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ICQ plagued by old Net pains

AOL's instant messaging service has been thrust under the spotlight of old Net issues, from its controversial "dirty word" filtering system to that monster of all virtual headaches: spam.

Now that it's been bought by America Online, ICQ has been thrust under the spotlight of old Net issues, first for its controversial "dirty word" filtering system, and now for that monster of all virtual headaches: spam.

Spam is ICQ's latest headache
audio Users of America Online's popular instant messaging software are discovering that the service is also a way for marketers to "seek" them.

ICQ pulls controversial filtering option
The chat service dramatically alters its "objectionable" word filtering option, pulling down its link to a controversial list that blocks phrases that many contend are not pornographic or even offensive.

ICQ filter ensnared in free speech debate
ICQ users who choose to screen out "objectionable" messages may be unwittingly omitting incoming words that many wouldn't associate with the Net's red-light districts.