, Hemel Hempstead
I think it is right to close chat rooms especially if children lie to their parents saying they don't go to chat rooms.
Faith, 11, London
I think it's silly to close moderated chat rooms, I'll still use other chatrooms but it makes more people use unmoderated chat
Lottie, 13, Aberystwyth
Definitely. I only use chatrooms with moderators, and they're just as much fun, and I feel much safer.
Dom, 12, Exeter
The only way to stop internet chatroom and site abuse is to close down the entire internet.
If MSN closes down the majority of its chatrooms, it would be much safer for all concerned. "Whispers" on the service should be disallowed as even if the chat is regulated, bad goings on can still continue in the private conversations between two people. The member made chats should also be got rid of because some of these webchats are unsuitable for the youngest, and oldest, of users.
Ali, 16, Cannock
I think chatrooms are dangerous and they should be banned.
Tom, 10, Woodley
I used to go to chatrooms, but not anymore.
Arna, 14, Taiwan
Yes my mum lets me go on chat rooms if it is supervised.
Graeme, 14, Glasgow
I want MSN to stay.
Sarah, 12, Bromsgrove
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