For a brief moment, the sleaze and smut of old school sleaze and smut returned to the streets of Manhattan, albeit in a decidedly 21st century form. Since launching earlier this year to much fanfare by New York mayo Bill de Blasio, the hundreds of Internet kiosks designed to replace the city’s pay phones have been a source of much handwringing among city officials, particularly along 8th Avenue in Manhattan.
According to various accounts, the web browsing tablets built directly into the kiosks have led to all sorts of illicit fun, including loitering, public drinking and drug use and, naturally, so, so much porn (and all sorts of porn-adjacent activities).
The devices have also, unsurprisingly, proven a popular with the New York homeless community, who have been “monopolizing the Link tablets,” according to a statement issued by the LinkNYC team.
Today the organization announced that it’s taking the step of removing the tablet functionality from the kiosks. “The kiosks were never intended for anyone’s extended, personal use and we want to ensure that Links are accessible and a welcome addition to New York City neighborhoods,” the statement continues.
LinkNYC is looking at implementing safe guards against the issues that had locals, police and government officials up in arms, including potential time limits for use. Meantime, the browsing functionality will remain disabled, though the kiosks’ WiFi functional should remain unaffected.
via The Verge