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User Age

1. We have not been requiring members of our forum to supply their age. A 13-year-old signed up, and I configured him for manual approval of all his posts. (I created a group for this so I just add people to the group as needed.)

I'd appreciate hearing what, if any, legal issues there might be that I'm not aware of, and just in general how others manage this. I asked our HQ and they replied "We have no policy regarding minors" and that's that, so it's up to me.

2. If I enable requiring birthdate/age, what happens to my existing users? Will they be required to supply this the next time they login?

Thanks in advance for your replies.



Active member
I have no age requirement on my communities because they are informational only. I don't run porn, gambling or illegal niche communities so I don't see the point in applying this. I think maybe it's a personal choice. They can get the same info on Wiki as they can other places without verifying an age limit. The only other way I could see a concern is if you were collecting private information for marketing or doing giveaways. I do none of those activities. I would say in this case YMMV...
Our company publishes books on exercise and certifies instructors in our methods. As such, people are asking and answering questions on our forum, and those people can include employees of the company, non-employees who we've certified, and other members. I am concerned, and I grant that this is a rather vague concern on my part, that an adult asking a question and acting upon the advice he or she receives is somehow different than a minor doing the same. What if, e.g., a child is asking questions without his parents' permission, what if, well, there are a lot of "what if" scenarios here.

And, uh, no, we don't run porn, gambling, or illegal niche communities on our forum. I don't even know what the latter might be, and I don't think I want to know, either.



Active member
If you're in the United States, you only need to be concerned if the child is under 13 years old. I'd imagine the EU has something similar.
Thanks snog for posting that. I didn't read the entire thing yet, but this was extremely important:
The Rule applies to operators of commercial websites and online services (including mobile apps) directed to children under 13 that collect, use, or disclose personal information from children, and operators of general audience websites or online services with actual knowledge that they are collecting, using, or disclosing personal information from children under 13. The Rule also applies to websites or online services that have actual knowledge that they are collecting personal information directly from users of another website or online service directed to children.
I don't collect any personal information. However, the part about a username that can be used to identify a person. That might be the only part that I have to consider because you need a username to register.

Anyways, I appreciate the link and I need to digest it and read it in it's entirety to make sure I have all my community's ducks in a row.