Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
Keeping kids safe on the internet is a difficult problem... you're right. Age restriction requirements are easy to break.
Why does YouTube, or any free video site, age restrict some videos when a very smart 8-year-old little kid could just create an account and lie about his or her age?
In this excerpt from Answercast #35, I look at age restrictions on the internet and how poor of a job it does in preventing underage access.
Yea, that is kind of frustrating isn't it?
It's very, very common. Facebook, for example, is not supposed to be used by people under 13. Most porn sites have some kind of birthday verification scenario that you need to enter before you can access the adult content. And as you said, YouTube even has some age restriction kind of technology in place.
Here's the problem:
As you say, they can easily select a birth year that is the correct number of years away from today to make themselves look as if they are over 21, or over 13, or over whatever.
So why do sites do that? In a word, I blame the lawyers (I guess that's more than one word).
The issue is: by forcing that step, the site has placed the ultimate responsibility for who can and cannot access their site, not on themselves, but on the users.
I'm not a lawyer, I really have no idea, but they believe that by having asked the user to present their age, they then are not responsible for doing anything more to verify it.
If somebody lies, well, it's that person-who-lied's fault that they were able to access the site
And not the site's fault.
So that's what I think is going on here. I really do think it is basically
legal "behind covering," if you will, and nothing more.
Next from Answercast 35 – How do I encrypt my backup if it's on an external drive?
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