Parents Beware!- Children Accounts NOT allowedsteemCreated with Sketch.

in steemit •  4 months ago

Hello Steemit!

I have been meaning to do this post for a while now...but haven't for lack of time and direction. Lately, I am seeing more and more accounts of children on steemit. And I would have been one to say in the past how wonderful it is to get our children involved early in cryptocurrencies and what a wonderful idea it would be to have steemkids, a steemit for younger children. My ideas and thoughts were crushed when my daughter's account @cmgsteems was blocked on steemit.

Account Flagged/Disabled

About 3 weeks ago, I made a post asking the community and steemit for help finding out why my daughter's account was blocked.

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I got some comments from concerned parents not knowing why it had been blocked. Some other people trying to guess or suggest why it had been closed, but no asnwers from "steemit" or someone who could help.

THEN....

I got an answer from another parent whose son's account had also been suspended, after just introducing himself.

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Since this child had received a response from @sneak, i decided to contact him to get more information about the whole situation, about kids on steemit etc.

Reaching @sneak

I emailed @sneak to get more information about my daughter's situation, and to find out why her account was blocked. He was very nice and answered my questions. Here is my e-mail to him and his response:

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I understand steemit is still in beta and doesn't take case-by-case "problems" or situations, so I was glad he was able to answer my questions. My next thing to do was to check the Terms of Service.

Steemit Terms of Service

Steemit Terms of Service, are those that we have to read and agree when we open an account, but, many people actually do not really read, just click on "Agree".

I am copying the ones that pertain to children or to the ones to bring to your attention. These can be found on the bar to the right and scrolling down to the last one.

2.Eligibility
Steemit is not targeted towards, nor intended for use by, anyone under the age of 13. You must be at least 13 years of age to access or use Steemit. If you are between 13 and 18 years of age (or the age of legal majority where you reside), you may only access or use Steemit under the supervision of a parent or legal guardian who agrees to be bound by these Terms.

15.Discontinuation of Services
15.1. We may, in our sole discretion and without cost to you, with or without prior notice and at any time, modify or discontinue, temporarily or permanently, any portion of our Services. You are solely responsible for storing, outside of the Services, a backup of any Account and Private Key pair that you maintain in your Wallet.

16. Suspension or Termination of Service.
16.1. We may suspend or terminate your access to the Services in our sole discretion, immediately and without prior notice, and delete or deactivate your Account and all related information and files in such without cost to you, including, for instance, in the event that you breach any term of these Terms. In the event of termination, your access to funds will depend on your access to your backup of your Account data including your Account Name and Private Keys.

There is one more thing that was mentioned, and that is that they abide by COPPA.

What is COPPA?

COPPA stand for Children's Online Privacy Protection Rule.

COPPA imposes certain requirements on operators of websites or online services directed to children under 13 years of age, and on operators of other websites or online services that have actual knowledge that they are collecting personal information online from a child under 13 years of age. source

IN SUMMARY

What I have gathered from all this is that we are not allowed to have our children on steemit. To a certain degree I can understand, because we see NSFW posts (nudity, sex, etc) and drugs...which we wouldn't want our children to see.

I have tried to reach @andrarchy and today @ned to see if they could let me know who is screening for children's accounts, and why my daughter's account was blocked while many others remain open. Are "popular" account's children ok to remain on steemit? Is it the number of followers they have? Does it matter in which country they open the account?

If we need to follow the law and regulations of the US I am fine with that, but let's ALL follow them. Let's be fair!

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Solution: use Busy.org or chainBB to access the steem blockchain.

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Thanks for your comment @neoxian. Wouldn't it be downvoted if we kept using her account if it's blocked on steemit? I appreciate you taking the time to answer my question! :)

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I don't think that will be a problem. I don't see why anyone from Steemit would downvote/flag the content. They simply just don't want children to use Steemit (their responsibility) because of the laws, but I don't see why they would care who uses the Steem blockchain from other websites.

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Great thanks for the info @valth! So busy.org was not created in the US?

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And also for now the newly added https://eostalk.io, it posts and interacts with the Steem Blockchain as well. Clean and easy to use. Log in with the "Posting" key only. https://eostalk.io/eos/@steempowerpics/eostalkio-my-thoughts

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Thank you for the information @steempowerpics! I was not aware of eostalk. I will check it out!

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The whaleshares folks just brought it online a few days ago. You can take any page on steemit and replace steemit.com with eostalk.io in the URL, and it functions over there.

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Great! Thanks!

No, the solution is not to all comply with the law. The solution is to have kids lie about their age, because the law is fashioned to insentivise liars. Not protect them. Not empower them. Not teach them. It's fashioned to punish them for being honest. To convince them that their only way to have any control of their lives and futures is to lie. Because US law is stupid.

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Sadly there is truth to this - and it did cross my mind while reading through this topic. :c/

Then again in the context of steemit there is undoubtedly reason to implement kid-safe/prohibiting measures. NSFW materials - and perhaps more tellingly so - NSFW materials not tagged as such - are a case in point.

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@pathforger. I can definitely understand why they have these regulations in place for NSFW material. Which is great! My issue is if you implement them on one child you should implement on all! Thanks for your comment!

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As a matter of principle I do agree with consistency in all matters - including the application of rules. You're welcome @sgnsteems.

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Yes that is all I am saying @pathforger. Be consistent and apply same rules to all. 👍

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Thank you for your comment!

I understand the COPPA Rule but every child's account that I've personally come across has been maintained by a responsible adult. My account is for my stuff. If I chose to create an account for my children's material, I would think that would be quite acceptable because that is THEIR content and a way for us to keep a "piggy bank".

I know you have always put in a disclaimer on @cgmsteems posts so technically you are the account holder, no? Resteeming this on my feed to see if more people will respond.

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Remember, Steemit.com is only an interface into the Steem blockchain. You can use other ways to access it: busy.org, chainBB .

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Thank you so much @merej99! Yes I created her account and managed it with her....I mean who can memorize those long passwords anyway! LOL

We posted her work but she was never alone...there was nothing on there that wasn't seen by me...so that is what shocked me...especially because other children's accounts are not disabled. The fact of whether a post is written in first person or third person...

I am not trying to have all children's account disabled and have their parents be upset at me...but I think it should be fair for everybody...either all children allowed or none. That is just my humble opinion.

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I guess my point is that unless we have true knowledge of a person (IRL stuff) then they can't possibly know who opened the account or who maintains it.

I was speaking with @lexikon082 about this last night. So what if an account is written in the first person of a 9 year old? Who's to say that isn't an adult in a role play account? Hell, we have lordvader. Does that mean he's the real Darth Vader?

The fact that you clearly state that you are monitoring the account should be good enough to keep it. Let's get real. Have you seen some of the kids accounts on YouTube? How about the trainwreck HoneyBooBoo. What makes them exempt from this COPPA rule?

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You make great, valid points @merej99! Which is why I made the post. I have gotten answers as to how to go around the system and why children shouldn't be on steemit. I have not gotten answers as to the guidelines followed and who decides which accounts get blocked and which don't.

Maybe we need more guidance when opening an account either by asking the new person opening an account if they are older than 13 or something to that extent.

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You can also directly create new accounts with no email/phone verification using SteemConnect - price is 6 STEEM, but you get that back in the account as 6 SP. takes less than 5 minutes. Here is the info... https://steemit.com/news/@timcliff/new-tool-from-busy-org-create-new-steem-blockchain-accounts-with-steemconnect

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This is how my son's account was created. It was promptly locked within a few days

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That sucks :-/ it concerns me, it is unjustified if the parent is the one making the posts on behalf of their kid(s). I have come across so many accounts like that.

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Indeed. I guess it doesn't pay to be honest

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Yes I have seen them too @steempowerpics. But have also encountered "children running their accounts". So i guess its best to write in third person to make sure it is not blocked...

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True, I will keep that in mind. It is upsetting that yours got locked.

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I am sorry for you too @gmuxx! I finally put the info together and glad we have these conversations to find out more.

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I can understand the reasons behind it but as you say it should be the same across the board

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Yes the "affected ones" are the ones who understand what it is to be blocked...

A blockchain application with an age limit. Now that's entertaining.

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Yes steemit follows guidelines and because of COPPA limits children. Thanks for your comment @robertgenito!

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That's ok: steemit.com is clearly a centralized organization. And that's fine. One cannot expect everyone to use the raw protocol itself--yet! :D

Wow weird case sort to say i dont wgy that law is needed because its our (parents) job to keep kids away for potential hazards there are more then one way to go and find people facebook or twitter heck even skype I dont see the harm of steemit where youvas a parent can monitor everything as a parent they are just not ready yet to use the parental controlls is what I think I hope your kid will still be steeming when the account is up again

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Thank you for your reply! It is our job to monitor our children, but in the USA they protect children, which is why they have COPPA. And since Steemit was created in the USA, therefore, they must adhere to the laws of the USA.

According to the rules, she won't be able to access her account until she reaches 13...

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Well, that's just silly. If we have created our account anonymously (without showing proof of ID), how exactly are they to know WHEN she turns 13?

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That I am not sure...but we did write on the description of her post she was 8(now turning nine)...just so that when people interacted with her they would know she was a child...We have always been thruthful and upfront, and I guess that is what hurt us at the end...i guess it's best to lie :(

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This is all a bunch of crap. I put a comment in this same thread about my thoughts on it. If the parent is in control of the account and the one doing ALL the posting, then I don't see how COPPA applies to it. Kids can't open a bank account, but I opened one for my son with my wife and I as the "surragate owners" until he is of age. This is no different.

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How did they know she was under 13 to begin with? Did I miss that?

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@aboutyourbiz it was written in the description of her name.

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full transparency, novel concept

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I don't know whether to LOL or cry...is that a good or a bad comment? :)

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i guess it's sarcastic that you were so honest and got burned when many people cheat and succeed.

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That was my thought exactly! So what does that tell you? If we don't find out you are ok...but if you are honest you will be punished!? So moral: Don't be upront about certain things...

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This whole thing is ridiculous. If the parent is the surrogate account owner, and the parent is the one accessing the account, typing, and creating the posts, then COPPA should not apply to that account. COPPA is meant to enforce that "children themselves" are not directly accessing a website that distributes personal information.

I made that clear on the intro post for the account I will manage for my son until he is older. I am making the posts, he tells me what he wants to say and I am typing it. He will never be on the website by himself.

That is awful that the account you manage for your daughter innocent artwork was locked out, and yet Steemit is filled with crap porn posts of images just stolen off the internet and blasted all over the place here. Simply unfair.

The last thing we need is "the nanny state" preventing us from guiding our children.

As parents, it is our responsibility to guide our children, not the government's.

And so, I'm glad to hear that there are workarounds to this issue such as using Busy.org or chainBB...

😄😇😄

@creatr

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@creatr thank you for your comment! Even if there is a way around the system, it still doesn't resolve the issue of being consistent and applying same rules to everybody on steemit.

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The actual "rules" are built into the blockchain, and are therefore automatically applied equally.

I understand that shutting down of an account may be somewhat arbitrary... But you have to blame, first, U.S. "laws" for that, and then simple observations about "who says what." If you sign up a minor and don't identify them as such, then... ;)

The admins can only go on what they "know." So, don't ask/don't tell works...

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Don't ask don't tell sounds military lol. But I understand what you are saying. So again "being honest and upfront" end up hurting at the end. I can either use busy or open another account is what it boils down to. Thanks again @creatr!

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When it comes to human government, honesty is honestly the worst possible policy.

Never forget:

You have the RIGHT to remain silent! ;)

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"honesty is honestly the worst possible policy." Sadly true and brilliantly put.

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Thanks! ;)

@cmgsteems to me is like my own daughters. I miss her and her work a lot!! Even I have to ask my wife to take over my daughter's account after this incident and that account is very much inactive now.

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Thank you so much @mathworksheets! I miss seeing her work too. I noticed she is not as motivated because she doesn't have a "purpose".

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It does make a huge difference in kids world. I see Ishmeet not as motivated either since we took over her account. Not interested in giving her work to her mom either. I know @cmgsteems might be in the same situation.

I was wondering what was going on and why i haven't seen any new posts from my little friend. Is she OK, did see lose all her money, If she did I would like to send her some. I am very sad about this :(

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Hi Karen! She misses you too! She has been unmotivated lately and haven't seen much work from her. But I will come up with a solution. I love her art too! We cannot access her account from steemit but apparently we can from busy.org. So her funds are still there....you are so sweet for the offer though! 😊

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I am glad you can get her funds out, still not fair just closing her account. I miss her and her posts, she is a lovely little girl you should be very proud of her :)

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Thank you Karen! That means so much! :)

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Your welcome. I hope she posts a couple on yours :)

Thanks so much for this post @sgnsteems... I was just talking to my husband about possibly making an account for our kids, but since there are a lot of questions around it I guess I would have to put that behind first.. :-)

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Thanks for your comment @arrliinn! The more I think about it the more I get confused. It is definitely not clear. Some people say if you "manage" your childs account is acceptable. But then again, that is what I was doing. At this age I never let my daughter peruse the internet. We know what can be found out there! Maybe wait for an official answer to open one? 😊

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I am not sure if it was here, but I thought it we are also not supposed to have duplicate accounts? Or maybe not here... I read it somewhere.. gosh too much information my brain is already overloading! lol

After reading all the comments, I'm now a little confused. If the account holder is an adult, the account can continue, no? So if all the parents take over their child's account, but continue to use it for the child's work, doesn't that get round the law?

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But the adult has to open the account to begin with. I was holding my daughters account and it was still blocked. That is why I made the post to find it "what is acceptable and what isnt". Thanks for your comment @kiwideb!

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Is that the law or the Steemit rules? If the Steemit rules, that could surely be changed if the will to do so was there? It's only of academic interest to me, but I think Steemit would be the poorer for the loss of the young people, so I hope something can be sorted out.

I think that this is a great post that may help others who are thinking of allowing their children to post.

I never would have thought twice before reading this post.

Darryl

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Thank you @dadview! I know many people "Agree" to the Terms of Service but do not read section 2 pertaining to under 13 year olds.

That's too bad! I'm wondering if the reason other accounts are allowed to remain open is because the parent was the one to actually sign up for it?

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@dreemit I signed my daughter up.... that is why i am inquiring about who decides who gets blocked. Thanks for your comment!

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Oh, that is odd then. I was thinking maybe the account had her birthday attached to it.

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I was transparent and we did put her age on it. But so have more kids...

Sort of an odd thing... but I can see their need to comply with US laws since Steemit Inc is domiciled in the US. I wonder if the accounts we sometimes see that clearly belong to younger children are exempt because they are not US residents?

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There are still children whose parents are in the US whose accounts have not been blocked...so I wonder who is monitoring these or who decides who gets blocked and who does'nt...

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Feels like the same thing as the ICO block for US residents. I just don't know how COPPA applies if the parent is the one making the posts of their child/children's work. I just don't want to plaster my own account with his drawings to irritate people who are looking for all the other things I post. I don't want to "facebook" up my blog lol. My son is not allowed to be on the site without me and he knows it.

USA laws are strict regarding many matters. But underage children should also be protected somewhat because this is an adult site with NSFW content.

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Yes @cryptopie. I agree about protection of children. But if you "protect" one by blocking an account, you should "protect" all by blocking all accounts.

It's great that you finally got a proper response to the question! It's too bad that the children cannot use Steemit, but as some users have already pointed out, there's other websites to access the Steem blockchain.

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Thanks for your comment @valth! Accesing busy.org still does not resolve the issue of children being on the platform. Busy posts on steemit, therefore they would still technically be "breaking the law"!?

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No, not exactly. All the things you post on either Steemit or busy.org gets posted to the blockchain which is named Steem. As far as I understand it no one really owns the blockchain. Steemit and busy.org on the other hand are websites that show the information from the blockchain. So I don't think Steemit is breaking any laws by having underage people post with busy.org.

great post ! Very imformitive ! I know papa- pepper has an account for his kids , now 5 of them i believe ! Haha better him then me ! 😂 called little peppers I think , he has had this for a long time , so is this just a new rule !? Or maybe just one kid has to be over 13 although I don't think none are , and I have seen other kids on here in the past but not much now ! But I know for the little-peppers its all kid friendly stuff ! 👍

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Thank you @karenmckersie! Yes I didn't want to mention anyone on my post...but yes I have seen plenty of children...which is why I wanted to make the post in the first place. I wasn't aware of it either, until she was blocked and I researched it. Apparently it has been in the Terms of Service all along...My daughter was kid friendly too....

Hopefully someone directly from steemit can give me more information as to whether favoritism plays a role in this or the country, or what, if any, regulations they follow.

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this is why I didn't put the @ sign , but it should be same rules for everyone , maybe you can ask papa pepper in private message chat if there's a way of doing it so its ok . Just a suggestion! Good luck !👍

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Thanks @karenmckersie! Yes it should be fair for everyone while at the same time abiding by the rules .. yet those dont seem clear to parents...

Pretty crazy that your daughter's account was shut down while others remain....and I'm with @merej99 - how do they even know her age? I don't remember entering my birthday when I created an account...

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We did her introduction post and then included in under her name so people would know....I was never aware children were not allowed to be here.... She loved sharing her art and seeing the comments, everybody was so nice with her...

That is too bad! I think it's an awesome idea to promote hard work, responsibility, stewardship, and responsibility. I agree the parent should be in charge of the account, and it sounds like that's what you were doing! Bummer...

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I can see the positive and negative....thanks for the comment @thesimplelife!

I like the idea of kids but you have to consider people are making money and making money underage is always a weird grey area. Steemit don't want the possible legal hurdles. Also there is sexual content and adults talking like adults. This is not a place for children. Maybe we need a steemit.kids and the money will be untouchable until they turn a certain age dictated by their parent? Idk. But this steemit isn't for kids.

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Thank you for your comment @jpinka! The "grey areas" is why I brought it to the attention of #steemit. We might need some guidelines as to which "kid accounts" are acceptable and which ones aren't and why. I understand both sides of this issue, and I think at the end we all want fair treatment.

So, if I got it right, 13 is the minimal age. Don't worry kids, just ask your bigger brother or sister to share part of your day or just be patient - learn some simple story telling, enjoy life, save for a nice netbook and join us on your next birthday (or after few more) :)

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Yes 13 years old. Lol bigger brother or sister! Thanks for your comment!

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Imagine a team of 3-5-7 years aged kids lead my their big 13 years old smart brother - would be a nice profile to follow, isn't it? :)

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Thank you!

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Thank you! :)

PS - cool "Happy Birthday" footer btw...

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Thank you 😊

The laws in america apply to all social media. That's why the minimum age for a facebook account is 13. Social media is probably not the best place for children to be hanging out