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What age is appropriate?


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#1
Protocol

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I've really been curious about many things since being a part of this forum, and something that really surprises me is the age of people when they experience things.

Many people can talk about what they have been through, and many people can talk about things they know, or things they think they understand but have never experienced, but nowhere before have I seen so many similarly minded people all discuss the darker side of life with such firm convictions.

I myself, find that very interesting but it leads me to many questions, and I begin to wonder if it's adviseable to have any member of the public regardless of age, able to join and take part in this forum.

Many people can read what is said, or suggested almost like a manual of How to do X, or they can pick up the mindsets of others, and simply subscribe to them because they think it's the right thing to do. Suddenly comments and posts, opinions and thoughts that may be considered throwaway become something much more, they become thoughts and opinions, that could very much jeopardise, or leave lasting imprints upon those who are all to easily suggestible.

I'm talking very carefully here about many topics that I'm being general about, so bear with me. I'm not trying to be ageist, or start trying to write policy, but it appears more and more to me, that such firm convictions that are subscribed so easily to by so many others, might suggest that they are only subscribed to, because it looks like the en vogue thing to do.

I'm wondering about how this should be carefully monitored, or even if it should be monitored. I'm wondering if there is not a very real danger here that's so subtle as to appear almost transparent. Or if I'm simply overly sensitive about users posting thoughts that appear to be adult in their formulations, but can't be?

Anyone who has an opinion and has followed my 'loose' logic so far, let me know what you think.

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#2
Sin

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Meh...

Proto I tried hard to read that post of yours I really did... I guess we can't really set an age limit on the forum however because there will always be older people who act really bloody immature, and there will always be the younger ones who have had it rough and are 12 going on 32 so to speak.

That said, on top of those points... the entire purpose of this forum would be defeated if we started being selective about who could join and who couldn't. *had to go back and re-read some of your post Proto*

On top of that I do understand what you are saying about easily impressionable younger or not so younger people that are a part of the forum... while I understand what you're getting at about how that in some instances could be very damaging, I think there is an equal amount if not a greater positive influence available for the users. In the end it will all be boiling down to what is there to read, and what the individual chooses to take things as... the good or the bad. (I'm babbling and I apologize if I make no sense -- Proto please respond and let me know if I'm at least semi-on topic in my reply eh?)

I'm going to end my post here before I make an even greater fool of myself... hehe...

Xxx-SIN-xxX
{Water} "Sin is the epitome of the seven deadly sins... she can drive a man to do all of them."

#3
Protocol

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Water. Your opinions are your own. Mine are my own, so it simply is what it is. Nothing sage to offer past that. We're all different people. We'd expect to have differing opinions.

My point was simply that there is good in all offered, and something apparently intangibly dangerous too. The simplistic agreement to situations, and experiences that just can't be true, etcetera. You know what I'm saying.

Funnilly enough it only became very apparent to me when I actually followed a link a user had posted, and suddenly I had an idea of what a younger more malleable mind might experience. It surprised me, and made me rethink many other topics and comments I'd seen from others. There's something inherently dangerous in that.

Sin, no, you were on topic, and understood what I was trying to say, even if I danced around the subject for fear of being to direct. Question is whether I had a valid point in yours and others eyes, or if I was simply being to sensitive to the possible scenario I described. I'm aware that could go either way. Better to cautious than insensitive at least in this area I suppose.

I'm not trying to defeat the purpose of the forum, nor negate any of the good it, we or others do. Far from that in fact, let's just say that I understand that for every good act, there exists the possibility of the reverse. And I've noted that some people simply go with the flow regarding any topic in particular and then embellish and create their own opinions. I see a real danger in that.

God how I hate talking in such semantics, but you understand what I'm driving at. I may simply be invalid, it just crossed my mind and I thought I'd ask opinions.

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#4
Ravyn

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A "Read at your own risk" disclaimer would suffice.

#5
Protocol

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A "Read at your own risk" disclaimer would suffice.


NO it would not.

#6
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All agreement, is simply conformation of what we all know. There are things said, and agreed to that are wrong. Those things cannot exist, and we cannot police or hold everyone responsible for all of those things. That is impossible.

So the question remains then, and has yet to be answered. What age is appropriate? Should there be some way of answering this? Or do we as always tell people that they are like all others, responsible for their own actions?

Lest we forget that argument can lead to many answers.

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#7
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I think what you say is correct, but it's one thing to say it, another to know it will probably be broken, and still another to know, and then have PROOF that there are those here who are wilfully lying and breaking that 'restriction'

And it's NOT that I'm trying to be restrictive, but at some point in time, this is going to be levied at the forum, because X did something because of Y. That's how those things go, and at that point in time this will be under scrutiny.

CYA as always I guess. It's sad it has to be that way, but it should be considered, because if it's not, someone else will consider it for you.

Extremists use extreme circumstances and go to extreme lengths to prove accountability or deniability. You know that.

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#8
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I'm unsure where we go from here. The problem is that any changes will simply be viewed as restrictive which is not what you're trying to achieve. You want to be all things to all people, but that can't be. There are some people who are ill prepared to view all things, as it were.

You can either: Limit sign up, by birthdate, and if you become aware that the birthdate given is wrong, suspend that account. (This can either be for parts of the forum or all of the forum) what point the discalimer if you do nothing about those who obviously don't read that disclaimer or ignore it?

Or find another way to limit parts or all of the forum. Again, what point the disclaimer if you know it's pointless anyway? You obviously have it for some form of protection and counter argument to those who'd suggest you were doing something wrong, but IF someone were to suggest that, and easily prove you knew different, well you see where that leads.

I don't know what to do to be honest. Hence the thrust of this topic. The point of it lies proven, now as you so assiduously say: What next? I can only suggest.

Perhaps, you could suggest terms of service, and posting that ensured people stayed within generic guidelines for all ages? That way no one is restricted, and all material can be viewed. If they break those TOS you can moderate and edit, and warn if applicable. I don't have all the answers.

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#9
Protocol

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Ah, being facetious does not help. If you think everything is hunky dory and no issues abound then that's ok. It was my topic, and I hear you loud and clear. Am all fine and dandy keeping myself quiet. No worries!

However, you did acknowledge that there can be issues, and how then do you address them?

Should you hold yourself to higher standards than you do now? This isn't about standards.

Should you restrict more people than you do? That's the question.

Is it worth restricting more people than you do. That's a decision.

Who are you catering to? That should be the answer.

Everything else is semantics, and opinion formed because you or others think I'm just talking to hear myself be laughed at.

Everyone can lie on the internet, it's easy and I've said that before, you're very right. It's no defence though. You have to take people at their word for the most part, but at least if you do, and you find out different, or when something happens, you have proof that X at least affirmed their own lie? Then you have some form of defence. The question behind this, is: Do you need any defence? Answer: It's probably worth having one. In case.

I stated when I began this that I did not know if I was making any valid points or not, or if I was simply being overly cautious. From all I've seen, heard and said, it appears I am valid, and this should be considered.

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#10
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AAAAAAAAAGGGGHHHHHHHHH !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

*sigh*

AAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ok.............

Will think on this, and decide if any more posts are required.

Protocol.

#11
MoonMojo

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I hate to jump in on this so far along, but I do have an opinion on this.

There are many many places on the internet, that anyone can goto and learn about things that can cause devistating harm to themselves, or others. Look in the right places and hell you can learn to build a dirty bomb that can level half a small city and pollute that states water supply for years. Children of any age (and adults too) have acess to that information at any given time.

I have only been a member of this particular community for a short while in comparison to some of you, and in all honesty, I would rather my own children (10 and 13) come to THIS site to read up on some of the 'taboo' subjects that modern culture feels is threatening our society. Why? Simple because Proto, there are pople like you in this world, who are quick thinking and realize when someone may take a particular subject as fact and the only way to 'be'. I am quite thankfull for the maturity you and many others here show in regards to sensitive subjects. Maybe I am being a bit vague on my thoughts I don't know.

Overall, I should say, if impressionable people (young or older) MUST seek out something that can cause a hazardous situation or lifestyle, I would rather them seek it out in a community that is quick to offer differing opinions and what the bad is along with the good of such action, or reaction.

Maybe some of you have read about the teenage kid who died of an OD on a Web Cam chat room, with all his peers watching him live, and encouraging him to take more more more. Proto, if you had been there I am sure you would have been the first one to speak out and tell him he was being an idiot and needed to stop, and what consequences he could be facing, yes? Here, that is what happens, many people of many backgrounds come together to discuss things that normal people refuse, without _much_ prejudice. When someone starts to get out of line, there is always someone who steps back and offers a different perspective.

anyways.. no more rambling =) g'day to you all, if anything needs clarifying I will hapily do so.

MM

#12
[}D@rK{]Warrior

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I'd like to say that i'm a younger perosn, but I like to think (arrogance i know) that I'm more mature than most of the simple minded fools of my age (pushing it ain't I?) but I don't know i don't think we should put an age limit, but I alos believe there should be no limits to our expressions, i mean after all what's the point of having a darker side if you can't let it out every now and then? >:D Well I know this might sound weird, but i didn't take the time to read the entire thread (sry but i don't have time everytime i get on) and I fell that anyone simple minded enough to just believe what other say and never develop their own mindset are meant to suffer the consiquinces (sry bad spelling). I hope I can still earn respect from others despite my age, after all what's the point of having such a curse as understanding and not be able to use the bright sides? well by the way water i've sent my $10 gold members donation (whole weeks allowance)-(and unlike other people i actually have to earn mine:( ) I've discovered that even the small voices can matter so I guess my view is whatever you get from this post. (hint-hint):I think there should be none, it would be hypocracy.
If you can't hit it then stop firing, the sound is hurting my ears.
Sex is soooo abused.
Shoot your friends, not yourself.
Find comfort within yourself, because most people DON'T CARE!
Take careful notice that when i say lol i usually say it when something is slightly funny, no i am not always laughing, lol... ooops.... DMN IT!
All instruments need to be able to play in the bass cleft.
Computers are your friends, unless you're in a terminator movie; then you need to run.
Physcology is a wasted profession, but hey... it's Fun!
Hypocracy is sooo annoying.
Everything needs to bite just as hard as SecondShifters.
Suicide is an act of cowardice.
Know what's scary? Is that my signature is usually longer than my posts.
If you spent the time to read all of this, you've earned my utmost respect.
I'm also running out of breath, so I'll shutup now (pant)
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#13
n_joy_n_sorrow

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While reading this thread I had flashbacks to freshman english where my teacher was disscussing the responsibilities of teachers and how it differs from the responsibilities of parents. The general topic was: Should teachers be expected to teach morals and/or values to their students?
If you think about it, it's really a remarkable notion. Somehow down the line, responsibilities of parents were put on to other adults. You all know what I mean with censorship and all. For example public librarys; the debate over whether they should block sites at a public library because of children. It's obvious that everyone is being made to look out for everyone elses children.
As you all should know, I am not over 18. I'm 16 years old. I would never lie about my age because I feel that maturity should never be based on age. Therefor I don't pretend to be any older just to get that sort of respect. I believe that I'm beyond my years as a matter of fact. I've been told so on many occasions. I can't say that a 12 year old boy is any less mature than a 35 year old man who can't even be a role modle to his own kids. That's just how i see things.
Our bodys age, but our minds age faster. It all varys on what one takes it and how they use that.
Now, back to me being under 18. My mother knows I visit this site and that I'm highly active on it. She's purused through several of the topics and knows that I am mature enough to handel it. I can't say that there has been anything on this site that my mother would ban me from veiwing. I'm grown past the age of impressionism.
Now, just because my mother knows I'm mature enough to deal with this site dosn't mean everyone elses parents feel the same. You all knew that so why did I even bother? don't know.
Anyway. Moving on.
I understand what you mean when you are aware of the fact that there are some members as young as 12 years old on this site. You know just as well as I do how impressionable youth are at that age. You're basicaly put at a fork in the road and forced to choose a path. For some of these kids, they may choose the "darker" path simply because they see their elders (us) doing so. With that in mind, they might take with them down that path a whole lot of negativity and sterotypical values of what "goth" should be. That is in no way our fault. Every kid makes mistakes and every kid grows and learns. I happen to believe that kind of situation wouldn't evolve simply from visiting this site or sites like this. That's because the most active users on this forum don't condone much of that negativity.
I'm not sure of what else to say. I also don't think it would do much good to set an age limit for this site because as water has stated: people do lie.
But we're not idiots here. We know, or at least I know when someone here is young or simply isn't mature at all. You could have a 26 year old on here who could be easily mistaken as a 14 year old by the manner of which they type and how they respond to the topics on this site.
I don't question the intelligence of the moderators of this site. You should know when someone shouldn't be at this site. You have the athority to suspend their membership. What good that would do, I can't say.


all right. enough from me. I think you all get the jist.
Nothing quite brings out the zest for life in a person like the thought of their impending death." -Nny
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#14
[}D@rK{]Warrior

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hey i agree with n_joy i don'tike the whole goth because other people do but becaus eI'm an outcast, and i have to live with a total bitch, i guess u could call me the optimistic Pessimist.
If you can't hit it then stop firing, the sound is hurting my ears.
Sex is soooo abused.
Shoot your friends, not yourself.
Find comfort within yourself, because most people DON'T CARE!
Take careful notice that when i say lol i usually say it when something is slightly funny, no i am not always laughing, lol... ooops.... DMN IT!
All instruments need to be able to play in the bass cleft.
Computers are your friends, unless you're in a terminator movie; then you need to run.
Physcology is a wasted profession, but hey... it's Fun!
Hypocracy is sooo annoying.
Everything needs to bite just as hard as SecondShifters.
Suicide is an act of cowardice.
Know what's scary? Is that my signature is usually longer than my posts.
If you spent the time to read all of this, you've earned my utmost respect.
I'm also running out of breath, so I'll shutup now (pant)
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#15
Akylore

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I'm not gonna lie to you guys, I barely read the posts in-depth (would've taken me too much time) but all I'll say is that if children are left to toy around on the net they're also being left to download harsh stuff (being the kinda kid that used to steal Penthouses from the top shelves when I was 6, I can speak for this.)
So yeah, whatever. That's what moderators are for. The other problem is that I've met 15-year-olds that are more mature than 25-year-olds and all we have are people writing stuff, we don't know these people personally, so how can you make a judgement call? You can't.

#16
ToTheWounded

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I believe that in a world that is full of gratuitous sex and violence, a site that allows people to explore the different opinions and lifestyles of their peers is a beautiful thing. When you can turn on the t.v. and get what is basically porn through regular cable, a forum that uses the word "sexors" seems undeniably tame. I agree with MoonMojo when they said that they would rather have a site that presents more controversial issues, but allows all viewpoints to be shown on them. To place a restriction on the age would be pointless in my view. I am under 18, but feel that I have only gotten good from my random journeys through this site. I have been more morally corrupted through school than I have through this forum...by far. This world no longer allows children and young teens to be sheltered. This may be sad, but it is a simple fact. A restriction on the speech that is allowed here appears like it would directly alter what this station stands for. It is different, a "haven" where everyone is allowed to be themselves and not worry about how they will be judged. I am fairly new and may be wrong in this assumption, but it is just what I have gathered thus far. Hmm I don't even know if that made any sense, but I was compelled to post.

#17
X_Morbid_X

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OK I guess I should put my 2 cents in eh? Well to tell you all the truth I am just a 15 year old boy. I have been mistaken many times in the darksites.com chat and even in school. People tend to think that I am a much older person because of my opinions. I am not here to brag about my maturity level or anything like that but I -am- here to tell you guys that if we were to block out the younger users that come by this site it wouldn't have the many users it does. The majority of the ahem...Goth...Population is between the ages of 13 and 21...Therefor How could we really say we want this or that? I am not only saying this for myself but for -all- the younger people who come to this forum...I understand there are little over 1500 users here. Well I can tell you something...I have strong opinions about a lot of things in this life and probably others as well...Yeah well im babbling and getting repetive...Thanks for even listening!

X_Morbid_X

#18
Hellcat

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I have no problems with posting with the 13 and up crowd -hell, it gives me some perspective as to what the younger posters have to say or think. Oftentimes, the younger posters have legitimate points that I had not taken into consideration had I not seen their respective stances.

I do, however, have a problem with kids that try to be something that they are not. Take a good look around the forums and all should see what I am referring to. We have kids trying to 'prove' their maturity in topics that they truly do not understand or do not realize the damage that they can do to one another.

We also have pictures of young boys in girls in sexually suggestive poses. That is not a good idea. Why not, a person might ask? Because there are predators out there. Is it not our jobs as the 'elder folk' to try to protect the innocent? I think that we do hold that responsibility. Remember that old adage, 'It takes a town to raise a child'? Guess what? It holds true. To say that it is not possible for something to happen is nothing less than naive. We read/hear about kids being lured out by someone pretending to be another teen to meet in RL only to be molested or abducted -or even murdered.

I have to ask this: At what point do we draw the line? At what point is the BBS no longer responsible for what happens to a child that is drawn out and abducted or molested? Or worse, even?

#19
Dragopyre

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if you ever do get that age limit thingy everyone that's not of the age when the rule is made should be able to stay and others who can prove they're.. 'mature' enough to be here let em in
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#20
sickfish

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yeah i agree with morbid on this. i'm pretty sure this started out as a goth station. when i was in high school there was no goth. ok so i know that's weak evidence but it does seem to me that the "goth scene" isn't exactly a mature thing - at least in the sense of the age of its participants. to keep the younger kids out? well, the porno sites do that by requiring credit cards. i don't think we're about to start that, and i don't recommend it. unless you want to watch the number of members drop from over 1000 to twenty. moonmojo has a good point too. people are going to seek out stuff they shouldn't, but it's better if it's an open forum with lots of differing opinions. to allow people to form their own opinions.

legally, as far as responsibility is concerned, i believe the posted warnings are sufficient. tv and movies don't do anything besides saying "rated r" or "some parents might find this objectionable for their children". should a message board?
i never found the rainbow's end, but at least i found a better place without you




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