- From: Adelaide, Australia
- Registered: 2014-05-12
- Posts: 877
With the recent events here and in the greater community, I wanted to address the community on my personal views, the views of the administrative team and what we intend to do to address these issues.
Minimum Registration Age Requirements
Online Communities have a duty to ensure the safety of their users. Many communities have minimum age requirements to ensure their compliance with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act or COPPA. An excerpt from phpBB's official documentation regarding COPPA management:
Registered COPPA users are basically the same as registered users, except that they fall under the COPPA, or Child Online Privacy Protection Act, law, meaning that they are under the age of 13 in the U.S.A. Managing the permissions this usergroup has is important in protecting these users. COPPA doesn't apply to users living outside of the U.S.A. and can be disabled altogether.
As I've stated in the past, ThinkClassic doesn't have an 18+ requirement in order to use these boards, but we do need to ensure we're in compliance of laws and legislation that specifies a minimum age requirement of 13+. We may choose to increase this minimum age requirement as necessary.
We have expanded the pre-registration agreement to include a clearly stated clause stating that by clicking Agree, the user acknowledges that they are over the minimum required age by law and are eligible and not legally prohibited from using these services.
As an active member of the Vintage Apple computing scene, we need to be responsible and courteous in our dealings with other online communities in our field. We haven't discouraged our users from openly discussing these matters as long as the discussion remained civil. While I understand that many of our users have come across from other communities for various reasons and may still have issues with matters pertaining to those communities, we can't continue to be flexible on how those threads and posts are handled. It doesn't benefit anyone and it creates issues for the management in our community and theirs.
For the sake of making everyone's life easier, we'll have to ask users to refrain from opening such discussions in the public discussion forum, effective immediately.
In addition, that extends to the administrative team, both present and future. We love vintage computers as much as anyone in our field, and being a part of this hobbyist community means we need to acknowledge and respect the contributions of everyone that participates in it - not just in our own house. This is not something new. This is a stance we have had since day one, where our aim was to build a community that our users would love using in a hobby that we love. Creating further unrest in the wider community does nothing of benefit to anyone.
I'd also like to address any concerns regarding data handling. When you register at ThinkClassic, the information you provide on registration can be seen by administrators. This includes the username and email address. The server also records the last IP address used to access the site. All community forums do this - it's most commonly used for email notifications, group mailing and spam countermeasures, among other board operations.
When a new user registers here at ThinkClassic, this information is handled automatically by the forum software. The username is entered automatically into the database and a new user record is created. From there, the email address and IP address are automatically checked against a central database called StopForumSpam to see whether the information follows any known patterns used by forum spammers.
Administrators can retrieve an email address after registration is complete. The FluxBB software is designed this way. Generally, we should never have to access it. However, there are three circumstances in which we may choose to:
If a manual password reset request is received and sufficient identification can be supplied
If an automatic registration has failed and administrator intervention is required to manually complete the registration process
If we have reason to believe an account may be problematic, we may choose to inspect the email address and IP address to see if they match any common patterns and if necessary re-run the anti-spam verification against the StopForumSpam database. This may include registrations with 0 posts that contain suspect links in signatures or profiles, new registrations with posts containing only links or irrelevant content and new registrations that immediately post controversial discussion matter without any prior establishment within the community.
Resident Professor of Alternative Methodology
Faculty of Macintosh Restorations & Modifications - "It works, let's fix it!"