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Interaction between younger and older TB members

Discussion in 'Suggestion Box' started by soulgeezer, Jul 23, 2007.


  1. soulgeezer

    soulgeezer Banned

    Jan 29, 2007
    Northern New Jersey
    Endorsing Artist: Red Zone Effects
    I have been becoming concerned of late regarding the interaction between the younger (legal minors) and older members of TB, especially in forums like BG OT. Especially in view of recent events in BG OT and the threat of legal action that resulted from them, I have been wondering if there isn't a way to make it easier for people to know with whom they are corresponding.

    For example, in a thread in BG OT that has been quite lively this evening, quite a bit of sexual innuendo was being exchanged between a couple of older members and an underage male member of TB. When I pointed out to the older members that the person with whom they were conversing was underage, they stated that they weren't aware of the fact and quickly exited the thread.

    In that same thread, as well as in other threads, a number of older members have been prodding (one might say harassing) an underage female member of TB to post pictures of herself. This is problematic for obvious reasons. Again, when I pointed out the girl's age, some members edited their posts and exited the thread, while others persist in their requests.

    Would it be possible to require members to list their ages in their profiles and to have the ages appear next to their username in the title bar at the top of their posts? This might alleviate some of these issues.

    Or, to take it a step further, would it be possible to require proof of age before members can post in OT?

    Social interaction between minors and people in their thirties and forties in forums like OT exposes Paul and TB to some very serious potential legal difficulties, which could likely be avoided with some simple preventative measures.

    Is it possible to make any of these changes to reduce the potential for problems?

    Thank you.
     
  2. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    toms_river.nj.us
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    I see it more a need for the older Tbers to clean up their acts and stop making OT what it's recently become.

    Perhaps reporting post that cross lines to the moderators might be a good start.
     
  3. soulgeezer

    soulgeezer Banned

    Jan 29, 2007
    Northern New Jersey
    Endorsing Artist: Red Zone Effects
    I have been doing this. But, there are significant blocks of time, especially on the weekends, when no BG OT mods are online. So, the lag time between reporting and any action being taken can be significant.
     
  4. I agree...OT has become a little too much like highschool to me lately.
     
  5. knarleybass

    knarleybass Commercial User

    Apr 6, 2005
    Tustin, CA
    Owner of Ulyate Instruments
    I am all for this...

    Let's face it, it only takes one time and it's all over. I personally don't think adults and minors should be communicating VIA internet, it may sound harsh, but all it takes is once, lives are ruined and Talk Bass is over.
     
  6. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    toms_river.nj.us
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    if you get no response than perhaps a PM to a supermod or Paul directly. Things come up, but Paul has us pretty well covered section to section.
     
  7. soulgeezer

    soulgeezer Banned

    Jan 29, 2007
    Northern New Jersey
    Endorsing Artist: Red Zone Effects
    I didn't know there were "supermods" (but, I can guess what their special powers are! ;) ). Are they listed somewhere?

    The problem with this, though, is that it puts the onus on the users. Let's face it, if something happens and a youngster is hurt or harassed, it's not the users who are going to bear the brunt of the legal fallout. It's Paul. So, I think it's important for him to proactively protect the site and himself with the support and understanding of the TB membership.
     
  8. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    toms_river.nj.us
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showgroups.php

    The rules are well written and all mods police as per the rules. Legal fallout would simply mean under subpoena the IP information of the offender would be surrendered to the proper authorities. Talkbass does not allow / accept the discussion of or actions of anything illegal within the laws of the USA.



    [edit]I am in know way speaking on behalf of Talkbass or Paul, simply relaying my knowledge on the Hosting / ISP / Telecom side of the legal system as I worked with the "Custodian of Records" for a small business to business Telephone / Internet Service Provider / Hosting company[/edit]
     
  9. Marlat

    Marlat

    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    I am somewhere between Soulgeezer and James on this one (you guys are both overage arn't you :eek: ;) ). The reality is that TB is open to all ages and there is no requirement to enter your age or date of birth in your user profile or for the purposes of an account. Even if there was, there is no verification of this so its a moot point. I may be 28, I may be 15, I may be 35. You don't know nor could you know unless you have seen my birth certificate.

    As a result of this, if this is really an issue (as Soulgeezer seems to suggest it is), then the only thing that can be done about it in a practical sense is for:

    a) older members to act in accordance with the rules (ie clean their acts up);

    b) perhaps impose stricter rules about interaction between adults and known minors (ie sexual innuendos, request for pics etc getting instant bans); and

    c) other users reporting posts diligently to the moderators.

    I can't see what else can be done?

    Of course, as James says, if everyone acted within both the substanance and the spirit of the rules. Would this even be a problem? :eyebrow:
     
  10. soulgeezer

    soulgeezer Banned

    Jan 29, 2007
    Northern New Jersey
    Endorsing Artist: Red Zone Effects
    Clearly, I believe all three of your suggestions need to be done. But, I think (b) would be the most important right now, as it might lead to an increase in both (a) and (c).
     
  11. jady

    jady

    Jul 21, 2006
    Modesto, CA
    I am a bit confused, Whereas I will admit that asking for pics of female members of any age is iffy (some do willingly participate in the banter though) the underage member SG is referring to has the age of 19 on her profile. Has she misrepresented her age or is there some confusion going on here?

    It is very easy to get caught up in some of the banter in BG OT and see other members as peers (I am guilty of this), especially from the maturity of the content of some of the posts. I also do not make it a practice to look at a posters age or gender before replying (maybe I should start though). Whereas I have never seen anything that I have considered to be an "online predator" the legal system's interpetation may differ.

    Perhaps a special symbol like the online/offline dot next to a user to signify a minor would be a good idea.
     
  12. Techmonkey

    Techmonkey

    Sep 4, 2004
    Wales, UK
    What about pink dots for females, and blue dots for males? Perhaps there could be an indication of which age group the user is in... eg., under 15, under 18, under 21, 21+ ? it could be something like the age stamp you get on the back of a DVD box.
     
  13. jady

    jady

    Jul 21, 2006
    Modesto, CA
    Not a bad idea TM, If the member does not want that info divulged, dont fill it in the profile. Age and Gender is not required for membership right?

    That way if anything fishy happens, TB could not be liable right?
     
  14. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Well - if we made all "non music related" forums for supporters only and insisted that this was paid by credit card only - then you would know for certain that all participants were over 18 and in effect "adults".

    I think this would be a good idea - fair enough for children to get advice on music and bass playing from adults - but as has been pointed out - it's not on, for them to be taking part in adult 'open' discussions! :meh:

    I was reminded of this thread recently when I read News articles about the fact that certain "social net sites" reviewed their membership and found over 30,000 registered paedophiles as members on their sites!!! :eek: And presumably that was only the ones who had been honest...:eyebrow:

    Maybe ...sadly.... TB needs to consider that this is now too big a problem to ignore...:(
     
  15. Marlat

    Marlat

    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    You wouldn't know they were over 18 though as a parent could pay by credit card on behalf of a child. Talkbass doesn't have any identity verification procedure other than a valid email address.
     
  16. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    You could verify that the credit card name matches other details...?
     
  17. Marlat

    Marlat

    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    What other details? All you need for an account on TB is a valid email address. You can make up any of the other details. If my dad's name was "Peter" and I was 12, I could create an account for me, but with the real name as "Peter Latimour". Pay with my Dad's card and then you would think I was over 18 even though I was really 12 because none of the details, other than a valid email address, are checked.

    The point is that without a proper verification system for age, you cannot assume that anyone is over 18 and have an "adults" forum like the Lobby. The safest thing to assume on TB is that everyone is underage.

    Edit: It just dawned on me why you don't remember that - you signed up like 7 years ago! :D
     
  18. soulgeezer

    soulgeezer Banned

    Jan 29, 2007
    Northern New Jersey
    Endorsing Artist: Red Zone Effects
    Either way, the parent would be aware of the child's activity (in the latter case when the bill came with the charge listed). As the parent granting use of the credit card would imply that the parent was condoning and supervising the activity, TB would be able to argue that the child was participating with his/her parents' consent. As consent had been given, TB's liability would be far less.

    If this is incorrect, please correct me, Mark. Thanks!
     
  19. Marlat

    Marlat

    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    I don't think you could successfully imply consent from that. You could certainly disclaim your way around it, but I wouldn't want to be on the end of a lawsuit from a parent because "merely" because the parent paid for a subscription, it was assumed that the child was over 18 years old and relying on implied consent.
     
  20. soulgeezer

    soulgeezer Banned

    Jan 29, 2007
    Northern New Jersey
    Endorsing Artist: Red Zone Effects
    Could a TOS be created that required people to confirm their age at the time of registration as a supporting member, that would require member to at least declare their age? I believe that such declarations are recognized legally as proof of age and that making such declarations falsely is considered fraud. Either way, wouldn't the Web site with such a TOS be protected?
     

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