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03:33 pm: Why is 13 the age of internet consent?

I’m not objecting or anything…just curious who or what authority picked that age.

 

Originally posted to Welcome to Arhyalon.

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From:marycatelli
Date:January 25th, 2011 08:48 pm (UTC)
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Because then they're teens? 0:)
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From:vitruvian23
Date:January 25th, 2011 09:04 pm (UTC)
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Who says it is? Far as I know, the age of consent everywhere is still defined by the laws of the state (or country other than the US) you're physically sitting in while tapping your way out to the Internet. This would include consent to online sexual behavior or exposure to sexually explicit stuff, so it seems like most people and websites choose to err on the more conservative side and assume that the effective age of consent is no younger than 18, even though many people may be browsing to their material from locations where it's a lower age than that.
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From:arhyalon
Date:January 25th, 2011 09:12 pm (UTC)
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I have recently had to click a "yes, I am older than 13" button on several websites. I think LiveJournal is one of the sites that picked 13 as its cut off.
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From:maradydd
Date:January 25th, 2011 09:21 pm (UTC)
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In the United States the relevant law is COPPA, aka 15 USC 6501-6506. It places a lot of restrictions on what information sites may collect from users under 13, so many sites simply refuse to allow accounts from users who say they're not that old yet.

I don't know what other countries have laws about this, but I suspect many sites just follow COPPA.
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From:arhyalon
Date:January 25th, 2011 09:22 pm (UTC)
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I'm just curious why they picked 13, which doesn't have any previous legal history associated with it.
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From:maradydd
Date:January 25th, 2011 09:24 pm (UTC)
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From the COPPA FAQs at the FTC:

"8. Why does COPPA apply only to children under 13? What about protecting the online privacy of teens?

In enacting the statute, Congress determined to apply COPPA’s protections only to children under 13. Congress and industry self-regulatory bodies have traditionally distinguished children aged 12 and under, who are particularly vulnerable to overreaching by marketers, from children over the age of 12, for whom strong, but more flexible protections may be appropriate. In addition, distinguishing adolescents from younger children may be warranted where younger children may not understand the safety and privacy issues created by the online collection of personal information."

I'm dubious about the use of the word "traditionally"; I suspect this was something that was worked out between lobbyists and Congress.
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From:arhyalon
Date:January 25th, 2011 09:27 pm (UTC)
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Thanks.

I have often heard Twelve and Under, now that you mention it...but I hadn't thought that this would mean that the rest was 13 and above. ;-)
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From:vitruvian23
Date:January 25th, 2011 09:32 pm (UTC)
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I guess they're setting different thresholds for different things, then... don't know that it's an Internet standard of any kind as opposed to the choice of the individual sites.

But anyway, if it comes down to it, setting 13 as the age of majority, at least for certain kinds of rights and responsibilities, has a fine and venerable tradition behind it, does it not? Just be glad they don't ask you to enter a catechism or a passage out of the Torah, I guess...
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From:vitruvian23
Date:January 25th, 2011 09:34 pm (UTC)
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Didn't see the info about COPPA - that makes sense, and perhaps traditional religious rites of passage like confirmation or the bar mitzvah were somewhere in the back of their minds when they said 'traditionally'.
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From:temporus
Date:January 25th, 2011 09:40 pm (UTC)
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I'm guessing it's from the same general philosophy that picked 13 for the PG-13 rating, or the TV-14 rating. In other words, someone, somewhere, picked it. It sounded good enough for other people to go along with, and so "we" all did.

Some religious traditions have coming of age cerimonies at about that age (thinking specifically of Bar Mitzvah, but that's about when I made Confirmation as well.) so something about that first teen year is considered transitory.

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From:juliet_winters
Date:January 25th, 2011 10:56 pm (UTC)
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Happy the almost-not-teen lass and her friend are giggly about going to see Tangled on Friday.
She told me she didn't want to see any more depressing movies.
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From:headnoises
Date:January 26th, 2011 04:56 pm (UTC)
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Wise girl.
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From:arhyalon
Date:January 26th, 2011 05:12 pm (UTC)
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Good girl. I made the mistake of letting my daughter watch a zombie movie, which I thought was going to be funny. Apparently, there was some eating of brains in the film. Ping-Ping was outraged and now asks carefully if each movie is scary before she rents it.
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From:juliet_winters
Date:January 26th, 2011 08:24 pm (UTC)
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Good to know your daughter probably won't trend Goth.

The other month, I asked my daughter why she was wearing so much make up--much more than usual. It wasn't sexy or anything. Indeed, it looked more Kabuki than aught else.

"I'm a Goth!"
I looked at the kid who was wearing bright, tropical colors with her heavy black eye liner, who loves being in a big, loud crowd.

"I don't think so."

"Well, I'm an Emo!"
This is a child not known for liking her hair hanging in her face, reading morbid poetry, or doing herself injuries.

"Nope. Not Emo. I think you're just you. You can wear the make up if you want to, but you're you. I'd say you're a butterfly if anything."

She giggled.
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From:arhyalon
Date:January 26th, 2011 08:53 pm (UTC)
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LOL Colored Goth...I see a whole new movement there.

I have not heard the word Emo before. Does it mean one who emotes?
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From:juliet_winters
Date:January 27th, 2011 01:00 am (UTC)
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Yes. Someone who is caught up in his emotions:

The definition varies. Some of the things I mentioned are traditionally associated with Emo. Unfortunately, so is cutting--but not always. It's a distinct sub-culture in teen land. They just FEEL everything so much. I would say that Marianne Dashwood might have been a particularly cheerful Emo prototype.
It also refers to a kind of music popular in the 90s.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:January 27th, 2011 06:48 pm (UTC)
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Why? Probably because it is the first number with the suffix "teen" in it. Makes it sound respectibly 'old enough'.

Who? That's anyone's guess!
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