Age Verification

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Age Verification

Postby SeeAMoose » Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:45 am

Due to potential legal concerns we have just installed a new mod that requires age verification. We just realized yesterday that COPPA (Child Online Privacy Protection Act) may apply to our forum, and is in fact likely to apply to it in the near future as we make other necessary changes. COPPA places certain requirements on site operators who are aware of users under the age of 13, and some of these requirements can be difficult to meet. Rather than risk any potential legal problems and have to deal with onerous requirements, we have limited registrations to individuals ages 13 and up.

Unfortunately this means you will need to enter your birth date. I can completely understand that you may be concerned about this information being out there. The best I can do is assure you that this information will only be available to the admin team (myself, Duke_Igthorn, Thunt, and Wolfie) and that we will not disclose your private information to anyone else.

I am sorry for any inconvenience this may cause, but unfortunately it seems like it is something that we need to do.
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Re: Age Verification

Postby lingrem » Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:04 am

I think it's a great step.

Of course, even knowing this was coming, I spent about 4 minutes getting mad at the webpage becaus I thought it wasn't sending me to the forum index. Took me that long to realize that oh, that red message was actually something I should read and pay attention to! *facepalm*
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Re: Age Verification

Postby thinkslogically » Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:05 am

Yeah, I did that...
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Re: Age Verification

Postby Amara » Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:08 am

I make three then. I thought my browser was screwing up on my tablet again, at first.
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Re: Age Verification

Postby BadgeAddict » Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:15 am

I suppose as long as there isn't an age maximum, most of us should be safe.
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Re: Age Verification

Postby mnementh » Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:17 am

BadgeAddict wrote:I suppose as long as there isn't an age maximum, most of us should be safe.



D'OH!

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Re: Age Verification

Postby SeeAMoose » Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:31 am

Yeah, in retrospect I should have announced it earlier and given you guys more of a heads up... but I actually thought it would just affect new people trying to register.
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Re: Age Verification

Postby gamecreator » Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:41 am

lingrem wrote:Of course, even knowing this was coming, I spent about 4 minutes getting mad at the webpage becaus I thought it wasn't sending me to the forum index. Took me that long to realize that oh, that red message was actually something I should read and pay attention to! *facepalm*
I was confused with sudden "edit profile" page too. And when I understood what was happening, first thing I did was checking for obvious ways to bypass that.
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Re: Age Verification

Postby CelineSSauve » Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:47 am

Heehee. Add me to the list of people who thought they'd clicked on the wrong link in the email advising of a new reply to a subscribed thread! ;)

Meanwhile, thank you for having the "hidden" option. I don't care if anyone knows I turned 28 at the end of last year, but I do dislike anyone making a deal of yet another trip around the sun. :roll:
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Re: Age Verification

Postby SeeAMoose » Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:49 am

You're quite welcome, this is really only for legal reasons, so I wasn't going to make any of it public for people who don't want it to be.
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Re: Age Verification

Postby BadgeAddict » Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:23 pm

If my birthdate is already in my profile I'm okay? or do i need to report to someone...I'm 27, and my parents are okay with me being here...my wife on the other hand...not so much.
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Re: Age Verification

Postby SeeAMoose » Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:29 pm

Heh, you should be good.
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Re: Age Verification

Postby boneguard » Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:33 pm

BadgeAddict wrote:If my birthdate is already in my profile I'm okay? or do i need to report to someone...I'm 27, and my parents are okay with me being here...my wife on the other hand...not so much.



That's the problem with wives, they don't understand our need to be nerdy ;)

I was a bit suprised and confused, but considering I have an 11 year old girl myself, I'm glad that we make an effort to comply and protect our kids.
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Re: Age Verification

Postby RocketScientist » Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:55 pm

I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought something was wrong when it kept going to my profile. :lol:
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Re: Age Verification

Postby Krulle » Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:22 pm

you know what annoyed me most?
I already had month and year filled in, as that does not allow much to identify me.
But still I had to fill in the day.

And worst of all, the date format! It asked for the birthday in an unidentifieable date format! (mm-dd-yyyy).
Bad, because I had my date format preference set, and when showing the personal information the board showed it all in correct format, and suddenly it all sets it up wrong again! And remains wrong, even though under board preferences the setting is correct.
It's the only place the date format setting is completely ignored! And using a standard which is not ISO compliant.



Now, I am ripping wounds open again, let me link you to a XKCD-comic about the ISO 8601 date format...

Ach, at least you scared away some, and astonished the rest of us.
Last edited by Krulle on Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Age Verification

Postby ThroughTheWell » Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:25 pm

It would have been nice to have some advance notice rather than the sudden redirect. As it is, I don't like giving that info, particularly in the age of ID theft, so I lied. I'm well over 13 though. Kind of wish you had only asked for the year, as month and day only apply to the borderline cases.
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Re: Age Verification

Postby Dusk9 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:27 pm

Krulle wrote:you know what annoyed me most?
I already had month and year filled in, as that does not allow much to identify me.
But still I had to fill in the day.

And worst of all, the date format! It asked for the birthday in an unidentifieable date format! (mm-dd-yyyy).
Bad, because I had my date format preference set, and when showing the personal information the board showed it all in correct format, and suddenly it all sets it up wrong again! And remains wrong, even though under board preferences the setting is correct.


Ach, at least you scared away some, and astonished the rest of us.


No offense, but those sound like really picky concerns :|
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Re: Age Verification

Postby gamecreator » Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:28 pm

After all, that date format of 31 months with 11-12 days in most of them is truly horrible.
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Re: Age Verification

Postby Krulle » Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:30 pm

They are, as I have to work daily hard to ensure me, my colleagues, our clients, our suppliers and many others comply to standards, so that our communication and the whole work-flow works fluent. I just stumble over it very regularly, and for Europeans, the USoA way of noting the date is illogical, as the fastest changes happen in the middle.

And it causes most of the misunderstandings regarding date of delivery, date of....
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Re: Age Verification

Postby SeeAMoose » Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:03 pm

This again?

Alright, I was somewhat constrained by the modification's fixed settings because I didn't want to go into the code and risk borking the entire forum. As already stated, I also did not think that this requirement would apply to previously registered users, and if I had known that I would have provided more warning. The main reason I did not give more warning was that I discovered a forum user under the age COPPA applies to, and I felt acting quickly was more important. I do not want there to be any potential situation where Thunt could be in any way liable for a problem with this forum, and that will always take first priority.

Now looking at the new registration options, I could complete understand you being frustrated if it had required you to input a purely numerical date, I could understand that being confusing. If that had been the case your complaints would have merit... but it didn't. It did require you to put them in an order other than the one you are so fond of, and they do show up in that same order in your profile field... but it is in MMM dd, yyyy format, not MM dd yyyy. The key distinction being that the latter would be purely numeric while in the former the month is in letters. This is an English language forum, so there should be ZERO potential for confusion about which date is which. It also has no bearing on your board date format, you can easily set ISO Date format with the Custom Date format field. The only thing it would not apply to is the new birth date requirement. Sadly, that is not something I know how to change. While I am sorry that this is causing you such great mental distress, you will just have to live with it.
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Re: Age Verification

Postby Amara » Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:29 pm

I didn't find it terribly confusing, other than not immediately understanding why I was being prompted; the page it keeps you on doesn't actually have the red text that explains things. It just has a separate please enter date of birth to make changes, or something like that.


I also don't necessarily understand further concerns over giving this information. It's date of birth. Assuming your real name is not also available on the forums, date of birth tells someone nothing about you. Many many people were born on the exact same day. :/
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Re: Age Verification

Postby Wolfie » Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:47 pm

It also has an option to keep your birthday/age as private information, so noone knows the info but you and the server.
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Re: Age Verification

Postby thinkslogically » Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:47 pm

Not to state the obvious, but you don't have to enter your real DOB... Change the day or month by one and you're done.
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Re: Age Verification

Postby EvilCoatrack » Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:19 pm

thinkslogically wrote:Not to state the obvious, but you don't have to enter your real DOB... Change the day or month by one and you're done.


Shh! Don't tell them! The kids might hear and could decide that THEY don't want to enter their real DOBs either!

I totally agree with Moose's decision and applaud him for acting quickly on this after finding out about an underage user. Even though COPPA, like most laws regulating internet behavior, is pretty dumb. It's fine insomuch as it regulates websites that are actually directed at children 12 and under (which is NOT Goblins due to the "This comic sometimes contains scenes of extreme violence." disclaimer), but on all other sites it's pretty much just a check to see whether you've learned to lie on the internet yet.

I will stop myself before going off about how hard it would be to prove actual knowledge about a person's age when all you have are what they say about themselves in an online forum.

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Re: Age Verification

Postby ThroughTheWell » Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:40 pm

Or, instead of DOB info, just a check box for "Are you over the age of 13?" No risk of DOB theft that way.
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