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NYC nixes kiosk browsers after homeless commandeer their use

The tragedy of the commons arrives in the 21st century.
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Spencer Platt/Getty Images

NYC debuted its gigabit LinkNYC program in January of this year to great fanfare. These kiosks, 400 in total dot the city, offered free wi-fi for passing residents as well as dedicated tablets that anyone could use. Unfortunately, it hasn't worked out quite as planned. On Wednesday, the LinkNYC program announced that it would be temporarily borking its tablets until officials can figure out how to ensure that they aren't bogarted by the city's homeless residents.

Turns out homeless residents were hijacking the kiosks and using the tablets as their personal computers/porn hubs -- reportedly preventing others from using them and causing a nuisance for nearby businesses. In response, LinkNYC announced that it will remove the web browser and is considering implementing time limits. Other features like free phone calls, maps, device charging, 911, and the gigabit wi-fi will remain active.

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