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Must be above 13 to use Stack Exchange sites?

Why do I have to be 13 years old?! I'm a developer just as much as anyone else! Stack Overflow always calls it "A day in the penalty box.", but now I have to wait a year to post things on Stack Overflow!

I shouldn't have to be 13 to learn web development.

If anyone wants to help me protest, please comment.

  • 16
    I sympathize, but this is a legal issue. There is probably nothing that Stack Overflow can do about it. However, it is not that hard to lie about your age on the Internet. Just sayin'
    – Pekka
    Aug 13, 2011 at 12:00
  • Yes, I know it's unfortunate but as Eat More Twisters says this is entirely a legal issue. Learning web design at 13 impressive, though.
    – tombull89
    Aug 13, 2011 at 12:37
  • 7
    @Jack I recommended a few courses of action you can take here - one of which is to have your parent or guardian set up an account that you can use in their name. This allows you to legally get around the COPPA requirements. I know it's a pain to deal with these requirements, but they are in place for some very good reasons, and there are legal ways to use stackoverflow even as a youth.
    – Pollyanna
    Aug 13, 2011 at 12:51
  • @Adam good to know! So it is possible to use SO as a child if you get your parents involved. Maybe it would be an idea to re-word your answer in the dupe to make that even more clear, and ask Maxim to make it the accepted answer? At the moment, a quick scan of the page creates the impression that there is nothing one can do if you're under 13
    – Pekka
    Aug 13, 2011 at 12:57
  • 3
    It's all explained in COPPA - Children's Online Privacy Protection Act. As the Privacy Protection can't be enforced as personal information is publicly listed without a consent; the only option for Stack Exchange is to forbid humans that are under the age of 13 years old. Note the word "Protection": Your personal information allows people to figure out a lot about you, it's not even hard to figure out where you live. I don't think you want to open up such a privacy at such a young age, note that there are also bad people! Aug 13, 2011 at 12:58
  • 1
    I would suggest you to remove any personal identifiable information from websites like these and using an acronym instead, or something like just Jack or JackU. As well as for your website, don't list where you live and give a photo of your house. It's a matter of cross-matching to find out where you live, and they identify you using your Google+ profile. Please talk with your parents, ask them what Privacy and Child Protection are; as well as why you aren't allowed on some web sites at your age. Don't rush things, you don't need to be part of Stack Overflow to learn Web Development... Aug 13, 2011 at 13:00
  • @Eat I've updated my post and modified the question so it's more faq like, and then added the "faq-proposed" tag in the hopes that Stack Exchange will consider this a good answer to the problem. Thanks for the suggestion to make it more clear.
    – Pollyanna
    Aug 13, 2011 at 13:21
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    @Eat more Twisters: I guess it is a behaviour smell, to inverse the responsibility to a child, suggesting to play unfair, because you, as an adult, have no idea how to solve a problem in a correct way. The comments explaining where the problem is (Tom Wisman) or suggesting parental help (Adam) are far better. Aug 13, 2011 at 13:32
  • @user as said, I wasn't aware that it is indeed possible to use the sites as a child in a legal way; that of course is the far superior course of action.
    – Pekka
    Aug 13, 2011 at 16:47
  • They are from the government and they are here to hel^H^H^Hprotect you. Aug 13, 2011 at 19:39
  • Jack: Because of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act. Basically we are prevented from taking personal information about you. The age of 13 is specifically stated in the act. coppa.org/coppa.htm
    – user102937
    Aug 13, 2011 at 23:55
  • 2
    Publicly announcing that you're under 13 here is just not a smart idea if you want to keep your account.
    – clickbait
    Jul 10, 2018 at 4:07