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Updated: Excite pulls porn off kiddie-friendly search engine

Claims the appearance of hardcore ads on filtered searches was only an oversight

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Leading portal Excite has plugged the loophole that allowed explicit pornographic ads to be published on one of its child-friendly filtered search engines. Yesterday, Excite bowed to pressure from family-values pressure groups to stop the porn appearing on its Magellan Web site despite its "Green Light" filtering software being activated. Soon after it was reported by The Register, the problem was covered by news services across the world - even appearing on the front page of the New York Post - increasing the pressure on Excite to put things right. Parry Aftab, cyberspace lawyer and executive director of Cyberangels, has welcomed Excite's decision to plug the loophole that allowed explicit pornographic ads to be published on one of its child-friendly filtered search engines. Aftab said: "Cyberangels is thrilled that Excite acted quickly to remove the offending advertisements." "Had they responded with a statement to that effect when first contacted by The Register we would not have bothered contacting the FTC (Federal Trade Commission," she said. Due to Excite's swift action it appears increasingly unlikely that the FTC will take any further action. In a statement issued to The Register, Excite spokeswoman Melissa Walia said: "Running adult banners on "Green Light Site" search responses was an oversight that was sanitised immediately," "This change was made within 24 hours for "Green Light Site" searches on Magellan and no further adult advertising will be seen on "Green Light Site" search results pages," she said. Walia denied earlier claims by Aftab that this was "a consumer fraud issue". ®

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