Forums: Index > Wiki discussion > Blocking of underaged users

The blocking of underage users needs to be discussed and agreed upon. At the moment, there is nothing that states anything about it other than the Wikia ToU. When you consider the content and target age range of the show, how can we justify blocking users that are under the age of thirteen? Quite a few amazing contributors were/are under the age of thirteen. This also goes along with the Chat rules as well. While we follow Wikia's ToU, we do need to take into consideration the target age range of content on this wiki. I believe the age restriction should be removed from the chat rules and replaced with something mentioning a judgement of maturity by the chat moderators and admins, and something clearer agreed upon for the handling of users that are known to be underage on the wiki. Personally I believe that maturity far overshadows age, and that we should not block users based on their age, but on their maturity and previous contributions. Also, chat bans and wiki blocks should be kept separate from one another. If a user says something to get banned in the chat, they should not be blocked from the wiki unless it is a sock-puppet account or their contributions on the wiki permit a block. Thoughts?  Food 25px-Surprise.png  18:56, July 7, 2012 (UTC)

The terms of use are kind of important, given that we are hosted on wikia. We can't really pick and choose what to enforce ourselves. I'll say what I said last time this came up: don't ask, don't tell. Put that somewhere into the chat rules, and if someones says they're under 13 (either on the chat or on a talk page somewhere), it's their own fault. Tattletales who refer to something on another site can be ignored, though. --Tulipclaymore 19:03, July 7, 2012 (UTC)
I really don't believe that it's our job to enforce Wikia's ToU, that's their job. If we ourselves don't violate it, then it's not our problem.  Food 25px-Surprise.png  19:09, July 7, 2012 (UTC)
They're part of the wiki guidelines, which we do have to enforce. You'd have to carve out an exception or phrase it differently. --Tulipclaymore 19:59, July 7, 2012 (UTC)
That is the reason for this forum, actually.  Food 25px-Surprise.png  20:04, July 7, 2012 (UTC)
I once asked a user their age and I admit that was wrong of me, but we still shouldn't allow underaged users. I feel that we need to stick to Wikia's ToU, so I agree with Tulipclaymore. BluesirTheFox FANMADE BluesirTheFox sig image Private Pansy is best pansy 19:34, July 7, 2012 (UTC)
I agree with Tulip; I think that it's a case of don't ask, don't tell. In my case, however, I'm liable to not block them, even if they do say their age is under 13 (in chat) if they're not causing trouble, or if they're not bringing up their age more than a couple times. I usually just assume that they're joking when they say they're younger than thirteen, because I would hope they know about the ToU. -- This is Jonny Manz, signing off! 19:51, July 7, 2012 (UTC)

Since there is no way for us to find the real age, I think we should not ban users. This is a show for a little girls. If Wikia wants to us to enforce ToU, they should cooperate with us and provide the methods to determine the age. Teyandee (Talk) 19:27, July 7, 2012 (UTC)

There have been instances of users saying that they're such ages as 6 years old. What are we to do when stuff like this crops up? At the end of the day anyone can use these wikis so some type of protection for younger people needs to be put in place. BluesirTheFox FANMADE BluesirTheFox sig image Private Pansy is best pansy 19:39, July 7, 2012 (UTC)
It may be better to let them stay that to ban a user without a proof. How do we supposed to know their age if noone told us how to determine it? It is not out job to check they age. Wikia should do it. Teyandee (Talk) 19:48, July 7, 2012 (UTC)
If they're careless enough to say they're under 13, it's their own fault. You wouldn't unban someone who claims to have only used profanity ironically. You don't have to explicitly search them out, either, or act on everything you happen to find, but if an admin catches them and blocks them, he/she's just enforcing the guidelines. --Tulipclaymore 19:59, July 7, 2012 (UTC)
I can agree to this 100% BluesirTheFox FANMADE BluesirTheFox sig image Private Pansy is best pansy 20:26, July 7, 2012 (UTC)
Like I said above, if they're not causing trouble, or not bringing up their age constantly, I think it's alright to leave them be. -- This is Jonny Manz, signing off! 19:51, July 7, 2012 (UTC)
Honestly, I think that as a wiki site, we should follow the rules they give us. If a user states that he/she is underaged, then I think that under the given rules, we obey them. If we start slipping up with this, soon we will start doing it with other rules as well. As I said, we should obey the rules that the wikia network has.  Federal_Republic_of_Ocredan.pngOcredan Ocredanian_Flag1.png 19:56, July 7, 2012 (UTC)
Terms of Use are not a set of rules that we enforce and follow as a wiki, it is something that you agree to be true when you create and account and use the service. It is on a person-by-person basis, not on a wiki basis, so it is in fact not a rule.  Food 25px-Surprise.png  19:59, July 7, 2012 (UTC)
ToU does not require us to block chat access for underage users. It simply states that one must be 13 or older to use it. Why couldn`t we just let them stay if they are not causing any problems? Teyandee (Talk) 20:12, July 7, 2012 (UTC)
I follow the terms stated by this document, I rest my case.  Federal_Republic_of_Ocredan.pngOcredan Ocredanian_Flag1.png 20:17, July 7, 2012 (UTC)
Teyandee said that very well above. The ToU are terms that you agree to personally when you use the service. Just because you follow them yourself does not mean that it's your job to enforce them. Currently the ToU are stated in the guidelines on this wiki, and this forum is discussing changes to that guideline.  Food 25px-Surprise.png  20:22, July 7, 2012 (UTC)

I have mixed feelings on this issue. We are not a porn site so there is no legal imperative that we block people under a certain age. On the other hand, underage users are breaking the ToU and thus the rules of the wikia as a whole and our wikia as a subpage of the overall site. I agree with some of the above comments that don't ask don't tell is the best policy and if someone is silly enough to claim they are underage, then they should be removed from the community, especially if they are causing a problem. Another issue is quality control; 12 year olds aren't known for quality edits nor proper grammar. I suppose I personally might "remind" someone that says they are underage about the rules and ask them if they were "joking," but honestly only if that person was contributing something of value to the wiki. Just my thoughts. Perhaps we should ask one of the site admins/staff about Wikia's policy about users who break the ToU and whether or not individual pages are expected to enforce them.  EvergreenFir  22:39, July 7, 2012 (UTC)

I for one believe we should be enforcing this rule. Users who say they are under 13 should be banned immediately, because under COPPA and Wikia Terms of Use, they are not allowed to have an account on Wikia. There isn't much to say here IMO. --Bullet Francisco (Talk) (Contribs) (Editcount) (Email) 23:24, July 7, 2012 (UTC)

I oppose blocking underaged users on a local level because they have not done anything wrong on a local level by being underage. What they have done is broken the ToU on a global level, so banning them on here without reporting them to Wikia is absolutely pointless, and is verging on power abuse. Let staff handle this when they see it. I've never banned anyone for being underage, and I never will even if that means giving up my admin tools.  FANMADE_Animated_Derpy_Hooves_desktop_ponies_sprite.gif Sig1.png Sig2.png  04:14, July 8, 2012 (UTC)

Very well said.  Food 25px-Surprise.png  04:24, July 8, 2012 (UTC)

I'm going to throw my two cents in just cause. Chat becomes total utter nonsense and it convinces me some users are younger than they seem to be. I am pro-ban if they are more than 2 years underage. So 11 and younger must leave, in my opinion. I may sound cynical, but I like to enjoy chat with people of my maturity and age level. I understand we have good underage people, but I find the scales are tipped toward the worse. _|[31 (Talk) (How I have helped) 04:30, July 8, 2012 (UTC)

We can just as easily ban from chat and wiki based on maturity, rather than age. Seting an age limit is useless in my opinion. Maturity is a much better judge than age.  Food 25px-Surprise.png  04:40, July 8, 2012 (UTC)

It seems to me that the Terms of Use are a legal agreement and thus it is certainly not the wiki admins' job to enforce them, rather being up to Wikia staff. And at that point, they'd probably delete the account or suspend it until the age requirement is reached; a local block on one wiki doesn't make much sense in terms of enforcement. A block doesn't make much sense anyway, since the ToU prohibit underage users from having an account, not explicitly from using it, as most editing can be done even without an account. Regardless, this isn't up to admins to enforce. Has anyone directly asked this question of Wikia and inquired as to how they prefer it to be handled? I dislike the term "don't ask, don't tell," but if that's what we have to do then so be it, I suppose. ~Bobogoobo (talk new) | 06:12, July 8, 2012

I've personally experienced several cases like this one, but in my honest opinion they shouldn't be blocked just because they use wikia, that looks like a total power abuse. My reasons?. Well here you have a kid who joined the wiki i mostly edit on when he was 12, and his editions quality & grammar have improved since he joined. But here you have a brattish stubborn 11 years old kid with a horrible grammar that was blocked already for messing the pages, he paid his debt with the wiki and returned with a slightly different attitude but after bringing some drama to the wiki he was blocked again.

Also you must not forget about the 20+ years vandals that roam wikis to have "fun" with them.

I agree with both Bobogoobo & FoodbanIt, that kind of cases belong to the wikia staff, not wikia administrators. And the editors always are different despite their age.

Powermarkw 06:56, July 8, 2012 (UTC)

I have to agree with CoD4 as it's not the Admins/Mods job to actually enforce Coppa. Also the fact that most people forget, We are on the internet! It's easy to fake an age, whether it be younger or older, So without good proof we can't say AND then that is breaking the ToU! Rift Cyra Floweff14.png .flow 07:33, July 8, 2012 (UTC)

My view on this has changed somewhat. I can understand and accept that maturity is important. I still don't like the thought of underage users being here, however, if they're acting mature while editing the wiki and are not interrupting conversations then I suppose no harm can come. I will still nevertheless have my eyes open for users who display certain traits of being well underage, and I will be reporting them as such. BluesirTheFox FANMADE BluesirTheFox sig image Private Pansy is best pansy 12:38, July 8, 2012 (UTC)

COPPA is only in place as US-based websites cannot hold the information of people < 13 years of age, ToU violations should only result in a global block by staff or VSTF. Since age is Wikia's problem and not ours, blocking preteens should not done by local administrators. Smuff[The cake is a lie] 19:43, July 8, 2012 (UTC)

As far as I'm concerned its not OK to block someone off a wiki for something you cant really prove/The user hasn't actually done anything wrong. per cod4 basically. kat 12:28, July 12, 2012 (UTC)


The consensus seems to be leaning toward it not being the administrator's job nor place to block an underage user. I however motion that on top of this, we also include "Acting immature" as a blockable offense in our chat rules to cover the hole that that leaves in user conduct. That can obviously be worded better, I'm not the best at wording as it gets late. Thoughts?  Food 25px-Surprise.png  02:21, July 13, 2012 (UTC)

Sounds good to me. As for the chat rule, perhaps "acting below a certain maturity threshold"? Like, if they're not contributing to chat in a positive way (i.e. spamming chat, leaving incomprehensible sentences, etc), then it's grounds to ban them. -- This is Jonny Manz, signing off! 19:31, July 13, 2012 (UTC)
In a way, a few of the existing chat rules define immaturity very well, but there is still some hole that's missing. I can't think about how to describe that "hole", though. The only way that I can think to describe it is acting immature. There isn't really a threshold because you can't define the level of maturity, and it is at the discretion of the chat moderators.  Food 25px-Surprise.png  00:25, July 14, 2012 (UTC)
If someone is "acting immature" but they are not harassing or disturbing users then what is the point of kicking or banning them? –Throwawaytv 10:50, July 14, 2012 (UTC)
I assume you've never been on chat because you're an anon, but for the most part, immature behavior disturbs the entire chat.  Food 25px-Surprise.png  11:47, July 14, 2012 (UTC)
Then they can be warned and kicked or banned for disturbing the chat. –Throwawaytv 15:30, July 14, 2012 (UTC)
Ah, you were that anon. Sounds good then, I've just never liked posting the reason as "disturbing the chat", although that's just me personally.  Food 25px-Surprise.png  15:38, July 14, 2012 (UTC)
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