I'm here today to propose that we set up our own on-wiki policy about banning users who say they're a certain age in Special:Chat.

The Wikia terms of use state that users "may not accept the Terms of Use if they are under the age of 13." I hear that in the past, this has been a reason for users to be banned in chat, after saying "I'm 12" or similar phrases.

I'm going to write for a while about my opinion on the matter.

The first thing to mention here is that: If we do set up a policy about underage users not being allowed in chat, it should not be on the basis of the Wikia ToU. It is not our responsibility as an administration/moderation team to enforce these terms of use, and therefore I don't feel it right that we try and do so. The reason that the caveat about the age of 13 is present in the ToU is due to a law called COPPA. This essentially states that it is illegal for websites to take additional personal information (on top ages) from people under the age of 13. What this boils down to is that local bans do not enforce COPPA, or the ToU. Therefore, banning somebody on sight for saying they're under the age of 13 because it's against the ToU is inappropriate. I am not even going to go into the (numerous) points about whether we can believe people who say they're under the age of 13, and ban them purely for saying this in chat - that is not what this thread is about.

If we accept the things I've written in the paragraph above, it seems to imply that either there is no point in banning users for saying that they're under the age of 13, whether they are or not, and therefore we shouldn't hand out bans based on age.

However, this is based purely on the Wikia terms of use - there are other things we have to consider. I'd like to make the statement that our Wikia chatroom is, by definition, not suitable for minors. As so well demonstrated by ShawnHowellsCP yesterday, people swear. The Elder Scrolls games are rated "T" for "Teen" by the ESRB. Topics are discussed that are just plainly not for the eyes of children.

So do we need to stop children from coming in by banning them, after the reveal that they're under the age of 13? Per TES:CHAT, it is already against the rules for any mention of a user's age to be made in the chat, as it is decidedly a "personal detail." Is this enough, or do we need to do more?

These are the points I would like to put forwards:

  • It is not acceptable for us to hand out local bans, or chat bans, based on the Wikia Terms of Use. We must create our own policies and enforce those
  • Special:Chat is not an appropriate place for minors.
  • It is already against the Chat's rules to reveal or request any personal information.

These are the questions I'd like to ask the community:

  • Should we ban users for saying that they are under a certain age in chat? What should that age be?
  • Is the current legislation in TES:CHAT about it being against the rules to reveal your age already enough?
  • How should we approach the bans? Is somebody saying "I am twelve years old" one time, enough to solicit them being banned from chat?

I'm not going to start a vote at this time. This thread is for discussion only.

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