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 Post subject: Re: Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998
PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2016 1:03 pm 
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For information, the site is registered in the US but I think we are neglecting the (non-legal expert) advice given that COPPA is fundamentally about commercial ensnarement and therefore this site is probably exempt. The easiest solution is to change host. The second easiest solution (if thought necessary) would be to ask our younger members to get parental approval. Let us hope that the ones we want to keep will find that easier than the ones we want to lose!


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 Post subject: Re: Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998
PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2016 2:35 pm 
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There is a third option and that is to have a more active moderation of the forum.
Obvious trolling is obvious and shouldn't be tolerated.


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 Post subject: Re: Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998
PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2016 9:30 am 
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I have to agree with AMenard here. Despite protestations to the contrary, a privately operated forum - even one with an open-door policy - has no obligation to allow free speech, even in nations where the government is so obliged (like so many other "rights", this is not actually intended to enshrine an abstract principle or natural right, but place a check on government power - something which doesn't apply to groups which are privately run, as the admins have absolute power regardless and our access to the site is a grace given at their sufferance).

We generally want to encourage open discourse rather than suppress it, of course, but the very existence of moderation powers implies a limit to what can be posted. If someone is abusing or ignoring the rules of the site, they should be encouraged - with increasing penalties for failure to comply - to stop the problem behavior. I know it is a fine line to toe - I would not want the mods banning people for a first offense, or for things they say in the General Ramblings forum if it isn't actual trolling or incitement to criminal behavior - but there is a value to be gained from policing the groups rather than leaving it to an escalating cycle of flaming.

I think the mods here have mostly done a fair job, but I do think they could step up a bit more in enforcing things such as the appropriate forums in which to start a given thread (which can often be solved by simply moving the thread, possibly with a warning not to repeat the mistake, a simple and usually effective method). I think more use could be made of temporary bans in the 24-72 hour range for a number of issues.

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 Post subject: Re: Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998
PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2016 11:16 am 
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Well gentle words in 95% of cases would be more effective than bans, though these may have their place.

However, the thread was about children and though we have some problems here we also have children who are enthusiastic and appropriate.
Lets not muddle up the two issues. And of course, some of the children we have concerns about may well not be children anyway.


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 Post subject: Re: Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998
PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2016 2:24 pm 
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MichaelFarthing wrote:
Well gentle words in 95% of cases would be more effective than bans, though these may have their place.

However, the thread was about children and though we have some problems here we also have children who are enthusiastic and appropriate.
Lets not muddle up the two issues. And of course, some of the children we have concerns about may well not be children anyway.


I don't really believe that the person responsible for the need of this discussion is in fact a child. I just think he's someone trying to pass himself as a child while wasting our time with trollish post.

But even if I'm mistaken and he's really a child, then sadly for him, he doesn't have neither the skill, the knowledge and the maturity to post on an operating system development forum. His needs would be better served by going to a more kid friendly introductory programming forum and learn about coding a bit more before coming back asking us to debug code he copied and pasted from Stack...


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 Post subject: Re: Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998
PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2016 4:57 am 
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DavidCooper wrote:
There are ten thousand members of this site (minus duplicates and the departed), but the chance of there being no paedophiles amongst them is next to zero. We don't see what goes on in PMs behind the scene, so how do we know there isn't any grooming going on where a child has been identified by a predator?
This raises another point of concern to me. This morning I received a PM from one of the posters here who claims to be a minor. The potential dangers, to both sides, of a private exchange between a mature adult and a minor should be obvious to everyone, however innocent the contents. I have no intention of exposing myself to such dangers.

I deleted the PM without opening it, and I would do the same with any such PM. Anything that needs to be said to me can be said on the open forum.

It may be true, as Brenden posits, that the "9-year old" poster is actually a 19-year old liar; equally it may be that the "29-year old" poster is a 9-year old liar. I have no way of telling so the safest action is to say that I will in future delete all PMs, from any poster, unopened. (I haven't checked yet whether the forum software allows me to refuse PMs.) I guess I can trust that the moderators are who they say they are but, otherwise, I have no need for private communications from or to other posters.


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 Post subject: Re: Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998
PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2016 1:59 am 
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iansjack wrote:
(I haven't checked yet whether the forum software allows me to refuse PMs.)

You can turn PMs from regular users off; the relevant setting is User Control Panel -> Board preferences -> Allow users to send you private messages.

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 Post subject: Re: Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998
PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2016 2:57 am 
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Thanks. That was also pointed out elsewhere, and I have now made that change.


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 Post subject: Re: Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998
PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 4:37 am 
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Here's my aspect at the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998/2000:

As a matter of fact, i think COPPA may be controversial, and even more in some websites (which thankfully, includes OSDev).

The websites COPPA has been violated are primarily old websites that contain social media features.

However, the phpBB forum, the OSDev forum and the OSDev wiki don't ask for anything personal other than the email when registering a new account, to avoid bots.

You also need to start at a very young age to already be experienced when you're over 13, and so i believe children should be able to learn.

COPPA also literally cyberbullies. You see, you may login in a website as a 11 year old child and get banned immediately for "age". Sites like Kongregate take this so much further that they store cookies (violating COPPA. So COPPA is so flawed that one of the methods violates itself.) to not let the user register again. Also, this causes problems, for example: when a COPPA-complying user tries to register on those PC's, it will

COPPA also can be easily exploited by simply selecting "hai i'm [%random%+13]", or not providing a age (at all)!

COPPA also violates itself. To possibly kick out users, you'll need to knowingly provide your age in some registration or login forms. If a under 13 user tries to put ANY age below 13, the website will violate COPPA (use the age, which is restricted) just to check if the age complies with COPPA! Like, c'mon!

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 Post subject: Re: Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998
PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 2:45 pm 
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Government, law and management all require the exact same fundamental thinking skills as programming, but most of the people involved in these fields are not up to the task - you only have to watch the news to see the chaos they generate. They write programs that freeze and crash at every turn, but because these programs run inside people's heads rather than on silicon chips, the faults are largely masked by people hacking their own fixes for anything that breaks as they go along. They muddle their way to solutions that half work, and everything keeps ticking along just fine, so long as you ignore the failings where victims of this idiocy have their lives totally destroyed by bad systems. This is the normal way of things, so there are, for example, a number of people who have wrongly had their children taken off them by the state after suspicions of child abuse which have subsequently been shown to be due to medical conditions such as brittle bone syndrome, and do they get their children back once the mistake is recognised? Some don't - they continue to have no contact with their own children because their children have by that time been adopted by new parents and "might be confused" if they were given back, even though they remember perfectly well what actually happened to them and want to be reunited with their parents. There are countless examples which show that the world is run by monsters of the genus stupidicus idioticus.

They can't even get the most basic things right. Some children are born months early, while others can be born a couple of weeks late, so there can be over a four month difference in real age between two children who are supposedly the same age. That can significantly disadvantage the ones who are born early if it puts them a year up the school ahead of where they should be, but this idiocy is still stuck to religiously right through to voting age and beyond. The rules rarely judge people by their actual abilities or by how responsible they are, but by a faulty measure of age alone. At least with the driving test there's a measure of ability tied up in it, but it fails to test for responsibility - the top 20% of ten-year-olds would be safer drivers than the worst 20% of people in their twenties (who put everyone else in mortal danger every time they sit behind the wheel), and so would the top 1% of five-year-olds, but the rules simply don't respect responsible children and instead treat them like morons at every turn.

So, it should be of no surprise to anyone that the rules under discussion in this thread are imperfect because they were constructed by the usual kind of mindless people who specialise in making up rules of this kind, although they are rarely completely useless. It appears that the rules about this were originally intended to protect stupid children against the power of advertising (which of course they completely fail to do), but they now have much more to do with protecting children from dangerous predators, although the rules as they are written haven't been updated to state this extension of purpose - if the rules about protecting them from advertising weren't in place, better rules would have had to be put in place to protect them from predators, but because creating legislation is expensive, it is normal to stick with what we've already got if it covers a the same ground. The rules make an effort to keep children out of places where they may be targeted by dangerous adults, and to some degree this may even work. If they wanted to do the job properly though, they would allow children to join forums at any age (if the content is appropriate) without having to hide their age, but it would make all their communications through PMs open to checking by some kind of software that would automatically flag up anything that might be inappropriate, not only to moderators, but also to some external organisation (to guard against moderators being predators). That would actually keep children safe, and help to catch predators. That is not the system we currently have though, so it would be best if anyone here who is under 13 claims to be older than that, and they can reveal their real age later on.

However, it would also be a good idea to get rid of the stars that give a rough guide to users' post counts, because some children seem to be far too keen on collecting them.

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 Post subject: Re: Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998
PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 3:29 pm 
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DavidCooper wrote:
However, it would also be a good idea to get rid of the stars that give a rough guide to users' post counts, because some children seem to be far too keen on collecting them.


I would too suggest removing the stars system because its very wrong (example: unnamed user who has 3 stars but just copy pastes code)

If anyone needs to have a laugh about law take this talk https://media.ccc.de/v/33c3-8229-copywrongs_2_0 its about the eu but still very funny.

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 Post subject: Re: Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998
PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 3:58 pm 
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bauen1 wrote:
DavidCooper wrote:
(example: unnamed user who has 3 stars but just copy pastes code)


I wonder who...

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 Post subject: Re: Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998
PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 4:07 pm 
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bauen1 wrote:
I would too suggest removing the stars system because its very wrong

[s]Somebody's jealous about their lack of stars[/s]

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 Post subject: Re: Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998
PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 3:27 am 
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Guys, the stars only reflect NUMBER OF POSTS MADE, why do you care so much?

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 Post subject: Re: Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998
PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 5:18 am 
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Because it gives a very wrong impression about how competent people are.

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