www.whyville.net Jul 18, 2002 Weekly Issue

Looking Innocent...

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Looking Innocent...

Guest Writer


One of my articles was just published about being free in Whyville. At one part I said, "Where I live it is a democracy and we are allowed to be free, say whatever we want, do whatever we want, and talk to whomever we want." But I wasn't thinking. At the end I read the Editor's note and yes, it was completely true. We cannot do whatever we want. We can't kill or steal, etc. I'm sorry to anyone who found this disturbing or upsetting.

But also in the Editor's note it said this: "It's the government's way of encouraging parents to get a little more involved in their kids' internet habits -- an idea we highly support!" Now, I'm not trying to be rude or mean or anything, but do you think that a large percentage of the parents actually know what their children do on the Internet? I don't think so. Maybe a parent will come in the computer room every once and a while to see what you're doing, but with one little click on the X at the top of the screen you look innocent, no matter what you were doing wrong. Am I right?

And I have just one more thing. The Editor also said, "With regard to your comment about kids under age 13 not being allowed to talk on Whyville, that is a matter of the U.S. government's requirements." US government requirements? Do you have any idea of how many people lie about their age on Whyville? Like more then half! If it's a US government requirement, then why isn't it controlled more? Besides, people come on Whyville to meet other people and to ask questions about science and stuff, but if people under 13 aren't allowed to chat, then what is the point of having chat at all? People enjoy these websites at age 10, 11, 12, 13, but by the time most people hit age 14, they start to lose interest in these kinds of websites.

Well, that's my follow-up. With regards to the first part, I am truly sorry. With regards to the second and third part, decide for yourself what's best for you, and then discuss with your parents.



Editor's Note: Several good points there, GGbabe. Regarding your question about the U.S. requirements for kids under 13, do you have a suggestion on how we can find out if someone is lying about their age? We do what we can, but there's only so much you can do from computer to computer to find out who someone truly is. That's why we have the Parent Wise Certificate for 80 bonus clams. It's our way to encourage those citizens who may have lied to us about their age to still show Whyville to their parents. Lying about age is a common problem on the 'net, as I'm sure you're aware. If you can think of a way to infallibly check someone's age over the web, let us know! If it works, it'll be an idea to patent!



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