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Has Chow ever considered having a site just for the underaged?

Just a thought. Sometimes my links have a bit of adult commentary on them, and sometimes i just like bouncing ideas off adults. I'm not overly excited about children giving beer or wine recommendations no matter how much their parents preen about it.

Just my take. Feel free to flame away.

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  1. I thought there was a restriction. Wasn't there a post a year or so ago that the parent had to post for the kid on some project?

    1 Reply
    1. re: melpy

      There's an age restriction to join and participate, but no way to restrict anyone from simply surfing or lurking via their parents or even on their own. It reminds me of those websites for liquor companies that ask you for a birth date before allowing you to enter. Yeah, that's going to stop the underage from viewing it...

    2. First see if we can't do something about getting all the (non food) porn off the Internet. After that perhaps we can worry about childproofing Chowhound.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Servorg

        Who will the food porn be um... proactive with?

        1. re: Servorg

          Wasn't (non-food) porn the reason that Clinton got Al Gore to invent the internet?

        2. I think it's important that a knowledgeable sommelier at a fine restaurant, with a nice wine list and cellar, be at least 18 years old.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Veggo

            I'd prefer if all their Scotch was at least 18 years old...the sommelier's age I'm not so concerned about...

          2. I agree. No great interest in monitoring what I say for kids (yes, I realize this site is viewable to anyone). However, I doubt there are a ton of teenagers on here so I don't spend any time pouting about it :)

            1. We don't allow registered posters under 13 for legal reasons. Past that, there's no reason to split the site by age groups.

              We have a small handful of enthusiastic teenagers who participate on the site, but we don't moderate the site with a young audience in mind. If they or their parents find the content here inappropriate for them, they can skip some boards, or choose not to visit the site.

              As with any other poster whose opinions you might not agree with or respect, we'd ask you to just skip past those posts by posters you don't really want to read. There's no danger of our few teenaged members drowning out the adults on the site, so it should be relatively few posts that you need ignore.

              22 Replies
              1. re: Jacquilynne

                "We don't allow registered posters under 13 for legal reasons."

                Why? So the big kids can say fuck?

                1. re: kengk

                  Most websites have the same rule. I know Facebook does. My cousin let her kid, who is 9, have a profile, and they had to lie about what her birth date was so she could have it.

                  1. re: juliejulez

                    How much could a 12 year old contribute to a food site?
                    "Oh yeah, those jars of Beech Nut pureed carrots, whatever I didn't spill on my high chair, drool, or throw across the room, were delicious."

                    1. re: Veggo

                      I dunno, I was a pretty accomplished baker by the time I was 12. Cooking, not so much. I certainly wouldn't have been into talking about my baking on an online forum either. I was more interested in the AOL chat rooms they had for teens since I could talk to boys there. Although, in hindsight, most of those boys were probably pedophiles...

                      1. re: juliejulez

                        There's no good future for a child swimming in a sea of predators.

                      2. re: Veggo

                        "How much could a 12 year old contribute to a food site?
                        'Oh yeah, those jars of Beech Nut pureed carrots, whatever I didn't spill on my high chair, drool, or throw across the room, were delicious.'"

                        Brilliant, Veggo, Brilliant!

                    2. re: kengk

                      There are quite strict US government requirements about how you may gather information from children under 13.

                      1. re: Jacquilynne

                        Not questioning you, but rather thinking out loud. How much intellectual difference is there between a 12 & 13 year old to make that the pivotal age? 16/17/18 I could understand. Things that make you go hmmmmm......

                          1. re: Veggo

                            Lol!!! I think that goes to support my point though.....a child is a child under 18 or perhaps 16 is the age of consent in certain areas. But why does the gov draw a line between 12 & 13?

                            If the Gov through prism is eavesdropping on a phone call and the call participants state they are under 13 does the Gov terminate the eavesdropping?

                            1. re: jrvedivici

                              "...does the Gov terminate the eavesdropping?"

                              Yes. Via Drone.

                          2. re: jrvedivici

                            If the criteria for posting here, or anywhere else on the Net, is going to be measured in "intellect" than we are going to have very little content to peruse...

                            1. re: Servorg

                              Join MENSA and get really bored.

                              1. re: Servorg

                                True dat! I've been told I swim in the shallow end of the intellectual pool, that still doesn't stop me from doing cannonballs!!!!

                              2. re: jrvedivici

                                What's the difference really between 17 and 18? Not much, but courts seem to think so. Has to be a cut off somewhere I guess.

                                1. re: juliejulez

                                  Exactly my point, 18 is established as the age of adulthood, so that's understood. Jaquilynne above states the gov has specific laws against collecting info on children under 13, that's where my true question lays.

                                  MGZ where are you??

                                  1. re: jrvedivici

                                    http://coppa.org/ might be able to answer your questions, although I don't see anything there about why that's the age of Internet consent. I doubt you'll find anything explaining the reasoning about why 13 is OK but 12 isn't.

                                    1. re: Chris VR

                                      Chris, First thank you for putting in the research to find this information.

                                      Second, thank you for pointing out you doubt I will find any useful information, I trust you and won't bother looking myself.

                                    2. re: jrvedivici


                                      There's the wikipedia entry on the regulations I'm referring to. I don't know if that's detailed enough to answer the questions you have about it -- it doesn't go into details on why they set the age at 13, for example.

                                      1. re: Jacquilynne

                                        The age of 13 was chosen for the same reason 18, 21 and 35 were chosen.

                                        1. re: Jacquilynne

                                          Thank you as well for taking the time to research and respond. My question is just a general one for group thought. When I hear what I consider foolish laws like that it just makes me wonder and I try to expand the discussion, or thought on the topic.

                                          1. re: Jacquilynne

                                            I always found this section of COPPA at odds with the mission of many non profits:

                                            "Although nonprofit entities generally are not subject to COPPA, the FTC encourages such entities to post privacy policies online and to provide COPPA’s protections to their child visitors." source:

                              3. There is already a site for those people. It's called Yelp.

                                1. I would like a separate board for the over-aged.

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: ipsedixit

                                    Funny ipsedixit... but what is considered over-aged?

                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                      That made me recall the tag line that was applied to our servicemen stationed in the UK during the WWII years; "Oversexed, overpaid and over here"

                                      1. re: ipsedixit

                                        Sounds like my homeowners association board in FL. Conversation revolves around hip replacements and reflux so I get all the oranges and grapefruit for free.

                                        1. Why would they? I imagine the number if underage posters (younger than 13 I believe is the age cutoff) is like 1% of the member population and probably even less.

                                          1. Since CHOW has published that anyone 13 years of age or older is welcome to register, I don't see the issue. If that young person isn't interested in chow, how long are they going to be hanging around a forum of passionate food lovers?

                                            Members don't set the rules and aren't asked to curb their "adult content" ..so this is truly a non issue.

                                            Have you seen the content on some (strike that, most) sites geared to young people? It's insulting to those with a real intellect.

                                            1. Could be my naivete speaking, but age restrictions are pretty much impossible to enforce on a web forum anyway. Right? Providing a valid drivers license # isn't a prerequisite for signing up... and of course there would be ways around that.

                                              Any 12 year old hanging out here is spending their internet time much more wholesomely than most of their friends surely are, even with the discussion of alcohol and occasional swearing. I first got the internet when I was about 14. Though there weren't as many options then, I seem to remember having no difficulty finding mischief, smut, downright horrifying viewing material, outlets for criminal inclinations (were you a perfect angel as a teenager?), etc.

                                              4 Replies
                                              1. re: cowboyardee

                                                As long as COPPA is followed by a website, they are being responsible.

                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                  I'm not trying to criticize websites as irresponsible or anything. Just pointing out that there's no real way to enforce an age restriction online whether or not a website adheres to COPPA. Or rather, any method of enforcing an age restriction would have to be wildly impractical in order to be effective.

                                                  1. re: cowboyardee

                                                    Oh COPPA's no joke. Nor is it a whether or not adhere to. Web owners adhere. Because it covers the tall, impossible task of enforcing every visitor as you pointed out.

                                                    I didn't take your comment as criticism at all. It's a fact, sites really can't police their domain.

                                                    1. re: cowboyardee

                                                      Right. As I posted above "It reminds me of those websites for liquor companies that ask you for a birth date before allowing you to enter. Yeah, that's going to stop the underage from viewing it..."