Topix fee to review flagged posts draws fire from 21 states

Topix fee to review flagged posts draws fire from 21 states
Topix fee to review flagged posts draws fire from 21 states

A $19.99 fee to expedite the review of inappropriate posts on Internet message board host Topix.com has drawn fire from nearly two dozen attorneys general over concerns the site is essentially charging people to remove negative posts.

But Topix's CEO Chris Tolles told Consumer Ally removing the fee actually takes a choice away from consumers -- to pay to get priority service. The company, which hasn't been accused of breaking any laws, has been working with the states since February and will continue to "work in good faith" on the states' concerns, he says.

The states' letter alleges that an initial investigation by Connecticut and Kentucky found the "Forums and Polls" section has inappropriate comments and the forums appear to be un-moderated. The letter asked Topix to drop the fee, make its feedback and flagging options clearer, reduce the time for reviewing posts and improve post screening.