Operators of LinkNYC are removing web browsing from all kiosk tablets in the city in response to complaints that some users have been viewing pornography and others have monopolized the service.
The web browsing feature is being shut down at all kiosks until some form of restricted access, such as time limits, can be installed, the LinkNYC Team announced Wednesday.
About 400 kiosks have been set up in three boroughs. The kiosks offer fast WiFi, USB outlets for charging devices and the tablet for web browsing.
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However, local news media have reported several instances of residents complaining that homeless individuals have been camping out at the kiosks and monopolizing access to the features. There have also been a couple of reports of men watching porn and masturbating at 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,” read the LinkNYC Team’s new release.
“Starting today, we are removing web browsing on all Link tablets while we work with the City and community to explore potential solutions, like time limits.”
Although the web browsing function will be temporarily suspected, other kiosk features—such as free WiFi, free phone calls, device charging, maps and 911 dialing—will continue to be available.
Nearly 475,000 New Yorkers and visitors have signed up to use the kiosks’ broadband and they have used it more than 21 million times, the team said.