Meg Thornton (megpie71) wrote,
Meg Thornton

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And they've done it *again*

Okay, it appears 6Apart don't want any money out of any of us writing types any time soon. For details, see their latest entry in the "how to lose friends and piss people off" competition. Once again, it's in lj_biz rather than in the "news" community (so unless you're a regular watcher of lj_biz you've probably not heard about this directly.


On the face of things, it's a lovely idea to prevent kids from seeing stuff which would make them ask their parents awkward questions, or come down with an urgent need for therapy. However, it misses several points:

* As far as I'm aware, there's no real way of checking someone's age online, short of hunting them down and asking them for photo ID with a birthdate on it in person.
* This means if a fourteen year old decides to say they're (for example) eighteen online, because they want to read teh pr0nz, they're going to be able to see all the adult stuff, no matter what the rest of us do to try and screen it away from them.
* I'd rather not try and rate my stuff individually - it's been twenty-two years since I was fourteen, and when I was fourteen I'd already read all my mother's midwifery textbooks, as well as having a profound and long-term interest in anatomy, physiology and the way bodies worked. I was reading "adult" reading material by the time I was ten. So while I can give a vague rendition of what would have squicked me and what wouldn't at that age, it wouldn't necessarily be all that accurate for anyone else.
* This means I'm likely to get nice, "helpful" people flagging my stuff as inappropriate, because while I don't often write explicit sex, I do tend to believe most people over the age of twelve are capable of being exposed to the rather complicated way the world is. Which means my fic tends to reference things like rape, violence, mental illness, political corruption, bureaucracy and all the other little complications of life. I don't sugar-coat things all that often.
* Let's not forget the fact that this gives people another weapon in the endless LJ-drama wars (drama whores?). "You were nasty to me, so I'm going to mark all your posts for this week as not suitable for children. So there!!!" (Anyone who believes this *isn't* going to happen needs to send me a precise description of the type of happy pills they're on, so I can take it to my doctor and say "gimme".)
* Finally, this comes down to what I consider to be the biggest damn problem with the whole "internet for children" argument: there is *no* way to make the internet "safe" for children, and there probably never will be. There are too many options for anonymity, which certainly appears to lead to a dropping of social standards for a lot of people - after all, if I don't know who said something, I can't go and thump them upside the haid for being a rude whatsit to me. Teh Intarwebs is therefore *not* anyone sane's babysitter of choice.

Now, if everyone will excuse me, I'm going to be moving all of my fiction over to my InsaneJournal account and deleting it off the LJ.

Nope, the paid account here is *not* being renewed. Not even if they're handing out monogrammed gold bars to subscribers.
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