When a minor visits the forum

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06 Dec 2016 04:49 #267362 by Leah Starspectre
I see a lot of new journals through the IP Team. Does this mean that if I see a journal where someone announces their age and it's under 18, I should report it?

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06 Dec 2016 06:11 #267364 by Kit
Replied by Kit on topic When a minor visits the forum

Leah Starspectre wrote: I see a lot of new journals through the IP Team. Does this mean that if I see a journal where someone announces their age and it's under 18, I should report it?


Yes, I use the "Report This" button on the bottom right of the post. I also tend to message the person to give them a heads up.
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06 Dec 2016 08:17 - 06 Dec 2016 08:20 #267367 by Alexandre Orion
I tend to agree with John here, this seems like a "solution looking for a problem". And as James was sort of roundaboutly pointing out, the kids aren't really more at risk than any of us are.

Let's admit it, this has much less to do with protecting the under 18's as it is about protecting ourselves from any legal ramifications that the parents or any other juridic entity might want to throw at us. And in the mass-hysteria of "protecting our youth", courts often see the defendant as guilty until proven innocent.

Now even saying that, I'll emphasise too that there is something to that and it ought not be ignored. Even innocence having been proven, that mass-hysteria effect will condemn what the court has decided didn't actually occur. The public will carry out the hanging anyway .... Just recently here, we've had a pretty sad case where the presse came out with the story of a little girl allegedly violated by her teacher. Well, that is "news", I suppose, in a way ... except that they came out with the story before the trial. As of this moment, I don't know as that the accused has been tried and found guilty. But the bloke's life and career are now ruined whether he did it or not. Just the allegation is quite enough to cause irreparable damage.

It is true that Facebook and other, more popular (gaming sites for instance) web communities are running a much greater "risk" than we are here, and I feel that we are perhaps being a little too much harsh on our minors in the TotJO. As someone else pointed out, they may very much need to talk about things going on at school or just various aspects of growing up which aren't easy (this too is in the mission of the TotJO !) and just alluding to being a high school student (some 'seniors' exempted by virtue of their 18th birthdays ?) can get them chastised because it's not "safe" ? Not letting them talk may not be safe either ... After all, like Roz said, "we're a Church" and, sorry to state the obvious, but Churches don't deal with "safe". We specialise in existential angst that is, by its very nature, "not safe".

I'm looking forward to the information resulting from John's research with a certain alacrity... :)

Chaque homme a des devoirs envers l'homme en tant qu'homme.
~ Henri Bergson
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06 Dec 2016 09:15 - 06 Dec 2016 09:33 #267374 by tzb
Replied by tzb on topic When a minor visits the forum
I think every single other forum I've ever used has had an "age" field which displays next to a person's screen name, avatar and post count. The idea we're "protecting" children by treating them differently, screening them off on the "kid's table" and policing what they have a right to say about themselves is just one way we are making this community noninclusive to vast swathes of our members.

If what we were talking about here was inherently "adult", for example a forum about alcohol or pornography or driving or god knows what, it might make some degree of sense to have an age rule like this. How ironic that what we're actually talking about is the unity of existence, the fundamental "sameness" of all who find themselves in reality, how to live a good life and make sense of the world, things under-18s probably know more about and are more invested in than most "adults".

How about just letting people be people, and if they're younger letting them make that clear either directly or through their conduct? Why are Jedi seen as so untrustworthy that the presence of a child would turn us into slavering paedophiles? It seems utterly bizarre to me and always has.
Last edit: 06 Dec 2016 09:33 by tzb.

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06 Dec 2016 12:43 - 06 Dec 2016 12:53 #267389 by Avalon

As I said in my post, if someone is under 18 but at least 13 they must have a parents or guardians consent to be registered here. Certainly to be a Member they do.


This was stated multiple times, but... I would argue that this ends up not being the case, for one reason in particular: The number of minors who say "I don't know how my parents would react if they knew I was ...." in regard to looking at a....unconventional religion. Leaving the family religion. Etc, etc, etc, etc.... I've seen more instances where the minor either strongly implies or straight out comes and says that their parents don't know they're on site. Further, the way the Youth FAQ reads, it's strongly implied that parents are not always contacted by the Temple to verify that the minor has permission to be on the site.

Straight from the Youth FAQ itself: "In some cases we may ask to double check with your parent(s) or guardian(s) that they are aware, and happy, with your membership of the Temple." Not in all. Not every time. The implication then is very strong that parental permission is not always needed or even sought. And as Steam pointed out, unless you get it directly from the parent with proof that the sender is the parent, you make a great assumption in saying that all minors on the site have parental permission to be on the site. Some minors might simply say they have permission to appease the powers that be, while in reality they don't.

Don't get me wrong; I think TOTJO is a great resource for minors to have these days. And I'm not advocating that the Temple actively goes out and pursues communication with each and every minor's parent(s) out of fear that they do not know the minor is a part of the site. On the contrary, to be sure. I feel for those minors who come through the site and feel they have to hide their membership from their parents; I certainly never would have had to do so with my own, simply because (once explained to them) they would have known I was being curious and trying to explore new ideas. But I come a from a far more liberal family in terms of things such as religion than many minors will, and it does exist that if those parents were to find out about their membership here, things would be less than stellar for them at home, which is why taking the extra steps to protect the children we do have come through here seems all the more important.

And as for the comment that we can tell they're a minor when they post pictures about themselves or talk about school (I had had this quoted but somehow misplaced this section)
1 - I'm not entirely certain the Youth FAQ / Minor's Agreement allows for the posting of pictures of themselves, and if it does, then I would highly encourage the revisiting of this policy to remove that ability. That's probably more dangerous than anything else we worry about them posting.

2 - I talk about school all the time; I'm not a minor. Haven't been for quite a number of years.


There's compelling reasons why someone's age or place in school would be very relevant to a discussion, a plea for help, and tempering responses when the reader knows the poster is younger.


I won't necessarily disagree with this. However, I would say that we have a youth forum for a reason, do we not? And a clergy? And perhaps a youth saying, "I'm under 18" isn't necessarily the most dangerous thing out there, but why encourage something that might spiral into a onslaught of information they shouldn't be posting in the first place?


Surely with the vast powers and combined intelligence of us combined here we can work out something where it's OK to be under 18 and still be safe. Our mission demands it.


I thought that's what the current system was for? The rules have always been extremely explicit that minors are not to post personal information about themselves (dob, full name, where they live, etc). And yet, I'd be willing to say a vast majority of those youth don't look at the youth FAQ based on the sheer number of youth who either completely ignore them, or actively just do not care.

I think every single other forum I've ever used has had an "age" field which displays next to a person's screen name, avatar and post count. The idea we're "protecting" children by treating them differently, screening them off on the "kid's table" and policing what they have a right to say about themselves is just one way we are making this community noninclusive to vast swathes of our members.


I don't see how there's anything exclusionary in telling a minor that they shouldn't be posting personal information about themselves. If anything, I would say it's teaching good internet safety to them. Perhaps it's because I grew up in a time where, or under parents whom, the enforcement of "don't tell anything about yourself on the Internet" was as rampant as "don't answer the door unless they know the special passcode!" Unfortunately, my experience has taught us that most of today's parents (not all), of the youth we'll be getting through our doors are around my age or just a bit older and are so entirely comfortable with the internet, we no longer bother to each our children internet safety; worse, many simply don't care to even pass the message on or if our children don't bother to attempt to be safe on the internet.

I see this mostly as a solution in search of a problem.


I don't. Read above. There's plenty of reasons to tell a minor not to post that they're a minor, or personal information about themselves. We, as adults, have just begun to ignore those reasons in our own lives that we've stopped looking at how they're applicable to a minor's life. Again, perhaps it's just the way I was raised, who I was raised by, and when I was raised. I'd dare anyone though who hasn't seen my application or isn't friended with me on Facebook, both of which combined are probably a good 99% of the Temple population, to find out any information on me. What's the harm in teaching a minor good internet security? Because that's all the current rules are doing. And in any case, this must still very much applies and is good enough of a reason as any:

Let's admit it, this has much less to do with protecting the under 18's as it is about protecting ourselves from any legal ramifications that the parents or any other juridic entity might want to throw at us. And in the mass-hysteria of "protecting our youth", courts often see the defendant as guilty until proven innocent.


But then if we erase all effort to protect the minors, I'm not entirely certain I can disagree with the idea of "guilty until proven innocent"....

Facebook has no issues with someone talking about being on a high school freshman football team or mentioning they're excited about their 17th birthday coming up.


Last I checked, Facebook also gives parents direct access to a minor's account and the ability to remove that information if they so desire. We do not. Which is probably also why Roz said minor's shouldn't be posting links to their social media sites on the site; those sites do afford an extra level of protection that we cannot, despite the fact that they are also set up a bit to make minors a little bit more of a target.



I've read through the Youth FAQ numerous times in the past, and while writing up this post, and I truly do not see the site as overstepping bounds or being exclusionary. I'm not entirely certain I see an issue with a minor posting "I'm a minor", but that's me personally. I can see how people would have an issue with that; I can see how people wouldn't. But like I said before, the truth of the matter is is that most minors do not receive any sort of education of how to be safe on the internet, purely because the internet has become such an integral part of their every day life. We really shouldn't assume that the parents either know their child is on the site, or are even caring to know what they're posting on the internet. Quite frankly, the internet as a whole shows that there's more proof to the contrary. And if part of our "mission" is to provide a safe location for a minor to learn and be part of the organization, then I would argue that that part dictates we at least make the effort to provide the teaching where they may not receive it from those close to them. Wasn't it just in the "don't treat online differently than offline" thread that people were talking about not using things such as Uber due to security concerns? If we're putting these internet safety practices into practice for ourselves, why would we not enforce them for a minor... especially knowing that this may be the only place that minor learns how to practice good internet safety?

Finally, I would leave those of you with children with these question: Would you want your child going to a random site and posting pictures of themselves, their names, their age, where they live? And how many of you truly know every site your child visits every day? If you weren't a member of TOTJO and you discovered your child had become a member of the site, don't you think you'd feel a little bit better about the site for taking extra steps to protect them online?

I know what my answer would be.





One final thought before I forget it: I'm not sure we'd be doing the minors any favor by allowing them to announce they're a minor in the first place.

Have any of you checked your subconscious biases lately? Meaning, have any of you really stopped and considered how you might treat a minor differently than an adult?

I don't remember which thread it was or by whom, but I do remember reading on the site rather recently (yesterday I believe), the old phrase of "children should be seen, but not heard".... So I would ask you to strongly consider how often you dismiss what someone is saying because you know that person is still "only a child"...

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Last edit: 06 Dec 2016 12:53 by Avalon.
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06 Dec 2016 13:12 #267395 by Trisskar
Personally.....Censoring a Youth for stating that they are Youths, I feel, Is wrong.

I feel it is wrong because this information is very important for the member base. The announcement that someone is a youth, alone, gives the older member base a nice red flag that says "Hey! This Kid requires direction and more personal attention." If I did not know someone was a Minor.....I would not know to direct them to the Youth FAQ's. If I did not know they were a Minor. I would not know to direct them to Youth Teams instead of regular administrations. If I did not now they were a minor...I would not know to remind them to ensure family/guardian/parent are present and part of their interactions online. Me knowing they are a Minor helps me in knowing the best ways to help them.

There is no harm what so ever in a person saying "I am a minor."

That's Just me though.

However

Obviously. ANYONE should be discouraged from posting personal information. Why do you think I am so against the Real Name in Oaths and the Address/Phone in Member Applications? Why is it only bad for Minors? I am 31 years old and am aghast at how openly stupid people are with that stuff these days....

Obviously. YOUTHS should be encouraged to Include Parental/Guardian's into their interactions here online

Obviously. YOUTHS will require more hand holding and Monitoring than the rest of the membership.

But....That being said. Them saying they are a Minor I really don't see the issue. But that's just me. If you don't want us Elders to know about the Younglings. Then it would be better to limit all youngling access to the main website period and re-direct them to a completely separate forum/chat/temple grounds. Coz that's really the only safest way to handle it.
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06 Dec 2016 13:39 #267400 by Zenchi
Trisskar brings up a few good points...

I myself have only been able to be of service to minors by providing them links and names so they quickly get acclimated properly. Had they not proclaimed themselves as minor, I would have never known, and very probably would have made things more confusing for them in the long run.

Having said that, I get it...

As much as we attempt to make this a safe place, it is not. The Temple has enemies, and unfortunately some of them are even from our side of the community sadly enough. I wouldn't put it past any of them to try and making something up in attempts to stir the pot. We live in an age where it is extremely easy to ruin someone simply by throwing accusations. It does not take much to get it started either.

There's no possible way we can enforce a rule where their parents are online with them at all times, and sooner or later, someone will try and use this as a way to undermine this churches integrity. I'm not sure I see a fix, besides keeping all minors completely seperate from the main site, and honestly I don't like the sound of that either...

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06 Dec 2016 13:47 - 06 Dec 2016 14:08 #267401 by Trisskar
Honestly I think a fix is very easy. All that needs to happen is a change of how the Home Page looks and a better Application system as well as a proper Forum Security.



*Sigh* The new upgrades hate my images....>_>
Last edit: 06 Dec 2016 14:08 by Trisskar.
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06 Dec 2016 14:14 #267406 by J_Roz
Replied by J_Roz on topic When a minor visits the forum
I have been the Youth Officer for almost a year now, before me Edan, Jestor has always been there to help and step in too.

We work very hard to help our kids here, I know I have stopped even when I'm on break at the PD to answer a youth question. We have a great system in place, the problem like most things is no one reads the rules. I have stayed after work when I'm done teaching to walk a youth through our youth area. I have really tried to step in and help when asked. However sometimes I'm driving (well a lot of times) or simply cannot use my smart phone at that moment to log on. When that happens and someone sees something report it and as soon as I possibly can I will address it.

If I have been lax in the job I have been given please let me know, or report my lack of work to the Council. We all need to work as a team and yes I have youth that are really excited to be here and post things before they understand what the rules are. Most majority of our kids stay a week or two when they realize that this isn't a role playing group or it just is not for them. Or in some cases they are supposed to introduce themselves to me and never do then I find out about it later. It takes a village here.

What we have in place works, when folks follow the rules, I didn't think this was up for debate. Edan posted a reminder and I supplemented it.

If I have failed please let me know, because I then need to be replaced.

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06 Dec 2016 14:27 - 06 Dec 2016 14:28 #267409 by Trisskar
I don't think anyone here has said you have failed J_Roz. I am certian you do a great job ^_^

If anything. My responses was my way of showing support and assistance. I may not be a Youth Officer....But I am on often, being a stay at home mom I have my chats hanging open all the time and I help where I can. Even created a New Member help document linked in my sig in further attempt to help.

But I can't help if I do not know.

You shouldn't have to do all the work ;) Job/Duty or not. We are all here. We are ALL a team..... But I need to know if who I am talking to is a minor or not. Which is why I say it should be allowed for them to say as much. :)
Last edit: 06 Dec 2016 14:28 by Trisskar.
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