September 21, 2021

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Club Penguin Shuts Down After Disney Claim, U.K. Child-Porn Arrest – Variety

2 min read

An unauthorized version of Disney’s Club Penguin game for kids went offline Friday. The shutdown of Club Penguin Online came after Disney filed a copyright-takedown notice against the site this week — and after a U.K. man connected with the site was reportedly arrested on child-pornography charges.

The unlicensed fan-run Club Penguin Online website, which had amassed over 8 million users, went dark after Disney filed a DMCA claim against the site. According to a BBC News report, messages on Club Penguin Online included a steady stream of racist, homophobic, anti-Semitic and sexual messages.

In addition, according to the BBC report, police arrested a London man involved in Club Penguin Online on suspicion of possessing “child abuse images.”

In a statement to the BBC, Disney said, “Child safety is a top priority for the Walt Disney Company and we are appalled by the allegations of criminal activity and abhorrent behavior on this unauthorized website that is illegally using the Club Penguin brand and characters for its own purposes.”

Disney added, “We continue to enforce our rights against this, and other, unauthorized uses of the Club Penguin game.”

Disney shut down the official Club Penguin game in 2018, after trying to reboot it as a mobile game. The media conglomerate originally acquired Club Penguin in 2007 in a deal reportedly worth up to $700 million.

A BBC News investigation found that the unauthorized Club Penguin Online game had disabled content filters that removed offensive language and that the game’s moderators were no longer removing racist content (such as the n-word).

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