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Infoseek told to clean up act by major shareholder

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Infoseek has come under pressure from its major shareholder, Disney, to keep its portal clean and drop sex adverts in an attempt to boost its credentials as a family-oriented site. The move was announced within weeks of the anticipated beta launch of the Go Network, a joint venture between the two companies. The company has also said it will supply a number of tools that will enable users of the Go site to filter out adult material, in effect, creating a closed environment on the Web. "In theory, it's a nice idea, but in practical terms, I think they'll find it very hard to succeed," said Tim McCann, editor of the Net magazine What's Online. "And I would have thought they'd miss the revenue from all that adult entertainment advertising," he said. Perversely, while that may be true in the short term it could even work in Infoseek's favour in the future if it attracts more advertisers and users who wish to take advantage of a porn-free environment. This approach also ties in with research from the META group -- an IT research and advisory service -- which suggests that those "lesser" portals (Infoseek is now among that crowd it seems) will only survive if they create services and environments for targeted audiences. META also goes on to say that the fight for portal domination is now between AOL, Microsoft and Yahoo!.®

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