The Age Thing

truthingtotruth

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Okey-dokey, now I am in territory where I need serious help. I am lost. I understand there are all sorts of laws in all sorts of Earth national/state zones where a certain age triggers troubles and so on and so on.

But I have some trouble with a few things.

First of all, I could be terribly impressed on this Net with a human that is writing well and explaining things well and I could give a rat's arse if that human is 15 Earth years of age or 60 Earth years of age. But down on the land areas of Earth it seems that 15 is below some sort of law line, right? How about up here on the Net?

I think what I am asking is who has come across a scholar's paper that summarizes the picture of this age thing on the Net in such a way I can study the paper in one full day of reading and get a good picture of most of the ins-and-outs of all national/regional laws that affect us up here in/on the Net?

And, yes, I am now cutting corners on my homework assignments by asking for that kind of help. I am not sure I am going to have the time to go and do days of research to find a paper as I described above. Frankly, the doc in his last briefing to me --- the chief doc of that team --- he used the vocabulary aggressive a number of times as we reviewed the relapse that caught everyone by surprise. And he clearly stated that I have to be mighty careful each and every day forever, because he knows there will be a second one, and when is the big question. And in my case the membrane around my brain is of concern to them docs and I had one coma during this recent first relapse and could possibly lose proper brain function in a second relapse and so I am cutting corners on research/homework I had planned and this age thing is a biggie and so I sure could use a bit of help, if you don't mind my asking.

Thank you.
 

sanction9

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Okay, I'll say it since no one else will: this is a mostly incomprehensible mess. :ROFLMAO:

You might want to restate in, eh, less poetic language, exactly what it is you're looking for more information on. How various age groups behave on the internet? Laws dealing with minors on the internet? :unsure:
 

Kaelon

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Okay, I'll say it since no one else will: this is a mostly incomprehensible mess. :ROFLMAO:

You might want to restate in, eh, less poetic language, exactly what it is you're looking for more information on. How various age groups behave on the internet? Laws dealing with minors on the internet? :unsure:

The TL;DR is this:
  1. truthingtotruth is interested in how expectations of maturity / laws of consent / age-related autonomy is managed or regulated on the Internet, and how it compares, broadly, to the Earth's nations.

  2. He also remarked that he's cutting corners and looking for help because he has advanced terminal brain cancer, and doesn't have much time left. So he's spending time asking esoteric questions like these and conducting research in order to answer some longstanding "meaning of life" questions that he hasn't grappled with until now.
My reactions for you, truthingtotruth, are as follows:
  • I don't think there is a single academic study that answers the broad questions of age-related independence and legal autonomy on the Net vs. the nations of the Earth, the way you have posed it, largely because (a) the Internet is not considered a separate legal entity, and it is, in fact, regulated by each country's national communications laws; and, (b) each country has very well established age of consent and age of maturity laws.

  • I also greatly empathize with your need to take shortcuts. I have had many of my own family members whose life was cut short in their 50s thanks to advanced cancer, and so I am sensitive to the march of time. I honestly recommend you stop wasting your time on this forum, and hit up Reddit for broad research questions like these. There is a subreddit for every imaginable topic and it is filled with both real- and imagined-experts in their fields, who can very quickly point you in the direction you require.
I am so sorry that you are going through this. Please, make every moment matter. Online. With your loved ones. In ways that matter deeply to you.
 

sanction9

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Ah. I'll still contend that a little more plain language would be better next time, but kudos to you for sorting it out. And I agree, that sounds like an extremely broad area of study - too broad - to find some kind of more or less concise summary of.

truthingtotruth Best of luck to you, sir!

 
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Pete

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There is a subreddit for every imaginable topic and it is filled with both real- and imagined-experts in their fields, who can very quickly point you in the direction you require.

I hadn't thought of it in this particular case but I am inclined to agree... this particular corner has its share of experts (real and imagined!), though we are but a few.

Though this particular subject is one that absolutely benefits from more asynchronosity in the conversation flow than less ;)

There is also the corollary to this, that this debate is also somewhat thinking about what a completely post-physical conception of an internet society might look like.

If you decouple maturity from physiological age - that number of years around the sun is no real basis for judging adulthood (except in a physically adult fashion primarily related to human procreation) - you can also start to look at a fully internet-only community as being more aligned along somewhere between a pure meritocracy-democracy axis; if you're no longer contingent on 'age', you can be more objective about what is being discussed on its own merits, and then run with those discussions and suggestions.
 

mysiteguy

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I honestly recommend you stop wasting your time on this forum, and hit up Reddit for broad research questions like these.

Or better yet... get out and live, experience, interact with "live" people and find joy with the life that's left!
 

truthingtotruth

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Okey-dokey, it would seem I should apologize and be a little clearer on a few points and then offer a concrete example related to age.

Firstly, I do not think I have brain cancer, I have lymphoma and it seems what happens is the cancer gets into the membrane (via spinal fluid) around the brain and then enlarges that membrane causing it to put pressure on the brain that then causes some troubles, or worse. But more detail on that is unnecessary. It is simply the reason I am asking for assistance on some matters I had intended to study on my own. I am rushing now, in other words.

Now the age question would be at/near the top of the list, if some sort of Federation of Online Communities were to gain hold - - - a BIG IF - - - would there be a requirement to enforce a minimum age of a Community Leader?

And to help answer that question I turn to two Big Tech entities:


The link above indicates Google rules are set per national law, or:

For all countries not listed below, 13 is the minimum age to manage your own Google Account.


The "Accepted Answer" to the question on that Microsoft page is a surprise:

Based on what I know, there is no limitation about age when registering a developer account.

I happened to start my post above with the comment about a fifteen years of age human communicating in a proper manner to indicate to everyone that I personally could give a hoot what your age is, as long as you make sense.

BUT there has to be some thought given to legal requirements if there were to be forward movement with the idea in a related thread about the possibility of a federation; or whatever it may end up being called.

I think age is an important legal matter that cannot be ignored. But that answer on Microsoft's page is a surprise.

So specific legal questions arise, and as a tangent to that I was wondering if anyone had read any papers written about age and Internet use, whether on specifics of a legal nature; or possibly even on any more general aspects of age and the Net.

Simply put, age cannot be ignored if one is attempting to form an organization of Community Leaders of Online Communities.

Now, if you view the idea of any sort of organization of Online Communities as being some sort of stupid dream, then this thread isn't really anything you need concern yourself with.

But I do appreciate the input thus far. And I apologize for that very loosely worded OP. I'll see if I can mend my ways in future and put my questions more into a courtroom style of concise wording a judge would approve of.

By the way, does your own Online Community follow your nation's law on age requirements?

Are there laws in your nation regarding the age of a member joining your Online Community?
 
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Pete

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By the way, does your own Online Community follow your nation's law on age requirements?

Are there laws in your nation regarding the age of a member joining your Online Community

No. Legal age of such a thing in my country is notionally 13 as this is deemed old enough to understand online safety and signing up to things. But I usually have a 18+ rule on communities, because 1) not every country works the same way and avoiding the hassle is worth the effort, and 2) I appreciate a certain level of maturity in discussions.
 

truthingtotruth

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No. Legal age of such a thing in my country is notionally 13 as this is deemed old enough to understand online safety and signing up to things. But I usually have a 18+ rule on communities, because 1) not every country works the same way and avoiding the hassle is worth the effort, and 2) I appreciate a certain level of maturity in discussions.

I'm concerned about asking the question in public, but have you ever been challenged on the age requirement of 18 because it is 13 in the nation where your server is located? It is where the location of the server is that determines the laws you must follow, yes?
 

Pete

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It is where the location of the server is that determines the laws you must follow, yes?

No, not really.

So, I am in Britain which approximately follows the EU GDPR regulations. In Britain the minimum age is 13 - and if I were geo-restricting it, I could quite easily make the case for 13+.

But other countries don't have the same level so I'd need to get parental permission to let a teenager on the site.

It doesn't actually matter if the server is in Britain or not at that point, I am legally the 'data controller' and any agreement about what data I keep about people is between me and them, and what laws I am subject to as data controller with the implication that they are also bound by the same laws.

If the GDPR were ever enforceable meaningfully outside the EU there would be a case for doing this everywhere, but what was spotlighted as very much a global problem hasn't turned out that way.

Anyway. Beyond that we're getting into the realms of 'it's my site, my space, I am not obliged to offer you service if I don't want to'. It would be difficult to argue meaningfully that I'm 'denying service' to, say, a 14 year old and then I'm being 'discriminatory' as such because while there is the legality of holding the data, I wouldn't want to get into the legal quagmire of whether a minor can meaningfully agree to a contract - which while difficult to argue as 'legally binding', it's still evidentially a contract of sorts.

I've not been challenged on it. The reality is that I don't enforce it as such; I put the rule in, if people want to lie, that's up to them but if I find out about it, out comes the ban hammer.
 

zappaDPJ

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I'd argue that age is a pretty arbitrary factor when it comes to accessing the Internet whereas parental responsibility is and should be everything. Clicking a tick box to say you're above a certain age protects the content provider but does nothing for the user.
 
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