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Habbo accused of harboring predators, CEO fights back

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Habbo, a popular children's virtual world, is under fire today by UK's Channel 4 News. The station aired a special report suggesting that the social network as a haven for pedophiles and child predators and promising to expose "the extent of sexually explicit material on the social network."

Habbo (formerly Habbo Hotel) is shedding investors with the news; Habbo's parent company Sulake lost its second largest shareholder, Balderton Capital. The former shareholder released a statement saying, "We were given some information a week ago that profoundly shocked us. We had to ask ourselves whether we were comfortable being investors in a business where children were not being adequately protected."

Habbo CEO Paul LaFontaine fought back against the accusations by saying that Habbo is "one of the safest online communities" and has a large team of moderators that tracks the millions of messages sent between the network's users

"To keep users safe, we filter content and block inappropriate users," LaFontaine said. "We work with child safety organisations and local police forces to address inappropriate behaviour. Habbo's leading safety systems were recognised as making the service one of the safest social networks in a 2011 European Commission report."

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