Safe Surfing


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Philip Hind

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We've have been mulling over safe-surfing principles and whether or not to accept registrations for this message board from children.

Pondering is ongoing but some changes have been made:

... to the registration page reminding new members not to give out any personal information online. This of course applies to all and not just children.

... private messaging IDs are not longer accepted on the profiles page and other default fields requesting personal information (such as age, occupation etc) have also been removed though the ability for users to add custom fields remains.

... E-mail addresses are no longer published on the profiles page and users are asked to use the ET message board private message system which is more secure than regular e-mail.

... children (under 16) are asked to make their parents or guardians aware of their intention to register and of the site terms and conditions.

The current site rule of requiring real names directly conflicts with general safe-surfing guidelines for children not to reveal their real names of web fora. We have not yet come up with a workable way around this.

Comments and suggestions welcome.
 

Ernie Luck

Member
Nov 24, 2004
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Hi Phil

I understand the need to safeguard children but I think it's a shame that the age and occupation of members is no longer published - I know it was always optional.

Like most folk, I occasionally check the profile of members, and the age and occupation throws light on the credibility of statements made.

Obviously the views of a forty year old aeronautical engineer are going to carry more weight than an eleven year old who has obtained his knowledge from the movie. I have probably over-stressed the point, which is that it is useful to know where members views are coming from.

I also think it makes membership more anonymous and less friendly, if these details are not provided on the profile. Am I alone in this? Or does anyone else share my views.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>I also think it makes membership more anonymous and less friendly, if these details are not provided on the profile. Am I alone in this?<<

Probably not. The thing is that there are a lot of freakazoids out there who like to prey on children and that's a reality we have to at least make an attempt to deal with. It won't make things impossible for predators if they really mean to do their dirty work, but there's no point in making it easy for them.
 

Philip Hind

Editor
Staff member
Member
Sep 1, 1996
1,767
76
323
England
You can volunteer any information you like by adding it to the "About Me" section. It is just that we feel it is better not to solicit such information as a matter of course.
 

Ernie Luck

Member
Nov 24, 2004
643
6
183
Thanks Phil, I wonder how many members will bother.

I suppose you could always insist on having an up-to-date photo, wearing school uniform or National dress as appropriate. I bet Senan would look good in a kilt and from the recent photo posted by Bob we could tell he's at least 90+
 
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