Concerns raised about 13yr olds in chat rooms such as YaH

Discussion in 'General' started by Hollie, Feb 18, 2018.

  1. Hollie

    Hollie Mod Staff Member

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    Earlier today a post was made regarding whether or not children aged 13 yr and above should be allowed onto this site. I wanted to address this with this post as it relates to the YAH room which is loved and used by many. Some of the content here has been given to me by other chatters and included in this post. Thank you for that

    The YaH room is a very much loved communial room by a large number of chatters and forms an integral and intrinsic part of this site. However, YaH is supposed to be for 40+. Previously that age was pretty much maintained but in recent times there has been an influx of 18 + and this, along with the facility of uploading photos and the cam, has changed the dynamics of the room. Being there is no filter on the age of a chatter, by default that meant they were allowed in.

    This situation was and still is extremely hard for all chatters of a mature age as the topics they want to chat about are NOT the same in the main as 18 - 20 yr old's. the language difference and social attitudes between a 18 yr old to a 65 yr old ar very different, and in the main, the respect shown to other people is different between those ages too, there will always be the exception to the rule and yes YaH does have some lovely chatters of a much younger age but in a small minority this has not been the case, and with no real means of stopping it, is a continuing problem.

    The concept of having 13yr olds in any chat room leaves the majority of people with a chill down their back. They are children, and while some maybe street wise, fact is they are extremely vulnerable. Every day I see women, and yes men too, who have been caught out with so called "friendships" .. thankfully once realized, most have enough savvie to extricate themselves from situations that they don't see coming. Online security is a constant risk as we know. The onus of responsibility for a child lays with the parent in giving the correct guidance, but fact is, many children do not get this advice, and even those who do, sometimes ignore it... that's what children generically do and more so when with their mates.

    We all talk of predators and there are many and the dangers high ....but there is another aspect to this. What about those genuine older people (some in there 70's) who don't perhaps think to check out a profile and age etc, (and some dont) and they end up chatting in all innocence to a young girl? ... will they then get labelled with that filthy P word? Could this also lead to entrapment?

    A few days ago it became a reality. (it may have happened before.. I don't know) The YaH had a female chatter aged 14 yrs old in. In the main room , this child didn't actually say anything wrong, and because the rules say 13 yrs and upwards, plus there was no legitimate reason to boot or ban through misbehaviour or bad language etc the child stayed in the room.

    How do you think that made us feel? As moderators we are NOT child minders, or baby sitters and though as it happens i do happen to have some training in the area of safety for young people online, we are not here to spend an hour or longer with each child trying to run through all the dangers of coming in to a chat room.

    On a personal note, I completely disagree with any child being allowed access into any chat room, how ever fact is the little darlings can simply pop there age as 18 and we would be none the wiser would we? BUT as children as young as 13 ARE being encouraged to go onto sites, those sites need to provide a room especially for them which is closely monitored and supervised. With different filters and safety precautions in place And most important of all, Trained Moderators who know exactly what they are looking for and how to deal l with the various situations that will crop up.

    The YaH whilst the cleanest room on this particular site is very good and we work really hard to keep it that way for those and, there are many, who want a clean room, and thoroughly appreciate what we do as mods, ( i get that some don't by the way ) is still absolutely not suitable for 13 yr olds but if they are removed ... where will they go.... the lobby? ... the cafe ?

    This post isn't here to cause arguments or disruption, but sensible and constructive comments on your perception on this topic.

    Am extremely interested to hear what anyone else thinks on this.

    Thank you
     
  2. Wojcik

    Wojcik UKChat Expert

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    The decision to reduce the age restriction for the chat site hasn't come without controversy. There are many parents that use this website, who wouldn't allow their child on this chat site, due to the potential dangers and risks that it brings with it.

    I can understand the idea of a family friendly chat site, but i don't think the idea was quite thought out as well. An idea that has sparked off major concerns among the chatters.

    The other issue of reducing the age restriction, and you quite rightfully pointed out, is the extra unnecessary workload that has been placed upon you.
    Like you stated, you aren't child minders or baby sitters monitoring every move to safe guard vulnerable children. That would be an unfair burden to place upon you and the rest of the team who work hard to make this chat site work for everyone.

    I think It's perfectly within reason to challenge and scrutinise a decision that has been made. If we do so in a fair and polite way stating why we feel a decision is wrong, we can change those decisions.
     
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  3. SuperNova

    SuperNova UKChat Familiar

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    i think so too as mentioned in my first post about 13 year old
     
  4. janhen

    janhen Guest

    I feel uncomfortable knowing there are children in any chatroom
     
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  5. megeena

    megeena UKChat Familiar

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    NO NO NO TO ANYONE UNDER 16 ON THIS SITE
     
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  6. JoJoTia3rd

    JoJoTia3rd Moderator Staff Member

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    No to everyone under 18
     
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  7. angey07123

    angey07123 UKChat Newbie

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    I do not agree with having children in a chat room. They need to be at least 18
     
  8. connie659296

    connie659296 Guest

    As someone who was a child protection officer as part of my occupation the thought of 13 year old children using this site is abhorrent to me, If undesirable people log into the site (and be sure they will do if they are aware youngsters are logging in) then these youngsters are prime targets for grooming. I truly believe that anyone under 18 should not be able to log in here, however, we all know that it is impossible to check that someone's dob is true. I personally feel that the owners are putting undue pressure on the mods and putting their older chatters at risk
     
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  9. Jill_

    Jill_ UKChat Newbie

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    I think the absolute minimum age should 18 . In any chatsite
     
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  10. Shana

    Shana UKChat Newbie

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  11. Shana

    Shana UKChat Newbie

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    I don’t think children should be in a chat room at all
     
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  12. mr_nice_eyes

    mr_nice_eyes UKChat Newbie

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    got to be 18 plus
     
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  13. angeliga21

    angeliga21 UKChat Newbie

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    shouldnt be aloud it should be 18 t
     
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  14. breakwake_

    breakwake_ UKChat Familiar

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    Looking at Facebook it appears that that site allows 13 year olds, I think one cause of that is because children were creating fake profiles in which the children said they were older. Looking at it that way it makes sense as now they know who the children are. But I can't say I'm comfortable with children being on here. I'd like to think children on here are offered some sort of protection against online predators, which is probably the biggest concern of anyones but to my knowledge theres nothing of the sort on the site. No problem there, any instances of this will just be reported to an outside body and management can deal with that. Believe it or not but if some people see any suspicious behaviour committed towards a child then they'll see it as their responsability to share their fears with someone that can investigate the matter further. And changing the site age limit from whatever it was to 13 doesn't cut it, law applies to 13 year olds that doesn't apply to adults, so so far I've seen nothing that suggets children will be safe here. To my eyes all thats been done is an age changed, have any staff even been updated on what action they take if they witness something involving a child, because that could be illegal activity there for a start. And btw, if children are welcome here and chatters consider the children aren't safe, well one could wonder if some chatters might believe they have a responsability to report their concerns to someone that can investigate that too.
     
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  15. baggy_trousers

    baggy_trousers UKChat Newbie

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    There are sites for chatters of 13 and under already and this is where younger chatters should go for thier own safety. I belive the young at heart should be for 40 plus as a general rule a few younger chatters seem to fit in ok ,,,, As Hollie pointed out chatters of different ages talk about different things I my self prefure my own peer group and as a rule dont get lured into many privet chats unless i know them. That said we cant rule the world from here and a few under age will try to work them selfs into adult chat site just to see for curiosity that we cant stop thou if we are aware as most experinced chatters we can tell and take action then. our moderaters do a fantastic job safe guarding our [email protected] room thank you team [email protected]
     
  16. xxlavenderxx

    xxlavenderxx UKChat Initiate

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    Think 13 is far too young to be in this kind of environment.
    It is asking for trouble and will be a nightmare to moderate and keep them safe.
    18 is a far better age.
    The safeguarding aspect of having these minors in the room is scary.
     
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  17. JoJoTia3rd

    JoJoTia3rd Moderator Staff Member

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    I agree the mods do a fantastic job weldone to all of them xx
     
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  18. Wojcik

    Wojcik UKChat Expert

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    I'm only speaking from experience about Facebook security, but they are very good. You can set it to friends and family only and put a restriction on public access to accounts. This means that young people can enjoy safer experiences on Facebook and be able to socialise in the modern day world of social media.
    One of the major concerns about these type of chat sites, is that they don't have the same levels of security in place. Like many have mentioned here, Mods would be forced into extra responsibility to protect these vulnerable children. It's not fair on them.
     
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  19. Wojcik

    Wojcik UKChat Expert

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    Facebook is by far the most safest environment out there for children to experience social media to an extent. This is due to Facebook's security and privacy options. Accounts will actually be hidden from the public eye if put on private, so as a parent, it would be easier to monitor who they add.
     
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