Enforcing COPPA laws

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Enforcing COPPA laws

Post by MarioKnight » Mon Mar 15, 2004 9:04 pm

To ensure everyone sees this, I am copying and pasting my post regarding COPPA laws and how I will enforce these laws here to ensure everyone sees this. The quote below is from a part of a post from the post just before my post, where my post starts below the quote.
Hino_Rei552 wrote:(being only 12)
I'm sorry to have to do this to you, but you should be well aware that under COPPA laws, people under the age of 13 are not allowed to use services on the Internet such as forums. This little piece of documentation was the first thing that was mentioned in registering, where the option to continue registering had text that said something along the lines of "by clicking this link, I agree to the terms noted above and that I am of the age 13 and older." Since you just freely admitted to being 12, which is not 13 or older, I cannot allow you to continue using these forums until you're 13. Since I can't find anything on the forums telling me when your birthday is, I have no choice but to ban you for one full year from this date as one year from today you will be of age to use various Internet services. It's cyrstal clear violation of US law, and that cannot be allowed, and I'm dead serious and will not hesitate to enforce this as I am now.

To everyone else here on the forums, if you have gotten away with not being at least 13 and using these forums, do the right thing and come clean to me telling me when you turn 13 so I can disable your account until that date.

If, however, you are caught lying at some point, I will not hesitate to ban you not only from the forums, but from phobos completely. Situations where you're 12 now, say you're 13 to use the forums, and at some later date you either slip up or say outright proving you were lying back then, will not be tolerated. If you use the forums before you turn 13 and when you turn 13 and brag thinking you got away with it, you've screwed yourself over. ANY shit like that happens, and I will prevent you from ever using anything on phobos. This means not only have you earned no usage of the SMU forums for life, you have earned the inability to access SMU altogether, as well as MKBO, and any other projects I might do in the future.

I'm dead serious about this, don't think I won't. Follow the law and just wait until you turn 13, or break the law and screw yourself over. It's your choice.
Last edited by MarioKnight on Sun Jun 13, 2004 5:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Akarui Kibuno » Tue Mar 16, 2004 6:50 am

Dan, I do agree with this cause law is law but if you say that children under 13 can't use forum, then why does it say :

I Agree to these terms and am over or exactly 13 years of age

I Agree to these terms and am under 13 years of age

I do not agree to these terms

and, well, I clicked on "I'm under 13" and it would let me register, cause I saw the page with choosing a username and such.

So if the law says one thing, why would the forum registering system say another @[email protected] ?

(don't worry, I'm really 20 :P )

I'm not questioning your decisions, just wondering something :)
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Post by MarioKnight » Tue Mar 16, 2004 8:31 am

Because it looks like the phpbb team didn't really code a block it appears, just had the COPPA stuff on there to please the government, though in the admin panel here, you can set a fax number and/or mailing address for parents to send me a COPPA form. I kinda wish the phpbb team at least made a block option to not allow someone clicking the "I agree and am under 13" and have a page explain COPPA and that this site won't allow anyone under 13 to use the forums, but I guess it was either too hard for them or they didn't care enough to code something like that, though I've seen talk of more COPPA detail and code in v2.2, so hopefully they will have this feature or something similiar. I'm not trying to knock the phpbb team, I love them for this great service and all for free, but it seems kinda useless to have a COPPA enforcement right in the beginning of registration that doesn't do anything unless you want parents to fax/mail you a COPPA form, they should've at least added an option to not allow <13 year olds to register. Sure there's no real way to determine if one is lying firsthand, but for people who care such as me who will raise holy hell if they catch someone lying just to get in, it would've been nice to have something along those lines to really be able to come down on a liar like that. Until I get a chance to code that page myself, the <13 link leads back to the forum index page, so people under 13 will see they can't register here.
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Post by Akarui Kibuno » Tue Mar 16, 2004 5:24 pm

Oh okay, I see, thank you for clearing that up :) . So, if I understand well, the law says it obviously that children under 13 can't use forums, but the ones who coded phpbb didn't make it possible to prevent those children from using the service.

Though I think this is not "fair" in some way cause some children under 13 are "watched" by their parents and don't do anything wrong on forums...

... though I admit I wish it was the same in France, especially when you have a bunch of 10 years old that just don't seem to have any common sense ¬_¬;;
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Post by Starscream » Tue Mar 16, 2004 8:55 pm

It's not because of the maturity level of the people who use the forums; under the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998, no webmaster is allowed to willingly collect any personal information - be it a name or e-mail address - from anyone under the age of 13, unless they have the parent's written, legal concent. To make things much simpler, most webmasters - like our friend Dan here - merely deny people under the age of 13 entry into the forums.
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Post by Akarui Kibuno » Thu Mar 18, 2004 7:02 am

Oh, I see it even clearer now.

Well I understand why Dan and others do that: seeing how the Internet works, anyone can easily pretend to have any document... or to have any age.

@[email protected];; so weird... I sometimes think the US are nuts one some points (not the people ;) ) but on this point, I'll clap my hands!
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Post by jupiter23 » Thu Mar 18, 2004 1:54 pm

No, you had it right the first time. We are nuts in this country. ^_^

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Post by whitewolf05 » Mon May 24, 2004 9:05 am

jupiter23 wrote:No, you had it right the first time. We are nuts in this country. ^_^
No argument there.
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Post by Tarkan Atilla22 » Tue May 31, 2005 2:47 am

To be honest, I kind of think that what this COPPA is ruling is a little tight. I can kind of see where they're coming from (young kids might see something they shouldn't, like that), but I think twelve's a LITTLE extreme.

Ten or eleven is a more appropiate age to stop at (as a lot of 12 year olds are found posting and many have at least SOME intellect and fewer ten or eleven year olds post or know jack squat).

I started posting in AoKH when I was what? 12? No one banned me for being too young.

No one in the AoKH forums has been banned for age. Dunno why, but we got some pretty responsible people keeping watch over us. Perhaps they dont listen to COPPA.

(Or perhaps they dont ban by age because we dont show age in our profiles :|)
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Post by jupiter23 » Tue May 31, 2005 10:30 am

Well, as mature as most 10-12 year olds might be, its the majority of them that is the reason why this ruling is in place. Its true that many boards don't enforce the law (I am part of 4 others that don't enforce this law) but at the same time the government can't be patrolling everything on the internet all the time. That is why they expect the citizens to just obey the laws, and there will be no problems. Yet there are people who go and break the laws anyway, but at the same time they can't catch everyone. The COPPA ruling might seem a bit tight, but it's there for a reason.

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Post by MarioKnight » Tue May 31, 2005 8:18 pm

Well, while opinions may differ about COPPA laws, that fact is that they're actual laws that must be followed, and they will be enforced here. I don't care if other boards don't enforce it, that's their choice if they feel the need to break that law. I'd be willing to bet a high percentage of those admins are in the low teen range and are in that rebellious phase where they didn't like to have to wait until 13 and want to help those who aren't yet get around that law. People in that age range think that rules and laws are unfair and generally don't think of why they are in place. Many probably won't understand until some point later in their life when they see how people in the age range mentioned act and such and have more experience in life by then and understand why these things exist. Seeing that you're 13, you're in the range I speak of. You think that your mature and understand everything since you've become a teen, but it's far from the case which you'll come to see in the coming years. Essentially all of us have, including myself. I've been using the internet since I was 9, this was before COPPA laws (which were put into place when I was either 14 or 15), and I was able to keep myself out of trouble and such without a problem, but there's many more that can't, and with the net being a TON more widespread than in my young days, these laws are really needed to keep bad things from happening to kids.

If you were to ask me, I'd say the COPPA laws are too loose. Though one recieves the title of teen at age 13, they are still a kid, and kids generally don't have a good sense of responsibility. What I mean by good sense of responsibility goes well beyond keeping your room clean and toys put away and such. I would like to see the law raised to driving age, 15 - 16 (depending on state). By this time, one would have a better sense of responsibility which would be seen by driving. By this time they'd be out of their kid state of mind and more of a teen state of mind, which is a step down from adult. I've seen alot people in the 13 - 15 range who really shouldn't be doing what they do on the net since they still have yet to mature to such settings. There are always exceptions, no arguement there, but majority rules and the majority can't handle it so we have these laws. People will agree, people will disagree, but the bottom line is that they're passed for a reason and will be enforced because of it.
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Post by Sailorasteroid » Tue May 31, 2005 8:51 pm

I strenuously disagree. In the first place, a law that affects people who can't vote to repeal it is suspect to begin with. Second, in my opinion the rights of one twelve-year-old who is able to handle using the internet outweigh the rights of any number of immature twelve-year-olds to be "saved" from the net. Third, there is no consensus as to what constitutes maturity, I consider a healthy teenage "the world is here for my entertainment" attitude more mature than a that of a world-weary adult who are content to act and think as people want them to. Fourth, even if a teenager's attitude is less conducive to harmony, I believe the internet is the kind of open forum where bluntness and selfishness should reign free.

As to the matter of legality, well, it's up to each individual to decide on the correctness of the law, and also to decide whether it's right to disobey incorrect laws that are not often enforced. There are of course other options like having a forum outside of the US. But as for me, I take solace in forums run and populated by pre-teens and hope they flourish in defiance of the law.
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Post by jupiter23 » Wed Jun 01, 2005 12:40 am

Well, Asteroid-san, I am going to try not to attack anything you said, because you have a point, but I'd also like to make one in response to what you just said. Maturity is often defined as the ability to be able to make the right decision, which is not something a lot of 12 or 13 year olds do. Many are not responsible enough to take care of themselves, and would freak out in the real world if they were suddenly thrust into that position. The way I (and many of us) see it is that the internet is not very different. There are all sorts of dangerous people roaming around on the net waiting for some stupid kid to come along and take what he is offering. That kid then doesn't know what to do in that situation, and ends up having to learn the hard way that they can't just do whatever they want in the world, because it could get them killed. And how many teenagers turn up missing and are found dead every year because of someone they met on the internet? Kids don't often have the mentality to think for themselves, and that's why adults have to speak for them, and it is being done in their best interests. Having these sorts of laws in place is an attempt to protect as many kids as possible.

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Post by Akarui Kibuno » Wed Jun 01, 2005 3:44 am

Well, I'm helping running a forum where there are a BUNCH of under-13-teens.

And trust me, it's a huge pain in the butt. It's gotten to a point where it was so annoying that we had to hire four new mods (also cause some of the older mods seemed to fade away, but still) and just be "meaner" than ever.

I luv' Coppa laws. Thing is, even if I know there are people under 13 who can post properly, it IS true that A LOT of them, if not most, just think the internet is their home and they can do whatever they like. Which makes it totally understandable to have a law preventing kids under 13 to use forums. I wouldn't raise the age though, cause then you'd kill some fanbase ^^;;; ... but there are ways to make them understand, and the moderation here is excellent so there :P .

Asteroid, I just don't get you anyway. That, and it's also up to the police to decide whether they can put you in jail for "deciding whether it's right to disobey incorrect laws that are not often enforced". "Not often" doesn't mean never, because laws exist for a reason.
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Post by RoastedTwinkies » Wed Jun 01, 2005 12:22 pm

I would have to agree. I've heard far too many stories about kids who met friends they've only met on the internet, and that "friend" turned out to be a pedophile. I'm not sure whether or not these laws are in place in Canada, but I will assume that they are. I think that it is important to inforce these laws regardless if they're applicable to your country or not. Like they say, kids will be kids. The internet is a big part of the world today, and they shouldn't use the internet without supervision or at least have one of those software programs that will record everything that you do on the computer.

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Post by jupiter23 » Wed Jun 01, 2005 2:33 pm

I concur with that. Since the authorities can't babysit the internet all the time, the parents should be the ones to be watching what their kids are doing on the net. What's sad about that though is that some parents just don't give a damn what their kids are doing, and then they end up on the news because their kid has gone missing and is found dead a week later. This law is supposed to help with that, since not all parents watch their children.

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Post by Panda » Fri May 26, 2006 11:14 pm

MarioKnight wrote:Well, while opinions may differ about COPPA laws, that fact is that they're actual laws that must be followed, and they will be enforced here. I don't care if other boards don't enforce it, that's their choice if they feel the need to break that law. I'd be willing to bet a high percentage of those admins are in the low teen range and are in that rebellious phase where they didn't like to have to wait until 13 and want to help those who aren't yet get around that law. People in that age range think that rules and laws are unfair and generally don't think of why they are in place. Many probably won't understand until some point later in their life when they see how people in the age range mentioned act and such and have more experience in life by then and understand why these things exist. Seeing that you're 13, you're in the range I speak of. You think that your mature and understand everything since you've become a teen, but it's far from the case which you'll come to see in the coming years. Essentially all of us have, including myself. I've been using the internet since I was 9, this was before COPPA laws (which were put into place when I was either 14 or 15), and I was able to keep myself out of trouble and such without a problem, but there's many more that can't, and with the net being a TON more widespread than in my young days, these laws are really needed to keep bad things from happening to kids.

If you were to ask me, I'd say the COPPA laws are too loose. Though one recieves the title of teen at age 13, they are still a kid, and kids generally don't have a good sense of responsibility. What I mean by good sense of responsibility goes well beyond keeping your room clean and toys put away and such. I would like to see the law raised to driving age, 15 - 16 (depending on state). By this time, one would have a better sense of responsibility which would be seen by driving. By this time they'd be out of their kid state of mind and more of a teen state of mind, which is a step down from adult. I've seen alot people in the 13 - 15 range who really shouldn't be doing what they do on the net since they still have yet to mature to such settings. There are always exceptions, no arguement there, but majority rules and the majority can't handle it so we have these laws. People will agree, people will disagree, but the bottom line is that they're passed for a reason and will be enforced because of it.

I agree (even though I technically shouldn't). But unfortunatly I believe America has a bit of a mixed view on what it is to be a teenager.

Some think it's a young adult and some think it's an older child. Either way you care to handle it, maturity levels vary and there's really no way to determine an absolute age that can be measured for internet-like responsiblity.

I personally think that a sort of test should be in place that accuratly determines maturity level but that's unrealistic and complicated.

I like to seperate myself form the rest of the group for my own best interest because quite frankly until I'm probably 17 or so I'll more than liekly be thought of as such. Kudos to you Dan, for having the balls to say that outloud. :)

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Post by Sylphiel » Sat May 27, 2006 4:36 pm

MarioKnight wrote:If you were to ask me, I'd say the COPPA laws are too loose. Though one recieves the title of teen at age 13, they are still a kid, and kids generally don't have a good sense of responsibility. What I mean by good sense of responsibility goes well beyond keeping your room clean and toys put away and such. I would like to see the law raised to driving age, 15 - 16 (depending on state). By this time, one would have a better sense of responsibility which would be seen by driving. By this time they'd be out of their kid state of mind and more of a teen state of mind, which is a step down from adult. I've seen alot people in the 13 - 15 range who really shouldn't be doing what they do on the net since they still have yet to mature to such settings. There are always exceptions, no arguement there, but majority rules and the majority can't handle it so we have these laws. People will agree, people will disagree, but the bottom line is that they're passed for a reason and will be enforced because of it.
Heh, I very much disagree with Dan-sama here. Banning forum usage until 15 or 16 seems pretty outrageous to me. Prohibiting something like driving, which is very dangerous, until 16 is one thing... but using an internet forum? Come on, that's just asinine.

As he said, he was using the net at 9 and could keep himself out of trouble. Well, that's about how old I was when I started going online too, and I know for a fact that I was less than 15 while I was on a few forums, and I still behaved myself and posted in a reasonably intelligent manner. Age is NOT a definition of maturity. Some 13 year olds are more mature than some 20 year olds and I don't think it's the government's place to decide who's "mature enough to handle teh interweb". It should be a parent's decision.

I agree more with Asteroid's opinion (as it seems happens fairly often). =P But a law's a law (albeit one I happen to disagree with), and I'm not gonna criticize the forum staff for obeying it.
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