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Forums > Suggestions & Development Discussion > A proper age confirmation.

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Okay, so I have an idea to keep younger members safer.

So basically..

Members under 16 should have to put in their parent’s email/phone number before gaining access to our forums. And if that child posts/comments something, the parents would get sent a link to that post.

Why?

Because parents have the right to know what their child is posting online. Every day I see minors saying inappropriate things on our forums, and it bugs me because I know that their parents don’t know about it. How do I know? Because they do it multiple times and never stop. So if parents see what their child is saying online, they could address their child about it. I know that we could just report it, but wouldn’t it be better for children to be addressed by their own parents?


And for members 16 and older.....

They won’t need a parent’s phone/email because they are old enough to know how to behave on the internet.


I know that it might get annoying to have to confirm emails and phone numbers, but at least it will keep RPR a tad safer!

Your heart is in the right place.

Unfortunately

1) we don't have the human-power to contact everyone's parents.

2) there's very little hope of this doing much but causing younger members to lie about their age en masse. That would mean even more chance of adults accidentally saying wildly inappropriate things to people that claim to be adults. As such, I strongly believe it would make the site less safe.

In the end, it is a parent's responsibility to monitor what their children do online, not for everyone online to constantly be phoning the parents.

Kim wrote:
Your heart is in the right place.

Unfortunately

1) we don't have the human-power to contact everyone's parents.

2) there's very little hope of this doing much but causing younger members to lie about their age en masse. That would mean even more chance of adults accidentally saying wildly inappropriate things to people that claim to be adults. As such, I strongly believe it would make the site less safe.

In the end, it is a parent's responsibility to monitor what their children do online, not for everyone online to constantly be phoning the parents.


I understand that you can’t constantly contact parents; which is why I was thinking of those messages being automated, which is why I thought it was a good idea.


Although, I never thought about how some people might find a way past it. Though some might not know that there is an easy way past it, kids are gettin’ smarter ya know! So I realize now how flawed the system is.

All you can really do is report stuff like that, and warn them, if you need to. Tell them it's unsafe. And let the older individuals know it's a child they're rp-ing with if they aren't aware, and if they're aware, then freaking get those people reported. Something inappropriate between an adult and a minor is messed up.

It couldn't be automated. You could input your own phone number or a fake one. It would require manual verification for every member below the age of 16.

Not to mention, even people below the age of 16 deserve privacy.

I would rather not give people even more incentive to lie about their age.

If I was under 16 and faced with that rule, I would almost certainly lie about my age or, more likely, just go to a site that didn't do that. And if it became the norm, then I'd become super socially isolated. And that's even though I'm a goody-two-shoes who relatively gets along with their parents. I'm not among the multitude who has/had to deal with abuse from parents. We do have members who come from abusive homes, though, and in a lot of cases, kids who are behaving problematically are doing so because another problem is already not being addressed. It's been shown again and again that kids don't act out for no reason.

Novalyyn wrote:
If I was under 16 and faced with that rule, I would almost certainly lie about my age

I would also without a doubt lie about my age. When I was under sixteen and did anything online that required me to be above 16 I just lied about how old I was cause I didn't understand at the time why doing so could be an issue.

From the time that I was 12 until I was legally 18 on roleplaying forums, myspace, and AOL chat... I was lying about my age JUST so people would actually talk to me. Kids and teenagers will lie about their age until the end of time. It's going to happen, because there's a natural curiosity and desire to be seen and heard at all ages. To explore and find new things and discover it about yourself and the world around you.

You cannot discourage lying enough, considering that there are already laws that can put minors in jail for being about online forums and doing things they shouldn't be doing.

Regardless of the lying, people under the age of 16 definitely still deserve privacy even from their own parents. There is already a rampant amount of parents violating the privacy of their children and providing them with no amount of trust. As someone who came from the home of a "helicopter parent" I wasn't allowed to close the door of my own bedroom to sleep, my computer activity was monitored to the point that I didn't feel safe being curious about anything, and I was given a curfew of 10pm until I was 25 and had a screaming match with my mother about it in front of my work place. Places like RPR where they provided me with a safe environment that I could log in and out of to hide it from my parents for some semblance of privacy are the reason I got on in life and managed to be somewhat social. To this day I feel absolutely uncomfortable and begin shaking with anxiety if someone asks to see my cell-phone despite having absolutely nothing inappropriate, illegal, or sketchy on it.

Children and teenagers deserve privacy, because they deserve to earn and grow trust with their parents. Not allowing them to have trust and be responsible for themselves leads to them rebelling more and when they get into trouble they're even less likely to ask for help due to being too afraid of the consequences of doing something that their parents may or may not have been okay with them doing.

Kids can get their parents credit cards, IDs, phone numbers, email access and everything. They can even go about and create fake ones. Kids are going to lie about their age, even if they know how dire the consequences could be for themselves or someone else. Is it okay to do so? Absolutely not, but the complexity and man power it would take to actually "verify" anyone is something I don't think RPR is big enough to take on.

Websites as big as Facebook only take this verification process on when someone's account has been reported enough for being "fake," and only then does it even ask you for an ID for your account. Honestly, I don't think this is a responsibility that Kim and the staff of RPR should be required to take on.

If you're concerned with younger members, there is a feature here on RPR where you can control the age of anyone talking to you privately or even sending in friend requests. This will not stop the ones who've been lying about their age, but it can help you lessen your chances of speaking to someone under the age of 18.
Underage Members on RPR can also control if someone is 18+ to not message them.

Just continue to report anyone whom you might be suspicious of being underage and lying about it, and if you manage to get proof, report it immediately and save the proof as well. You can only be vigilant for yourself and for the ones around you.

PrettySir
Thank You

ngl <16-year-old me would've sooner died than have my dad know about my partaking in the roleplaying community, lmao.

I know the same can be said for many others, so you'd be cutting back on a massive portion of the community if parental permission suddenly became a thing.

In fact -- if anything, it'd encourage them to lie about their age, since your proposed system requires no confirmation of an adult's age.

Your intentions are pure, but things are honestly much safer this way imo.

Oh that's horrible. That's not gonna make anyone any safer, this can only cause further issues. Even if this was a thing and if a kid was doing everything normal and being a good little angel, what if the parents misunderstood? What if the parents are controlling and toxic people? This would make the roleplaying even smaller and even if those kids grew up, there's no guaranteeing that they'll be back because it might leave a bad taste in their mouths. But kudos to parents who are open-minded and let their children explore and be supportive and reasonably strict.

I honestly don't think that people should be far too much concerned about every underage kid that comes online. We cannot be everyone's parent. And every human being deserves their own privacy. Also, this might even be a child's escape from whatever issue there is at home. People still unfortunately beat their kids for the dumbest reasons.

Admin can only do so much to keep order and prevent any further damage concerning rules about the underage people tangling themselves in adult situations. We all grow up, after all. Eventually, what these kids will do when they become adults may or may not be their parents' business if they choose so.

Queen_of_Hell wrote:
I honestly don't think that people should be far too much concerned about every underage kid that comes online. We cannot be everyone's parent. And every human being deserves their own privacy. Also, this might even be a child's escape from whatever issue there is at home. People still unfortunately beat their kids for the dumbest reasons.

Admin can only do so much to keep order and prevent any further damage concerning rules about the underage people tangling themselves in adult situations. We all grow up, after all. Eventually, what these kids will do when they become adults may or may not be their parents' business if they choose so.

Queen, I think the biggest concern about children lying about their age on sites like this is that if an adult gets into a sexual RP with a minor, even if the minor is lying about their age, that adult is the legally responsible party and that could get them into a LOT of serious legal trouble. Even if the adult thought they were RPing with another adult, they would legally be liable for engaging in sexual activity with a minor.
I know Kim and the rest of the mods have discussed many different ways to try and protect players on here from such a fate, but unfortunately there's not many foolproof ways that exist to be able to verify ages and ensure safety on all fronts.

In a perfect world this idea would be great...but unfortunately there's no perfect world, and no perfect solution.

We know That1Gurly meant well. That's not the issue. We want to be clear about what some of the issues with the idea were, because it's actually super important.

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Forums > Suggestions & Development Discussion > A proper age confirmation.