Wikia

Avatar Wiki

Upcoming Policy Changes

  • Hello,

    We wanted to let you know that in order to comply with federal law, Wikia is reviewing the way it handles communities that may be considered directed to people 12 years of age or younger.

    This wiki has been flagged as falling into that category, and I wanted to let you know about it. While I know Avatar has many fans of all ages, it can also be especially appealing to the younger demographic for purposes of the newly revised Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).

    The only change you will notice is that we will be turning anonymous editing off for wikis in this category. Your users will still be able to edit and participate. They just need to make sure that they are logged in first. We hope the impact on your community will be minimal.

    We realize this might be an inconvenience, but this is a step Wikia has to take in order to make sure we are in compliance with federal law. You can find out more about COPPA here: http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2012/12/coppa.shtm.

    The changes to the law will be going into effect July 1st, 2013 although you may see some changes before then. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

    Thanks, and Happy Editing! --semanticdrifter @Wikia (help forum | blog) 22:55, June 20, 2013 (UTC)

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    • Yeah, I have concerns. So anonymous users will no longer be allowed to participate in any way here because of the chance they might be <13? That's just ridiculous.

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    • I like the idea that everyone will have a name now and it'll be easier to keep track of people!

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    • I agree with KFB here. Any user is just as likely to actually be younger than 13 when using an account. It's really the same thing, (excluding a button, and I'm sure we're aware of how easy it is to lie on the internet), and I personally do not see the benefits in removing the anonymous function because some people *might* be younger than 12.

      If there need be any changes, at least perhaps a click-through for anonymous users requiring that they be 13 or above?

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    • So basically an anonymous user can only read, but not edit and comment or in any way let their presence be known?

      It strikes me as being quite arbitrary to lock some wikis out for anonymous users based on the sole fact that the subject is a cartoon. Not every anonymous user is an underaged user and with this rule, no anonymous user, regardless their age, can participate in this community. That's a nice way to make those blocked off wikis come over as "elitist". Or will there be a nice messages for those anonymous users saying why they cannot do anything anymore on this wiki, but they can on others?

      And of course, not one of those blocked anonymous users will then ever think of creating an account even though they are not allowed to. This rule will not stop anonymous users from being here. This rule will only give the blocked off wikis a bad name.

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    • If I understand this correctly, then such a policy would prevent any and all anonymous contributions on this wiki. That is something that I take issue with, as this wiki boasts a large community of anonymous users who participate in many ways, including fanon and discussions.

      Some of these anonymous users cannot or may not wish to create an account for a variety of reasons, including wanting to remain anonymous for reasons of discretion, being underage, or just because they're not going to create an account if they know they will simply stop by once in a while on this wiki. To deny them this participation is not a favorable course of action.

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    • This wiki has many highly dedicated volunteers striving to keep it age appropriate and free of any vulgarities. Yet, this wiki also has many anonymous contributors kindly dropping in to fix overlooked mistakes or omissions, and the fact that they can no longer edit may be detrimental to the wiki's robust community. 

      Of course, since this is federal law, there is nothing I or any of us can do, but I just thought I'd add my two cents. 


      Edit: I appear to have misunderstood. I was under the impression that the reason for this change was that younger demographics could potentially be exposed to gratuitous and vulgar information added by anonymous contributors. If that isn't the case, I really don't see why this would be necessary. 

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    • It is indeed federal law, but if complying with the law was really the goal, then anonymous editing would be turned off on every wiki everywhere. That would be complying to the law, this new rule is merely an arbitrary selection of some wikis.

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    • This is stupid. Now there will be a lot less activity (Editing, commenting,etc.)

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    • So, what exactly is it about anonymous editing that makes it so nefarious? If the concern is that children under the age of 13 would be missing out on some of their rights by editing or commenting anonymously, then that sounds preposterous to me. What difference would them having to create an account before editing make? 

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    • Yea, I can't really see how this helps things.

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    • now i will be spot out!

      i will be the only nony left here =(

      (semi-nony, but still) =p

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    • AanGyatso wrote: So, what exactly is it about anonymous editing that makes it so nefarious? If the concern is that children under the age of 13 would be missing out on some of their rights by editing or commenting anonymously, then that sounds preposterous to me. What difference would them having to create an account before editing make? 

      The difference is that you technically admit to being 13 when you create an account. As stupid and flawed of a plan as that sounds that sounds, as evidenced by the large amount of users who were blocked afterwards because they lied about their age originally, it apparently that allows you to get by the law. This is as opposed to anonymous users who have not clicked the button, hence my above proposal (which will likely not even be seen by the wikia staff, but I can't do anything about that).

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    • i dont think it is fair at all   peaple need to have there voice herd

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    • Good point. What is a wiki if it is not available to be edited by anyone?

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    • @ TANC

      A privatised wikia?

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    • The poll at the bottom of this blog was anonymous, meaning that anyone could be honest about their age without consequence - yet, the votes seem to imply that this community has a very large number of older users. While these statistics may not be completely accurate, they should really tell you something about the amount of anonymous users who'll be affected for no reason. So older users now have to register to do anything just because some federal law *assumed* that our community has mostly underaged users? And on top of that, the policy is useless for preventing underage-editing unless you can actually prove that every registered user is >13. By forcing registration, this actually encourages young children to lie about their age now, when before they could actually be here legally as anonymous users. This isn't solving any problems, it's creating an even bigger one.

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    • In addition to my general disagreement with preventing all anonymous editing, I entirely agree with what Lostris has said. Any suggestion that this is being done to comply with federal law falls flat against the fact that only some wikis are being chosen for this alteration. Why should we as a wiki bear the disadvantage (which in my opinion will not be minimal as suggested), when other wikis do not. Where, and by whom, was it decided that this wiki should be chosen, as opposed to any other. Segregating us from those that are not restricted is not going to have any desirable effect whatsoever, and will serve only to perpetuate the myth of certain wikis being elitist.

      Seems the idea of an encyclopaedia anyone can contribute to has gone out the window. If there is no way to stop this happening, then to every anonymous contributor to this wiki, I thank you for your effort and dedication.

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    • If you're having age problems, I feel bad for ya son. I got 99 problems but anonymous users shouldn't be one of them.

      This is pretty dumb.

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    • HammerOfThor wrote: Where, and by whom, was it decided that this wiki should be chosen, as opposed to any other.

      And this is another thing that bugs me about Wikia these days - they just do things without any consideration. Like a few days ago, they just decided to make a change to the Youtube format - which created loads of unused and irrelevant video files here. People have concerns about their decisions but they just make them anyway.

      Example, in the opener here:

      The changes to the law will be going into effect July 1st, 2013

      Semanticdrifter, you say to leave your concerns, and yet you make it sounds like Wikia's going to go through with this no matter what. It's frustrating.

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    • Okay this is quite ridiculous, not to be disrespectful but this is not needed. Many of our users today, were anonymous once. To remove anonymous editing and commenting is not in the best interest of the wiki. We should not remove this, because of the possibility some anonymous users may be under the age of 13. This is unfair to those who are of age and just want to see if he/she should join the wiki. This is not helping anyone

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    • I don't think this will help at all

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    • "extend the COPPA Rule to cover persistent identifiers that can recognize users over time and across different websites or online services, such as IP addresses and mobile device IDs;"
      — Amendment to COPPA

      I do see that COPPA now extends to this. However, if this is done, then it should be extended to all wikis, or there should be a "Are You 13" screen for anons.

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    • i agree with earth kingdom  it jest going to make the lying here worse for age

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    • Am I the only one who sees the few pros of this? I'm not exactly sure if I understand the point of being an anon---I mean, we were all anons once, but it takes three minutes max to make an account and it is basically the same thing as being an anon except you can edit comments and have a name. Anons aren't even that anonymous---because they have contribution logs just like everyone else.

      True...a lot of anons that are just passing through will maybe make accounts and then leave forever----meaning there will be a WHOLE LOT of inactive users which in turn means a pain in the butt for the admins...

      There are a lot of stupid side effects to this rule, but there are just a few good things too...and it's not like kids haven't lied to get a profile on a site before---or vice versa I suppose.

      Yeah....the age thing is pointless, but having an account isn't such a bad thing for regular anons, you know?

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    • So essentially, this is no longer an All Ages wiki?

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    • It will be bad for the wiki to block out all anonymous activity, cause many of those passersby do spot the occasional typo/grammar issue/factual mistake/incomplete info/etc. and let's face it, none of those users would make an account just for that one edit they would want to do to help the wiki once. Sure, this rule is to enforce COPPA, but the chosen course to do that will have consequence that are far more severe and negative than the goal the measure is serving.

      But my biggest problem with this course of action is the arbitrariness of if. I would be more okay with it if this would be a wikia global measure, but it's not. This is a selected wiki only measure. And for what? Why single out only specific wikis, just because someone somewhere for spirit knows what reason labeled only those wikis to be "protected" by this measure? If the goal is to uphold the law, then the law needs to be upheld for everyone, and not selectively as it is going to be done now.

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    • Originalavatarnerdling wrote: Am I the only one who sees the few pros of this? I'm not exactly sure if I understand the point of being an anon---I mean, we were all anons once, but it takes three minutes max to make an account and it is basically the same thing as being an anon except you can edit comments and have a name. Anons aren't even that anonymous---because they have contribution logs just like everyone else.

      Lots of people go on anon for different reasons. Their parents won't let them make accounts, they can't get emails, they prefer the idea of not being immediately identified, etc.

      There are genuine reasons why people enjoy using the anon function, the above are just a few. It's also nice if you want to kind of "trial" the wiki, so to speak. Like you said, we were all anons at some point and didn't just start of with accounts. To be completely honest, I'm glad for my time as an anon and I'm glad I didn't just start out by making an account, it gave me some time to learn the ropes of the wiki.

      However, the new rule attacks all of the users listed above, people who may have very good reasons for not wishing to make accounts. I don't think its fair that they're forced into this position, solely because out wiki is considered susceptible to people under the age of 12. This is fairy ridiculous, as people have stated above, and makes our wiki seem elitist something we strive not to be.

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    • Do you really think no one's ever lied about their age when they joined a wiki, or any online community, Wikia? Come on.

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    • so.... there will be no anonymus contributor? LESS EDITS!? The wiki will be lonely!!!??? NOOO!!!!! That's no sweetness!!! Bring me Toph to get more sweetness!!!

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    • That's true. the "nonies" need to keep their freedom of being anonymous up until they feel integrated and ready enough to post as users. I've seen many interesting stuff written by nonies and It'd be sad to see all of that blocked from the wikia. 

      Besides, some users do post as nonies when they cannot log properly [as example, usage of mobiles,laptops or in work ambients] but still have something to help/add/talk. 

      This would simply restrain freedom of non-users, and less people would feel attracted to come by and create a user on their 1st day on the wikia. 

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    • Correction, it's blocked from this wiki and some others. Not from wikia in general, cause apparently upholding the law is only necessary for some wikis.

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    • I love seeing an anonymus contributor editing.... Seriously...

      Luckily, we still have Avatar Fanon... But... Can they write there??? Yeah, if we write many fanons, the wiki will not be lonely but... NO NONIES!? (Following Emperor Qin)... That's just sad... Wait, they're blocked aren't they? But when!??!??!??

      I.... DONT.... KNOW.... WHAT.... TO.... SAY....

      NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    • Well you better protect 12 year olds from the extremely vile themes we discuss here on Avatar Wiki, like… you know… nope I got nothing. The most obscene language would be found on our IRC channel anyway, and that won't even be effected, so good job in making a horrible rule that will help exactly no one. All you've done is encourage underage users to lie and make accounts.

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    • AvatarMJC, please write a little bit more relevant and to the point without all the drama and unnecessary capitalization in it.

      All the information that we've been given about this can be read in the initial post: the measure will take effect July 1 and it will block all anonymous activity from the wiki -which also includes an anonymous user writing fanon.

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    • sorry, LL.... I just express my feeling.... :P :D :P :D

      owhhh.... July 1?? 9 more days to say bye bye to the AAC

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    • I totally understand. Unlike other users, I have the thoughts of the law in my mind. We must comply with Federal Law, or else Wikia will be shut down. Yes, it will diminish editing on the Avatar Wiki a lot, but it's a tiny price to pay for the law! Just think, if Wikia did not comply to this, we would not have the Avatar Wiki! There would be no more Ba Sing Se Times! There would be no more IRC! You must keep Wikia and the entire network in mind here.

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    • Everyone here is expressing their feelings. I was just pointing out that it can be done perfectly without the capitals and the many periods and repetitive letters.

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    • oops

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    • JediForJesus wrote: I totally understand. Unlike other users, I have the thoughts of the law in my mind. We must comply with Federal Law, or else Wikia will be shut down. Yes, it will diminish editing on the Avatar Wiki a lot, but it's a tiny price to pay for the law! Just think, if Wikia did not comply to this, we would not have the Avatar Wiki! There would be no more Ba Sing Se Times! There would be no more IRC! You must keep Wikia and the entire network in mind here.

      As a law student myself, please allow me to point out the little fact that the law is there for everyone and if wikia wants to uphold COPPA this way, they can indeed, but then they must be fair and subject every wiki to the same rules and not some arbitrarily chosen wikis. So the main point here is double: 1. all the negative consequences that this severe action will have, and 2. the fact that it is not enforced fairly, as only selected wikis will be affected by this and not all the wikis. That's not enforcing the law, that's picking and choosing according to their own standard -which, btw, no one knows.

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    • Especially when new Korra is airing, the wiki is flocking with anonymous contributors. There could easily be hundreds, maybe even thousands of them to check out what's up next for the show, see what happened the last episodes, edit pages and make lots and lots and lots of comments. And even though all that can be quite hectic, its part of the wiki. We attract users, after a few edits or messages we get them interested, and then they join. The amount of people without accounts who come here with the new episodes is just insane - to cut off that flow is a huge hit to the Avatar Wiki ecosystem.

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    • @Originalavatarnerdling The only true pro that I see to this new rule is the theory that anons who have become frequent visitors to the site already will like it so much that they'll want to create their own accounts and become more active as users, but even that is an unlikely consequence; the more likely one that I foresee will arise is the one you've already pointed out: that anons who at first were fine with just editing infrequently will make accounts so that they can edit at all, then when those new anon-users who were forced into creating accounts that they didn't want in order to participate in the community decide they've become bored like most anons do, they'll leave.

      The fact that I as well as most users on the wiki despise that "Under 13" law is unfortunately not up for discussion here, but the fact that apparently most users on the wiki also despise this all-out anon expulsion is something we all deserve to make a decision on -- AKA, I don't believe it's up to Wikia to make decisions for so many of its wiki communities. I ask that whatever Wikia staff who reads this also read everything above this message and what will likely accumulate below this message and realize that this idea will 1. benefit no one, 2. deter many, 3. harm the wiki and its community, and 4. poke a hole right through our wiki's objective of "encyclopedia anyone can edit", among many other issues that I've not decided to regurgitate.

      @JediForJesus As I understand it (unless I've misread something in the COPPA law, in which case I'm sorry), the point of the COPPA law is to ensure that no person under the age of thirteen reveals personal information on the Internet. The only difference that expelling anons will make is, if the person cares about editing as much as that person did when he was an anon, that any person will lie about their ages as users instead of as anonymous contributors.

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    • So....is the change in law arguable, or is this going to happen no matter what? The concession here is that nobody really wants this new rule change, so can it be petitioned?

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    • Okay, I haven't been on this wiki in a while, but I do have a couple of concerns to raise that I'm sure have already been brought to your attention.

      In case Wikia hasn't noticed, this is the worldwide web. Not American web, world wide web, and thus, Wikia should seek no change to comply with American policies. I can name a vast majority of users, and anonymous contributors, who are foreign to the United States, and in implementing policies which seek to comply with American policies, we are also alienating not only foreign users, but foreign anonymous contributors. In other words, because Washington is corrupt and idiotic and Wikia will be following its example, anonymous contributors from, say, Canada will be unable to contribute to the wiki. Right. Highly logical.

      Avatar Wiki is largely, if not predominantly, a community of anonymous contributors, as are a multitude of other wikis. So, should new policies as proposed be implemented, you are also alienating not only foreigners (racism, nationalism, imperialism, etc. much?), but a large portion of wikis in general.

      And I'm sorry, but since when is Avatar a kid's show? Because regardless of how it appears, I can genuinely attest, both from personal experience and a countless record of stories, that ATLA is, while perhaps a bit juvenile at times, more adult-friendly than any other "children's show" I've ever seen. If you're looking for a kiddy Nickelodeon show, go to Spongebob Wiki or Fairly Odd Parents Wiki or something like that. Korra's up for debate, and I can definitely see how that one cold be construed as a kid's show. Let's not forget that Korra had an entire episode dedicated to a full-blown terrorist attack, however, and a central theme of the show is the dangers of prejudice, racism, and hypocrisy. I, personally, have trouble believing that either show is a "kid's" show.

      Yeah, so, pardon my French, but I'm calling major bullshit on this one. And I'm also sorry if this came across as a random rant, that wasn't my intention. Try, if you can, to take your users' opinions into consideration for once unlike you have in the past, Wikia, please? At this point, it's just getting pathetic.  

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    • This certainly is strange to do. Everyone's comments I have read makes complete sense. It's almost as if they're making the wiki into an exclusive club.

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    • Lady Lostris wrote:
      So basically an anonymous user can only read, but not edit and comment or in any way let their presence be known?

      It strikes me as being quite arbitrary to lock some wikis out for anonymous users based on the sole fact that the subject is a cartoon. Not every anonymous user is an underaged user and with this rule, no anonymous user, regardless their age, can participate in this community. That's a nice way to make those blocked off wikis come over as "elitist". Or will there be a nice messages for those anonymous users saying why they cannot do anything anymore on this wiki, but they can on others?

      This is a recurring theme I would like to rebut. This was not an arbitrary decision. We took the guidelines provided by the FTC and gave a good, hard look at the wikis that might fall into the category. Not every cartoon fits the category. Flipping a switch for every wiki dedicated to an animated subject would have been much easier, actually. I can't share our exact criteria, but we considered things like demographics, genre, subject matter, and other factors.

      While not every anonymous editor is underaged, the changes to the law require us to be more careful about collecting infromation on wikis that do fall into the category.

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    • The Ultimate Waterbender wrote:
      If I understand this correctly, then such a policy would prevent any and all anonymous contributions on this wiki. That is something that I take issue with, as this wiki boasts a large community of anonymous users who participate in many ways, including fanon and discussions.

      Some of these anonymous users cannot or may not wish to create an account for a variety of reasons, including wanting to remain anonymous for reasons of discretion, being underage, or just because they're not going to create an account if they know they will simply stop by once in a while on this wiki. To deny them this participation is not a favorable course of action.

      We are sympathetic to this point. This policy is not a knock against anonymous contributors. We all started out that way, and we know they have alot to offer. However, we have to balance our ideal of open editing against the requirements of federal law. They can still read the content, but if they want to contribute they will have to register under this new framework.

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    • HammerOfThor wrote:
      ...Any suggestion that this is being done to comply with federal law falls flat against the fact that only some wikis are being chosen for this alteration. Why should we as a wiki bear the disadvantage (which in my opinion will not be minimal as suggested), when other wikis do not. Where, and by whom, was it decided that this wiki should be chosen, as opposed to any other. Segregating us from those that are not restricted is not going to have any desirable effect whatsoever, and will serve only to perpetuate the myth of certain wikis being elitist.

      ...to every anonymous contributor to this wiki, I thank you for your effort and dedication.

      The newly revised law applies to wikis that fall into the category or being directed to underaged internet users. The determination was made by staff, and we have tried to be accurate but realistic when it came to analyzing the question. We like anons, and I applaud your thanking them. By focusing on wikis directed to children, we are making sure we are in compliance with the law. I appreciate that it feels random, but it wasn't a decision made lightly.

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    • PSUAvatar14 wrote:

      Example, in the opener here:

      The changes to the law will be going into effect July 1st, 2013

      Semanticdrifter, you say to leave your concerns, and yet you make it sounds like Wikia's going to go through with this no matter what. It's frustrating.

      To be fair, that sentence is referring to the actual law going into effect. That is between you, your Congressperson, and the FTC.

      Kidding aside, I apologize if this feels ramrodded down your throats. We don't always do the best job of including our communities in the process, and I am sorry. That being said, unlike a product decision about video or search, this is aimed at federal regulatory compliance and there isn't much wiggle room. It sounds cliched, but I really do encourage you to contact your elected representatives.

      I know it's frustrating.

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    • BlackMonkey wrote:
      Do you really think no one's ever lied about their age when they joined a wiki, or any online community, Wikia? Come on.

      I'm pretty sure you're not allowed to lie on the internet.

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    • Lady Lostris wrote:
      Correction, it's blocked from this wiki and some others. Not from wikia in general, cause apparently upholding the law is only necessary for some wikis.

      The law only requires it for wikis that could be directed to the underaged.

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    • Omashu Rocks wrote:
      Well you better protect 12 year olds from the extremely vile themes we discuss here on Avatar Wiki, like… you know… nope I got nothing. 

      This isn't a judgement on the content of the wiki. The COPPA rule restricts the type of info we can gather on certain wikis, which includes IP addresses.

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    • I, personally, do not see how we qualify as a website directed towards children. According to the website linked, the law applies to "sites and services that target children only as a secondary audience or to a lesser degree may differentiate among users". Nowhere on this website do we target towards children. In fact, I'd say that since many people under the age of 13 watch currently airing shows that were directed at older audiences, you might have better luck with wikias directed at them.

      A vast majority of Avatar's audience is people who were fans of the original series, which aired eight years ago. Even if somebody were to be a fan of Avatar at the age of five, they would be over the age requirement now. Yes, there is "The Legend of Korra", but most viewers of that program are in fact fans of the original, and users of this site are almost all fans of both. In my mind, there is an equal if not greater probability that you would find people under the age of 12 on wikis of currently airing shows not directed at a child audience.

      I understand and respect why you made your decisions, but ultimately I have to side with Lostris that I do not think it was fair that Avatar Wiki was selected as one that can no longer have anonymous contributors.

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    • Semanticdrifter: We're not mad at you personally. We simply find this rule to be just a little bit in the realm of absurdity.

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    • Azulazulazula wrote:
      ...

      In case Wikia hasn't noticed, this is the worldwide web. Not American web, world wide web, and thus, Wikia should seek no change to comply with American policies. I can name a vast majority of users, and anonymous contributors, who are foreign to the United States, and in implementing policies which seek to comply with American policies, we are also alienating not only foreign users, but foreign anonymous contributors...

      And I'm sorry, but since when is Avatar a kid's show? Because regardless of how it appears, I can genuinely attest, both from personal experience and a countless record of stories, that ATLA is, while perhaps a bit juvenile at times, more adult-friendly than any other "children's show" I've ever seen. 

      As a U.S.-based company, we comply with United States federal law. I know our audience is wide-reaching but we still have to follow the regulations set down by Uncle Sam.

      This policy is also not meant as a slight to the subject matter. I personally love Avatar and I am in my 30s. But I think its hard to argue that the show doesn't disproportionately appeal to underaged viewers with a straight face.

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    • Here's what doesn't make sense: you're only barring anons on the wikis about things geared towards kids. That means that 12 year olds can edit as anons on wikis about adult subject matter. This rule isn't solving the problem of younger audiences seeing adult content.

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    • Omashu Rocks wrote:
      Here's what doesn't make sense: you're only barring anons on the wikis about things geared towards kids. That means that 12 year olds can edit as anons on wikis about adult subject matter. This rule isn't solving the problem of younger audiences seeing adult content.

      Again, this isn't about adult content but about not collecting info like IP addresses on wikis geared toward under 13s.

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    • Omashu Rocks wrote: Here's what doesn't make sense: you're only barring anons on the wikis about things geared towards kids. That means that 12 year olds can edit as anons on wikis about adult subject matter. This rule isn't solving the problem of younger audiences seeing adult content.

      That's not COPPA's problem. The real issue is revealing IPs on websites, which is what the anon function does. It may be a ridiculous law, but one wikia has to comply with nonetheless.

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    • Omashu Rocks wrote:
      Semanticdrifter: We're not mad at you personally. We simply find this rule to be just a little bit in the realm of absurdity.

      Thanks. I really do hate to be the bearer of bad news.

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    • Semanticdrifter, could you provide a list of websites where this policy is also going into effect? A common complaint seems to be that the wiki is being unfairly targeted, and it might make it a bit easier to swallow if we knew what other Wikia sites were flagged for this, particularly since you already said you can't disclose the criteria.

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    • so so i understand that i would not want a website collecting my ip but you shouldent shut off the nologged users completly from helping contribute to the wiki

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    • Omashu Rocks wrote:
      Semanticdrifter: We're not mad at you personally. We simply find this rule to be just a little bit in the realm of absurdity.

      I agree. As much as I disagree with the news, thanks for the update. It's better than just everything changing without warning

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    • In addition to what OR said most recently, I feel like this policy punishes everyone for little necessary reason. Anons are punished for...what exactly? So they're prevented from editing because they might be under 13? At what point does editing really harm them? It seems to me that the purpose of this doesn't truly resolve any potential problems. The wikis where this might really be necessary aren't, as it seems to me, on the list. Sorry for the unfocused nature of my post, but I just needed to air my grievances.

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    • good point

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    • Semanticdrifter wrote: The newly revised law applies to wikis that fall into the category or being directed to underaged internet users. The determination was made by staff, and we have tried to be accurate but realistic when it came to analyzing the question. We like anons, and I applaud your thanking them. By focusing on wikis directed to children, we are making sure we are in compliance with the law. I appreciate that it feels random, but it wasn't a decision made lightly.

      And this was the only solution the staff could come up with?

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    • I fear to think how much activity will be lost when all of our anonymous contributors are blocked. I can see from the point of a business perspective how blocking only the most problematic parts of the website could be beneficial, however I disagree that this is a good approach for the Wikia. I understand that following the law is the reason this is coming in to effect, however I have to agree with Lady Lostris. Because of the freedom that is shown on this specific kind of website, only blocking certain places will show the effect of those Wiki's being elitist. When new users or anons visit the website for the first time, they may not know of the COPPA laws, and thus will not understand when they can make an edit on one wiki, then click to another and suddenly be blocked. The most likely response will be that they will blame the wiki's themselves. Really the only way to prevent this from happening would be if the admins on the respective wiki's put a notice to make it public to anyone who visits. This would be distracting from the fact that the wikis are aimed to be casual and interesting places to visit, and people won't go through the time to actually read the notices like that.

      My point being that I think most of us agree that it should be all or nothing, and that specific wiki's should not be chosen. And we aren't trying to point out that you guys are being necessarily controlling or not respecting the users, but that when you all put this into effect, this won't fall on you guys, it's going to fall back on the admin of the respective wikis. This won't be a problem for just the Avatar wiki, but all the wiki's that are blocked. If the anon posting is blocked website wide, then people will see that it's something way more serious than wiki's saying "We don't want anonymous contributers."

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    • i know right

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    • KettleMeetPot wrote:

      Semanticdrifter wrote: The newly revised law applies to wikis that fall into the category or being directed to underaged internet users. The determination was made by staff, and we have tried to be accurate but realistic when it came to analyzing the question. We like anons, and I applaud your thanking them. By focusing on wikis directed to children, we are making sure we are in compliance with the law. I appreciate that it feels random, but it wasn't a decision made lightly.

      And this was the only solution the staff could come up with?

      Apparently so. What other solution could there be to age verification?

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    • Not so hard for someone to just lie their way into getting an account if they are underage... and really, if all the anons can't do now is comment, what's the point? They'll still be here, but we won't know.

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    • LoveWaffle wrote:

      KettleMeetPot wrote:

      Semanticdrifter wrote: The newly revised law applies to wikis that fall into the category or being directed to underaged internet users. The determination was made by staff, and we have tried to be accurate but realistic when it came to analyzing the question. We like anons, and I applaud your thanking them. By focusing on wikis directed to children, we are making sure we are in compliance with the law. I appreciate that it feels random, but it wasn't a decision made lightly.

      And this was the only solution the staff could come up with?

      Apparently so. What other solution could there be to age verification?

      Lots of quotes here :P I can, however, definitely think of several solutions they could have taken other than flat-out banning anonymous users. For example, a pop-up that says you have to be 13 to be on anon, some kind of message somewhere saying this is not a wiki for children (lame but probably would do the trick), some kind of set-up where you need to use a parent's email or your own if you're older than 13, etc.

      Again, I can understand their reasoning behind this I just don't feel it was the most logical— or fair —approach.

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    • Semanticdrifter wrote: Apparently so. What other solution could there be to age verification?

      Lets not kid ourselves... The basis of this change is due to new prohibitions on the ways Wikia collects and stores information, I assume mainly with the blatantly obvious IP addresses. If Wikia really wanted to, they could (and would) have acted to modify site architecture to conform with the COPPA amendments instead, and still allow some form of controlled anon participation - however, that costs time and money, and that's where the line is drawn; better to go quick and easy by ripping out the entire system on "infringing" sites.

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    • May I suggest modifying the main comment notice that this change is coming? Possibly with a link back to this thread?

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    • Hasdi wrote: May I suggest modifying the main comment notice that this change is coming? Possibly with a link back to this thread?

      I think that sounds like an excellent idea, Hasdi. After all, most of these anons won't even know what's coming, since they can't even be notified of this thread

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    • Thedestinedone wrote: Did it on the LOK page.

      I think Hasdi was referring to using coding to allow the message to appear anytime somebody wanted to comment on a page, not that your idea wasn't bad. However, your comment may be deleted because it's irrelevant to Korra… sorry.

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    • A True Fire Ferret wrote:
      Lots of quotes here :P I can, however, definitely think of several solutions they could have taken other than flat-out banning anonymous users. For example, a pop-up that says you have to be 13 to be on anon, some kind of message somewhere saying this is not a wiki for children (lame but probably would do the trick), some kind of set-up where you need to use a parent's email or your own if you're older than 13, etc.

      You don't have to be 13 to access the site's content, just to contribute to it. So the pop-up doesn't work. And if you have to provide an email address, you just registered but without all the benefits of being a registered editor.

      KettleMeetPot wrote:
      Lets not kid ourselves... The basis of this change is due to new prohibitions on the ways Wikia collects and stores information, I assume mainly with IP addresses. If Wikia really wanted to, they would have acted to change site architecture in that regard to conform with the COPPA amendments (on all wikis) instead, and still allow some form of controlled anon participation - however, that costs time and money, and that's where the line is drawn; better to go quick and easy by ripping out the entire system on "infringing" sites.

      I take it this was neither quick nor easy.

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    • A True Fire Ferret wrote:
      I think Hasdi was referring to using coding to allow the message to appear anytime somebody wanted to comment on a page

      Specifically, by modifying the MediaWiki:Oasis-comments-header, but only admins can modify that page. Any takers?

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    • LoveWaffle wrote: You don't have to be 13 to access the site's content, just to contribute to it. So the pop-up doesn't work. And if you have to provide an email address, you just registered but without all the benefits of being a registered editor.

      Yeah, I meant like when you start typing a comment or click edit. I'm sure it would be possible, and also they could have found an alternate way of doing anon without the IP in the comments at all. Really, removing anon all together was not necessary, though, again, I do understand why it was they did it.

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    • On the FTC's webpage (as provided by Semanticdrifter) it says

      Protecting America's Consumers.

      Now I can't help but wonder what percentage of those consumers actually requested protection.

      Don't get me wrong, I am all for protecting children. Especially from the crazy stuff on the net (because a great many people around that place are just weird) and since most of the amendments seem to be directed against the collection of more or less private information by third parties I think I can appreciate these changes.

      All I'm saying is that I'm not perfectly certain of the general publics' approval of the ... slogan?

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    • ok this is just stupid beyond words! wouldnt it just encourage underage users? all those underage nonies will get blocked, and they'll want to have a voice again, so they'll just make an account and lie about their age! 

      also, this basically says you have to be in at least seventh/eight grade. there are people out there who are still 12 in seventh grade, and don't turn 13 until eigth grade.(like me. i didnt turn thirteen until november in eigth grade)

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    • KettleMeetPot wrote:

      Semanticdrifter wrote: Apparently so. What other solution could there be to age verification?

      Lets not kid ourselves... The basis of this change is due to new prohibitions on the ways Wikia collects and stores information, I assume mainly with the blatantly obvious IP addresses. If Wikia really wanted to, they could (and would) have acted to modify site architecture to conform with the COPPA amendments instead, and still allow some form of controlled anon participation - however, that costs time and money, and that's where the line is drawn; better to go quick and easy by ripping out the entire system on "infringing" sites.

      KMP raises a mighty good point here: if the problem is about the visibility of the IP of anonymous users, then obscure that IP the best as possible. Sure, it might not do the trick completely, like the IP would still be visible when a user gets blocked and whatnot for administrators, but that shouldn't really be a problem, since wikia isn't interested in complying with the law on every level, so that solves that problem.

      If broadcasting the IP is the problem, then get rid of the big banner that everyone mandatory has on their profile that splatters a user's IP in big for everyone to see. With coding, one can obscure whatever they want. Wikia has the ability to lock down pages from viewing by users why don't have the necessary rights. Why not do something like that for everything that has relevance to the showing of the IP address? Why not fall back on that approach as opposed to an arbitrary blocking? It would be a lot less arbitrary -cause without an actually detailed discloser of why some wikis are exempt from the laws and others are going to get killed by it, cause mind you, this will be the downfall of many wikis, this is still an arbitrary decision, and if you can't reveal the criteria wikia has used now, I doubt that they will be revealed Monday in the staff blog- and destructive than the path wikia has chosen at this moment.

      Surely, if this is about the law, then apply the law and protect underaged users everywhere, not just in the places where wikia thinks they're the most at risk. That's the very definition of an arbitrary decision.

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    • Semanticdrifter wrote:
      BlackMonkey wrote:
      Do you really think no one's ever lied about their age when they joined a wiki, or any online community, Wikia? Come on.
      I'm pretty sure you're not allowed to lie on the internet.

      This is a joke, right? 

      If the premise of this motion is that the Wiki community doesn't want to be liable for allowing underage participation or the disclosure of the IP addresses of individuals under the age of 13, then there has got to be a much better solution than removing anonymous contribution entirely. 

      The fact that this change isn't applied to all wikis just goes to prove that the decision was, to a certain extent, arbitrary. While there may be certain criteria for judging whether a wiki should be eligible for this change or not, if said criteria and the process of selection isn't administered by federal officials, then the judgement and the recipients are decided in a relatively subjective manner. 

      As many other users have proposed, liability disclaimers and slight modifications to anonymous editing policies would be much more effective solutions to the issue than altogether removing anonymous contribution. Adding a checkbox template for anonymous users confirming that the user is over the age of thirteen shouldn't be too difficult a task, and would certainly be just as verifiable a measure as forcing contributors to create accounts. After all, if people are "not allowed to lie on the internet", having them confirm that they are of legal age to comment/disclose their IP address should be possible to do without forcing said people to register as users. It may not seem like a big deal to register, but many people would be dissuaded from contributing if they found out that they had to sit through a litany of account confirmation steps just to post a one-line comment. 

      I strongly agree with KettleMeetPot and the idea that this was rushed by the wikia committee to avoid costly modifications to the site layout, but I think that the impact of anonymous users should not be ignored so hastily; indeed, I believe that most registered users might not have warmed up to this site and signed up had they not originally been able to edit as anonymous users. I would urge wikia to reconsider the necessary changes in order to implement a more acceptable form of age confirmation that wouldn't be nearly as detrimental to any of the wiki communities as this change is. 

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    • Semanticdrifter wrote:

      BlackMonkey wrote:
      Do you really think no one's ever lied about their age when they joined a wiki, or any online community, Wikia? Come on.

      I'm pretty sure you're not allowed to lie on the internet.

      ..........................

      You've got to be kidding me.

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    • So you are not allowed to pass IPs out onto the net. Why not, you pass the IP through say a SHA-1 hash, or since it isn't the most secure, pass it through a SHA-512 hash. For example, I took the 1st IP I saw on RWA (180.73.92.248), and passed it through a SHA-1 hash and got this, 80:df:1b:79:85:a8:69:f3:50:5c:20:a2:bf:91:df:0e:be:9b:8b:df. Instead of banning anons, pass the IP through a hash, and you are set, without breaking COPPA, as you can't put up their IP on the net. However, I do realize this maybe though for you, as it would require going into the core of MediaWiki. As others said, I have nothing against you, you have been helpful to me before in the past.

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    • No longer an "all ages wiki" then...

      So everyone will be established as old enough to take the heat...

      But...

      No more nonies?

      Tshhhh aight... food for the engine.

      They can lie about their age, yes, but they must stick to that lie once they become a user -- they are now, minimally, 13 years old.  This means when they see something they deem "wrong" and "inappropriate for an all ages wiki", they best keep it to themselves, or they will have given up their cover... because this is now an ages 13+ wiki.


      ...


      BTW... Kids do the deed, girls get pregnant at that age nowadays.  They've seen the world...

      No more pansies.

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    • ^ Regarding that last statement, that's at the very least called statutory rape, and is not something to be used as a generalization or reference point for the maturity of 13 year-olds. 

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    • ^ Who said anything about maturity?  What I'm saying is there are things worse out there than what you can see on the internet.

      Don't try and break down what I say, unless you know how...

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    • Jon Jeong, really. Grow up. Just, grow up. It's sad really, that anonymous users will be banned from any kind of activity but people like you will be allowed to continue . . . let's just say, being here, cause I literally can't think of one good thing that has come from your activity here. You are a pathological provoker and not in a good way. Just stop and grow up. If you don't have anything remotely constructive to say, then don't say it. And don't give me any of your "I'm just teaching them how the world works"-crap, cause I'm so done with hearing you justify yourself with something you don't even know what you're talking about. Lay off the irrelevant comments; lay off the provoking; lay off the insensitivity and out of line comments, just lay off.

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    • I have one major issue pertaining to this, and it isn't that this is an "all ages wiki", although that is certainly a part of it.

      Th problem I have with accepting this is due to the fact that this isn't just an American site. That law is technically only applicable to American citizens and by forcing it on people who aren't American seems a tad unfair

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    • They are not provoking comments, thats my point... People have been too soft.  I just want to respect them.

      "People like you" "Justify yourself.."  "crap"

      People of your status should not be biased.

      "You are a pathological provoker"

      Opinion, perception, nothing...

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    • ^^ America likes to "share their prosperity with the rest of the world."

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    • No, that's not true. Since Wikia is an American company, it operates under American law. It's standard international private law, so everyone is bound by it. However, there is also something as not being discriminatory without reason, so unless the criteria upon which the decision to select only some wikis and not all are valid and none discriminatory, can this discrimination stand of not applying the COPPA law everywhere. And that too is the law.

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    • One of the major concerns regarding the SOPA and PIPA acts was that they were acts stemming from the U.S. jurisdiction that had worldwide effects on online freedom of use and sharing. If those two bills were so much as considered for passing in U.S. courts of law, with literally the entirety of the liberal world against them, then chances are that this act may very well be legislated despite having effects that transcend the borders of the U.S., or indeed, the North American continent. 

      ^ American legislators, at the time, were actually proposing to shut down sites owned by and operated in foreign countries, so the extent of the U.S.A's power in that regard would be easily sufficient to restrict local websites from sporting certain features (i.e. anonymous editing on this wiki). 

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    • KettleMeetPot wrote:

      Semanticdrifter wrote: Apparently so. What other solution could there be to age verification?

      ...If Wikia really wanted to, they could (and would) have acted to modify site architecture to conform with the COPPA amendments instead, and still allow some form of controlled anon participation - however, that costs time and money, and that's where the line is drawn; better to go quick and easy by ripping out the entire system on "infringing" sites.

      Well, I think the quote threads got crossed from too many nested quotes, because I didn't say that. We did consider several options, both technical and policy-based, but at this time focusing on disabling anon editing on certain targeted wikis is the best path for ensuring full compliance. 

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    • LoveWaffle wrote:

      I take it this was neither quick nor easy.

      True. We are taking this process very seriously, and although it may not feel like it, we are trying to minimize the restrictions as much as possible.

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    • AvatarKya wrote:
      ...also, this basically says you have to be in at least seventh/eight grade. there are people out there who are still 12 in seventh grade, and don't turn 13 until eigth grade.(like me. i didnt turn thirteen until november in eigth grade)

      We are focusing on age more than grade, due to situations like you describe.

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    • Everyone needs to take a long breath. Wikia is not shutting the site down. While I agree that this law is stupid, Wikia is merely doing what they're required to do: enforce it.

      Having said that, I also have some concerns about its implementation. Others have suggested to optimize the registration form to make sure the user is aware of COPPA. Because, as far am I'm concerned, locking the site to anons will not fence underage users from registering with us. It will, ironically, encourage it. I'm pretty sure there are plenty of anonymous underage users who come here to comment. Now, if they want to keep doing it, they'll have to create an account. And we all know how onerous a task that is... So this measure will simply elicit willful lawbreaking.

      KMP also makes a very good suggestion. If the problem is the visible IP, then omit it.

      Personally I don't think this will deter good editors from joining, because making an account is not that hard, but some of the best editors I've met in my time at Wikia started out as anonymous contributors, and who's to say that they'd start contributing if they had to make an account?

      Concerning the arbitrariness of this measure, I also have to ask: who decides which shows "can also be especially appealing to the younger demographic"? Will Wookiepedia also fall under this category? Star Wars is targeted at kids, as much as their fandom would like to deny. What about the Grand Theft Auto Wiki? Sure, the games are market for a mature demographics, but you're kidding yourselves if you think underage kids don't play them, or that don't edit on the wiki. And GTA is one example. This applies to basically every product a wiki can be based upon.

      To conclude, I think there's a solution to problem gap, the latter being the arbitrary and indiscriminate cutting off of access for anons to protect underage users, who will not go anywhere, but can deter potential good editors, within legal age, from joining.

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    • BlackMonkey wrote:

      Semanticdrifter wrote:

      BlackMonkey wrote:
      Do you really think no one's ever lied about their age when they joined a wiki, or any online community, Wikia? Come on.
      I'm pretty sure you're not allowed to lie on the internet.
      ..........................

      You've got to be kidding me.

      That was a joke, actually. Sorry, I know this is a serious discussion.

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    • There's a lot of great discussion here, and you all are raising some great points. We wanted to reach out to some of our bigger and more prominent communities before the change went in to effect, and we are paying attention to this discussion.

      One common theme I see popping up is that this wiki could post a disclaimer, or otherwise obscure the IP address. Based on the new updates, neither of those would be sufficient to comply with the law. The law was not written with wikis in mind.

      Also, the Terms of Use requre you to be at least 13 when you register for an account. While we can't pre-emptively police the accuracy of that promise, we can rely on it the same way we rely on the other provisions. We have policies in place to deal with when we have actual knowledge of underage users, and that is the standard called for in the law.

      Lastly, I would like to push back on the notion that this was arbitrary or indiscriminate. I know Avatar appeals to users of all ages, but if you look at the subject as a whole it's hard to say it  isn't potentially directed to underaged fans.

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    • What about having users click a checkbox (quasi-disclaimer) before being able to post the first comment of each session they're on the wiki (or perhaps only on the first comment of each IP address)? The problem with forcing registry is just the deterrence factor, really. Not everybody wants to sign up just to comment or edit a simple mistake. 

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    • Semanticdrifter wrote: Lastly, I would like to push back on the notion that this was arbitrary or indiscriminate. I know Avatar appeals to users of all ages, but if you look at the subject as a whole it's hard to say it  isn't potentially directed to underaged fans.

      This is another thing that grinds at me. "Potentially". This block on anons is being made because of "potential". I'm not a fan of acting on something because it has the potential to be ugly. If it's ugly, then yes, act - but I mean, this is a way overdone act, especially on the grounds of "potential".

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    • We did consider tehcnical and policy restrictions, but this solution provides the most viable means of complying at this time.

      I don't dispute that restricting anonymous editors will impact and deter some valuable contributors, but I would point out that we have had some very large and very active wikis that have had anonymous editing flipped off for years. It is a feature that we turn on by request in certain cases, and we have seen wikis thrive under those conditions.

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    • hello, Semanticdrifter.. i am so sorry this is out of topic... But... So, is everybody knows about this message? If not, how can i don't know about this... i mean you know... every messages appeared in my notification and it's kind of disturbing... should i delete my comment? or what? So sorry....

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    • Semanticdrifter wrote: I don't dispute that restricting anonymous editors will impact and deter some valuable contributors, but I would point out that we have had some very large and very active wikis that have had anonymous editing flipped off for years. It is a feature that we turn on by request in certain cases, and we have seen wikis thrive under those conditions.

      Well, if wikia is so sure that wikis can thrive with anonymous editing being turned off, then why doesn't it do away with all the claims that the decision was arbitrary and discriminatory and turn off anonymous editing for all wikis. Make all wikis comply to COPPA and not only those of which wikia thinks -for whatever reason that we may not know- cater mainly for an underaged audience. If it is no problem and there is no risk, then apply the law as it is intended: for everyone.

      AvatarMJC wrote: hello, Semanticdrifter.. i am so sorry this is out of topic... But... So, is everybody knows about this message? If not, how can i don't know about this... i mean you know... every messages appeared in my notification and it's kind of disturbing... should i delete my comment? or what? So sorry....

      If you no longer want to receive notifications of this discussion, you can scroll to the top and then click the button in the right corner of the first message that says "following" (if you hover over it, it will change to "unfollow"). Click it and you will no longer get notifications of this.

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    • Semanticdrifter wrote: We did consider tehcnical and policy restrictions, but this solution provides the most viable means of complying at this time.

      I don't dispute that restricting anonymous editors will impact and deter some valuable contributors, but I would point out that we have had some very large and very active wikis that have had anonymous editing flipped off for years. It is a feature that we turn on by request in certain cases, and we have seen wikis thrive under those conditions.

      However, at the same time, you cannot willfully compare the situations of each wiki with comments to other large, established ones without comments. The situations, content, and communities are all different - and them not adopting comments was by choice after weighing the pros and cons... Something which will not be occurring here.

      You can already clearly see that all of the criticism here stems directly from the lack of transparency regarding the decision-making process behind this... Initiative. Something you have stated will be sorta-kinda addressed later in that there will be some detail issued at Community Central, though the disorganization on such an important issue is distasteful to say the least.

      However, you have also stated that "at this time", this is the best way to comply to the law. So, at the very least, can you throw us some scrap of information and comment on whether this change will be permanent, and if not, whether there are plans or work being done on an alternative (if not now, then in the future)?

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    • Umm..Oh hell yes I absolutly have a concern. So people can't edit just because their under 13? That's crazy. An 18 yr old could be acting immature on this wiki and a 8 yr old could be acting mature enough to participate in the wiki. I think the rules of the wiki has gone way too far. ENOUGH of this crap. Get your act together and think before you do it.

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    • I-luv-korra, such an outburst is not helping. Excluding 13-year-olds from editing has been a longstanding rule. Every user who is caught to being under 13 is blocked because of that. However, now to enforce COPPA more actively -on some wikis, not all- they will lock out all anonymous editing. So it doesn't matter whether or not that anonymous user is 5, 8, 15, or 40, he or she will not be able to do anything except read.

      There is nothing we or wikia can do about COPPA, that's just law everyone needs to follow whether we like it or not. However, what is a choice is the way COPPA will be enforced and whether or not it will be done fairly or arbitrary and discriminatory.

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    • PNY

      This new policy change will effect this wiki widely... probably the most out of all wikis, due to the fact that 50-75% of the wiki's traffic comes from anonymous users.

      I'm concerned more about looking at the wiki activity feed, and seeing that there have only been 5 recent edits in the last hour. Anons bring "life" to the community with their contributions, ranging from commenting, editing, and even trolling, if you ask me.

      This new policy change will also effect a certain group on this wiki: Rollbacks. As someone said before on the wiki, Rollbacks' main jobs here are to undo the edits and rephrase / delete the comments of vandal anons. With this policy, they're just users with privileges they don't really need.

      Yeah, this new policy will effect this wiki the most out of all Wikia wikis, IMO.

      EDIT: My God! I just looked at the wiki activity feed to see that "forking" is being discussed! The fact that forking is now being discussed is absolutely horrendous.

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    • I am not convinced that it would affect rollback users, but even if it would, that's a completely irrelevant point to this case. Btw, normally rollback users only have the extra ability to undo an edit with one click. The fact that they can delete and edit stuff here is already an extra privilege that they have on this wiki as opposed to others, so that really isn't a concern.

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    • Lady Lostris wrote:

      Well, if wikia is so sure that wikis can thrive with anonymous editing being turned off, then why doesn't it do away with all the claims that the decision was arbitrary and discriminatory and turn off anonymous editing for all wikis. Make all wikis comply to COPPA and not only those of which wikia thinks -for whatever reason that we may not know- cater mainly for an underaged audience. If it is no problem and there is no risk, then apply the law as it is intended: for everyone.

      I'm not saying that this change won't affect this community, or will affect all communities the same. I realize you have an active anonymous commenter base, and the culture of this wiki has grown up with that in place. I am just pointing out that it is possible for wikis to thrive with this restriction in place, and it is my sincere hope that everyone who is eligible ends up registering for an account and stays on with the community.

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    • thanks LL

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    • PNY
      Lady Lostris wrote:
      I am not convinced that it would affect rollback users, but even if it would, that's a completely irrelevant point to this case. Btw, normally rollback users only have the extra ability to undo an edit with one click. The fact that they can delete and edit stuff here is already an extra privilege that they have on this wiki as opposed to others, so that really isn't a concern.


      Oh it's very relevant. It's all part of the bigger spectrum: wiki activity. Rollbacks won't have as much to do, leading to a few of them becoming inactive... heck, a few of them are already either borderline inactive or not as active as they once were, so when this new policy takes full effect, you can say bye bye to, at least, 5 of your rollbacks in the the span of maybe 3 months.

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    • KettleMeetPot wrote:

      You can already clearly see that all of the criticism here stems directly from the lack of transparency regarding the decision-making process behind this... Initiative. Something you have stated will be sorta-kinda addressed later in that there will be some detail issued at Community Central, though the disorganization on such an important issue is distasteful to say the least.

      ...

      However, you have also stated that "at this time", this is the best way to comply to the law. So, at the very least, can you throw us some scrap of information and comment on whether this change will be permanent, and if not, whether there are plans or work being done on an alternative (if not now, then in the future)?

      I get that the Avatar story has fans of all ages. While I can't share our exact criteria, I will try to be more transparent in explaining the process and show you some of the things we looked at. We considered things like medium, genre, demographic, tone, and other factors. There was no one magic criteria that decided the issue, but consider the following:

      Avatar is a cartoon currently airing on Nicktoons, along with other child-friendly programming.

      It is rated Y7.

      Netflix lists the genre as follows: Children & Family, Kids' Anime, Kids' TV, Ages 8-10, Ages 11-12, Nickelodeon.

      Sites like this .

      When the series starts, Aang is (basically) 12 years old, which makes the character appealing to other 12 year olds.

      Again, none of these was determinative, but taken together with similar factors, they point us in the direction of considering this wiki to fall in the category.

      I don't mean to imply that the changes will only be temporary. Of course, we will periodically review our compliance policies, but this is a permanent change (barring a change in the law).

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    • Zapeth wrote: ... Rollbacks won't have as much to do, leading to a few of them becoming inactive... heck, a few of them are already borderline inactive, so when this new policy takes full effect, you can say bye bye to, at least, 5 of your rollbacks in the the span of maybe 3 months.

      That's not strictly speaking true. I am a rollback, and yet I haven't actually used the 'rollback' button in a very, very long time. People don't become inactive because they have nothing to do; rather, they have more to focus on outside the wiki. I don't edit or remove any comments, and I undo (not rollback, undo) edits made by regular contributors. Having this in place won't affect how I spend my time in the wiki, although likely it will affect how much time I spend going through edits.

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    • Semanticdrifter wrote: ... We considered things like medium, genre, demographic, tone, and other factors. There was no one magic criteria that decided the issue, but consider the following:

      Avatar is a cartoon currently airing on Nicktoons, along with other child-firendly programming.

      It is rated Y7.

      Netflix lists the genre as follows: Children & Family, Kids' Anime, Kids' TV, Ages 8-10, Ages 11-12, Nickelodeon.

      When the series starts, Aang is (basically) 12 years old, which makes the character appealing to other 12 year olds.

      I would like to point out that this show is no longer on Netflix, and considering the vast number of contributors who watched the series when it originally aired, many are over 13. Shows originally designed for children can attract viewers and fans not of the demographic is was written for - take Adventure Time, for example.

      While I agree that the "medium, genre, demographic [and] tone" were certainly originally intended or young boys, that does not mean that the intended viewership actually do. Why can't you share with us the criteria used?

      EDIT: Also, just because Aang is 12, again, does not mean that the character is appealing to 12 year olds. That's far too generalised, for starters. Remember the Adventures of Tin Tin? He would have been over 20, and yet he didn't appeal to 20+ year olds - he appealed to children. You cannot use Aang's age to justify why exactly you want to remove a great portion of our community. You could at least have a poll for all the registered users to actually find out the general ages of the users, because removing anonymous contributors without first consulting the wiki users is rude, if I may say so, and you don't know anything about the community on here!

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    • My biggest problem is this: It seems like you've made a decision to comply with the law, but only in areas where you think it's necessary. If this is about privacy, do you really think that other wikis that aren't considered "for kids" won't have these issues? I just think it'd be better to comply with the law on all points and disable it for all, instead of a select few which may or may not affect the problem that the law is trying to prevent.

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    • After all of this back-and-forth, I still don't see how expelling anon contribution from the wiki will help us at all. All that will happen is, if the anon really wants to edit, that anon will make an account and lie about his age without batting an eye. I understand that we have to go by what they say they are, not what they really are (everyone here could be twelve and it would be kind of hard to prove we're all above that unless we showed some kind of verification), but even so, the problem of underage editing and IP reveals is still at issue, whether or not the person had pinky sworn that he is above thirteen. I know that Wikia is trying to find the best solution to the COPPA amendments, but this cannot be it -- the losses (which are huge, as we've already pointed out) far outweigh the benefits (er, benefit -- and we can't even prove, unless every new user provides verification, that the benefit is even helping us uphold COPPA in the end because everyone could be lying).

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    • I don't see how this will ever protect anyone from anything. It serves no purpose. I'm a relative newcomer here, but the way you guys get rid of coarse language to the best of your ability is beyond commendable. This won't protect anyone from anything other than what they themselves already bring to the table.

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    • So you must sign in to prove you're not 13? ...Pretty sure they can just lie.

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    • Krazykid51 wrote: After all of this back-and-forth, I still don't see how expelling anon contribution from the wiki will help us at all. All that will happen is, if the anon really wants to edit, that anon will make an account and lie about his age without batting an eye. I understand that we have to go by what they say they are, not what they really are (everyone here could be twelve and it would be kind of hard to prove we're all above that unless we showed some kind of verification), but even so, the problem of underage editing and IP reveals is still at issue, whether or not the person had pinky sworn that he is above thirteen. I know that Wikia is trying to find the best solution to the COPPA amendments, but this cannot be it -- the losses (which are huge, as we've already pointed out) far outweigh the benefits (er, benefit -- and we can't even prove, unless every new user provides verification, that the benefit is even helping us uphold COPPA in the end because everyone could be lying).

      It's not about helping the wiki, but preventing Wikia from getting sued by the federal government. And if the loser lies about their age, that removes any legal responsibility on Wikia's behalf.

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    • Exactly what WaterMasterFinn said. It won't make a change because now anyone, No matter what age, even if it's under the age of 13 will be able to sign up..So what's the point?

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    • LoveWaffle wrote: It's not about helping the wiki, but preventing Wikia from getting sued by the federal government. And if the loser lies about their age, that removes any legal responsibility on Wikia's behalf.

      And that is a noble goal indeed, but then they need to comply with the law in general, and don't pick and choose on which wikis they want to prevent lawsuits and on which they don't. Again, the law is there for everyone to abide by, it is not made for wikia to choose on their own criteria which wiki should and should not follow the law.

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    • Then if you guys think this is a very important rule, Why wasn't this done a long time ago?

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    • because coppa was amended just now to include this, till then it was fine.

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    • If this is directed to the local administrators: because we do not see any benefits at all in the blocking of anonymous activity on this wiki. In fact, we have gone alone with nearly every social-orientated feature that wikia conjured up in order to facilitate easy usage of this wiki for everyone, including anonymous users.

      If this is directed to the actions of wikia now, then that's been explained above: the COPPA law itself changed and became more stricter, and wikia feels that they now need to take this measure. Complying with the law in one thing and really, no objections there; but picking and choosing on their own secret criteria which wiki does and which wiki does not have to comply to the law, many objections there.

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    • Alright, so July 1st, this will be a new rule for the wiki...Yet I still guarantee this will make no major change because there will still be people under the age of 13 using the wiki.

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    • I checked out a bunch of Wikis that I thought might also be targeted with this policy, and found that the following are:

      It also seems the Xiaolin Showdown wiki is voluntarily seeking to have these rules applied to them as well, according to this post on Semanticdrifter's wall.

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    • None of those wikis are really surprising, so what's the point? Besides the fact that it is a rule with many negative consequences, one of the biggest objections to the way Wikia is deciding to handle this is that they are not doing so globally but are just singling out wikis. So it doesn't matter that we are not alone, it should matter that there are many wikis that will not be held to the law, whereas it is more than reasonable to request that a law is uphold for everyone or for no one. In this case, preferably no one, but that's obviously not our decision to make.

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    • Lady Lostris wrote: None of those wikis are really surprising, so what's the point? Besides the fact that it is a rule with many negative consequences, one of the biggest objections to the way Wikia is deciding to handle this is that they are not doing so globally but are just singling out wikis. So it doesn't matter that we are not alone, it should matter that there are many wikis that will not be held to the law, whereas it is more than reasonable to request that a law is uphold for everyone or for no one. In this case, preferably no one, but that's obviously not our decision to make.

      1. See the reaction to the change on other wikis.
      2. Wikis regarding Nickelodeon shows seem to have the screws put to them.
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    • LoveWaffle wrote:

      1. See the reaction to the change on other wikis.
      2. Wikis regarding Nickelodeon shows seem to have the screws put to them.
      1. And this matters . .. why?
      2. This also doesn't matter. If wikia is pushing through this measure under the pretense of upholding the law, of complying with COPPA, then they should do so fairly and do so for every wiki out there.
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    • Lady Lostris wrote:

      LoveWaffle wrote:

      1. See the reaction to the change on other wikis.
      2. Wikis regarding Nickelodeon shows seem to have the screws put to them.
      1. And this matters . .. why?
      2. This also doesn't matter. If wikia is pushing through this measure under the pretense of upholding the law, of complying with COPPA, then they should do so fairly and do so for every wiki out there.
      1. Because the reaction on other wikis is decisively different. Makes for an interesting read.
      2. They do so fairly by only targeting wikis where this might be an issue. It also matters because seeing that wikis regarding television shows currently airing or in production on Nickelodeon is a knock against the arbitrary application of this new policy, as it gives insight to the criteria Semanticdrifter couldn't share.
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    • LoveWaffle wrote:

      1. Because the reaction on other wikis is decisively different. Makes for an interesting read.
      2. They do so fairly by only targeting wikis where this might be an issue. It also matters because seeing that wikis regarding television shows currently airing or in production on Nickelodeon is a knock against the arbitrary application of this new policy, as it gives insight to the criteria Semanticdrifter couldn't share.
      1. Well, ever considered the fact that just because the reaction is so vastly different, this wiki should perhaps be excluded from the enforcement of the law? Cause those other wikis apparently have a severe issue with underaged users. We don't. We have them, we most certainly have them, just like any other wiki has them, but we don't have a problem with them. That is part of the reason why nearly everyone is against the announced measure.
      2. That is not fairly, that's arbitrary, you got your words mixed up there. Cause it's not because something is a animated that it automatically means that it caters for children (and the reasons for why wikia might think that as listed above are wildly incomplete to force through such an incomplete measure). So unless the actual criteria are revealed and they prove to actually be objective, relevant, and true criteria, or unless this rule is imposed on every wiki out there in order to really comply with the law, this is an arbitrary and discriminating measure, not matter how much wikia would like to call it differently.
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    • Lady Lostris wrote:
      So unless the actual criteria are revealed and they prove to actually be objective, relevant, and true criteria, or unless this rule is imposed on every wiki out there in order to really comply with the law, this is an arbitrary and discriminating measure, not matter how much wikia would like to call it differently.

      The COPPA law requires that "operators of websites or online services that are either directed to children under 13 or have actual knowledge that they are collecting personal information from children under 13 give notice to parents and get their verifiable consent before collecting, using, or disclosing such personal information", which now includes "geolocation information".

      • Wikia is operator of this site
      • Avatar Wiki's target audience INCLUDES children under 13
      • IP addresses are "geolocation information"
      • MediaWiki software gleefully publish IP addresses of anons
      • ERGO, Wikia must ban anonymous users from Avatar Wiki

      If Wikia allow anonymous users on other wikis that they "have actual knowledge" are targeting children under 13, then FTC will come after them. Its Wikia's problem to come up with a good criteria not ours. FTC will determine whether Wikia has done due diligence in establishing a good criteria. Icon_think.gif

      The biggest concern from the community, I think, is the drop in participation. May I suggest Wikia look into OpenID extensions so users can easily login from other accounts instead of just from children-unfriendly facebook? Icon_idea.gif

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    • ^ Webfascism strikes again. after that whole SOPA/PIPA [whew, that's actually the name of an instrument!! me gusta] deal, now we got this so-called COPPA act, which restrains freedom of non-users in the wikia, the "nonies".

      Besides, if its an all-ages wikia, including those below 13-year range, why would then the law block acess to the discussion/editing areas by those people?? If every age can watch it, then every age can comment about it or edit, if they have something useful to add. 

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    • Lady Lostris wrote:

      LoveWaffle wrote:

      1. Because the reaction on other wikis is decisively different. Makes for an interesting read.
      2. They do so fairly by only targeting wikis where this might be an issue. It also matters because seeing that wikis regarding television shows currently airing or in production on Nickelodeon is a knock against the arbitrary application of this new policy, as it gives insight to the criteria Semanticdrifter couldn't share.
      1. Well, ever considered the fact that just because the reaction is so vastly different, this wiki should perhaps be excluded from the enforcement of the law? Cause those other wikis apparently have a severe issue with underaged users. We don't. We have them, we most certainly have them, just like any other wiki has them, but we don't have a problem with them. That is part of the reason why nearly everyone is against the announced measure.
      2. That is not fairly, that's arbitrary, you got your words mixed up there. Cause it's not because something is a animated that it automatically means that it caters for children (and the reasons for why wikia might think that as listed above are wildly incomplete to force through such an incomplete measure). So unless the actual criteria are revealed and they prove to actually be objective, relevant, and true criteria, or unless this rule is imposed on every wiki out there in order to really comply with the law, this is an arbitrary and discriminating measure, not matter how much wikia would like to call it differently.
      1. No.
      2. Arbitrary would be without reason, without criteria. It would be arbitrary if a random selection of wikis were targeted or if all wikis were targeted. That there is some semblance of a criterion in "Entertainment wikis concerning a television show currently airing on or in production at a network aimed at the 8-12 demographic" shows it isn't completely arbitrary. That it's animated doesn't mean it's aimed towards children, but that it airs on a kids network does. Whether or not it reaches that audience or if the audience is larger than that is irrelevant.
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    • Lady Lostris wrote:
      None of those wikis are really surprising, so what's the point? Besides the fact that it is a rule with many negative consequences, one of the biggest objections to the way Wikia is deciding to handle this is that they are not doing so globally but are just singling out wikis. 

      COPPA is focused specifically on children. The updated rule is triggered when a wiki is directed to children. As written by Congress and implemented by the FTC, it doesn't apply to all websites just those that may be directed to children.

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    • Lady Lostris wrote:
      1. That is not fairly, that's arbitrary, you got your words mixed up there. Cause it's not because something is a animated that it automatically means that it caters for children (and the reasons for why wikia might think that as listed above are wildly incomplete to force through such an incomplete measure). So unless the actual criteria are revealed and they prove to actually be objective, relevant, and true criteria, or unless this rule is imposed on every wiki out there in order to really comply with the law, this is an arbitrary and discriminating measure, not matter how much wikia would like to call it differently.

      I have provided insight into the type of things we considered, which is an implementation of factors outlined by the FTC. The reasons I listed were not exhuastive, but I think taken together they paint a good picture of the type of things we have to consider. "Arbitrary" implies we picked at random or based on nothing at all. That is not the case.

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    • This isn't fair at all. Some people are just have skulls so thick, that no drill can drill past it. I am glad I'm over 13 but I feel sad for all of the ones under 13. Kids have voices too, they can't be silenced like this forever. Only if there was some way to stop this policy from taking place or have a special button that can activate the policy on wish of the admin on all wikias if we can't stop the policy.

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    • Is this really the best solution wiki staff could come up with? Come on people *sigh*

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    • Semanticdrifter wrote: ... One common theme I see popping up is that this wiki could post a disclaimer, or otherwise obscure the IP address. Based on the new updates, neither of those would be sufficient to comply with the law. The law was not written with wikis in mind.

      If the main issue is collecting information, and the information in this case is the IP address, then I really don't see why that's an unviable option. Not only would it be less damaging, but that seems like the most direct way to confront it on the wikis in question. Posting a disclaimer wouldn't do anything, but if the IP is obscured, it's not giving out any information.

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    • AvatarRokusGhost wrote:

      ... but if the IP is obscured, it's not giving out any information.

      True, but we would still be collecting it. In order to fully comply with the law, we need to restrict the collection of the information on wikis that fit the category.

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    • Well this is getting us nowhere. No matter how much we voice our disapproval in the end we have no say.

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    • I've seen many comments mention the fact that children under 13 can very easily create accounts and lie about their age, and yes, they sure can! I have! I'm 21 now, and it wasn't on wikia, but I created an account on a website where underaged users are banned on the spot when I was 12. I didn't want to wait until I was 13. I just told everybody that I was 13. If somebody who is underaged really doesn't want to wait until they turn 13, then they will go ahead and create an account while lying about their age.

      Avatar Wiki always strictly enforces the underaged policy. Whenever a somebody admits that they are underaged, a user will post about it on the admin noticeboard and they will be immediately blocked once an admin sees it. I've seen other wikia communities decide not to enforce the underaged policy. They think that Wikipedia's "ignore it if it decreases the quality of editing" rule applies here and that as long as the child is mature enough they do not need to be blocked. Perhaps the staff should take a look at those communities. Since Avatar Wiki has been so loyal to Wikia's policy, it really does seem like a stab in the back that they have to be penalized.

      If the issue is just IP addresses, there are other ways to deal with this. You can add a disclaimer explaining anon contributions and state "By contributing to Wikia, I indicate that I am at least 13 years of age."  Then again, I read the comments above and it seems that this alone will not be enough. Obscuring the IP address also solves the problem since this information will not be given out. In fact, I'd actually reccomend BOTH. I don't see how obscuring the IP address does not comply with the law because it's not giving out any information.

      Edit: Sorry, it took so long to type this that I didn't see all replies before this. DX

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    • @Semanticdrifter - if I understand the issue here correctly, the law requires that Wikia restricts the information they collect from someone if there is a (high/medium/reasonable) chance that said person is underage. As I also understand it, if a user states by their own accord that they are 13 or over, then Wikia is covered legally, whether the user is telling the truth about their age or not, and can collect information from them as normal.

      So here is my question; if an explicit statement from a person that they are 13 or over when they create an account is enough to satisfy any legal requirement, surely something that requires an anonymous user to state that they are 13 or over before they can publish an edit or post a comment also satisfies said requirement. What I am thinking of is that, taking editing as an example, the anon can write their edit as normal, but when they press publish, a box pops up asking them to verify their age; if they verify themselves as 13 or over, their edit is published as normal, but if they state they are not, their edit is cancelled. If the edit is not published, then surely information from the user (such as their IP address) is not collected, and thus no law is broken. Similarly, if they by their own accord say they are not underage, then Wikia has not broken any law, regardless of whether the user is truthful.

      Is this not a viable alternative to a blanket ban on anon editing, and one which also, from my understanding, complies with the law as stated. I don't know whether this is technically viable, but what about from a purely theoretical viewpoint?

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    • HammerOfThor wrote:
      @Semanticdrifter - if I understand the issue here correctly, the law requires that Wikia restricts the information they collect from someone if there is a (high/medium/reasonable) chance that said person is underage. As I also understand it, if a user states by their own accord that they are 13 or over, then Wikia is covered legally, whether the user is telling the truth about their age or not, and can collect information from them as normal.

      So here is my question; if an explicit statement from a person that they are 13 or over when they create an account is enough to satisfy any legal requirement, surely something that requires an anonymous user to state that they are 13 or over before they can publish an edit or post a comment also satisfies said requirement. What I am thinking of is that, taking editing as an example, the anon can write their edit as normal, but when they press publish, a box pops up asking them to verify their age; if they verify themselves as 13 or over, their edit is published as normal, but if they state they are not, their edit is cancelled. If the edit is not published, then surely information from the user (such as their IP address) is not collected, and thus no law is broken. Similarly, if they by their own accord say they are not underage, then Wikia has not broken any law, regardless of whether the user is truthful.

      Is this not a viable alternative to a blanket ban on anon editing, and one which also, from my understanding, complies with the law as stated. I don't know whether this is technically viable, but what about from a purely theoretical viewpoint?

      Exactly! From what I understand, it only applies if they are knowingly collecting the information from minors, and if they assure that they are at least 13, then they aren't responsible. As mentioned above, I did this on another website when I was 12, and nothing happened because I agreed that I was at least 13, even if I lied.

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    • LoveWaffle wrote:

      1. No.
      2. Arbitrary would be without reason, without criteria. It would be arbitrary if a random selection of wikis were targeted or if all wikis were targeted. That there is some semblance of a criterion in "Entertainment wikis concerning a television show currently airing on or in production at a network aimed at the 8-12 demographic" shows it isn't completely arbitrary. That it's animated doesn't mean it's aimed towards children, but that it airs on a kids network does. Whether or not it reaches that audience or if the audience is larger than that is irrelevant.
      1. That's what I figured.
      2. Well, since you seem to know the reasons upon which this decision was made, please share them with me, cause "we considered things like demographics, genre, subject matter, and other factors" is far from "a reason" in my book on which such an infringing decision can be made upon. Unless you think it is sufficient to just go with, "well, it wasn't totally random, we just went 'oh, it's aired on nickelodeon, it must be filled with underaged user'". In that case, you can do so, but I was thought in my law classes that when an exception to a rule is made for some groups, that exception needs to be based on detailed reasoning, does not exceed its goal (consequences wise), and must be the best course of action to take (thus meaning that there is no other way that would even have remotely the same effects but with a better "pro/con"-ratio). So no, it's not irrelevant to state that also +13 year olds will be harmed by this rule besides the intended -13 year olds. At this point, this rule is enforced blindly, cause who is to say that there aren't more +13 year old anonymous users here than -13 year olds? The decision was made on a guess, and that is wrong when it has such negative effects to others as well.

      Semanticdrifter wrote: I have provided insight into the type of things we considered, which is an implementation of factors outlined by the FTC. The reasons I listed were not exhuastive, but I think taken together they paint a good picture of the type of things we have to consider. "Arbitrary" implies we picked at random or based on nothing at all. That is not the case.

      Really, I am not trying to be difficult here and I really don't have anything against you, but you have not provided us with insight whatsoever. As I said in the previous paragraph, a vague reference to "we considered things like demographics, genre, subject matter, and other factors" is not "providing insight", that's more a brush off in the hopes that we will be satisfied with that. Cause for example, to what extend was it factored in that The Legend of Korra is aimed at an older target audience (this was not made up by us, this was stated by the creators)? To what extend made it a difference that TLoK is the currently airing show and that Avatar: The Last Airbender has been over for 8 years and that most fans of the original show are now well over 13 and that most anonymous users now come here because of TLoK, the show focused on an older audience? (and by your logic, has a 17-year-old protagonist with 16 and 18 year old friends and thus attracts people of that age) We don't know any of it, and yet, the anonymous users are going to get blocked here because what, ATLA and TLoK air on Nickelodeon and that's what we have to do it with?

      Semanticdrifter wrote: COPPA is focused specifically on children. The updated rule is triggered when a wiki is directed to children. As written by Congress and implemented by the FTC, it doesn't apply to all websites just those that may be directed to children.

      And to tie in with my previous comment, to what extend it the actual content of said wiki factored in? Cause even though ATLA and TLoK are flagged "kids shows" by wikia, the actual pages on here are -without wanting to sound arrogant, but I do say it with a definite undertone of pride- written to meet a standard that goes way above that of the average underaged user. Was that also factored in, or does that all not matter? And if it does matter, to what extend? In order for anyone to ever be okay with this severe intrusive measure into our community, the least we could ask in return is a clear answer as to why our community will take a blow because of this. Is that really such an unreasonable request?

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    • If "information collection" is the problem... What, wikia doesn't already collect the IP of every registered user, underaged included? The blocks indicate that it's always somewhere in the records. What's the difference between an underaged nony who *chooses* to participate and have his/her IP collected and an underaged user who *chooses* to register and have his/her IP collected? Going by what you said, you're not supposed to be responsible for 'voluntary' illegal actions, anyway. If I'm not mistaken, the law somehow forgives Wikia for an illegally registered user's bad choices, but really, what difference is there between making a nony "agree" to be 13 whenever they comment/edit and making someone "agree" to be 13 when they sign up? If both are going to lie, I'd personally prefer not to encourage the type with fake email accounts...or real ones. And wait, aren't you...collecting *more* information than necessary with registration? Nonies don't even have to share their emails. 

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    • Minnichi wrote:
      If "information collection" is the problem... What, wikia doesn't already collect the IP of every registered user, underaged included? The blocks indicate that it's always somewhere in the records. What's the difference between an underaged nony who *chooses* to participate and have his/her IP collected and an underaged user who *chooses* to register and have his/her IP collected? Going by what you said, you're not supposed to be responsible for 'voluntary' illegal actions, anyway. If I'm not mistaken, the law somehow forgives Wikia for an illegally registered user's bad choices, but really, what difference is there between making a nony "agree" to be 13 whenever they comment/edit and making someone "agree" to be 13 when they sign up? If both are going to lie, I'd personally prefer not to encourage the type with fake email accounts...or real ones. And wait, aren't you...collecting *more* information than necessary with registration? Nonies don't even have to share their emails. 


      I think the issue they're getting at is the fact that a nony's IP address is displayed to the public when you click on their profile. As mentioned earlier, obscuring it could solve this issue. In regards to this, I found something interesting on the FTC COPPA update page:

      "The definition of collection of personal information has been changed so that operators may allow children to participate in interactive communities without parental consent, so long as the operators take reasonable measures to delete all or virtually all children’s personal information before it is made public."

      With this statement, it sounds like obscuring the information from the public IS in compliance with COPPA.

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    • Lady Lostris wrote:
      Well, since you seem to know the reasons upon which this decision was made, please share them with me, cause "we considered things like demographics, genre, subject matter, and other factors" is far from "a reason" in my book on which such an infringing decision can be made upon.

      Apparently it was, or else the rule would not have been enacted.

      Unless you think it is sufficient to just go with, "well, it wasn't totally random, we just went 'oh, it's aired on nickelodeon, it must be filled with underaged user'".

      That's not their reasoning. It's not a stretch to assume a wiki about a show that airs on a network whose prime demo is younger than 13 will attract an audience around that age. It clearly attracts more than that, but the younger editors need to be protected.

      In that case, you can do so, but I was thought in my law classes that when an exception to a rule is made for some groups, that exception needs to be based on detailed reasoning, does not exceed its goal (consequences wise), and must be the best course of action to take (thus meaning that there is no other way that would even have remotely the same effects but with a better "pro/con"-ratio).

      There is a detailed reasoning, just not one that can be shared. And I assume this was the best course of action, otherwise it wouldn't have been taken. I trust Semanticdrifter's legal background enough to do so.

      So no, it's not irrelevant to state that also +13 year olds will be harmed by this rule besides the intended -13 year olds. At this point, this rule is enforced blindly, cause who is to say that there aren't more +13 year old anonymous users here than -13 year olds? The decision was made on a guess, and that is wrong when it has such negative effects to others as well.

      No one's to say that there are more anonymous users younger than 13 years of age, but to say there's more anonymous users over the age of 13 is just as speculative. What matters is fitting the parameters of the law enough to avoid further scrutiny from the FTC, and if that can be done by only targeting a few wikis rather than all of them, so be it.

      Is it unfortunate? Yes. Is doing otherwise worse than a lawsuit from the FTC? By no means. The worst-case scenario would be the service shut down. There's your pro/con analysis.

      Minnichi wrote:
      What, wikia doesn't already collect the IP of every registered user, underaged included?

      Actually, all users who admit to an age >13 are supposed to be blocked from editing. This is a Wikia-wide standard. And if a user younger than 13 lies about their age and says they are older, Wikia is cleared of any legal responsibility.

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    • LoveWaffle wrote: There is a detailed reasoning, just not one that can be shared. And I assume this was the best course of action, otherwise it wouldn't have been taken. I trust Semanticdrifter's legal background enough to do so.

      You and I seem to have a very different definition of "detail", cause to me "vague reference" is not the same as detailed, but if that is reason enough for you, then I am glad for you that you can be so easy going with this.

      LoveWaffle wrote: No one's to say that there are more anonymous users younger than 13 years of age, but to say there's more anonymous users over the age of 13 is just as speculative.

      No one said either that we assume that there are more +13 anonymous users. What I was referring to was the fact that since no one knows the measure of blocking everyone for the possibility of their being underaged users is carrying it too far, cause likely, every wiki will be visited by underaged users, but it seems that for them, privacy protection suddenly isn't an issue.

      LoveWaffle wrote: What matters is fitting the parameters of the law enough to avoid further scrutiny from the FTC, and if that can be done by only targeting a few wikis rather than all of them, so be it.

      Er . . . No. When one is using a law to hide behind, then they need to apply said law and not just a few parameters and screw whomever over who is in the way. Cause that's basically what this is. But as said above, good for you that you're fine with such practices.

      LoveWaffle wrote: Is it unfortunate? Yes. Is doing otherwise worse than a lawsuit from the FTC? By no means. The worst-case scenario would be the service shut down. There's your pro/con analysis.

      Really, no offense what so ever, but I am really glad that I do not have to encounter your "the end justifies the means" way of thinking too often, cause that's a rather selfish approach to this when there are seemingly other just as viable alternatives that are also vaguely being brushed off, just as anonymous editing is vaguely being blocked. But once again, good for you that you are fine with vaguely justifying the means to your goal.

      LoveWaffle wrote: And if a user younger than 13 lies about their age and says they are older, Wikia is cleared of any legal responsibility.

      HoT had a perfectly feasible answer to that a few posts above that would not be as intrusive as blocking everyone out. And just for your knowledge, she was referring the fact that underaged users that would otherwise remain anonymous would now create an account and just lie about their age, and as such, there would be no difference between the information gathering.

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    • Hanabi-chan wrote:

      "The definition of collection of personal information has been changed so that operators may allow children to participate in interactive communities without parental consent, so long as the operators take reasonable measures to delete all or virtually all children’s personal information before it is made public."

      With this statement, it sounds like obscuring the information from the public IS in compliance with COPPA.


      Obscuring is not the same as deleting. If Wikia or anyone else has the means to recover the IP address from a hashed address and/or private database, then it is not compliant with COPPA. Moreover, Wiki editing (including Wikipedia) which has always required some kind of accountability for the editors to deter vandalism and also for copyright reasons. If you don't want to create an user account, MediaWiki software publishes your IP address as an alternative. Hashing your IP address defeats that purpose.

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    • LoveWaffle wrote: Actually, all users who admit to an age >13 are supposed to be blocked from editing. This is a Wikia-wide standard. And if a user younger than 13 lies about their age and says they are older, Wikia is cleared of any legal responsibility.

      And how is it any different then, if a nony younger than 13 lies about their age and says they are older? That was exactly my point. All we do when we register is formally agree to be older than 13, have our IPs *and* emails collected, and clear Wikia of any legal responsibility. So it's just impossible to have nonies agree as "officially" as we do without registering, when the reliability of their word is equally nonexistent? I don't see how registration itself is a step forward, especially when the goal was supposed to be "less" information collection on Wikia's part. 

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    • Site operators are not required by law to determine if you are lying about your age or not. Not yet anyway. MediaWiki software does not publish IP address for registered accounts.

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    • Thailog
      Thailog removed this reply because:
      off-topic nonsense
      21:42, June 21, 2013
      This reply has been removed

      Hallelujah

      May I beg your indulgence...SILENCE...this is a great idea. Now less trolls and less trolls mean less ignoramuses...YOU'RE WELCOME.

        Loading editor
    • Semanticdrifter wrote: Sites like this .

      When the series starts, Aang is (basically) 12 years old, which makes the character appealing to other 12 year olds.

      Again, none of these was determinative, but taken together with similar factors, they point us in the direction of considering this wiki to fall in the category.

      Well, if you're going to follow that rationale and those sites, then you'll find that maybe 90% of your wikis are appealing to younger audiences. All Star Wars movies and cartoon show are rated between the age 7 and 11 on that site you cited. Seven. The movie where one fugly dude gets his arm cut off. I don't think I need to mention Jar Jar Binks, the droids, Yoda and the Ewoks. The Once Upon A Time Wiki also got this notice, I'm guessing because it features a kid and is about fairytale, sort of... Ok, I still fail to see how Wookiepedia is exempted from this.

      This criteria is coming off rather arbitrary at best and biased at worst.

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    • You and I seem to have a very different definition of "detail", cause to me "vague reference" is not the same as detailed, but if that is reason enough for you, then I am glad for you that you can be so easy going with this.

      Of course they're not the same. But just because you don't know what the detail is, doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

      No one said either that we assume that there are more +13 anonymous users. What I was referring to was the fact that since no one knows the measure of blocking everyone for the possibility of their being underaged users is carrying it too far, cause likely, every wiki will be visited by underaged users, but it seems that for them, privacy protection suddenly isn't an issue.
      Yes, everyone whose age isn't verified needs to be blocked from editing to protect the under-aged.
      Er . . . No. When one is using a law to hide behind, then they need to apply said law and not just a few parameters and screw whomever over who is in the way. Cause that's basically what this is. But as said above, good for you that you're fine with such practices.

      Er...No. Wikia only needs to go as far as necessary to avoid coming under further scrutiny from the FTC. There's no reason to block anonymous editors on all wikis when the same can be accomplished by blocking them on only a handful. And there may come a day when the policy that comes into affect on 1 July isn't enough, and will have to be expanded to more wikis. But if the same could be done by only blocking them on one wiki, I'm certain that would be done. That however does not appear to be the case.

      Really, no offense what so ever, but I am really glad that I do not have to encounter your "the end justifies the means" way of thinking too often, cause that's a rather selfish approach to this when there are seemingly other just as viable alternatives that are also vaguely being brushed off, just as anonymous editing is vaguely being blocked. But once again, good for you that you are fine with vaguely justifying the means to your goal.
      There don't appear to be any better alternatives, otherwise that would have been the road taken. This isn't "end justifies the means", but "lesser of two evils". But good for you that you'd rather Wikia get sued by the federal government and potentially have to shut down all services before preventing anonymous users from editing on a handful of wikis. I envy the zealotry.
      HoT had a perfectly feasible answer to that a few posts above that would not be as intrusive as blocking everyone out. And just for your knowledge, she was referring the fact that underaged users that would otherwise remain anonymous would now create an account and just lie about their age, and as such, there would be no difference between the information gathering.
      HoT had a feasible answer, but that doesn't mean it is a viable one. If it were, the wikia staff would have gone that route, as they certainly must have discussed it. As for the information gathering, Wikia is removed of any legal responsibility since the underaged user lied about his or her age.
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    • Thailog wrote:

      All Star Wars movies and cartoon show are rated between the age 7 and 11 on that site you cited. Seven. The movie where one fugly dude gets his arm cut off. I don't think I need to mention Jar Jar Binks, the droids, Yoda and the Ewoks. The Once Upon A Time Wiki also got this notice, I'm guessing because it features a kid and is about fairytale, sort of... Ok, I still fail to see how Wookiepedia is exempted from this.


      Then maybe Wookipedia should be added to the list. You are welcome to file a complaint to FTC that Wikia is knowingly publishing user IP addresses for a site targeted for children. See how that works?

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    • You sure seem to have a lot of faith in just vague reasoning. Since you have no relevant information for me whatsoever and I don't agree with most of your ways of looking at things, I'm just going to save us both the time and effort of writing long replies. So let's just conclude that you envy my zealotry and I envy your "ignorance is bliss" way of thinking about this. You don't want answer, you just have faith, that a nice way to look at things, just not how I roll.

      LoveWaffle wrote: HoT had a feasible answer, but that doesn't mean it is a viable one. If it were, the wikia staff would have gone that route, as they certainly must have discussed it. As for the information gathering, Wikia is removed of any legal responsibility since the underaged user lied about his or her age.

      But one last thing: you don't know that, cause wikia isn't telling us anything. It's perfectly possible that they haven't thought of this.

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    • Thailog
      Thailog removed this reply because:
      spam
      21:42, June 21, 2013
      This reply has been removed

      Hallelujah

      May I beg your indulgence...SILENCE...this is a great idea. Now less trolls and less trolls mean less ignoramuses...YOU'RE WELCOME.

        Loading editor
    • Hasdi wrote:
      Site operators are not required by law to determine if you are lying about your age or not. Not yet anyway. MediaWiki software does not publish IP address for registered accounts.

      Well... Wikia can always choose to stop publishing nony IPs for the whole world to see. And as you said, they aren't required by law to determine who's lying. If we get rid of the glaring string of numbers that label every nony in public, I still fail to see how formally agreeing without registering makes users any less suitable for the "legal exemption." 

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    • Minnichi wrote:
      Well... Wikia can always choose to stop publishing nony IPs for the whole world to see. ... I still fail to see how formally agreeing without registering makes users any less suitable for the "legal exemption." 


      Wikia uses MediaWiki software, which publishes IP address if you are not registered. Hence, if you don't want to publish IP address, get registered. If you don't like that, you have create a software mod or extension. Who's going to write it? Wikia? Wikimedia Foundation? Would the foundation even support it?

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    • Hasdi wrote:


      Wikia uses MediaWiki software, which publishes IP address if you are not registered. Hence, if you don't want to publish IP address, get registered. If you don't like that, you have create a software mod or extension. Who's going to write it? Wikia? Wikimedia Foundation? Would the foundation even support it?

      Well, that  pretty much implies KMP's point about it being "too much trouble" and "taking the easy way out." And remember, Wikia's defense wasn't "we can't/don't have the ability to remove IPs from publishing," it was "neither of those (disclaimers and obscured IP addresses) would be sufficient to comply with the law." I still fail to see the justification. 

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    • Of course Wikia is "taking the easy way out". What else do you expect from a company leveraging on free software like MediaWiki? Privacy issues with publishing IP addresses are also now new even with Wikipedia, and we still haven't an alternative other than requiring a registered account. Wikia is also not supposed to store IP addresses with registered accounts per COPPA but I presume they are going to purge it somehow from their database on a periodic basis unless needed for Special:CheckUser... and PRISM. Icon_shifty.gif

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    • Lady Lostris wrote: You sure seem to have a lot of faith in just vague reasoning. Since you have no relevant information for me whatsoever and I don't agree with most of your ways of looking at things, I'm just going to save us both the time and effort of writing long replies. So let's just conclude that you envy my zealotry and I envy your "ignorance is bliss" way of thinking about this. You don't want answer, you just have faith, that a nice way to look at things, just not how I roll.

      LoveWaffle wrote: HoT had a feasible answer, but that doesn't mean it is a viable one. If it were, the wikia staff would have gone that route, as they certainly must have discussed it. As for the information gathering, Wikia is removed of any legal responsibility since the underaged user lied about his or her age.

      But one last thing: you don't know that, cause wikia isn't telling us anything. It's perfectly possible that they haven't thought of this.

      It's not reasoning isn't vague, it just cannot provided. But if you look at the wikis this policy has been applied to as I have, the criterion is elucidated. I don't have an "ignorance is bliss" way of thinking about this, and I resent your bad faith characterization of not only myself but of the Wikia staff. If there were a better way to do this, I'm certain it would be done.

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    • Since this policy is going to be enforced, it should apply to all wikis not just a selected few. There are over 300,000 wikis on wikia and some wikis which topic caters to children under 13 may be overlooked. Also any nony on most wikis can make an edit and they maybe under 13.

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    • LoveWaffle wrote: It's not reasoning isn't vague, it just cannot provided. But if you look at the wikis this policy has been applied to as I have, the criterion is elucidated. I don't have an "ignorance is bliss" way of thinking about this, and I resent your bad faith characterization of not only myself but of the Wikia staff. If there were a better way to do this, I'm certain it would be done.

      Look, I'm sorry. I just don't share your bubbly, goodwill faith that I will just swallow every rule forced upon me without clear reasoning. If you want to label that down to bad faith, then be my guest. I label that at being skeptic about things, sort of "reading the fine print" instead of just blindly sign whatever contract that is pushed under my nose.

      But as said, we each have our way of looking at this, so you can resent it all you want. It's not because you are certain that they would've that it necessarily is the truth. Especially not since, as Hasdi pointed out, "Of course Wikia is "taking the easy way out". What else do you expect from a company leveraging on free software like MediaWiki?".

      Well, since the criteria are "elucidated" for you, cause apparently no one has looked at it as you have, please share your revelation on the matter. Please enlighten me on the used criteria that have decided that this wiki should be on lock down for anonymous user. Share you knowledge, I would really appreciate it, as the lack of clear criteria is bugging me severely.

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    • Lady Lostris wrote:

      LoveWaffle wrote: It's not reasoning isn't vague, it just cannot provided. But if you look at the wikis this policy has been applied to as I have, the criterion is elucidated. I don't have an "ignorance is bliss" way of thinking about this, and I resent your bad faith characterization of not only myself but of the Wikia staff. If there were a better way to do this, I'm certain it would be done.

      Look, I'm sorry. I just don't share your bubbly, goodwill faith that I will just swallow every rule forced upon me without clear reasoning. If you want to label that down to bad faith, then be my guest. I label that at being skeptic about things, sort of "reading the fine print" instead of just blindly sign whatever contract that is pushed under my nose.

      But as said, we each have our way of looking at this, so you can resent it all you want. It's not because you are certain that they would've that it necessarily is the truth. Especially not since, as Hasdi pointed out, "Of course Wikia is "taking the easy way out". What else do you expect from a company leveraging on free software like MediaWiki?".

      Well, since the criteria are "elucidated" for you, cause apparently no one has looked at it as you have, please share your revelation on the matter. Please enlighten me on the used criteria that have decided that this wiki should be on lock down for anonymous user. Share you knowledge, I would really appreciate it, as the lack of clear criteria is bugging me severely.

      Well, I already shared that criteria, you just waved it off as irrelevant. But all of the wikis targeted are for television shows that are currently in production on television networks whose prime demo is between the ages of 8-12, and Nickelodeon shows in particular seem to be more heavily scrutinized. They all also tend to have large, active userbases, so no wikis that are in need of adoption or only see a handful of edits in an extensive period of time. Although it is getting a bit more difficult since a lot of Wikis are now self-reporting for this.

      I understand the frustration behind not getting all the answers you want, but a little research goes a long way.

      Also, assuming good faith is a cardinal rule of all wikis. I'd recommend it.

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    • So two points before I head out for the weekend:

      1. I'm not trying to hide the football when it comes to the criteria. I am not going to share the exact step-by-step review process we used, but I have listed the types of things that went in to the analysis. To explain further: In determining whether to place it in this category, we asked if the wiki would attract a substantial number of children under 13, and thus may be considered to be a “Web site or online service directed to children” under the COPPA rule. This is true even if they aren't the primary audience of the wiki. To answer that question, we looked at everything from the nature of the wiki pages, the subject matter (including medium, ratings, genre, storyline, source, likely audience, intended audience, actual audience, etc.).

      It wasn't as simple as "it's a cartoon" or "it's on nicktoons", although both affected the outcome.

      2. We did look at several alternatives, both technical and policy oriented. At the end of the day, this option presented the best way for Wikia to comply with the law.

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    • LoveWaffle wrote: Well, I already shared that criteria, you just waved it off as irrelevant. But all of the wikis targeted are for television shows that are currently in production on television networks whose prime demo is between the ages of 8-12, and Nickelodeon shows in particular seem to be more heavily scrutinized. They all also tend to have large, active userbases, so no wikis that are in need of adoption or only see a handful of edits in an extensive period of time. Although it is getting a bit more difficult since a lot of Wikis are now self-reporting for this.

      Uhu . . . yes, you have indeed said it before. And yes, I am still right to dismiss this as irrelevant. This is not a concrete criterium, that's a biased assumption.

      LoveWaffle wrote: I understand the frustration behind not getting all the answers you want, but a little research goes a long way.

      Also, assuming good faith is a cardinal rule of all wikis. I'd recommend it.

      Hello mister pot, I am apparently the kettle that you are calling black, cause seriously, who are you to tell me that I haven't don't my research about this? Again, not everyone is as gullible as you. That doesn't make one of bad faith, that does make one smart and skeptical, which is not a bad thing. But I get that it is not for everyone, so please, just stay in your own comfort zone where you smile and nod and do whatever it is that other people tell you to do. If you don't want to do that, then I advice you to do your research before telling anyone that they don't "assume good faith", cause now you're claiming that I don't do that and I don't even resent that comment, I just flat out tell you that you don't know what the hell you are talking about. So please, assume good faith towards others and do your research, that would make it all so much more pleasurable for the rest of us. Thank you ^^.

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    • Did we have to put our age in here when we signed up? 'Cause if that's all they're asking, I don't mind that.

      But do ACs really do anything that bad?

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    • Semanticdrifter wrote: So two points before I head out for the weekend:

      1. I'm not trying to hide the football when it comes to the criteria. I am not going to share the exact step-by-step review process we used, but I have listed the types of things that went in to the analysis. To explain further: In determining whether to place it in this category, we asked if the wiki would attract a substantial number of children under 13, and thus may be considered to be a “Web site or online service directed to children” under the COPPA rule. This is true even if they aren't the primary audience of the wiki. To answer that question, we looked at everything from the nature of the wiki pages, the subject matter (including medium, ratings, genre, storyline, source, likely audience, intended audience, actual audience, etc.).

      It wasn't as simple as "it's a cartoon" or "it's on nicktoons", although both affected the outcome.

      2. We did look at several alternatives, both technical and policy oriented. At the end of the day, this option presented the best way for Wikia to comply with the law.

      1. If attraction for underagad users is what it took -or partially, who knows- then every wiki regarding an animated show needs to be locked down along with every wiki regard a game and a popular franchise like Star Wars or something, cause kids are attracted to animated things, games, and things that they think are popular. I really don't understand what the big secrecy of the decision process is all about, cause now it just comes off like wikia has something to hide, as if they did something fishy while deciding which wiki to shoot down and which wiki can be above the law.

      2. Can you please tell me why HammerOfThor's suggestion is not workable for wikia? We, on a local and small basis, have already a code in place that generates a pop-up for the administrators when we edit a certain page. If one of our own administrators -who is not a professional coder- can do that, then surely the wikia technicians must be able to do something like that on a larger scale. Cause HoT's solution would take care of wikia's liability for law suits, would it not?

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    • This is total baloney! This is supposed to be an All Ages Wiki! So why ban anonymous comments on a Wiki about a kids show?

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    • I'm not an avid member of this community, but I decided to comment here since I share many of the concerns voiced above. First off, thank you Semanticdrifter for taking the time to respond to concerns, and as much as I don't full agree with the way the enforcement of the policy is carried out, I appreciate the good-faith attempt to try to impact as few wiki communities as possible to adhere to the law and understand that you are just the messenger of this decision.

      Regarding above points, HoT's solution seems to work with regards to implementing said policy. If the concern is about lying about age, I think we can all agree will happen regardless of this policy is enforced, but at least Wikia won't be liable in that case. It is, as Lostris pointed out, rather arbitrary to simply label some wikis as "potentially" catering to the younger demographic. I don't understand why the criteria can't be shared, seems that it would have to be rather subjective in any case, but I don't understand how you would continue to enforce this? Would you regularly be checking up on new wikis being created to see if you need to shut down anonymous editing there? I'd see lots of potential for community uproar since even though you provide the option to shut down anonymous contribution (which is in place in most of the large communities I'm a part of anyway, and I understand the benefits of it), it's different when a person in charge comes in and implements it without community agreement. I just feel that a simple situational solution that requires people to acknowledge that they're of age and confirm that they'd be okay with publishing their IP address would be much more effective and easier to manage in Wikia's place than a seemingly subjective set of criteria that would require constant check-up on wikis that could possibly cater to underage users.

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    • It's not just for Avatar Wiki, I think it would be better for Wikia in general if an alternative approach were taken to this. I don't speak for Avatar Wiki, and I'm not saying this will happen to Avatar Wiki, but I could definitely see some communities migrating away from wikia because of this. I'm not an administator of any wikia community, and I'm not trying to be threatening, but if I were an admin, I would think that moving away from wikia would be the best option in dealing with this. I wouldn't want to stay here if anons were completely blocked and the majority of my community weren't happy with it. I know that at least one other wikian has thought of this. Is taking the easiest way out really worth causing this community uproar for? Is this really what you want?

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    • I see mistakes all the time, and I'm not sure an account would help things. I'm well over 13, by the way, and whenever I see a mistake, I fix it if I can. That's just how I'm made. Denying us to comment annonymously is just wrong.

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    • For those wanting the criteria, he did explain the criteria a bit more on community central:

      While I can't share our exact criteria, I will try to be more transparent in explaining the process and show you some of the things we looked at. We considered things like medium, genre, demographic, tone, characters, story elements, intended audience, actual audeince, and other factors.

      So yes, actual audience DOES matter, as well as story elements. A:TLA and LoK include genocide, some very abusive fathers, manipulating the blood in another person's body, a spirit who steals people's faces, and a MURDER-SUICIDE!

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    • 72.201.24.19 wrote:
      I see mistakes all the time, and I'm not sure an account would help things. I'm well over 13, by the way, and whenever I see a mistake, I fix it if I can. That's just how I'm made. Denying us to comment annonymously is just wrong.

      "Anonymous" user is a misnomer and an euphemism IMHO. I can tell that you are in Phoenix, AZ using a DSL modem just from your IP. You can be anonymous with a throw-away email account, with plenty of web-email providers to choose from, so it is really about being a "unregistered" user or the hassle of being a "registered" user. My 2 cents.

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    • Well this is different, but it doesn't really effect me. But I'll miss the nonies who comment funny things....

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    • Hopefully they'll be back someday. I started off a nony for months until finally making an account.

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    • Why not just have anonymous users agree to the ToU every time they make an edit?

      This is just ridiculous. Wikipedia let anons edit, don't they?

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    • PNY
      Ḡwẵine Ḹٍٍkƨ Ĺiĸe Ͼềлȑềd wrote:
      Why not just have anonymous users agree to the ToU every time they make an edit?

      This is just ridiculous. Wikipedia let anons edit, don't they?


      Wikipedia isn't directed / aimed towards minors.

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    • Zapeth wrote:

      Ḡwẵine Ḹٍٍkƨ Ĺiĸe Ͼềлȑềd wrote:
      Why not just have anonymous users agree to the ToU every time they make an edit?

      This is just ridiculous. Wikipedia let anons edit, don't they?


      Wikipedia isn't directed / aimed towards minors.

      If that's so then I think it's time for a change. Wikia and Wikipedia are both property of Wikimedia, aren't they?

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    • PNY
      Ḡwẵine Ḹٍٍkƨ Ĺiĸe Ͼềлȑềd wrote:

      Zapeth wrote:

      Ḡwẵine Ḹٍٍkƨ Ĺiĸe Ͼềлȑềd wrote:
      Why not just have anonymous users agree to the ToU every time they make an edit?

      This is just ridiculous. Wikipedia let anons edit, don't they?


      Wikipedia isn't directed / aimed towards minors.

      If that's so then I think it's time for a change. Wikia and Wikipedia are both property of Wikimedia, aren't they?

      No. Wikimedia's purpose is to raise money for Wikipedia and all of its sister projects so that they can continue to be ad-free.

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    • K can someone tell me Why This wiki is complying to COPPA while other more child-friendly wiki ( e.g my little pony) seems to be having no plans to get rid of annon comment? 

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    • Zapeth wrote:

      Ḡwẵine Ḹٍٍkƨ Ĺiĸe Ͼềлȑềd wrote:

      Zapeth wrote:

      Ḡwẵine Ḹٍٍkƨ Ĺiĸe Ͼềлȑềd wrote:
      Why not just have anonymous users agree to the ToU every time they make an edit?

      This is just ridiculous. Wikipedia let anons edit, don't they?


      Wikipedia isn't directed / aimed towards minors.

      If that's so then I think it's time for a change. Wikia and Wikipedia are both property of Wikimedia, aren't they?

      No. Wikimedia's purpose is to raise money for Wikipedia and all of its sister projects so that they can continue to be ad-free.

      But doesn't that mean they're both affiliated?

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    • 122.60.188.109 wrote:
      K can someone tell me Why This wiki is complying to COPPA while other more child-friendly wiki ( e.g my little pony) seems to be having no plans to get rid of annon comment? 

      Yeah, I was thinking the same thing!

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    • Glad I'm not the only one who has problems with this.

      Enforcing it on any Wiki that's a cartoon might have been more effective, to be completely honest. Anime, it seems to me, would really throw a wrench into this whole policy. Its standards are in-line for kids in Japan, but when they come over here, they're considered 17+. Moreover, sometimes they are redubbed so that they still cater to children. What did you do with, for instance, the Yu Yu Hakusho Wiki? That show has had both a censored dub for children, & an uncensored dub for adults--does the Wiki cater to children, or not?

      I suspect you'll just give me some vague statement about "criteria," which dovetails nicely into my 2nd point. To be perfectly blunt, when you just say, "That won't work," what I HEAR is, "We're doing it our way!" I've read several of your comments & am still no closer to understanding why the proposed solutions would not work. A checkbox to the effect of "I certify that I am at least 13" in order to edit is literally as accurate an indicator of age as registering an account. And if you enforced the same standard on all Wikis, you would be complying with the regulations, & not exposing any one of them to unfair sanctions. If you're not going to explain anything or alter your decision in any way, why did you even make an open thread?

      Edit: I just feel like giving a shout-out to Lady Lostris, for that succinct breakdown of why this Wiki doesn't meet these vague criteria for "catering to children."

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    • You're totally right, Neo.

      Anime would be a fairly good example, like you mentioned, and even movies,shows,etc where in other places are "ok" for kids, then on the widespread internet policies, usually in line with US laws and stuff are 13+, 15+ or even 17+.

      Besides, since the show itself (avatar) is target to an all-ages audience, why can't the wikia follow suit, instead of having an age restriction.

      Basically whoever made this law is clearly a hypocrite, since the law will affect several wikia of "all ages" shows,cartoons,etc.

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    • LoveWaffle wrote:
      I checked out a bunch of Wikis that I thought might also be targeted with this policy, and found that the following are:

      It also seems the Xiaolin Showdown wiki is voluntarily seeking to have these rules applied to them as well, according to this post on Semanticdrifter's wall.


      I've found these as well:

      Fairy Tail was also included on the list at first but was later removed. Other than that, while I'm not necessarily shocked to see any of these Wikis flagged, I feel like a lot of these could definitely be debated. I've looked at multiple Nintendo-themed Wikis and none of them were flagged while Sonic and Kingdom Hearts were, and many of them have at least a few thousand pages. Harry Potter especially is a gray area because it is a very popular series and just about everybody seems to like Harry Potter at least a little, with a few exceptions. That being said, most of us agree that this selective process really isn't fair.

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    • 122.60.188.109 wrote:
      K can someone tell me Why This wiki is complying to COPPA while other more child-friendly wiki ( e.g my little pony) seems to be having no plans to get rid of annon comment? 


      Perhaps Wikia's criteria determined that My Little Pony's target audience is bronies, grown-up men with... special needs. ._____.

      Seriously, folks. Just file a complaint with FTC come July 1st if you think MLP is unfairly excluded. Remember folks, Friendship is Magic...

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    • I'm not even talking about the law right now. I have a strong suspicion that it is also bizarre & hypocritical, as the government seems to have this reaction of "we fear it & try to control it but we don't understand it" when it comes to the internet, but that's not a conversation relevant to this Wiki. Basically, I think that Wikia itself can take less drastic & bizarre steps, but frankly, I don't think they really care. This isn't the first time I've seen this "every man for himself" reaction from them. As unfair as this seems, anonymous users can at least sign up to edit. You can basically be banned from a random Wiki if the admin doesn't like your face, Wikia doesn't have any sort of clause guaranteeing their "anyone can edit" principle. And it's unlikely that you'll find another Wiki about the same thing strong enough to compete with "the original."

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    • Hasdi wrote:

      122.60.188.109 wrote:
      K can someone tell me Why This wiki is complying to COPPA while other more child-friendly wiki ( e.g my little pony) seems to be having no plans to get rid of annon comment? 


      Perhaps Wikia's criteria determined that My Little Pony's target audience is bronies, grown-up men with... special needs. ._____.

      Seriously, folks. Just file a complaint with FTC come July 1st if you think MLP is unfairly excluded. Remember folks, Friendship is Magic...

      That's not the greatest idea. Enough of those complaints could risk the government deciding that Wikia hasn't fulfilled its responsibilities, & shutting it down wholesale. It's also missing the second point, which is that there are better ways to solve this problem. Enforcing this sanction on all Wikis would definitely make it fair, but it would be far from reasonable. And as it stands, many Wikis are rightfully upset that they can't contest the claim that they're somehow "for kids," even though their show is running [adult swim], their game is rated T, etc. I'm sorry, but no, I don't believe that their criteria is valid. In addition to not bothering to explain it to us, there is NO WAY that they could accurately research the subject of every Wiki that there is. Just do the "older than 13" checkbox, it's easier on everyone.

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    • 122.60.188.109 wrote:
      K can someone tell me Why This wiki is complying to COPPA while other more child-friendly wiki ( e.g my little pony) seems to be having no plans to get rid of annon comment? 

      MLP is affected too. Just thought that should be clarified before more people start complaining about Avatar being affected and not MLP. I still don't agree with the way that this is being dealt with though and if this were forced on a community where I were an admin I would definitely suggest migrating away from Wikia. We shouldn't be forced to just deal with this.

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    • Anyone can lie about their age online. Blocking anons will help nothing, even without the fact that a lot of anonymous users are over the age of 12, making it utterly unfair to them by forcing them to make an account if they want to be able to participate in the wiki. I can also distinctly remember different cases where users had to be blocked from the wiki after they made an account when they were 12 or younger. I don't see how this helps anything.

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    • OrderoftheWLinURN wrote:
      Anyone can lie about their age online. Blocking anons will help nothing, even without the fact that a lot of anonymous users are over the age of 12, making it utterly unfair to them by forcing them to make an account if they want to be able to participate in the wiki.

      What you say is true. I am fairly sure 75% of the anons are over the age of 12 and there are probably several active users right now who are under the age of 12. 

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    • Pardon not be active for quite some time, but if this policy goes into effect, I vote we move the wiki and it's content as a whole somewhere else. This new rule is absolutely uncalled for.

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    • agree

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    • Voltorb wrote:
      Pardon not be active for quite some time, but if this policy goes into effect, I vote we move the wiki and it's content as a whole somewhere else. This new rule is absolutely uncalled for.

      Another MediaWiki provider still have to comply with COPPA. There is no where to run.

      Before COPPA, Wikia is more interested in allowing anons than blocking them. They'll persuade you with a laundry list of reasons to allow anons before granting your request to block anons.

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    • Hasdi wrote:

      Voltorb wrote:
      Pardon not be active for quite some time, but if this policy goes into effect, I vote we move the wiki and it's content as a whole somewhere else. This new rule is absolutely uncalled for.

      Another MediaWiki provider still have to comply with COPPA. There is no where to run.

      Before COPPA, Wikia is more interested in allowing anons than blocking them. They'll persuade you with a laundry list of reasons to allow anons before granting your request to block anons.

      This presumes that they will have to take the exact same actions. Semanticdrifter himself stated that their solutions, & the requirements they used to determine which Wikis to limit in this way were something they made up, not from the government.

      You keep bringing up the software, but I'm fairly certain that the IP is only logged AFTER the anonymous user makes an edit.

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    • A few users as well as myself discussed moving the wiki on the IRC, to a website like avatarwiki.com (already taken) or avatarwiki.net etc. Several concerns came up from this idea: 1) The cost (money wise). I think someone said it would have to be ten dollars a month, which I guess some people would call small, but think. Who would pay it? 2) Not everyone will move to the new website. The community would be torn apart. Some would stay here, some would go there, and some people will just leave. I would leave if we split. 3) We've built so much on this wiki already. The move would be nasty. Now, the idea isn't completely out of the question. I'm just listing concerns that multiple people came up with if this change were to occur.

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    • Chakras, we do have that discussion going on in the War Room as well, so you can certainly add that opinion there.

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    • Neo Bahamut wrote:
      You keep bringing up the software, but I'm fairly certain that the IP is only logged AFTER the anonymous user makes an edit.

      An anonymous user's IP address *IS* its user name. See rev_user and rev_user_text fields in Revision_table definition [1]

      rev_user

      This is equal to the user_id of the user who made this edit. The value for this field is 0 for anonymous edits, initializations scripts, and for some mass imports.

      rev_user_text

      This field holds the text of the editor's username, or the IP address of the editor if the revision was done by an unregistered user.
      In anonymous revisions imported from UseModWiki or early incarnations of the Phase II software, this field may contain an IP address with the final octet obscured (i.e. \d{1,3}\.\d{1,3}\.\d{1,3}\.xxx such as 24.150.61.xxx; see bug 3631). Some edits imported from UseModWiki may contain a Reverse DNS lookup hostname like ppfree165-153-bz.aknet.it or office.bomis.com.
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    • Hasdi wrote:

      Neo Bahamut wrote:
      You keep bringing up the software, but I'm fairly certain that the IP is only logged AFTER the anonymous user makes an edit.

      An anonymous user's IP address *IS* its user name. See rev_user and rev_user_text fields in Revision_table definition [1]

      rev_user

      This is equal to the user_id of the user who made this edit. The value for this field is 0 for anonymous edits, initializations scripts, and for some mass imports.

      rev_user_text

      This field holds the text of the editor's username, or the IP address of the editor if the revision was done by an unregistered user.
      In anonymous revisions imported from UseModWiki or early incarnations of the Phase II software, this field may contain an IP address with the final octet obscured (i.e. \d{1,3}\.\d{1,3}\.\d{1,3}\.xxx such as 24.150.61.xxx; see bug 3631). Some edits imported from UseModWiki may contain a Reverse DNS lookup hostname like ppfree165-153-bz.aknet.it or office.bomis.com.

      What does that have to do with what I said? Is the IP logged before they hit "Publish Edit," or not?

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    • Neo Bahamut wrote:
      What does that have to do with what I said? Is the IP logged before they hit "Publish Edit," or not?


      When you hit "Publish Edit", a new entry is entered in the database for a page's revision history. The database field rev_user_text either has an IP address for an anonymous user or a username for a registered user.

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    • Hasdi wrote:

      Neo Bahamut wrote:
      What does that have to do with what I said? Is the IP logged before they hit "Publish Edit," or not?


      When you hit "Publish Edit", a new entry is entered in the database for a page's revision history. The database field rev_user_text either has an IP address for an anonymous user or a username for a registered user.

      Exactly. So let me outline the proposed solution. You're on the page for, I don't know, Amon, right? And you see something that you think needs fixed. So you hit the "Edit" button. This takes you to the page that shows you all of the raw text & coding.

      You change the portion of interest, then right beside the button to publish, there's something else. Either a box that can be checked, or one that can be typed in. This thing asks you if you're 13 or older. You won't be able to process the edit unless you affirm this. Thus, your IP won't be logged until you've made the claim that you're older than 13.

      This should satisfy the terms, because it's the same as claiming to be 13 when you make an account, but much easier, as it's just an extra step in editing. And the best part is that I've seen this put into effect on the KH Wiki, & the option can be disabled for a registered user. So if you have an account, you wouldn't have to do that extra step.

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    • Neo Bahamut wrote:
      You change the portion of interest, then right beside the button to publish, there's something else. Either a box that can be checked, or one that can be typed in. This thing asks you if you're 13 or older. You won't be able to process the edit unless you affirm this. Thus, your IP won't be logged until you've made the claim that you're older than 13.


      Interesting. You hit "Publish Edit", a windows pops-up asking you to affirm that you are 13 or older and type in some Captcha phrase or something (the same process to go through to get registered). If so, the edit goes in. You do another edit, you get another pop-up and affirm again. It might get annoying, and defeats the convenience of being unregistered, no? I can only imagine how you comment with all the pop-ups.

      Honestly, I don't know if this pop-up idea will fly with the FTC so it is something you have propose to them and find out. Sorry. Also, I think it best if we figure why some people want to anonymously edit and comment in the first place, which is certainly not because of "privacy issues" with exposing your geolocation information. It's really the hassle of maintaining an account and remembering your passwords IMHO. Later.

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    • The FTC hasn't approved Wikia's solution either, it's just something that they came up with. It wouldn't require a pop-up, & it's really not that difficult. Slightly annoying, but still pretty convenient to make an anonymous edit. If you want to see what I'm talking about, the most obvious example I can think of is the KH Wiki, which will ask you to name a character.

      Where it might prove a problem is in comments. I'm not sure whether or not the feature could be added there, but I don't see why not.

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    • Here's another thing to consider. Even if a registered user lied but his or her age, the IP address is not entered in the revision history. An anonymous user who lied still gets the IP address entered, so it may be the case of erring on the side of caution, due diligence and all.  Idontknow.gif

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    • Perhaps, but that still seems flimsy. If they really wanted to err on the side of caution, they should just ban anonymous users all across Wiki. Especially considering the determination of what is "for children" is almost assuredly very arbitrary, & prone to be contested many times in the near future.

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    •  I have a problem to this situation, if the COPPA cancels anonymous editing and only for the safety of kids then it's really not fair or a great balance for some wiki user. The cause and effects is that if a wiki user forgets their password they would probably have to make a new account cause of this new policy.  There is also the problem of placing this policy on this wiki when the admin could possibly messaged and the anonymous/ wiki user will be blocked from the site. That sounds like a great perspective.


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    • Alright, I think it's been clarified that Avatar Wiki itself is not geared toward children under 13, even if it is about a show on Nickelodeon. Since other Wikis seem to be stating their cases about not being for kids, I have decided to provide some examples of the more mature side of Avatar:

      Air Nomad Genocide

      File:Gyatso's corpse.png

      Bloodbending

      Koh

      Ozai (He burned his son's face!)

      Yakone (He abused his children)

      File:Aang dead.png

      File:Zuko absorbs lightning.png

      File:Fire Nation soldiers' corpses.png

      File:Tarrlok sacrificing himself.png (Murder-suicide!)

      I would also like to politely point out that Avatar Wiki is also about LoK and not just A:TLA. Above at one point it was argued that Aang being 12 years old makes A:TLA geared towards 12 year-olds. Well, Korra is 17, so that would make LoK geared towards 17 year-olds, or people in their late teens!

      I also see the claim that Avatar Wiki must be included because we could attract a substantial amount of children under 13, yet Fairy Tail Wiki was removed from the list for being more geared towards teens and adults. However, based on this criteria, Fairy Tail would NEED to be included because it is animated, the title sounds similar to "Fairy Tale" which sounds childish, and it is about wizards and mages who use magic which would definitely be attractive to children. If this doesn't show that this selective process is flawed, then I don't know what else will.

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    • I'm still going with "the selection process is flawed because there is simply no way for Wikia to properly research the subjects of all of its Wikis in this time frame." In fact, that the selection criteria is allegedly very complex actually works AGAINST them, because that's THAT much more information that needs to be collected & analyzed for EVERY wiki out there, introducing much more error into the process. And was this made into actual statistics, or did you just kind of eyeball it? How did you determine what level of significance to give to each item? Why can't we be told anything, are you like some secret agent, or something?

      But as for Avatar itself, we have creator statements that it was meant to explore mature themes & that Legend of Korra is supposed to age with its audience, that the protagonists of the latter seem to be geared towards 16-&-17-year-olds, that while the action/fantasy genre can certainly appeal to kids it's also often aimed at teenagers (see Dungeons & Dragons, Lord of the Rings, etc.), ratings mainly say what age a show is appropriate for & when you're talking a given channel they're often all slapped with the same average rating, most fans are presumably returning from Avatar's original run (& thus older), & it's been suggested that most editors on this Wiki are older as well. I'd say that's a lot of evidence, & the evidence that's been provided for it being such a black-&-white "for kids" category is that Aang was 12 & some sites said that Avatar was rated appropriate for ages 7 & up.

      I mean, are you at least aware how, "We have a very effective & complicated process, but we can't tell you anything about it" looks to everyone else? People who say that are usually later found to be exaggerating their legitimacy.

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    • I think it depends on the kid/teen and what they can handle.

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    • this is ridiculous! on pretty little liars wiki, nonies can still comment, and it looks to me that all this COPPA stuff isnt applied there. PLL is more innapropriate than avatar (which isn't innapropriate at all!) since it has more deaths, cuss words, and lesbian people. if anything  PLL wiki needs to be enforced, but it's not. meanwhile avatar wiki is. how does that make sense?

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    • AvatarKya wrote: this is ridiculous! on pretty little liars wiki, nonies can still comment, and it looks to me that all this COPPA stuff isnt applied there. PLL is more innapropriate than avatar (which isn't innapropriate at all!) since it has more deaths, cuss words, and lesbian people. if anything  PLL wiki needs to be enforced, but it's not. meanwhile avatar wiki is. how does that make sense?

      The point is that PLL is not aimed at children (i.e. kids under 13), but at teens (13 and over) and thus not applicable under the remit of the amendment, which only requires Wikia to limit the information they collect from users where there is a reasonable chance said user could be underage.

      The argument Wikia is making (which as this thread shows is not entirely agreed with) is that Avatar is aimed at children (i.e. those under 13), and thus the site falls under the remit of the amendment.

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    • AvatarKya wrote: PLL is more innapropriate than avatar (which isn't innapropriate at all!) since it has more deaths, cuss words, and lesbian people.

      A "point of order", if you will: designating lesbians as "inappropriate" is not okay under our discussion policy. Please be more careful.

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    • No matter what proof you guys give, that there is dying people, that there's an all out war, you have to admit that this is a show that is MEANT for kids, and kids DO watch it. I don't like the policy either, but this argument that we should be exempt because of a few skulls is a bit...I can't find the word, but I think you realize that I don't think it's a good argument. Think about it, this show has no cursing, you don't see anyone get violently killed (very few exceptions, I think less than 5), no intimate relationships (and everything that implies), and yes there's a war, but it's not like the Tudors or something with scenes of actual spears and swords going into people's bodies and torturing people by stretching them till their bones pop.

      At this point, I think we've given the same arguments over and over again, and SemanticDrifter has given us replies to all. I'm still not convinced I why this should happen at all, considering there are options as other people have suggested, like making a pop up come up or scratching out the ip. And I'm also not convinced, like Lady Lostris, why not ALL wikis have this. SemanticDrifter stated they targeted shows meant for kids based on demographics and population of people on the wiki. But saying that a few skulls, Zhao dying, etc automatically means it is an <13 ONLY show, isn't a good argument.

      I'd personally like to point out that I've looked through all the other wikis that will be having this policy implemented (the ones that people have listed) and they all seem to be okay with it because THEIR anonymous contributors have been vandalising and spamming and trolling their pages. But it's different here.

      I'm just pointing that out, even though I know it's probably not going to change this decision. In the end, it seems like no matter what arguments we give, this decision is set.

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    • [quote]No matter what proof you guys give, that there is dying people, that there's an all out war, you have to admit that this is a show that is MEANT for kids,[/quote]

      No, it's not, it's Y-7, which means it's meant for ages 7 AND UP. Mike & Bryan have stated that LoK, at least, was intended for an older audience, AND many of the criteria that Wikia themselves have given us justify its position as being for teenagers. Anyone who still clings to the claim that it's "meant for kids" is just willfully ignoring logic & asserting that, because it's a show on Nickelodeon, then it just be for children. This is also true of many of the other Wikis that are being hit by this, but I digress.

      The fact that you can say, "No matter how much proof you give, you know you're wrong," tells me that you aren't arguing from logic, but intuition.

      [quote]and kids DO watch it.[/quote]

      Certainly, but kids watch many things that are not intended for them, &/or would be exempt from this policy. The fact that kids watch it is not sufficient justification unless we do this to EVERYTHING that kids watch.

      [quote]I don't like the policy either, but this argument that we should be exempt because of a few skulls is a bit...I can't find the word, but I think you realize that I don't think it's a good argument.[/quote]

      It would be a "false equivalency," but that's not what's actually being argued, that's a straw man. The actual argument is quite compelling, if we suspend our biases of what the show SHOULD be, & look at whether or not it meets the actual criteria.

      [quote]Think about it, this show has no cursing, you don't see anyone get violently killed (very few exceptions, I think less than 5), no intimate relationships (and everything that implies), and yes there's a war, but it's not like the Tudors or something with scenes of actual spears and swords going into people's bodies and torturing people by stretching them till their bones pop.[/quote]

      Your point? It doesn't have to have blood & swearing & sex & Rock 'n' Roll in order to be adult entertainment. Would you say that "The Twilight Zone" was made for 7-year-olds, given that the Rod Serling era episodes didn't have anything more graphic than Avatar? Again, that makes it APPROPRIATE for young audiences, which is NOT the same thing as being DIRECTED at young audiences. It is important not to confuse the MATURITY of the themes with the levels of violence, obscenities, &/or suggestiveness. Sometimes, I think that Avatar is actually more mature for the restrictions, as it requires Mike & Bryan to address their themes on a more intellectual level, & a less visceral one.

      IE: Kyoshi & Aang philosophize on whether or not there's a difference between killing someone directly vs. indirectly, rather than just having Kyoshi stick a sword in Chin to show us that she's more ruthless than Aang.

      [quote]But saying that a few skulls, Zhao dying, etc automatically means it is an <13 ONLY show, isn't a good argument.[/quote]

      Again, not what is being argued. The questions were (I) who is the show targeting & (II) who is it actually reeling in? How graphic it is & whether or not it is appropriate for other age groups are not the questions.

      [quote]I'm just pointing that out, even though I know it's probably not going to change this decision. In the end, it seems like no matter what arguments we give, this decision is set.[/quote]

      Kind of the problem.

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    • I never tried to say that A:TLA and LoK were ONLY for 13+, I was saying that there was a more mature side to it which shows that it's not ONLY for children under 13. The Harry Potter series is a similar example of something that is mostly appropriate for children (maybe not so much the later books/movies, but half of them were rated PG). Harry Potter Wiki doesn't seem to mind the new policy, but I definitely think that they could put up a good case against it if they wanted to. There is a difference between a "kids show" and a "family show".

      We've already made it pretty clear that this Wiki in particular is not geared towards children. I guess that the concern is children who like A:TLA or LoK finding this place on Google or other search engines, since it DOES appear on the first page of search results. This is based on the assumption that children under 13 are constantly finding this wiki and trying to post comments and edit as anons. We don't know exactly what the FTC would think about Avatar Wiki as it's the Wikia staff who are enacting this. Would they really have a problem with us just having a disclaimer and requiring a statement of being of age?

      Also, on an unrelated note, we aren't the only wiki against this policy. One Piece is desperately trying to fight this policy. Sonic and Naruto seem to have more mixed opinions on this. Fairy Tail Wiki succesfully fought their way off the list. It IS understandable that they would want off the list since they shouldn't have been added in the first place, but the fact that they stood up shows that they too like anon contributors. So Avatar Wiki is not the only wiki against this.

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    • "I never tried to say that A:TLA and LoK were ONLY for 13+, I was saying that there was a more mature side to it which shows that it's not ONLY for children under 13."

      My mistake, then.

      "The Harry Potter series is a similar example of something that is mostly appropriate for children (maybe not so much the later books/movies, but half of them were rated PG). Harry Potter Wiki doesn't seem to mind the new policy, but I definitely think that they could put up a good case against it if they wanted to."

      This is one of the ones that I was thinking of. Often, a series with gradually aging protagonists is supposed to gradually age with the audience, which J.K. Rowling herself confirmed that's what she was going for. So that would mean the the first 2 books are for readers under 13, with the remaining 5 being for those over 13.

      "Would they really have a problem with us just having a disclaimer and requiring a statement of being of age?"

      Excellent question. I've been wondering if I should ask this, or if I even can.

      "So Avatar Wiki is not the only wiki against this."

      I didn't think we would be. Naruto & One Piece are kind of funny, since they're now both running on Toonami, which has replaced [adult swim]'s anime block.

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    • Just weighing in here - I run a Sonic FANON wiki, and we've seen nothing, so I don't know exactly how fine-toothed the net is here. Granted, this ban would actually HELP my wiki, because there have been times where I've had to deal with twenty vandals in an hour, all anonymous.

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    • Couldn't you just ban anonymous users on your own Wiki of your own volition?

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    • Neo Bahamut wrote:
      Couldn't you just ban anonymous users on your own Wiki of your own volition?

      Before COPPA, not easily. Wikia will persuade you with a laundry list of reasons NOT to ban anonymous users unless you really really really need it.

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    • Can't you just insist to have it done anyway? Possibly citing that whole "we give Wiki admins freedom to enforce the rules how they see fit" thing?

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    • Flashfire212 wrote:
      Just weighing in here - I run a Sonic FANON wiki, and we've seen nothing, so I don't know exactly how fine-toothed the net is here. Granted, this ban would actually HELP my wiki, because there have been times where I've had to deal with twenty vandals in an hour, all anonymous.

      I think Semanticdrifter stated that they were more focused on bigger wikis. I run the Spirited Away Wiki, and many of the anons troll and spam the pages, but they're still there because it's not a big wiki.
      Neo Bahamut: from what I've seen on the admin dashboard, there's no option for banning anons, but I might have missed it. I doubt it, since if an admin can turn anon editing off, then Lady Lostris can just turn it on.
      As for the longer post, I'd just like to clarify a few things.

      Neo Bahamut wrote:
      No, it's not, it's Y-7, which means it's meant for ages 7 AND UP. Mike & Bryan have stated that LoK, at least, was intended for an older audience, AND many of the criteria that Wikia themselves have given us justify its position as being for teenagers. Anyone who still clings to the claim that it's "meant for kids" is just willfully ignoring logic & asserting that, because it's a show on Nickelodeon, then it just be for children. This is also true of many of the other Wikis that are being hit by this, but I digress.
      I do realize that, considering I'm older than 7 years old and I'm watching it, and I've seen Bryke's claims that LoK is for an older audience (considering there's a love triangle, a protest movement, etc.). I never said that just because it's a show on Nickelodeon, that it's ONLY for kids. But the thing with COPPA is that ANY kids watch it, if ANY kid logs on here and has their IP shown, that is against the law. I never meant to say the whole anonymous contributor population/everyone who watches the show is under 13. I'm agreeing with you that it is ridiculous to punish all anonymous contributors for a few possible >13 people who might come here, but you can't deny that there aren't any people who are >13.
      Neo Bahamut wrote:
      The fact that you can say, "No matter how much proof you give, you know you're wrong," tells me that you aren't arguing from logic, but intuition.

      I don't actually recall saying that statement or something next to it near that, in that tone of voice. I'm not flat out saying you're wrong. I'm actually agreeing with most things you're saying, but I guess it came off as thought I were directly putting down your arguments, which I can assure you was not the intent. My point was that kids watch it. I didn't mean to say ONLY kids watch it.

      Neo Bahamut wrote:
      Certainly, but kids watch many things that are not intended for them, &/or would be exempt from this policy. The fact that kids watch it is not sufficient justification unless we do this to EVERYTHING that kids watch.

      Touche. I agree that the policy should apply to all wikis, or find some other solution.
      Now what was the point of this whole argument? Ah, I was simply "pointing out" that it indeed does have a bit of a child audience. So Semanticdrifter isn't wrong in that aspect, which was my whole point. But I agree with everyone else that kids watch shows for adults as well, and we shouldn't be the only ones exempt because some of the audience includes >13 people.

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    • Neo Bahamut wrote:
      Can't you just insist to have it done anyway? Possibly citing that whole "we give Wiki admins freedom to enforce the rules how they see fit" thing?

      Sure you can insist. But they'll make you go through all their pitches on how allowing anonymous users is a "good thing" and all the "great tools" we have to combat vandalism and stuff. Wikia will also point out that admins can also selectively ban anons by semi-protecting pages. If by then, you are not worn down by the scripted questionnaires, then MAYBE they'll set up a site-wide ban of anonymous users.

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    • Hasidi: Interesting. I'd say that's pretty hypocritical, & kind of wonder why it bothers them so much, but not other forms of frivolous blocking.

      "I don't actually recall saying that statement or something next to it near that, in that tone of voice"

      The original line was, "No matter how much proof that you give...you have to admit that this show IS meant for kids." I am a fan of paraphrasing.

      "So Semanticdrifter isn't wrong in that aspect, which was my whole point."

      He's not wrong that kids do watch the show, & make up a significant portion of the viewership, but the other assertions he makes are more dubious. We don't know the MAJORITY age of the fans, but the majority of the users have been suggested to be over 13. Then there's what exactly he means by "aimed at children."

      And this is part of the problem of giving us such vague criteria. We're not really sure what the claim that we're supposed to be accepting or refuting actually is.

      My point, some people might be all, "it gets something across the radar every now & again, that makes it instantly for adults," but I think that most people were actually arguing something more complex than that. I know I was, & Lostris, & some others that I saw.

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    • Semanticdrifter just posted a blog detailing the issue in slightly more detail.

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    • Once you paraphrase it though, it kinda gives a different meaning, because I wasn't saying you were wrong.
      Well if you want actual statistics about the age of the USERS on here, the bottom of this blog shows that only 4 users are younger than 13, and 114 are over. That means 0.03% of the wiki population is under 13.
      Well to recall, I was never arguing, I was just pointing out the fact that kids DO watch the show, and some do come on here. But as seen by that statistic, even though it's probably less than 75% accurate, only a very tiny number of users are less than 13.

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    • Edit: Actually, now that I think about it, he didn't really explain anything at all in that blog.

      Chakra: Well, yeah, generally, the point of rephrasing is to show the argument in a different light. But either way, we're still agreed that only a miniscule percentage of the userbase is underage.

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    • I will respond to the specific conversation on this thread soon, but for now the blog is up at Community Central blog post. Feel free to comment on the general policy there, and keep the wiki specific discussion here. Thanks, --semanticdrifter @Wikia (help forum | blog) 19:30, June 24, 2013 (UTC)

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    • As annoyed as I am, they really should have more than just you answering all of the COPPA concerns, that's too much posting to expect 1 guy to keep up with.

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    • Hasdi wrote:
      Neo Bahamut wrote:
      Can't you just insist to have it done anyway? Possibly citing that whole "we give Wiki admins freedom to enforce the rules how they see fit" thing?
      Sure you can insist. But they'll make you go through all their pitches on how allowing anonymous users is a "good thing" and all the "great tools" we have to combat vandalism and stuff. Wikia will also point out that admins can also selectively ban anons by semi-protecting pages. If by then, you are not worn down by the scripted questionnaires, then MAYBE they'll set up a site-wide ban of anonymous users.

      That's actually true. In the past, we would push back on requests to disable anonymous editing. We would grant it, but only if you made it through the gauntlet of discouragement. We like having anonymous editors, and we do think it makes it easier for a wiki to grow with that option enabled. If COPPA wasn't a concern, we wouldn't be making this change. If they change the law tomorrow, we will happily rescind this whole policy.

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    • With regards to the age level of Avatar, I am not arguing that the show is incapable of handling mature themes, that LoK isn't more mature than it's predecessor, or that this wiki is overly juvenile. I am arguing that Avatar is definitely appealing to an underaged audience, a fact borne out by it's rating, the network it airs on, the overall tone of the series, and other factors I previously mentioned. The sum total of all these factors make this wiki a risk for fitting the directed to children category. It doesn't have to be a majority of fans, merely enough that the wiki would plausibly draw in a singificant number of them.

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    • As is every other animated show, regardless of the actual content. The reality is, when something is animated, kids will watch it. It is a simple at that. They don't care about the content, they just see a cartoon figurine and they will tune in, whether or not it is actually intended for them. But none of that matter in the decision-making process of wikia, cause if it would have, all animation related wikis, along with all game-related wikis and all wikis regarding popular franchises like Star Wars (which is aimed at children, but is likely one of those "big wikis" wikia doesn't dare to touch) would be suffering from this block, and not just some chosen ones.

      Wikia's decision was irrefutably made -regardless whether or not the used criteria were actually correct on a global scale- and we just got the courtesy of a "heads up".

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    • Semanticdrifter wrote:

      Hasdi wrote:
      Neo Bahamut wrote:
      Can't you just insist to have it done anyway? Possibly citing that whole "we give Wiki admins freedom to enforce the rules how they see fit" thing?
      Sure you can insist. But they'll make you go through all their pitches on how allowing anonymous users is a "good thing" and all the "great tools" we have to combat vandalism and stuff. Wikia will also point out that admins can also selectively ban anons by semi-protecting pages. If by then, you are not worn down by the scripted questionnaires, then MAYBE they'll set up a site-wide ban of anonymous users.

      That's actually true. In the past, we would push back on requests to disable anonymous editing. We would grant it, but only if you made it through the gauntlet of discouragement. We like having anonymous editors, and we do think it makes it easier for a wiki to grow with that option enabled. If COPPA wasn't a concern, we wouldn't be making this change. If they change the law tomorrow, we will happily rescind this whole policy.

      Okay, I know this is a different issue entirely, but I don't really know how many more ways I can say "That's really vague & doesn't make sense," & frankly I'm really, really curious on this point:

      Why would you care so much to keep anonymous users, but not to make sure that a Wiki isn't engaging in frivolous blocks & biased information? "Biased information" meaning--as a hypothetical, this didn't actually happen--if the Avatar Wiki banned any suggestion that Amon was a Waterbender from the site, including in forums, because the admins personally thought it was a stupid idea.

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    • Semanticdrifter wrote:
      With regards to the age level of Avatar, I am not arguing that the show is incapable of handling mature themes, that LoK isn't more mature than it's predecessor, or that this wiki is overly juvenile. I am arguing that Avatar is definitely appealing to an underaged audience, a fact borne out by it's rating, the network it airs on, the overall tone of the series, and other factors I previously mentioned. The sum total of all these factors make this wiki a risk for fitting the directed to children category. It doesn't have to be a majority of fans, merely enough that the wiki would plausibly draw in a singificant number of them.


      Based on that criteria, Fairy Tail should be placed back onto that list. Even if the intended audience is those of higher ages, it is animated, the name sounds the same as "Fairy Tale" which would be more attractive towards children, and the magic theme would especially be appealing towards children. I am assuming that this is the exact reason why Harry Potter was also flagged.

      You really would be surprised at what types of entertainment interests children nowadays. They are playing violent video games such as Call of Duty and Halo. The Simpsons is definitely aimed towards an older audience, but I started watching it with my parents by the time I was 7! I was also under 13 when I started to watch Family Guy which I know was not flagged on wikia. Any of these things can attract a "significant number" of children.

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    • I've emailed Wikia about the idea that HoT came up with, about the checkbox for anons. Hopefully we get a positive reply...

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    • Let me address the checkbox idea specifically. On issue is that a checkbox for verifying that you are at least 13 before you can edit has been specifically called out as insufficient by the FTC.

      "Avoiding encouraging children to falsify their age information, for example, by stating that visitors under 13 cannot participate or should ask their parents before participating. In addition, simply including a check box stating, “I am over 12 years old” would not be considered a neutral age-screening mechanism."

      So we would be left with asking for a date of birth on every edit, which is arguably not any more convenient than registering for an account, and does create certain implementation issues.

      That being said, it is clear that this community and others feel passionately about their anonymous contributors and we hear that. While this policy is required at this time, we will be monitoring contribution data and community health with the change and evaluating if there are better ways to protect children and be COPPA compliant, while taking the desires of our communities into account. We will definitely keep these suggestions in mind as we consider this issue going forward.

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    • Semanticdrifter wrote: "In addition, simply including a check box stating, “I am over 12 years old” would not be considered a neutral age-screening mechanism."

      Uh… isn't that essentially the same thing as making an account? Simply checking a box stating one is over 13?

      Also, I looked at that page you linked on the original post and that thing you quoted well... isn't there? Unless I'm missing something?

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    • A True Fire Ferret wrote:

      Semanticdrifter wrote: "In addition, simply including a check box stating, “I am over 12 years old” would not be considered a neutral age-screening mechanism."

      Uh… isn't that essentially the same thing as making an account? Simply checking a box stating one is over 13?

      Also, I looked at that page you linked on the original post and that thing you quoted well... isn't there? Unless I'm missing something?

      When you register for an account, we ask your date of birth in a neutral fashion. We don't ask you to check a box stating that you are over 13.

      Link for the quote .

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    • Semanticdrifter wrote:

      A True Fire Ferret wrote:

      Semanticdrifter wrote: "In addition, simply including a check box stating, “I am over 12 years old” would not be considered a neutral age-screening mechanism."

      Uh… isn't that essentially the same thing as making an account? Simply checking a box stating one is over 13?

      Also, I looked at that page you linked on the original post and that thing you quoted well... isn't there? Unless I'm missing something?

      When you register for an account, we ask your date of birth in a neutral fashion. We don't ask you to check a box stating that you are over 13.

      Link for the quote .

      Ok, thanks a lot for that! Also, if the problem is the check box then, why not a pop up asking for birthday since that seems to excuse account holders?

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    • Semanticdrifter wrote: "Avoiding encouraging children to falsify their age information, for example, by stating that visitors under 13 cannot participate or should ask their parents before participating. In addition, simply including a check box stating, “I am over 12 years old” would not be considered a neutral age-screening mechanism."

      Couple of points here:

      • As I read this statement, it says that we cannot tell users that they cannot contribute if they are under 13. But surely requiring a user to state they are over 12 before they can make an account implies this any. Therefore, isn't this already being broken anyway.
      • Does this also mean we cannot state that anons are prevented from editing/commenting, in case it encourages them to make an account using false information. If we are putting a blanket ban on anons contributing, can we not give a reason why.
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    • HammerOfThor wrote: Couple of points here:

      • As I read this statement, it says that we cannot tell users that they cannot contribute if they are under 13. But surely requiring a user to state they are over 12 before they can make an account implies this any. Therefore, isn't this already being broken anyway.
      • Does this also mean we cannot state that anons are prevented from editing/commenting, in case it encourages them to make an account using false information. If we are putting a blanket ban on anons contributing, can we not give a reason why.
      • See his response to my point above— apparently asking for birthdays is a loophole to the law.
      • No, because I believe what they were referring to was creating a sign that doesn't stop anybody physically. For example, changing the pink comment text we have now that talks about the anon thing to simply text saying "Don't participate if you're under 12" without physically doing anything, then we would be in violation of the law.
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    • A True Fire Ferret wrote:

      Ok, thanks a lot for that! Also, if the problem is the check box then, why not a pop up asking for birthday since that seems to excuse account holders?

      That was one possbile implementation. Personally, I think that would be more of a barrier to contributing than doing so one time to create an account, but I can certainly see why it would be appealing to a community as obviously favorable to anonymous editing as this one. Let me say again that while this policy is required at this time, we will be monitoring contribution data and community health with the change and evaluating if there are better ways to protect children and be COPPA compliant, while taking the desires of our communities into account. We will definitely keep these suggestions in mind as we consider this issue going forward.

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    • HammerOfThor wrote:

      Semanticdrifter wrote: "Avoiding encouraging children to falsify their age information, for example, by stating that visitors under 13 cannot participate or should ask their parents before participating. In addition, simply including a check box stating, “I am over 12 years old” would not be considered a neutral age-screening mechanism."

      Couple of points here:

      • As I read this statement, it says that we cannot tell users that they cannot contribute if they are under 13. But surely requiring a user to state they are over 12 before they can make an account implies this any. Therefore, isn't this already being broken anyway.
      • Does this also mean we cannot state that anons are prevented from editing/commenting, in case it encourages them to make an account using false information. If we are putting a blanket ban on anons contributing, can we not give a reason why.

      The quote specifically refers to an age gating mechanism. It's basically saying that it has to be done in a neutral way that doesn't encourage the contributor to lie. The regulation is for the actual age verification mechanism. Putting something like "You can't edit unless you are 13" on the same page as the signup or verification would be non-neutral.

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    • Semanticdrifter wrote:

      A True Fire Ferret wrote:

      Ok, thanks a lot for that! Also, if the problem is the check box then, why not a pop up asking for birthday since that seems to excuse account holders?

      That was one possbile implementation. Personally, I think that would be more of a barrier to contributing than doing so one time to create an account, but I can certainly see why it would be appealing to a community as obviously favorable to anonymous editing as this one. Let me say again that while this policy is required at this time, we will be monitoring contribution data and community health with the change and evaluating if there are better ways to protect children and be COPPA compliant, while taking the desires of our communities into account. We will definitely keep these suggestions in mind as we consider this issue going forward.

      Alright, thanks! It's nice to know that if nothing else at least the suggestions are being heard. As for the anonymous thing, I'm sure people have their reasons for wanting to stay anonymous, although it may be easier to make an account.

      A quick question though— would it be possible to somehow use cookies to store the thing about birthdays to make it less burdensome for the anonymous users? (Forgive me if it's not— I have an extremely minimal knowledge of computer stuff).