You can't watch porn on the street.
That's what New York City is telling its citizens who use LinkNYC, the free wifi kiosks that the city installed in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Queens last February.
Designed to replace 7,500 anachronistic pay phones, the 400 kiosks let people check maps, the weather, recharge portable devices, and stand around for hours streaming pornography, sometimes while enjoying a beer or other substances.
To combat misuse, the kiosk operator, LinkNYC network, is suspending internet browsing at all stations (the wifi will still be available for personal devices, and users can still make phone calls). The city and LinkNYC network are working out a plan that hopefully will provide free internet to the public but restrict access to the more lurid corners of the internet.
“These kiosks are often monopolized by individuals creating personal spaces for themselves, engaging in activities that include playing loud explicit music, consuming drugs and alcohol, and the viewing of pornography,” said City Council member Corey Johnson in a letter last month to city and LinkNYC officials.
“I don’t think anybody should be able to sit there and watch movies all day long,” borough president Gale Brewer said. “People are pulling up sofas or chairs or what have you.”
A spokesperson for LinkNYC called the kiosk design "iterative" and noted that the speakers, which some users blast music on, are now turned down at night. The company's experimented with adding filters to block objectionable content, the New York Times reported.
This is why we can't have nice things.