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Thread: Request for minors on the board

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    On another forum I post at, a political forum, one member wrote in and was freaked out to discover her 12-year-old daughter was talking to adult men while playing World of Warcraft.

    She was about ready to call the police on the guy... I convinced her first to view the chat logs if she could to see if anything improper was being discussed.

    Turns out it was nothing but purely discussing the game. She IMed the guy to let him know the girl he was talking to was 12, and that she was now closely monitoring her online activity.

    Why do I bring this up?

    Because internet security goes both ways.

    If you're a minor, please make sure your parents are aware of your activities on this forum (and any other online activities.)

    Please make sure your parents are OK with your giving out your address before arranging trades.

    Please make sure your parents know who your trading partners are, both screennames and real names/addresses.

    I, for one, would feel more comfortable (if my trading partner were a minor) KNOWING the parents were watching over his shoulder, and knew what was going on.

    Even if you trust the adults here, think of this as protection for THEM, as well. As a fellow parent, if i discovered, with no warning, my daughter were talking to strange men online on some forum, I might be inclined to assume nefarious intentions.
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    I smell a sticky.

    Good stuff, there are a lot of forums I go to and start talking to people then find out they are 13 or 14. It always freaks me out because if I were their parent I would be screaming at them for days for talking to older men online.
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    War. War never changes. Est's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]I smell a sticky.

    Good stuff, there are a lot of forums I go to and start talking to people then find out they are 13 or 14. It always freaks me out because if I were their parent I would be screaming at them for days for talking to older men online.
    I agree that the message of safety is one that should be reiterated, yes. It isn't a bad thing for the forum to occasionaly remind members of the rules and safety.

    I need to marvel at the second statement in my quote, however. The problem is that there is a simple lack of communication and understanding- parents need to teach their kids not to be stupid. If your kid does something stupid on the internet, it could have serious reprocussions. But we're not talking about anything deviating from completely obvious here. There are things that are dangerous on the internet, and there are things that are not.

    For instance, your kids know not to walk up to your stranger and give them your address and phone number. They know not to go around handing out promiscuous pictures of themselves. Parents need to teach kids -that lack the common sense- that doing things on the internet that you wouldn't do in real life is generally a stupid thing to do.

    Why do pedos show up to people's houses? How is this possible?! For the very reasons stated above. Too many times have I heard of a 14 year old girl that posted promiscuous pictures of herself on her myspace along with her address and phone number and then authorities, the public, and the child being AGASP as a pedo comes aknockin'.

    Some kids don't understand the consequences actions, so they need to be taught by their parents. However, there is a point where security and fright become overwhelming.

    I've been on the internet for a long time, and I am still a minor. I've probably been to further corners of the internet than most users here, and I have NEVER had any problem. I've never been solicited, I've never been harassed by a pedophile. I give out my real name. If you post your real name in ONE place, you may as well give it out. A simple google search from many usernames can turn up a name. But what does a person do then? Wow, if you google my name you may find my livejournal, a very old news article about my place in a county science fair, a post or two that I've mad on slashdot. There's a treasure trove- not. However, if you post your ADDRESS somewhere with your name somewhere, then there's potential for people to be able to make the connect- you may leave more footprints on the net than you think.

    I may have my name posted for all to see, but that does not mean I've got my Alien # or SS # available for the world to see- and people need to realize the difference. Giving my name here is as dangerous and giving my name to someone in any public place (OK, we're excluding creepy backalleys here.)

    What's the point of all this? The internet isn't neccessarily more dangerous than any public place. And parents, you should teach your children to understand the internet. Just like any other situation, if they're being solicited or being made uncomfortable by a person, then they should no longer communicate with that person. They should probably tell an adult, too. But your child will be more likely to tell you about the whole situation if they can count on you not flipping out just because they were talking to someone older than them. Teach your kids what is safe and what is unsafe- and have a good understanding of it yourself. Your kids know not to go over to a stranger's house or get in a stranger's car, and they should know that no matter how well they think they know a person on the internet, if they meet them in real life: that person is a stranger.

    I've been communicating with adults over the internet since... what... 6th grade or so? And frankly it's been for the best. With a bit of basic understanding, the internet can be a fun, safe place for people to get together and communicate. I love the way I'm able to communicate with people over the internet- it doesn't matter if the person is a minor, 20, 40, or 60, or where they live- I can talk to folks and learn things that I may never have had the opportunity to learn otherwise. And just like any other situation, people should understand that they chose who they associate with and that reprocussions for their actions can exist.

    I'm not trying to be a troll here, and I hope that people see that. The internet can be a great place, even for kids if they know that the internet is part of real life and that they shouldn't do things on the internet that they wouldn't do in any other social setting. Don't live in a box because you're afraid of the world. Kiddos- use common sense.

    Thanks scott for posting this. Safety on the internet, especially that of children, is serious business.

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    darn, Jonathan, that was one excellent post. And good points from all. Having worked on World of Warcraft, and several other internet games (Diablo, Diablo II - and expansion, Starcraft, Warcraft II and III, etc.), my biggest point of pride is in creating systems where players are in direct social contact with people around the globe. When Diablo I came out, it was among the first true internet games. For the first time, players in the US were playing in the same game and chatting with people from Israel, Germany, Korea, and everywhere. And what's best is that it was totally unforced and natural, and I like to think it shrunk the world and lowered borders everywhere. But for all the good that the internet provides, one does have to pause and consider that there is also danger there, and simple precautions MUST be taught to children who often have unfettered internet access!

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    War. War never changes. Est's Avatar
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    Just wanted to add one thing. I'm not editing it in to my original post because I think that one is fully long enough and is already rife with gramatical chaos.

    As an afterthought: I was thinking about the following

    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]On another forum I post at, a political forum, one member wrote in and was freaked out to discover her 12-year-old daughter was talking to adult men while playing World of Warcraft.
    It's funny because the dad wasn't upset because the girl was playing the game (a place full of older people and intended for including an above-fourteen audience) but because she was communicating with someone out of her "age range."

    As Capslock has shown, people put work in to creating the social aspect of things like this. The father wasn't mad about the game being out of the girls "age range," but the fact that there was someone from whose age the game is intended communicating with his daughter.

    "My 14 year old daughter was in a bar the other day, and I caught her talking to a 20 year old! I scorned that 20 year old and threatened him never to do so again. What a pedo freak!"
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (Est @ Aug. 24 2006,6:14)]"My 14 year old daughter was in a bar the other day, and I caught her talking to a 20 year old! I scorned that 20 year old and threatened him never to do so again. What a pedo freak!"
    That is about the size of it, and that is the way society works, fair or not.

    What I'm saying is that minors here should take into consideration the wellfare of adults with whom they interact -- by letting your parents know who you're talking to and why, this sort of misunderstanding won't happen. And even if completely innocent, this is the sort of thing that can wreck lives.

    Google the "McMartin Trial".
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    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    did the guy know she was 12 before she started talking to him?

    parents freak out a lot, with good reason i guess but they tend to jump to conclusions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (JustLikeAPill @ Aug. 25 2006,2:43)]did the guy know she was 12 before she started talking to him?

    parents freak out a lot, with good reason i guess but they tend to jump to conclusions.
    I have no idea if he knew her age before they started talking, but according to the mother, he was already aware of her age, and stated he was careful not to discuss anything outside of gameplay with her.

    And yes, parents do freak out, and they do tend to jump to conclusions. I am a parent, and I would be no different, if I suddenly realised that adult men were interacting with my daughters. If I knew what it was about and why (i.e., discussing a common hobby like growing plants and trading them), and knew I could check chat logs any time to verify they were OK, and could let the other people know that their activity with my daughters was subject to scrutiny, I would be more relaxed.

    That's all I'm saying... make sure your parents know who we are. Keep chat logs, if you don't already. Invite your parents to introduce themselves to us. Let them know you are planning to trade plants and giving out the address. Even better, get a PO Box, or use as a shipping address a parent's work address (even better because it will likely be attended all day, and you don't run the risk of plants sitting in the hot sun).

    Not only does this protect minors from predators, it protects decent people from false accusations.
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