Author Topic: Age Policy  (Read 2843 times)

Offline BlackBox

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Age Policy
« on: September 05, 2006, 05:36:44 PM »
The GMs and admins have been made aware of some recent inquiries regarding ages of certain users on the forums IRC after certain people who are believed to be under 13 created various disturbances (hammering the IRC server with connections, posting off topic / spam posts in the wrong area of the forum repeatedly, etc).

After much discussion, we have decided on a new policy for users under age 13 to be sure said disturbances don't happen again.

Effective starting now, anyone who is under the age of 13 may not register for the forums or use IRC, unless the person registering obtains parental permission (giving us proof of consent).

Anyone who ignores this rule and registers an account anyway (being under 13 without parental consent) will have their account terminated without notice. Likewise, violators will be /killed or Glined from the irc network.

This does not affect anyone who is 13 or older.

We also decided on this policy for the reason that some of the things that get discussed on the forums / IRC aren't safe for young audiences (and we are against censoring or other means to 'sanitize' chat or messages, not only because it would limit free speech but is impossible to enforce at this time, and doesn't work anyway).
There have also been legal concerns regarding users under 13 (as the US, where the servers are located, have certain laws such as COPPA -- although we don't fall under COPPA itself, we may be subject to certain other local laws as well).

At any rate, we hope this will improve the community for all members.

If you have any questions or comments feel free to contact any of the GMs or admins.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2006, 05:37:41 PM by op2hacker »

Offline Hooman

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« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2006, 06:28:41 PM »
You do realize this is completely unenforcable.
 

Offline BlackBox

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« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2006, 06:41:36 PM »
Quote
You do realize this is completely unenforcable.
Well, when we have people who will actually admit they are under age, it is. (As we have seen).

Also, some are very easy to pick out (many are very immature).

Of course there are plenty of people who will get past this but there's not a lot we can do about this. Other online communities have no doubt run into this problem.

About the only way to make it truly 100% enforceable would be to start requiring credit card numbers or something (which is just unreasonable, since we don't need or want those).

Offline Stormy

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« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2006, 09:12:04 PM »
the thing about credit card numbers... is that us people my age dont' have them... lol
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Offline Betaray

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« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2006, 09:25:58 PM »
well you have shown an amount of maturity that we expect, anyone that lies when they register, unless they are mature for their age, we will notise
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Offline Leviathan

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« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2006, 05:03:58 AM »
Anyone is allowed to read the forums - we cant stop that but we would rather under 13's are not members of the forums or are on irc.

Offline wizisi2k

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« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2006, 11:02:06 AM »
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the thing about credit card numbers... is that us people my age dont' have them... lol
ya many ppl that most likley are members don't have credit cards and if this site did require them ppl would proably not sign up, thus turning off potiential members and imply a monthly fee or manditory donation

Offline BlackBox

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« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2006, 02:36:51 PM »
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well you have shown an amount of maturity that we expect, anyone that lies when they register, unless they are mature for their age, we will notise
Exactly. And just someone being under 13 in and of itself is not what we are truly worried about. It's the lack of maturity that can come along with it (as we have seen from some people- I won't name them but a lot of you know who I'm referring to).

Yes, of course there are some possible legal issues regarding children online as well (in some jurisdictions), so this is also one way to try and protect ourselves from those.

The main concern is the spam/immature garbage and complaints from quite a few people. This is our way of trying to curb it and it affects no one who really wants to be a part of this community.

As for the credit cards, I know it's not reasonable (I said it in jest). If someone wanted you could start asking for blood hair and urine samples to be completely sure, but this is a free online website, and there's really no need to start going to extremes to prevent children from registering. (not to mention all that is just ridiculous).

Obviously people are going to lie about their age (I did when I was under 13). It's not that big of a problem until they start disturbing or upsetting the community.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2006, 02:39:23 PM by op2hacker »

Offline dm-horus

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« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2006, 02:40:03 PM »
What very few ppl seem to understand is that age rules are totally unenforcable but thats not the point. The point is that is some kid gets on our forums or irc and then their parents try to sue us, we will have legal recourse because if the kid lied about his age and saw something inappropriate, it isnt out fault.

The point is to legally protect ourselves. Anyone can lie and do anything on the internet, but if they lied and then tried to sue us, they would have no legal basis for their claim. Everyone should understand that the rules, no matter who is saying them or how we try to enforce them, are totally VOLUNTARY. The point is to have them displayed in such a manner that we can use the existence of the rules as a means to legal protection. Fair use and other clauses recognise that theres nothing anyone on the internet can do to totally prevent abuse, but having posted rules and an obvious age notice will protect us from legal attack.
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Offline Freeza-CII

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« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2006, 12:33:02 AM »
It might be because of 1 the s*** we talk about in the chans 2 the fact they will read this stuff and then it will some how get back to the parents and 3 the parents call laywers and try to rape us in the ass because we are corrupting there children.

Offline gpgarrettboast

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« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2006, 11:02:07 AM »
I had a Paypal Debit/Credit card when I was 13... Then again, I also was running a web development company back then so I guess it's different.  I have also met very immature 13+ year olds, that act like they're five.  It should be a matter if they are screwing up the community, no matter what age. That is cause for being banned.  I'm sure people that are some people that are 13- who would enjoy this game too. It is a matter of maturity, and age does not measure maturity.

Offline Vexhare

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« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2006, 02:54:58 PM »
theoretically.. its unenforcible. all you have to do is wait for the idiots to awaken.

Offline Eddy-B

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« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2006, 01:35:55 PM »
They say maturity comes with age.
Problem is, it's not the same age for each individual: some are "mature" at 15, some at 18, some aren't even mature at 25...  but i will not extend maturity below the age of 15 and then it's still discussable when you're over 15... some people are just too damn childish to be called "mature"
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Offline dm-horus

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« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2006, 02:03:53 PM »
Its just a blanket term/rule for any unruly users or undesireables who exhibit immature language or behavior. It doesnt mean "We are now evaluating everyones level of maturity and if you dont meet the standard, you are out." Its directed toward new users who are unfamiliar with OPU and think they can get away with certain behavior that nobody wants in the community. Since many people demand to see what rule theyve broken that warrants a warning or outright ban, the age policy was created to give us just and plausible cause to enforce as we see fit on a case-by-case basis.

I think OPU needs a few more blanket rules that we can direct the undesireables toward, especially in regard to racism/sexism (the latter shouldnt be an issue :P) and especially religion. Its fine to discuss religion but its another matter entirely to turn a channel into a sermon and challenge warnings because theyre "not breaking any rules" or "its free speech" (religion is just an example of one of the topics we need blanket rules to cover). OPU is not a democracy and as such, it needs the resources to deal with idiots who like to challenge the authority of admins.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2006, 02:06:44 PM by dm-horus »
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Offline Kalshion

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« Reply #14 on: October 08, 2006, 07:58:18 PM »
Quote
theoretically.. its unenforcible. all you have to do is wait for the idiots to awaken.
That may be true... it really is unenforcable

However, the admins here need to protect themselves. There is a reason why the United States put that rule in the law. That parental permission is required, the reason is because the majority of most children in this world aren't mature enough to even DESERVE to be on the net. (I said 'most')

That being said. If the admins don't do this, then a parent can actually SUE them for allowing there child on this board when the admins knew flat out the child didn't get permission, then that parent can just say that the admins lured him there.

And yes, the court's will listen to the parent. That's why the admins are doing this, they MUST protect themselves.

In other words - if anyone who is reading this post and is NOT 13.. you damn well better talk to your parents ... because I DOUBT you would want this community to suddenly disappear all because you lacked maturity to be honest about your age.

Hmmmma month late to reply.. ah well :P

Offline Tellaris

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« Reply #15 on: October 08, 2006, 08:15:45 PM »
Simply by having this rule and showing we are actively enforceing it (and we have) is enough to evade any criminal liability.   While it may not be enough to keep us out of court completely, it is enough to kill most cases some sue happy idiots might think of.
Additionally, it is already a kind of blanket rule that if the admins decide a topic is getting too "Heated" or inappropriate they can step in and put an end to it.   This is especially easily enforced in #Outpost2 where the topic is supposed to be OP2 related (Though often isn't, but its usually harmless enough that nobody cares) Often this can be done by simply stating something so incredibly obvious that most people can't let it go.   Just so long as its not something else thats going to heat up just as quickly.
If this doesn't work, theres always the admin warning to calm down and switch topic.
If THAT doesn't work (and in most cases, it SHOULD), then theres always a temporary KB (5 mins is good enough to end the problem)
Also remember that racial slurs are banable offences on Quakenet, as should they be on the OPU server.   If people are going to be racist or sexist, after the first warning, its kicking time for me.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2006, 08:18:35 PM by Baikon »
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Offline BlackBox

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« Reply #16 on: October 09, 2006, 02:31:51 PM »
Well, the possible legal issues aren't the only reason. It's just that in many, many cases children who are under 13 lack the maturity to handle themselves appropriately on the internet. I know most people are not going to want to put up with someone who acts immature and childish, and for that they could simply up-and-leave if the situation does not improve.

Yes, I know there are exceptions. I myself have seen children who act a lot like adults (and the reverse is also true: there are quite a few adults who act like children). But by-and-large, kids who are under 13 or so tend to act immature when compared with people over 13.

--

And yes, if anyone does anything racist or sexist, they do need a kick. This is plainly against the rules in most people's books (as well as here).
« Last Edit: October 09, 2006, 02:53:52 PM by op2hacker »

Offline newbie(4yp)

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« Reply #17 on: October 09, 2006, 02:44:25 PM »
i haven't seen anybody like that in the last 13 years, 6 months, 9 days,3 hours, and 44 minutes i was alive
I would love to give you a long, painfull, horrifing, and bloody death, it's just it would be to messy or to noisy, and if your still alive i can enslave you under my empire.

Offline Ezekel

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« Reply #18 on: October 14, 2006, 08:16:08 PM »
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the thing about credit card numbers... is that us people my age dont' have them... lol
i'm 21 and i don't have a credit card :P
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Offline Jgamer

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« Reply #19 on: November 02, 2006, 05:25:06 PM »
May I add a random note? I think I was somewhere along 12~14 years old when I joined the community back in the virtualave.net address >_>
But I know i'm the excession

Offline CK9

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« Reply #20 on: November 05, 2006, 03:39:08 AM »
Jgamer, times were a bit different then, though.  I don't remember there bing nearly as many bogus lawsuits back then, and back then nobody was worried,'cause it was such a small community.  We've grown...a lot...since then.  In fact, I thinkI was only 11 when I first joined kev's forums...andifsomeone sued kev. I think almost all of us would have been there to back him up...fang, I keep getting all reminiscent about it now.
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