Such efforts generally start with automated screening for inappropriate language and exchanges of personal information, and extend to using the records of convicted pedophiles' online chats to teach the software what to seek out.
But instead of looking just at one set of messages it will examine whether a user has asked for contact information from dozens of people or tried to develop multiple deeper and potentially sexual relationship, a process known as grooming.
Companies can set the software to take many defensive steps automatically, including temporarily silencing those who are breaking rules or banning them permanently.
'There are companies out there that are more concerned about profitability.'Also in June, a teen-oriented virtual world called Habbo Hotel, which boasts hundreds of millions of registered users, temporarily blocked all chatting after UK television reported that two sex predators had found victims on the site and that a journalist posing as an 11-year-old girl was bombarded with explicit remarks and requests that she disrobe on webcam.
Former employees said site owner Sulake of Finland laid off many in-house workers earlier this year, leaving it unable to moderate 70 million lines of daily chat adequately.
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