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Improve minimum age function

Alfa1

Well-known member
#1
This suggestion is the result of a discussion on TAZ about xenforo's minimum age function.
In its current setup XenForo's minimum age function is not really functional.

If a user younger than the minimum age tries to register an account, then XenForo does not take note of this. Instead the minor can simply continue registration. The XenForo software actually asks the minor to commit fraud and correct their date of birth:
Sign up - DF TEST TEST TEST 2014-11-16 15-39-21.png
The minor is asked to correct the error of a date of birth field that indicates being to young.
The minor can then simply correct this and register an account.
The staff will have no way of knowing that the user is actually a minor on an adult board.
If the minor would indeed stop registration (very unlikely) there is no way to get the person back to the site after reaching the desired age.

Please mind that age restrictions are very important for some sites, because some topics are restricted by law or can cause media outrage if minors are found to be on sites.

I am suggesting the above functionality to be improved in whatever way possible.

On my big board we get about 4k registrations per month. Including a good number of underage people. We have coded a solution (on vb) that has proved to work well over the years. Maybe a similar setup could be implemented for XenForo:
  1. minors can register normally.
  2. when registration is complete, the system bans them with a friendly message explaining why they can not use their account and when they will be able to use their account.
  3. When they reach the desired age they are automatically unbanned and receive an email welcoming them back.
  4. If the user has filled in an erroneous DoB then they can upload the documents to prove this.
  5. Once a staff member reviews the documents the DoB can be changed by the staff member.
  6. If the user registers a second account then a duplicate account detection function alerts the staff.
The benefit of this approach is that it registers all attempts by minors to join and that minors are quickly highlighted. Young people are very likely to register without reading rules and most will fill in their real age on registration. Once they are in the system, it gets difficult to circumvent the age restrictions. Its not bullet proof but works very well. My experience is that only the smart ones circumvent this approach.
 
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Biker

Well-known member
#2
ACK! I had no idea that it would allow you to "fix" the error. This should result in a COPPA lock, much like vB does.
 

Biker

Well-known member
#3
Bumping this up. In today's age of excessive litigation and governmental overreach, this has to be fixed. For sites that require you to be 18 or over, allowing a registrant to lie about their age after they've put in their correct one is not acceptable.
 

xenfans

Well-known member
#4
Bumping this up. In today's age of excessive litigation and governmental overreach, this has to be fixed. For sites that require you to be 18 or over, allowing a registrant to lie about their age after they've put in their correct one is not acceptable.
i agree.
 

empire

Well-known member
#5
Every once in a while we have members ask to correct their birthdate because they 'accidentally' entered the wrong one on registration years earlier. I don't blame kids for doing this, but it would be nice to be able to do more than prompt them to lie.
 

Pierce

Well-known member
#8
It's a valid point.

On another point with gpdr or whatever it's another piece of personal data i don't want to collect.

It should be a check box. I am over {required age}
 
#9
Why give personal data away ? Never put your correct birthdate in any forum account.
Exactly. I think I said in my profile here I'm 27. I'm also 6"7, slim and extremely good looking.... Total tosh!

It's a valid point.

On another point with gpdr or whatever it's another piece of personal data i don't want to collect.

It should be a check box. I am over {required age}
Agree. It is not the responsibility of forum owners to check age. Tick a box saying "I am over this age," and that should be that.

When the internet started and certain "interesting" sites appeared, as a way for these sites to prevent kids from accessing the "delights" of watching threesomes with a heshes or whatever, they introduced age verification. And what happened, kids found their way around them by one means or another, ie "borrowing" the credit card.

Total waste of time and thus I disagree with the original suggestion.
 
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Alfa1

Well-known member
#10
It depends on what you want to accomplish. If you want to accomplish that your community has less minors then the suggestion is useful. If you don't want to do that, then the date of birth field should be disabled.
On my big board we do successfully block a lot of minors and this has a positive effect on our content quality.
 

Mike Edge

Formerly Da Bookie Mon
#11
As mentioned, this should result in a COPPA lock, much like vB does. We should also have a ACP option to save DOB data to database or not. This allowing us as the site owner to decide if we want to store this personal information or not.
 
#12
It depends on what you want to accomplish. If you want to accomplish that your community has less minors then the suggestion is useful. If you don't want to do that, then the date of birth field should be disabled.
On my big board we do successfully block a lot of minors and this has a positive effect on our content quality.
But how can you ever really know someone's age? You can't, the only thing that might be possible to check that they're 18 or over is use something like paypal or a credit card and ask the member to pay a penny to your site to verify they're at least 18. But even then, that doesn't tell you their age, it just tells you that the member has access to a adult payment method.
 

Pierce

Well-known member
#13
Disposable emails, fake birthdays, privacy tab. Unless your going to lock an IP to a user someone determined will get around it.

On mobile it takes time to enter a birth date. A tick box is just as valid as entering your full birth date.