Discussion in 'Support & Feedback' started by Sclavus, Oct 12, 2017 at 6:42 AM.
I think you may be giving yourself a false sense of security.
Oh goodness, after reading this thread, I just reported myself on another site for posting a rude song. Now, I'm hoping the mods take it off! I was shocked at one point they had 15-16 y.o on that site, but I totally forgot they were even there! There's not many and they are mostly quiet, probably as scared as me, but even if it's just one child, it's enough to change my behavior. The language gets a bit coarse on that site, so it was easy to forget.
Which then reminds me, they, like writingforum, have huge portions available publicly anyway. So that's something else I've never even considered. However things are policed, more reminders and prompts of the audience would be helpful. I don't switch to my 'mother mode' until I have an age in clear text in front of me. But I think I'll be much more cautious from now on.
Think what you like , I'm not having a pointless argument for your entertainment
It is kind of worrying that a 12-year-old can read the stuff we post on here. I'm not sure why it's never occurred to me before since places like The Lounge are visible without even logging in but... yuck.
So - polite disagreement means "pointless argument" to you. That's troubling. But I have a solution at my fingertips.
They can get access to a lot worse stuff, of course, if they're browsing without parental supervision. But, yeah, it might not hurt for us to remember that we're posting in public.
Just as a general reminder, it's usually a good idea to always be mindful of the unfortunate fact that anything and everything you post anywhere on the internet can and will be seen by people you don't know and who may be underage.
We have age-restricted an area and can have a notification on a thread it's 18+, but those will only stop kids who want to avoid adult content of their own volition to begin with. Modern kids are very much internet savvy, and even back when I was underage, my friends and I always said we were 18 online because we wanted to access adult content (be it coarse language or sexual or violent content).
That means beyond an intervention by the parents of said kids, there is literally no way to guarantee 100% no underage people will be able to cheat the system and access age-restricted content/discussions anyway.
If that bothers you (passive you), you can adjust your behavior accordingly, but obviously that's up to everyone and their conscience.
Seriously. If some kid is reading something he shouldn't be reading, it's his mom's problem, not yours. -.-
There was an instance right now where I was about to post a snippet from my work about how my villain laughs in one of the writing prompts, and I noticed one of the posters is 12 years old. While my content was not sexual in any way, I quickly hit the backspace button and went on my way. I write adult horror, and I personally don't feel comfortable with anyone under 18 reading my work, even if it is non-erotic.
I'm not saying that we need to ban underage kids, but I am very careful about what I post outside of the workshop.
I personally feel that there's nothing we can do to absolutely prevent minors from viewing our content. As has been pointed out, they can bypass whatever measure is put in place. I'm not against adult content, but I wouldn't want my niece seeing it. But, as any teenager knows, it's easy enough to play pretend on the Internet. Adult websites know this.
So why put up restrictions at all? Well, also as any adult website owner knows, it's illegal for an adult to knowingly provide certain content to a minor. The warnings and age checks are all to cover their own behinds. I don't want kids viewing certain things on the Internet, but short of violating their rights, there's nothing a site owner can do to prevent a sufficiently motivated juvenile from accessing anything online.
That said, the "18+" notations and site procedures restricting content are purely to cover the site's behind from angry parents, their lawyers, and in extreme cases, law enforcement. It is the virtual equivalent of, "They said they were eighteen." While I have concern for protecting children, I don't want to say the warnings and procedures sufficiently protect them.
Frankly, that's not anyone's job except the parents. They are legally (and in my mind, morally) responsible for monitoring their children. I don't censor myself (especially in the restricted sections) for that reason. I like to cut loose and enjoy adult content from time to time, just like some family-oriented, down-to-earth people enjoy going to strip clubs or flipping through pay-per-view. No one expects a child in that environment, but people in that environment sometimes have kids in their lives that they would want to protect.
If you choose to censor yourself, I don't think that's bad. I do think the current limitations the site has in place are as much as they can reasonably do. Should they choose to institute rules limiting content, I would abide by the rules, but the mods would also have their hands full, and I think interest in the site would wane. I see the non-restricted portions of the site like a city street. I may cuss up a storm in a conversation with a friend, but if someone points out a kid walking toward us, I'll censor myself while the kid is around.
But ultimately, it's up to the parents to decide where their kids are allowed to go.
I agree with all this in theory, it's just... there are kids out there with crappy parents. If we're working from the premise that exposure to certain material is damaging to kids, then the kids with crappy parents are going to get damaged if there's certain material available. It's not the kids' fault their parents are crappy (or, more compassionately, not their fault their parents are dealing with too many challenges of their own or whatever).
I don't think swearing hurts kids. I don't think mild sexual content hurts kids. I think depictions of violence are potentially damaging, and I think conflating sex with violence is almost certainly a problem, at least for some... and, honestly, as an adult I don't want to look at that stuff, either.
So I, personally, don't post stuff I think kids shouldn't see when I'm posting on an open site. I guess you can call it censoring myself... I'm okay with that.
Yeah that is all good and well, but...
I was allowed to read any book I wanted as a kid. And I did.
I read Jaws 2 and Martian Deathtrap (Mars Attacks Series),
both depict violence and language. Damnation Alley was
another one with those things. Maybe it was because I understood
it was not real, and was exposed to a those things growing up
in a less than hospitable home. If you think love is getting
beaten for 1-3 hours multiple times a week, and being told that
you are nothing.
Now adays, parents want to be their kids friends, and give them
violent and sexual content in the form of video games, and they
don't understand the content in the same way without context.
So thing that were not the norm back then, are now pretty much
everywhere now. Which means that they are common place in
this day and age, and parents don't bother discussing these things
with their little brats so they understand that these things are
not suppose to be emulated or practiced until they are more
mature and understand the consequences of their actions.
Parents need to teach their children about life, and stop being
I'm just gonna jump in with my two cents here, and I'm only gonna speak for myself here. While being mindful of one's words and actions is never a bad thing, I personally am not comfortable with the idea of censoring myself for the sake of some kid that might see some of my post. The New Member Quick Start Guide explicitly states that this is not a G-Rated forum and as such every person coming to this forum and registering as a member should be aware of the type of content they're going be exposed to.
If it weren't for the recent situation with a certain 12 year old member in the explicit character chatroom, I'd have said we don't need to do anything more in regards to underage members but now I'm not so sure. A 12 year old is too young to be on a forum such as this, and I'm not entirely too comfortable with people that young being able to read the content here no matter how emotional and mentally mature they may be. I'm not sure how I feel about making the entire forum age-restricted but that may be a viable solution, though if it were to happen I'd be in favor of 16+ as opposed to 18+ for the age restriction. But I'm still conflicted about that.
Aside from that I don't think what else can be done. The mods already do a great job with the forum and have a balanced attitude towards the content posted, not too lax but not overly strict, which I appreciate. And we already have 18+ sections for contents of erotic nature which is good and in my opinion enough. I'm also gonna go on record here and say I'd be opposed to any kind of rule enforcing a more strict policy in terms of the content we can or cannot post or any attempt to make the forum family-friendly. I will always follow any rules the mods implement and would respect their decisions no matter what, I simply wanted to make my personal opinion on the matter known. This is not a family-friendly forum and that's one of the things that makes this place so wonderful.
I'd agree - but only up to the point where his mom sues or complains to the police about you corrupting/bullying their little darling.
Frr instance suppose some kid tries ayahuasca after reading this thread https://www.writingforums.org/threads/my-first-ayahuasca-journey.153493/#post-1607714 and has a mental breakdown/dies/hospitalises themselves.... at that point Daniel is going to get sued and the forum shutdown because we haven't limited that info to people over the age of 18 .... at that point its everyone's problem
Speaking as a former website admin, liability issues that potentially compromise the site need to be dealt with seriously and asap, however unlikely they may seem. bsm is speaking sense.
My former site probably wouldn't even have allowed the post BSM mentioned as they have rules against glorifying drug use, though in general they lean toward the freedom of speech aspects. The owner there is also worried about liability issues.
The problem with this approach is that it works for people who are responsible, have good self-knowledge, are able to make wise decisions about what kind of content they can handle... these are attributes that are generally found in adults (at least some of them) and generally not found in kids. The whole rationale for protecting kids from certain material is that they aren't "mature" enough to handle that material; if we accept that premise, then we also have to accept that they probably aren't "mature" enough to know what's good for them and avoid the material voluntarily.
Thats just an example - we've got 100s of threads not suitable for kids to view which could easily piss off a parent, and thats not even counting little bobby being upset by some blunt and honest critique, or innocent mentoring being mistaken for grooming...
So then just ban children from the site. That's my preferred solution. Honestly, kids have nothing to offer me anyway.
But as already discussed, there's no real way to do this. It's unenforceable.
Yeah, kids can get around it, but if they lied to get on the site then there's no liability issue, right? As far as I'm aware, the point is that there's a reasonable measure in place. I've seen cases where even just a disclaimer in the terms and conditions was enough to cover any liability.
So a 16 year old can join the forum and lie about their age, and as long as he/she doesn't reveal their actual age, then he/she can continue using the forum like a mature teenager. He/she wins.
If parent says to 16 year old member "Oh my God, these threads are corrupting you, my child!" and tries to sue, parent finds out their child lied about their age in order to get past the restriction. Site wins.
Am I missing something?
The only reason for warnings or restrictions is so the site can cover its butt from any liability. It's up to the parents to worry about "protecting" their kids. I think the site as it is, is fine. There's nothing more they can feasibly do.
Hmm. I think...okay, so, I'm thinking in a preventative manner as opposed to a reactionary manner. I don't want it to get to the point where the owner is dragged even a little into a legal situation, even if it only goes as far as threatening legal action. It's a pain in the ass and might hurt morale in the leadership and membership. Depending on how this hypothetical situation plays out, it may be the situation that forces the rule. A lot of rules come about through one egregious incident. So I sympathize with the people who would have to face the angry parent, and I'm trying to look forward to see how implementing this rule now may save them a lot stress down the line. But I'm not familiar with this platform and how large a task it actually is to age-restrict threads. I'd say we should at least rename any 18+ threads for complete transparency, but again, I'm seeing this through website-management goggles.
I realize you were probably not speaking to anyone in particular, but I thought I might further explain my position anyway to keep the discussion nice and lively.
You can try as hard as you want to keep snakes out of the garden, but they'll still find their way in somehow (or you'll constrict the life out of the garden and defeat the purpose), and soon enough a naked woman is going to be having a go at an apple.
I feel like an acceptable level of precaution and preventative measures have been taken already. But, +18 disclaimers on those threads couldn't hurt.
I can't say I agree with the idea of age-restricting the entire forum, but I'm coming at this from the perspective of someone who grew up, in part, on the internet - including forums like this. I was a 12/13 year old on a writing forum and I know it was useful to me as a writer to get that feedback from other, more skilled writers (as well as learning at a younger age how to take criticism). It bums me out to think of kids being denied that experience.
The erotica subforum is already locked, and the explicit character chatroom has been marked / is being kept an eye on. I agree with @Sclavus that things are fine as is.
Separate names with a comma.