Yahoo! sued over child porn

By Derek Sooman on
The Internet is abuzz with stories concerning the $10 million lawsuit filed on May 9th against Yahoo, which charges that co-defendant Mark Bates and others were allowed to share child pornography on a site provided by the Yahoo Groups service. A site called Candyman allegedly was created by Bates using Yahoo resources to share child porn.

Yahoo! has been sued by an unnamed minor and his parents after his picture was circulated on a Yahoo! Group that was used by a child porn ring. The portal is accused of doing nothing to stop the distribution of the illegal images.

The lawsuit was filed in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas on Monday. According to Reuters, it also targets an individual, Mark Bates, the creator of what was known as the Candyman Group.

The Candyman Group allowed collectors and distributors of child pornography to use on-line resources to retrieve and distribute child pornography and was the target of a one-year undercover FBI investigation, which led to the site being shut down in 2002.


Federal investigators estimate that some 7,000 group members were using the site, and that 2,400 resided outside of the United States. Mary Osako, a spokesperson for Yahoo, said that the company had not been served, and made no further comment. The plaintiffs allege that Yahoo was aware of the activity on the site, and yet took no action to correct this. However, proving that will be very difficult, and the case will hinge on such proof.

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