Kansas, 33 other states reach agreement with

Kansas Attorney General Steve Six joined the attorneys general from 33 other states today in reaching an agreement with Internet message board host to improve consumer protections and eliminate the $19.99 fee to expedite review of abusive or inappropriate posts.

A news release from Six's office said the agreement is the result of an initiative led by Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway, Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning to improve consumer protections on the popular website., of Palo Alto, Calif., describes itself as a "top ten online newspaper destination," which encourages readers to post comments about news items or other matters of community interest.

As part of the settlement, all reports of abuse on Topix will be reviewed free of charge. The company will also seek to review and remove inappropriate posts within three working days rather than its previous policy of seven to 14 days.

Additionally, Topix has removed the "flagging" option for reporting abusive posts. The option was ineffective and confusing for consumers as it required multiple users to "flag" a post before it was reviewed. As a result, many inappropriate posts consumers thought they had reported were never reviewed.