Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

FTC Fines Xanga for Violating Kids' Privacy

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the get-your-parents-permission-to-read-this-post dept.

200

WebHostingGuy writes "As reported by MSNBC, the FTC has fined Xanga.com $1 million dollars for repeatedly allowing children under 13 to sign up for the service without getting their parent's consent. This is the largest penalty ever issued for violations of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act." From the article: "'Protecting kids' privacy online is a top priority for America's parents, and for the FTC,' FTC Chairman Deborah Platt Majoras said in a statement. 'COPPA requires all commercial Web sites, including operators of social networking sites like Xanga, to give parents notice and obtain their consent before collecting personal information from kids they know are under 13. A million-dollar penalty should make that obligation crystal clear.'" What impact, if any, do you think this will have on other community sites that may not always follow the COPPA statutes?

cancel ×

200 comments

what does this accomplish (5, Insightful)

PrinceAshitaka (562972) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062596)

The FTC is trying to prevent child predators access to young children, a noble endeavor. The problem is that there are few good ways to confirm a person age online. If they disallow users under 13 from creating accounts, the users will lie about there age. If they want age confirmation, then it costs much more, and less people will wan tto go throug the trouble. I have credit cards but I am not about to use one online for age verification purposes. What about all the legitmate users over 13 that do not have the ability to confirm ones age. I don't know how a 15 year old would go about this online. A 15 year old would not have a drivers license, a credit card, or any other indentification. This will do nothing to help thier goals of protecting children.

That being said, they seem to have broken the law, it doesn't matter that the law has no value.

Re:what does this accomplish (5, Insightful)

exley (221867) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062648)

You make a valid point -- performing age verification online is difficult, and when age verification is in place, some kids will just circumvent it. But that's not the issue. From the sounds of it, Xanga wasn't even trying to stop kids under 13 from signing up without permission. Xanga knew full well that the kids were under 13 (by the birthdays that they entered when signing up), and as yet, did nothing.

Re:what does this accomplish (5, Insightful)

demeteloaf (865003) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062775)

The thing is, the kids who did get in were lying anyways. Everyone who wanted to register had to check a box saying that A) They were over 13, and B) they read the terms of service. My guess is that the Xanga designers thought that that was a good enough age check, and they didn't bother writing in code that actually checked the date of birth entered, because the users were already affirming that they were over 13 by checking the box.

Basically the FTC is saying that Xanga needs to make sure the kids are smart enough to lie in 2 different places (both by checking the box saying that they are over 13 and entering a fake date of birth), and because they didn't do that they should have to pay a fine. The solution of forcing the under 13 year olds to lie about their birthdate really doesn't solve anything at all... I know that i personally just used a fake birthdate when I was registering for over 18 sites as a kid, and there's really not going to be anything stopping the under 13 crowd from lying about their age as well.

Re:what does this accomplish (4, Funny)

Kesch (943326) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062837)

Yes, but with a birthdate check instead of just allowing in dishonest preteens, they will only allow in dishonest preteens who can do simple math problems.

Re:what does this accomplish (4, Funny)

WeblionX (675030) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063044)

So, logically, pornography websites that checks the user's age should be commended on their help of teaching kids basic subtraction? Obviously this means we can cut the education budget since these websites will pick up the slack. Brilliant!

Re:what does this accomplish (4, Insightful)

exley (221867) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062921)

As far as kids lying, that is again a valid point. From TFA:


"COPPA requires all commercial Web sites, including operators of social networking sites like Xanga, to give parents notice and obtain their consent before collecting personal information from kids they know are under 13."

So it's not as simple as the FTC saying that kids should just be able to lie in two different places. Now, how exactly parental consent is supposed to be given is another issue. And of course, there are ways to lie about that as well. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to jump on the "But what about the children!" bandwagon. But at the same time, not every piece of legislation about protecting children is automatically going to be bullshit just because people here on Slashdot think so. Yeah, things like COPPA could very well be unworkable solutions to the problem. Just in this thread, as well as other comments on this article, plenty of flaws in executing laws such as this are being highlighted. The issue can't just be ignored, though.

Oh, and finally, Xanga should have known full well what their obligations were by law (whether or not the law is crap), and they could have easily covered their asses. So I have no sympathy for them in this matter.

Re:what does this accomplish (4, Interesting)

fm6 (162816) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063094)

Basically the FTC is saying that Xanga needs to make sure the kids are smart enough to lie in 2 different places (both by checking the box saying that they are over 13 and entering a fake date of birth), and because they didn't do that they should have to pay a fine.

In other words, Xanga was negligent because they failed to implement a safeguard that is known to be useless. The main purpose of this fine seems to be to allow the FTC to claim that they're doing everything they can to protect children. And, technically speaking, they are!

Re:what does this accomplish (3, Informative)

AusIV (950840) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062900)

First, Xanga does have users enter a birthday when signing up, and if the birthdate shows a person is not 13, they cannot sign up.

The rest is not quite true either. If parents become aware of their kid's xanga, there is a process for having the site shut down. Xanga is huge. It would be incredibly difficult (if even possible) for Xanga to monitor all sites. However I believe they have a process for reporting underage users, and look into reports.

Re:what does this accomplish (1)

exley (221867) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062966)

First, Xanga does have users enter a birthday when signing up, and if the birthdate shows a person is not 13, they cannot sign up.


If that truly is the case, then what would the FTC be basing this on? Can you change your birthdate after you sign up? It sounds like, at some point, it was pretty clear that kids under 13 were signed up, and Xanga just sat on that.

It would be incredibly difficult (if even possible) for Xanga to monitor all sites.

Would it? Surely there must be a way that they could automatically scan through user profiles on a regular basis to find ones where the birthday indicates an underage user.

Re:what does this accomplish (2, Informative)

uw_badgers (889261) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062977)

First, Xanga does have users enter a birthday when signing up, and if the birthdate shows a person is not 13, they cannot sign up.

Now they do, but apparently there was a period of time where they didn't check the birthdate, and 1.7 million children under 13 signed up. From the MSNBC article:

"Children merely had to check a box confirming they were over 13, according to FTC lawyer Mary Engle -- even if they'd previously entered a birth date indicating they were under 13."

Re:what does this accomplish (4, Insightful)

xiphoris (839465) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062663)

It absolutely matters that the law has no value. It is any citizen's duty to attempt to reverse such unreasonable laws.

If, as you admit, there is no reasonable way for a website to enforce minimum-age restrictions, then the law is unjust and should not be upheld. Indeed, it will be a good thing for the company to take the FTC to court and get the law struck down, not only as unconstitutional, but hopefully as stupid also. That might send a message to legislators who cry out "But think of the children!" and pass dumb laws as part of their election campaigns.

Re:what does this accomplish (1)

the children (1000266) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062819)

That might send a message to legislators who cry out "But think of the children!" Huh? What have I got to do with this?

Re:what does this accomplish (1)

deathy_epl+ccs (896747) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062929)

Indeed, it will be a good thing for the company to take the FTC to court and get the law struck down, not only as unconstitutional, but hopefully as stupid also. That might send a message to legislators who cry out "But think of the children!" and pass dumb laws as part of their election campaigns.

I'm afraid I don't have enough faith in the system to believe that the law would be struck down. The "think of the children" angle is incredibly effective, that's why it gets used so much for easy points in the polls.

As has been mentioned repeatedly in the conversation, though, Xanga failed to utilize the data they had at hand for the age of these children. It sounds like technical oversight to me based on what I read, but that is neither here nor there - whether malicious or not, they did not practice due diligence. I do not follow cases closely, but I think I'd have heard of a case where somebody got dinged hard in an unreasonable fashion, tied to how difficult it is to truly verify the age of the potential user... but they seem to accept that there is only so much one can do - and therefore, I'm not so sure that in practice, the law is unjust.

Re:what does this accomplish (2, Interesting)

kosmosik (654958) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063028)

> If, as you admit, there is no reasonable way for a website to
> enforce minimum-age restrictions,

I live in Poland/Europe. For starters. :)

Here when you are born you get a PESEL number which is date of birth +some ID. The same number is printed on your ID documents whenever you are an adult on a minor.

My point is that only you and the state knows that fe. 198402234214 == Jane Kowalski - so all websites need to do in order to verify age is require that PESEL number and then pass it to another organization that is trusted to send snail mail to the person owning the PESEL number. The company only knows the number (not the data associated to it) the special organization knows the address. Then the organization sends (via snail mail) token to verify in WWW service to the owner of the number (theoretically only the owner is entitled to read his own snail mail).

Of course it would be more expensive than just online registration (by few factors). But it depends on scale - if sending snail mail letter costs you $0.1 and on average you earn $10 on an user and 1/5 registered confirms tokens it is still viable.

That is how our biggest auction site operates (something like eBay) - but they need to verify the real adress and person, not the age. And it somehow works. :)

So I think that there may be reasonable ways.

Re:what does this accomplish (1)

kenj0418 (230916) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063102)

> If, as you admit, there is no reasonable way for a website to enforce minimum-age restrictions, then the law is unjust and should not be upheld.

This isn't about kids lying and saying they are 18 to view porn. This is kids saying their true age (or never being asked), and some company ignoring privacy and marketing and rules that limit how they can track and market to young children.

Go to http://www.budweiser.com/default.asp [budweiser.com] -- The first question you're asked is your birthday. If you're not 21 they send you a site for Anheuser-Busch theme parks instead of one about the beer.

Go to http://www.nickjr.com/ [nickjr.com] -- A popup will (try to) appear for a survey -- If you say you're under 13, the survey ends and the popup closes.

There *IS* a better law. (1)

raehl (609729) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063432)

No prohibition on collecting information based on age.

But, you can't distribute or use for marketing purposes any information that appears to be from someone 13 or under.

See, that wasn't that hard, was it?

Re:what does this accomplish (2, Interesting)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062675)

Well, according to the article what Xanga got in trouble for is not validating the birthdate the users gave to see if it was over 13. They just had to check a box stating that they were over 13. However, suppose they did put an extra check in there that rejected the user if the birthdate indicated they were under 13. The ones with minimal ability in math(given the trackrecord in education, I'm not sure how big a percentage of the local population that really is :P) would just change their birhdate to be older than 13.

But of course, the bigger issue is why the FTC and Xanga have to be parents to these kids. It's not like there isn't a massive ad campaign targeting internet ads, radio, tv, and billboards as well as countless news "exposes" about online predators. Parents cannot claim they didn't think their child could be targeted by these things. Parents need to have talks with their kids explaining the risks and above all educate themselves about what goes on. Parents can then monitor their childs internet activity or install filters at either the local or ISP level(though I'm not sure those ISPs that filter are even around anymore).

But who am I kidding? That would be taking personal responsibility for something, which is becoming vastly unpopular in America(and elsewhere really) these days. Even the conservatives like to exculpate themselves from their own bad behavior by blaming faceless entities....Now that I have gotten way off topic, I'll shut up now.

Re:what does this accomplish (2, Interesting)

tonyr1988 (962108) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062820)

It shouldn't be that easy for children (under 13) to accomplish. The article is correct - it should ask for the birthday, not a box.

An average 13 year old kid will know that they have to check the box to get in. Asking for a birthday (especially if you put it between some other boxes) won't get a second thought from most kids. It's an easy, yet effective (not perfect, but pretty close) age validation.

As far as the "kids will go back and change their birthday" - that's avoidable, too. I remember many years ago I tried signing up for a Yahoo account (goodbye positive karma), but was underage (I think you had to be 16. Either way, I wasn't old enough). They used the birthday trick. However, when I went back to change the birthday, they told me that I was trying to trick them. They kept a log of recently applied-for accounts that were denied because of age, and if too many fields match, they wouldn't let you re-apply.

Why can't Xanga do something like that? We're talking about "tricking" 13 year old kids to tell the truth about their age. It shouldn't be that hard.

Re:what does this accomplish (1)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062889)

They kept a log of recently applied-for accounts that were denied because of age, and if too many fields match, they wouldn't let you re-apply.

So...just sign up with completely false information under a new account. As far as Yahoo's concerned, I'm a 29 year old from Dallas, Texas with the name Marvin Fischer.

Unless there is Actual. Physical. Verification. there's absolutely nothing that can be done to verify these thing Kids are smart. Smarter than FTC brass, at least.

Re:what does this accomplish (1)

tonyr1988 (962108) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063031)

Why would you want your Xanga to be under someone else's name, e-mail address, birthday, and everything else that you aren't?

That's only for old men on MySpace.

Re:what does this accomplish (1)

Sage Gaspar (688563) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062931)

We're talking about "tricking" 13 year old kids to tell the truth about their age. It shouldn't be that hard.

You kidding me? Have you seen the amount of 999 year old people from Ishkabible, Alaskor on Yahoo? You get burned once, you don't do it again. These are kids trying to get access to whatever popular social site is out there right now... a simple age check isn't going to stop them from tracking down the most important things in their little pubescent lives, hehe.

Re:what does this accomplish (5, Insightful)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063145)

But of course, the bigger issue is why the FTC and Xanga have to be parents to these kids.

Because:

  1. people who can't be bothered to raise their own children want government to do it for them, and
  2. busybodies who want to tell other people how to raise their children want to use government as the the tool to compel compliance.

Re:what does this accomplish (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16062676)

I can only hope that this judgment will bring some much needed attention to the practices of the FTC. I don't know how they managed to amass the authority they now wield, but a line has to be drawn somewhere - this has gone too far for too long. Too many parents are trying to pass the responsibility of raising their kids on to the government. It is the role of the parents, not the FTC, to monitor and restrict what kids see and the activities they engage in.

Re:what does this accomplish (3, Insightful)

ChronosWS (706209) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062760)

Actually, it does matter. We should be outraged at ineffective or unrealistic laws such as this which only serve to penalize businesses because they go against the political whims of the day. Just because Congress wants a thing doesn't mean that thing is feasable or that we should be burdened with their unrealistic views of how things should be.

Re:what does this accomplish (2, Informative)

westlake (615356) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062791)

A 15 year old would not have a drivers license, a credit card, or any other indentification.

Pre-teens have been using plastic for quite some time now. Girls Say Hello Kitty To Hello Debit Card [washingtonpost.com] (2004)

Re:what does this accomplish (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16062822)

Why does it matter that it's a law if it's valueless?

Re:what does this accomplish (2, Interesting)

coleopterana (932651) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062826)

It's always been recognized that children under the age of 13 can do the following: unknowingly disclose personal information that makes them vulnerable to people skilled in exploiting and manipulating individuals with limited experience in some areas (like avoiding being prey) and lying about their ages. It's not going to be possible under most circumstances to background check a user's personal information such as his or her age--it's not feasible, it's expensive, and most of the time it's just a waste of time. So why do we even have this act where we require people to declare that they are 13, 18, 21 and up and so on? Well, if it's just that, it doesn't do any good. A 12 year old won't necessarily understand why they are supposde to be at least 13 to have an account on some site or interact with certain people and material, and that's where I think sites should probably, to comply with the spirit of the protection laid out in the law, advise people when registering on their sites WHY they are asking for ages, not just that they are complying with some particular legistation. The child who's aware of the potential that his or her personal information or details inadvertantly disclosed through action or writing on a site or in chat or on a blog like Xanga is much more likely, in my humble opinion and experience with such people, is going to be more careful about their information. We protect children because they don't always have the experience or perspective to think of the things that they could be doing or saying that make them vulnerable to acts by predatory individuals. I don't think so far the legislation is achieving that sort of goal because it's not directed at the people who are doing the revealing, it's been directed at the site owners and parents. These people have some responsibility for sure, but if you ignore the kids out there, you're just asking for trouble. I'd be interested to hear from people who own or run sites like Xanga on what they think about their responsibilities, both in the letter and the spirit of the law, and how they think things in any respect might be changed to be more informative and protective of a potentially vulnerable class of Internat users.

Re:what does this accomplish (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16063287)

Allowed HTML
<b> <i> <p> <br> <a> <ol> <ul> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <em> <strong> <tt> <blockquote> <div> <ecode>

Might I suggest the use of "<b>"?

Re:what does this accomplish (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16062827)

You'll never get me COPPA!
yea ok... someone had to say it.

COPPA does not exist to be a pain (2, Interesting)

joily (831974) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062958)

COPPA does not exist to be a pain, it exists as a way to help make sites that target tweens and children (intentionally or not) responsible for the content they are making public. It exists to protect children from having their personally identifiable info available in a public forum.

No one makes people enter into the business of social networking. Like any other business there are ethics and laws by which that business must abide. If a site is blatantly ignoring basic safeguards COPPA requires, they are breaking the law and should suffer the sanctions outlined under those laws.

Yes, parents should be the primary dispensers of the morals needed for their kids to navigate the sometimes age-inappropriate corners of the Internet. But if a site has an open journaling tool or has fields requesting information that would make a child easy to find and possibly hurt, that site DOES has an obligation (ethically and legally) to put the necessary hurdles in place to protect those children.

There are many levels of personal identification described in COPPA, all with different levels of verification needed. For example, if a child is signing up for a newsletter, no parental consent is needed. If their comments are not screened and made public, parental consent is needed.

There are many ways to verify parental consent. Credit card is one, 1-800 # is another, signed fax form is another. Once the parent agrees, anything the kid puts up is fair game. For more limited access, there is a new amendment to the act describing an email plus verification. The safeguards are actually not that hard, and many of those who target children specifically in their communities place much higher barriers to entry just to be sure.

Fines for COPPA violations are based on a per occurrence measurement.

And I am sure any of you who would like to donate your time or money to the exploration of more efficient and easier ways of verifiable parental consent would be greeted with open arms by the folks at the FTC.

Joi Podgorny
Director of Online Community
Star Farm Productions

Re:what does this accomplish (1)

suuutch (962666) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062986)

I think you misinterpreted the article. It wasn't the fact that Xanga was unable to verify the 13 year olds' ages, it was the private information they allowed these users they KNEW were 13 years old or younger to post.

the impossibility of verifying age (4, Informative)

JimBobJoe (2758) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063205)

I don't know how a 15 year old would go about this online.

A Time magazine article from a month or two ago indicated that the state attorney general's were having panicked meetings regarding this issue (including the famous quote from the Connecticut AG along the lines of "if we can put a man on the moon, we can verify age online.")

For a time they actually considered requiring sites like Myspace to collect SSNs...and according to the article, they rejected the idea once they realized that most of the world does not have an SSN, but does use the internets.

If that doesn't give you an idea of the caliber of people we're dealing with, I dunno what would. Requiring teens to submit their SSNs to use these types of sites would be a disaster along biblical proportions--imagine how easy phishing would be--all you'd need to do is send out an email that claims it's from Xanga needing your SSN.

Not much (1)

Iron (III) Chloride (922186) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062599)

I think that other sites may be more careful and attempt to at least appear to follow COPPA, but that truly little will change. As will all age-laws, they are not entirely comprehensive as many under-13 year olds are much more intelligent/mature than others.

Be a dog (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16062606)

'cause on the internet nobody knows that you're a dog.

Children have no rights (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16062626)

Thus, they have no rights online. Therefore, this should not be filed under YRO.

End of message.

Re:Children have no rights (1)

m0rph3us0 (549631) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062652)

Children have less rights, and even as an adult your rights in the US are curtailed by age. Being President and being able to drink just to name two common examples.

Re:Children have no rights (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16062840)

Children have no rights

That's right. That's why my father always asked me to do these stupid things; "Hey you don't have rights! ONLY OBLIGATIONS AND DUTIES!" when he used to whip me while I was working to bring in the money as a 10yo. "When you grow up you can have your own kids who have no rights", he used to say. Oh the fond times we had.

The older you get, the more rights you get and the less obligations, because you're more human when you're older. When you're a child, you're just an oversized spermazoid that's nagging at your parents head constantly for toys and food and love and stuff... Which you only deserve when you're a REAL human person.

You could use children to heat you at night, by burning them in the stove, they don't have rights, they can't go to court! Ha! and you can make plenty more of them... LEGALLY! and free...

Re:Children have no rights (2, Interesting)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062915)

Well children obviously do have rights - but more to the point, what about the rights of someone hosting a website?

The impact it'll have: (3, Interesting)

smellsofbikes (890263) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062630)

Sites will move their hosting out of the US, and their executives won't visit the US [slashdot.org] .

More realistically, social networking sites will add more verification layers (that don't work) for greater plausible deniability, and those that think they can, will start requiring credit card info.

Re:The impact it'll have: (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062882)

social networking sites will add more verification layers (that don't work) for greater plausible deniability, and those that think they can, will start requiring credit card info.

I think you'll find that an experienced trial attorney does not share your innocent faith in "plausible deniability" as a defense.

Am I over 13 yes yes yes (1)

VEGETA_GT (255721) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062633)

most of these sites just ask are u over 13, or over 18/19/21 depending on the state you live in. All you do is click yes, and you are in. What kid in there right mind well get there parents premision to be on a social site for fun, I never would when I was a kid.

Re:Am I over 13 yes yes yes (3, Insightful)

bunions (970377) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062665)

None, that's not the issue. Apparently Xanga has been doing exactly what any rational person would do in the face of a pointless law: ignoring it completely.


n its complaint, the FTC alleged that Xanga, a rival to the popular MySpace.com, allegedly permitted creation of 1.7 million accounts by users who submitted birthdays indicating they were under 13.


It's a shame that someone will actually have to pay a fine for this bullshit, but really, they shoulda known.

Re:Am I over 13 yes yes yes (1)

Geoffreyerffoeg (729040) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062784)

Apparently Xanga has been doing exactly what any rational person would do in the face of a pointless law: ignoring it completely.

Apparently you have never been part of a large organization that has faced a lawsuit.

Xanga should have at least have the common sense to reject registrations under 13. If it's a pointless law, put something subversive but legal like "Please enter a birth date before 1993." Civil disobedience is fine for individuals who can go to jail and then write a book about it. It's not good corporate policy though.

Re:Am I over 13 yes yes yes (1)

bunions (970377) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062798)

I understand that - I didn't mean to imply that it was a good idea on their part, I just didn't want to sound like I thought the law was anything more than a pantsload.

It depends... (1)

iPodUser (879598) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062640)

"What impact, if any, do you think this will have on other community sites that may not always follow the COPPA statutes?" I think it will depend on how popular the sites are - if a site has only a modest number of users, it can probably count on a low profile to stay safe; the larger communities will probably make an effort to comply due to their higher visibility.

How does one verify their age? (1)

BlahMatt (931052) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062645)

How exactly is a site supposed to enforce this kind of agreement? On the TOS it says that you must be over 13 to sign up for this site. Beyond that age verification gets costly and irritating. I for one am not going to give my credit card number to a site simply for age verification. AND, if you are over 13, there is no guarantee that you will be able to prove that over the internet.

What we actually need is fewer lawsuits from the FTC and have the FTC put their money into a viable and secure way to verify age over the internet. While it won't stop everyone, it will stop many.

Proof? (5, Funny)

HockeyPuck (141947) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062647)

How do you prove that a kid got his parent's permission?

Have your parent click here [__] to proceed.

Re:Proof? (2, Funny)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062688)

My sister once joined a site that required a mailing or faxing of a permission form. I don't know how they would verify that, as much as how they would verify that someone is over 13.

Re:Proof? (5, Funny)

bunions (970377) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062700)

if it's on Rainbow Brite or My Pretty Pony stationary, or if it's written in crayon, you are denied. Otherwise, you're in.

Re:Proof? (1)

jZnat (793348) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063495)

Oh, that's the standard COPPA form that uses ancient analogue methods of verification.

Won't someone think of the children? QWZX (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16062658)

Let's face it, our society coddles children far too much, parents included. We should have laws that protect the privacy of kids -- but the other way. Kids should have the fundamental human right to access any information they want. Kids should be trusted to know for themselves what's good and what's not. How else are they going to learn?

It should be considered child abuse for parents or anyone to intentionally keep kids away from whatever they want to access. If they're old enough to want it, they're old enough to get it.

Re:Won't someone think of the children? QWZX (1)

FLEB (312391) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063477)

Ahh, but children are stupid.

That is to say: they tend to be more gullible, have less life experience and less insight as to how they can be victimized, have less maturity and less self-control. Perhaps if the Internet were one-way, and kids couldn't input their own information, it would be more acceptable, but we're trusting the people we remind not to take candy from a random goon in a van not to give out their address and personal information on a messageboard to someone they've been talking to for a significant amount of time.

That said, goatse et al should be part of the Internet Welcome Kit for the whole family. Toughen 'em up a bit.

Parents Responsibility? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16062664)

If sites are held accountable for verifying the age of users (a very difficult task) what should the parents be responsible for when thier child bypasses measures in place?

"allowed" (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062673)

this seems sort of silly. What if the kid lies? Do they need to start collecting DNA and verify against the national database? Hope that no adult shares their account with a kid, or a stolen CC is used?

Take this far enough and NO site will able to function taht has any age requirement. Oh wait, but its for the kids, and can raise taxes.. lets go push this thru!

Childs right to privacy? (4, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062689)

I thought they had none, according to the last case i heard of the government/school searching students at will. " children do not have the same rights as adults "...

Lets make up our minds, ok?

Re:Childs right to privacy? (1)

ScaryFroMan (901163) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062843)

That's at school. Otherwise, children have most rights, including that of privacy.

I don't really see the problem here (2, Informative)

pcgamez (40751) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062690)

From the article, the following happened:

People were first presented with a question asking if they were over 13. If the users clicked yes, they proceeded to the registration page. The registration page included fields for birthdays. People who had lied on the first part could then enter their age. The form did not automatically reject users whose birthdates were not at least 13 years prior. In this case it looks like (IANAL) Xanda DID comply with the law. The FTC seems to be punishing them for making it "too easy" to get around it. This is where I have a problem. Where does it end? The FTC could just as easily say requiring a CC (to verify age) is too easy because they could borrow someone else's. There doesn't seem to be a hard line for where reasonable precautions start and end.

"According to the Federal Trade Commission, children who wanted to open a Xanga account didn't even have to show that level of ingenuity. Children merely had to check a box confirming they were over 13, according to FTC lawyer Mary Engle -- even if they'd previously entered a birth date indicating they were under 13. "

Sure, not kids can just as easily lie like they do on myspace and put a different birth year.

Re:I don't really see the problem here (1)

FLEB (312391) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063485)

If it starts with "F" and it ends with "C", chances are it's going to involve fuzzy definitions, arbitrary and variable interpretations, and gigantic monetary fines. It just comes with the territory.

Misguided, overzealous propaganda (4, Insightful)

adf2006 (998737) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062718)

What more could they have done? They asked for age verification upon sign-up. No parent is going to give their thirteen year old child a credit card for the use of age verification on a site like that.

The policy makes sense, parents should know what their pre-teen children are doing. The problem is that this is the parents responsibility, not the website providing the service. It's one thing for a movie theater or porn-shop to let minors in, it's on their premises. These kids are (mostly) accessing the internet from their own home, where the parents should be able to monitor their activities.

There's only so much that can be done and putting a million dollar fine on Xanga is a completely ridiculous way to try and make the government look like it's actually doing something to help the problem. They're laying a huge portion of the blame in the wrong camp.

There is a problem, this is clearly an overzealous attempt at creating an appearance of action to hide the fact that there is simply nothing effective that they can really do. Xanga is the unfortunate victim.

Re:Misguided, overzealous propaganda (1)

mgabrys_sf (951552) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062851)

Not foolproof, but I thought the idea of hitting pop-culture within a certain age-timeframe was a neat trick when introduced in "Leisure Suit Larry" years ago.

Re:Misguided, overzealous propaganda (1)

element-o.p. (939033) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063220)

It's one thing for a movie theater or porn-shop to let minors in, it's on their premises. These kids are (mostly) accessing the internet from their own home, where the parents should be able to monitor their activities.

Exactly. Not to mention that at a movie theater or porn shop the owner/operator/minimum-wage-clerk-at-the-counter can *see* that the person requesting said services is under age. While I suppose it is technically possible to make it a requirement to use a webcam to record anyone wishing to sign up for a new account (which would then be reviewed before the request was granted) I don't see this becoming a trend among social networking sites any time soon...imagine the logistics of trying to review a million teenagers' enrollment interviews.

Even worse, what with the crap on youtube, I'd hate to think what...ahem...creative...footage the webcams would capture <shudder>

The going rate on Children. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16062722)

Wow, it only costs $1,000,000 to ignore child privacy? Myspace must be pissed with itself. At fines like that, how can they afford NOT to allow 11 year old cam whores on their site? They complied and implemented better child protections, only to loose their competitive edge and see their competitors surge ahead in advertising revenues from "Bratz" dolls and voyeur equipment companies,

(an after thought) ...and trial Lawyer groups. "Have you been molested by someone you met online? Have you molested someone you met online? Call the offices of XYZ, and we will sue everybody over it, cause thats who should be responsible in the place of deadbeat parents and poor upbringings. EVERYBODY ELSE"

Rupert Murdoch this morning, "Damn! Damn! Think of the children! Only 1-mil upfront, and we could have cornered that market! Think of the children, I say!"

What effect will the websites have on the law? (4, Insightful)

xiphoris (839465) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062724)

What effect will the websites have on the law? That's the question I would ask.

Laws like this are clearly unenforceable. More importantly, it is not morally the website's job to police the people who visit it. It's the job of the parents. Legislators don't seem to win their positions based on campaigns of parental responsibility, however. The trend seems to be "blame everyone else for your kid's problems".

Look at the crap going on involving Grand Theft Auto: someone makes a game modification to show a tit, a tit that isn't even available without modifying the game, and tons of legislators go apeshit about how it's inappropriate for children. Clearly these people aren't worried about justice, and instead are worried about winning the votes of emotional parents, the Security Moms.

A reasonable argument can be made that, for example, liquor stores have a duty to prevent children from buying alcohol in them. However, you must also consider that it is extremely easy and reliable to verify the age of store patrons. No analogy exists online -- it is impossible.

Expecting websites to perform such policing is unquestionably unfair, and I suspect that the courts will agree. The law might have effect on some websites in the short term. In the long term, the websites will have the law overturned as unreasonable.

We just have to hope that the justices who hear these cases really have an interest in justice, unlike the legislators who passed these braindead laws in the first place.

America needs to raise its own damn children (and I say this as an American)

Re:What effect will the websites have on the law? (3, Insightful)

bunions (970377) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062763)

> America needs to raise its own damn children (and I say this as an American)

Yes and no. The US is really schitzophrenic about this. On one hand it's hyperprotective about ludicrous bullshit (cf: GTA) and on the other hand it won't even provide decent free lunches to poor kids. It's sort of baffling.

Re:What effect will the websites have on the law? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16062992)

Yeah, but GTA exists, free lunches don't.

I keed, I keed!

Re:What effect will the websites have on the law? (1)

raehl (609729) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063460)

it won't even provide decent free lunches to poor kids. It's sort of baffling.

I don't understand the source of your confusion. The problem is there are too many children living below the poverty line. If you don't feed them, that number goes down. Seems like the natural solution to me.

Re:What effect will the websites have on the law? (1)

frank_adrian314159 (469671) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063462)

On one hand it's hyperprotective about ludicrous bullshit and on the other hand it won't even provide decent free lunches to poor kids. It's sort of baffling

Well, duhhhh... One of them looks like it's protecting children and the other would cost us money. Still baffled?

Re:What effect will the websites have on the law? (1)

Mad Marlin (96929) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063057)

Clearly these people aren't worried about justice, and instead are worried about winning the votes of emotional parents, the Security Moms.

Do we see now why letting women vote was a bad idea ... ;-)

What About the parents? (1)

Swordless Samurai (982348) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062742)

I know sites like Xanga and MySpace should provide safeguards to the kids, But what about the parents? Why can't we sue them for not protecting their children? Why is it always the large corperation's fault, and never the parents?

Re:What About the parents? (3, Insightful)

Jason1729 (561790) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062802)

Because the US is all about avoiding blame and responsibility. It's why there's so many punitive lawsuits and lawyers in the country.

Re:What About the parents? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16062818)

Yes, lets think about this reasonably:
How much time would a... lets say... 12 year old have to spend trolling around myspace, find someone (or by found by someone? How do these things even happen?) build a relationship, trust, work out details for meeting, etc.... 4 hours Total? 5 Hours? 10 Hours? 3 hours a day? I can't believe it would happen in one afternoon.
In any case, apparently during this ENTIRE FLIPPIN time, no parent was EVER remotely aware of the childs activities in the least bit (otherwise this would imply tacit consent - if I see my kid cutting off his toes and I do nothing, I am definitely an involved party)

And lets not forget the age here: under 13. Does ANYONE remember what they were even like at that age? Certainly politicians do not. I sure as hell would have *^%*ed myself up pretty bad with out at least a little paternal guidance and RESOLVE- I didn't even know what legislation was, I certainly wasn't going to heed it when I was disobeying my parents.

Only courts can fine I thought... (1)

Frank T. Lofaro Jr. (142215) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062772)

Sounds like they settled with the FTC.

They should've fought, legal fees would very likely be less than $1M.

How much could a court fine them had they fought and lost? More than $1M?

Re:Only courts can fine I thought... (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062807)

They should've fought, legal fees would very likely be less than $1M.

IANAL but....

HAHAAHAAHAHAAHAH!

Re:Only courts can fine I thought... (1)

Frank T. Lofaro Jr. (142215) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062825)

Even at $1K an hour, $1M will take a long time.

Look at the RIAA and MPAA they don't spend that much.

And as far as I know the FTC has NEVER, EVER, won a court judgement for any monetary damages for a COPPA violation. Not one penny.

All the payments have been settlements, every last one. Even Hersheys and Misses Fields.

Plus even if they spend over $1M being able to do business without interference would make them more money in the future.

Re:Only courts can fine I thought... (1)

Jack Sombra (948340) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063091)

Trust me, court costs would be well over a million. You don't hire just "one lawer" to fight against the army of them that the FTC would toss at you, you would have to hire a army yourself, prefurably a better one too This is the problem with the western legal system, unless the case is a slam dunk one way or the other even before it hits the court in the majority of cases it does not come done to guilt or innocence but rather who has the better or more (or both) lawyer(s) Case like this would have cost them 10's of millions to fight, if neither side decided to appeal once first verdict came in, if they did sky would be the limit.

Re:Only courts can fine I thought... (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063178)

They should've fought, legal fees would very likely be less than $1M.
Fighting the FTC would have resulted in publicity for the fight, which would likely have led to pressure on schools and other places to block access to Xanga, which would have potentially cost them much more than the legal fees and expenses. Though I doubt it would cost them less than $1 million in legal expenses to fight it if the FTC was really serious.

Too wordy (1)

mgabrys_sf (951552) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062794)

If you really want a sensationalist headline you need to tighten that baby up a bit.

Try:

"FTC Fines Xanga for Violating Kids"

That one is a nice head turner.

Simple Solution (1)

jvance (416133) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062805)

DON'T COLLECT PERSONAL INFORMATION, STUPID!

Sheesh!

Yes, lameness filter, I want to yell.
Yes, lameness filter, I want to yell.
Yes, lameness filter, I want to yell.
Yes, lameness filter, I want to yell.
Yes, lameness filter, I want to yell.
Yes, lameness filter, I want to yell.
Yes, lameness filter, I want to yell.
Yes, lameness filter, I want to yell.
Yes, lameness filter, I want to yell.
Yes, lameness filter, I want to yell.

So use a fake birthdate. (1)

Cybert4 (994278) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062838)

I have a fake birthdate (I'm over 21 anyway, but the real one can be used for identity theft). I also have a fake name and zip code (way away from where I am) handy. I want to correlate a good fake address and phone number for that too. Helps to always use the same thing. I don't see why kids can't do all the same thing.

Kids' Privacy is a top priority (3, Insightful)

ajenteks (943860) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062855)

From TA: "Protecting kids' privacy online is a top priority for America's parents, and for the FTC," FTC Chairman Deborah Platt Majoras said in a statement. Apparently it's not enough of a priority to the parents with underage children signing up on Xanga, or these parents would be stepping in themselves.

Re:Kids' Privacy is a top priority (1)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062906)

The problem is that (many) parents are taking the tack that the "Nanny State" should do their jobs for them.

        Brett

Re:Kids' Privacy is a top priority (1)

ajenteks (943860) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062998)

Yeah, it's really disheartening. There have been so many great examples of how sole reliance on the government for anything can be disastrous, be it protection from the big bad terrorists or natural occurrences, to border control. The idea that anyone would put their children's welfare in the like hands of the people who run the IRS and FEMA is just absurd.

What about the parents? (3, Insightful)

Skynyrd (25155) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062880)

Why are parents allowing their 12 year olds to surf the net without supervision?
It isn't the government's problem to solve - it belongs to the parents.

Of course, it's the US, so it'll never fall in the lap of the sperm & egg donor.

Re:What about the parents? (3, Insightful)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063147)

Okay this is getting on my nerves.. It really is because Slashdot makes no bloody sense!

We act like we weren't children and we'll be the ultimate parents. We'll know where our kids are 24/7 and have RFID tags in their penis to stop them getting anyone pregnant or whatever magic pixie dust solution it is.

50 years ago kids did stuff they shouldn't, 1000 years ago they did, even today they do. That's because it's what kids do. If they can't get on Xanga/MySpace/whatever at home they will find a way to do it. Beg, borrow or steal you'll not stop a kid who desires something you try to keep out of his hands.

We bitch about over-protective soccer mums and then act like every bad kid is bad because the parents didn't do "the right thing". SHUT UP ABOUT IT! Some kids are just bad, some kids are just nerds, some kids want to screw their mother. That is how life is, everyone is different and while on mass people are generally okay that does not mean there are no bad apples and "parenting" can fix the ones that are.

Some times it's not possible to babysit your kids every second of the day. You have other things to do and hope for the best, most of the time it works out and you get away with it but once in a while it doesn't. This is not bad parenting, this is being a HUMAN BEING. Maybe we should hand-cuff parents and kids together, after all it's not like mothers and fathers need to pee any more, so it's fine if their kids follow them every where right?

I know this is rather trollish but damn it, you guys need to get off your high horses and accept that parents are meer mortals just like us! They can't be in 6 places at once and some times the greater evil comes before going Big brother on their 12 year old reading e-mails from their friends about how awesomely cool Ninja turtles was this week.

Re:What about the parents? (2, Insightful)

Chanc_Gorkon (94133) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063370)

Um....I don't know about you, but it sounds like you have never been a parent. It's incredibly EASY to figure out where kids are. Hell I am 35 and my mom still knows what I do. I know what my son does and where he goes. While I will agree that it's impossible to know exactly where they are every second of the day, it's pretty easy to control WHAT they do in your house:

1. NO computer in their room until they are 18. Sorry.....doesn't happen. Not saying they can have thier own, it just WILL NOT be in their room.

2. No computer use period if one of us isn't either home or awake. Break the rules and I will know (I will use Linux and check the access logs....).

3. Any violation of said rules will result in their computer turning into a server for dad's use.

Now I am a geek....things will be different in my house because I know how to do these things. If I didn't, I would only take away the log thing (as I would not know how to do it...thank god I am a geek).

This sounds draconian, but even I did not know enough to stay away from things like this until I was about 20 believe it or not. I remember when I was 20, I met a girl online and went to go meet her at her house. Found out she was 15. She told me she was 19. I counselled her a little and then left a little wiser. If I didn't quiz her on her real age, I could have went to jail and been labelled a sexual predator. From then on, I knew better. The bad thing that may have happened if the roles were reversed and I wasn't a nice guy. Kids simply do not have the where with all to understand how unsafe talking to people online can be especially if they go from the virtual world to meat space.

Oh I accept that at certain times, they will be out of my control. However, it's really easy to just meet the parents of thier best friends. Even simply a phone call would be more then enough for me to get what is going to happen at the friends house. It's surpising to me how many people take the stance that you can't know everything about your child. It must be beneath parents to talk to their kids! By just talking to my son, I knew his friends were Garrick and Nicholas and by the end of the school year, I knew thier parents pretty well and all I did was talk to them. I'd have let him go to either of his best friends house.

It's ok to have friends outside of your kids lives, but it's best to try to make friends with the parents of any of your kids best friends.

Just little things like this makes it pretty easy to know what your kid is doing and when. Its called parental responsibility.

Re:What about the parents? (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063195)

Big deal! I let my 5 year old surf the net without supervision! Of course, she can't read, so she is unlikely to get into very involved discussions with predators... the problem is not that predators can make contact with underage persons online, the problem is that underage persons are stupid enough to arrange real world meetings with people they met online!

The irony if the COPPA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16062883)

It's ironic that because of this law, to "protect children's privacy", websites are REQUIRED BY LAW to get the age of thier visitors, while otherwise children would not be required to give this information.

Daft law (1)

Jayjay75 (468973) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062963)

It's really a daft law in the first place. It's supposed to protect the online privacy of children under age 13, but then the same law demands that websites violate COPPA by gathering personal information about these kids in order to verify their age. The law requires that we violate it in order to comply with it.

Re:Daft law (1)

cswiger2005 (905744) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063097)

It's a daft law, agreed, but when a website asks someone whether they are under 13 and they answer yes, the website is supposed to discard any information they have provided. It's pretty easy to do if you are using something like Apple's WebObjects or another session-based web architecture to implement the website.

Ignorance is Bliss (2)

solinari (69433) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063029)

A quick summary of this situation:

A) They had a "Are you over 13" check box
B) They had a entered birthdate

They only checked A, but not B, to determine if a user could register. If they hadn't asked for B, then A would have been sufficient as a "legal" check under this law. Also, if they had checked B, the users would have very likely gone back and lied about it, but they still would have been legal.

The fact that these checks are easily bypassed is not the issue at hand. Instead it is much like the issue with saved search data or saved email. Any piece of data, especially "people" data, that you save can potentially bring liability for you down the road. Both Xanga and Google in Brazil are examples of this principle.

In the past we've seen the manta "Storage is Cheap." Any time there's data, why not just hang onto it? You might be able to use it for something, someday. That has already proven to be a bad idea in many circumstanes (and it sure to get worse as more and more politicians start to realize how powerful all that aggregate data can be). A better rule is any time there is data that anyone might want for purposes other than immediate application, get rid of it as soon as reasonably possible!

Courts do not expect you to check data that you didn't collect because you didn't need it. Brazil cannot order you to turn over data that you don't have. You can still get in trouble, but they will need to establish that you're committing some kind of crime by keeping less personal data on people. That's a much harder standard to argue!

In short, ignorance is bliss, a principle for the digital millenium.

When you know your users... (1)

qcs-rf.com (952717) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063062)

I am a youth leader at my church and I administer phpbb2 forums on our youth group website where the youth can talk about things online between Sunday nights. In this case, because I know all the youth that have joined or will be joining, I had to hack the phpbb2 code to get rid of the COPPA-related code. I also disabled new members from posting automatically, and I have to approve them before they can post or reply. That way I make sure I know who's joining my youth group forums and it keeps the gambling-site-spammers at bay.

GameFAQs (2, Interesting)

MostAwesomeDude (980382) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063090)

GameFAQs has a very interesting policy which perhaps might save sites like Xanga and MySpace from getting reamed with fines. Anytime somebody on GameFAQs makes a post which implies or states that the user is underage, their account is immediately suspended pending verification of age. If the person really is underage, then their account is suspended until they are old enough.

What impact? (1)

Eq 7-2521 (159354) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063127)

What impact, if any, has COPPA had on anything?

Re:What impact? (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063156)

Well, as this settlement reveals, its provided the FTC the ability to force social sites to create rating systems for user generated content. Some people might argue that that has little to do with children's online privacy.

Not a Fine (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063132)

Xanga settled with the FTC for $1 million dollars plus certain policy changes (such as setting up a community moderation system which allows users to flag other users as "underage", and setting up a rating system for user created content), they weren't fined $1 million.

The difference is important; a settlement doesn't mean anything was proven, it means Xanga felt the cost of complying with the settlement terms was worth paying considering the cost of fighting the issue and the risk that they might be fined.

And, really, looking the settlement terms, it looks like the FTC may well have been looking not for real violations, but an opportunity to impose defacto standards by finding someone who'd be willing to settle; particularly the requirement for a rating system for user-generated content looks like an effort to start imposing new rules on the web through bullying that would have little chance of being imposed by legislation or regular public rulemaking (but, once established in several settlements like this with large sites, might have a better chance of being imposed by law or rule on every site allowing public access and community-generated content.)
 

Why not fine the kids (1)

SQLz (564901) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063133)

After all, I could go to this site and say I'm 11 years old and they could rack up more fines.

I love the USA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16063167)

If your 13, you can... buy and play games which depect sexual violence, disembodyment, satanic ritual, murder of inocents, horific gore and blood curding horror, without having to ask your parents.

But you can't make a account on a website without the permission of your parents.

Even more funny, the courts inforce both of these strongly.

When I was 13 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16063263)

The people I wanted to protect my privacy from WERE my parents.

This puts the burden on the wrong people (2, Insightful)

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063322)

Don't ask the kids their ages. Ask everyone if they're a pedophile. Anyone who says yes is barred from signing up. It works for keeping terrorists out of the country.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...