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  1. #1
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    Any website age restrictions that actually work?
    Hello,

    I'm looking to make a website but I want to restrict the users to those between the ages of 14 and 27 (or something similar).
    I want to do something like Facebook did when it was in its beginning stages, it only allowed students with a Harvard email address to register and this made the website exclusive only to Harvard students. However, I don't think it will be efficient to just make registration based on an email address especially since some people between the ages of 16 and 27 don't have school email addresses and it will be costly and time consuming.

    Simply telling people they have to be between the ages of 16 and 27 will not work. Using an email address to verify your age will not work either.
    I can't seem to think of any way to actually separate those between 16 and 27 from the rest.

    I know myspace had a very similar problem where they asked members to send in a photo of themselves just to confirm their username and their age (or something like that). But to be honest, no visitor will want to do that.
    There is also the possibility of using a credit card to confirm that you are over 18, however, I need people from the ages of 14 to 27 and also I don't think visitors will appreciate that. I know I wouldn't

    Would any of you know a solution to my problem?

    N.B: I was reading "facebook: Children evade social websites' age limits" on the guardian.

  2. #2
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    Jofesh,

    I came from an industry where I had a similar issue. I suspect you are looking at targeting the education market since you are looking at using school email adresses.

    Age verification in general is tremendously hard. I assume you have already done an analysis of allowing all ALL to register but marketing towards your specific age group? My point is that if you target your marketing efforts correctly you will by nature verify the age of the people coming to your site. Will you get some people outside those bounds? Sure, but they won't be a majority.

    Now I'm curious as to why you have that specific age range nailed down. Without posting the link or going into too much detail what is your project?

  3. #3
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    You can also denote those ages in your registration form, hold in queue then deny if outside of your age target. People are inherently honest unless they are minors who want access adult aged sites/information. They can always re-register with another email address but it will slow down 99% (estimate).

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by brandonmbeard View Post
    Jofesh,

    I came from an industry where I had a similar issue. I suspect you are looking at targeting the education market since you are looking at using school email adresses.

    Age verification in general is tremendously hard. I assume you have already done an analysis of allowing all ALL to register but marketing towards your specific age group? My point is that if you target your marketing efforts correctly you will by nature verify the age of the people coming to your site. Will you get some people outside those bounds? Sure, but they won't be a majority.

    Now I'm curious as to why you have that specific age range nailed down. Without posting the link or going into too much detail what is your project?
    To be honest, the idea is still circulating in my head. I usually have so many ideas that I don't end up finishing any of them. In general its more of a social network for young people between the ages of 14 and 27. Actually, it's not even a social network its more like via.me, pinterest, youtube, facebook and twitter put into one.
    The idea will take allot of work to produce but limiting the audience only to those between 14-27 will allow for easier and more profitable affiliate marketing and target marketing.

    You can also denote those ages in your registration form, hold in queue then deny if outside of your age target. People are inherently honest unless they are minors who want access adult aged sites/information. They can always re-register with another email address but it will slow down 99% (estimate).
    Because its mainly targeted at teenagers, they want their own space to 'be themselves', they cannot express they individuality if grandma patty or auntie sally can read everything they have written. And because it takes the form of a social network there will most likely be parental concerns about "privacy" and "keeping safe on the Internet" etc.

    That being said, I think that parents will sometimes stop at nothing to make sure that their children behave accordingly on social networks or to make sure that their children are 'safe'. They will eventually find a way to get in. However, if you find a way to fully forbid people outside the age boundaries to enter, you will have no problem.




    Sorry that the idea is not really to do with Affiliate marketing but the last time I asked for help on this forum, I received allot of help.

  5. #5
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    I get your business model and am not aware of the legal grounds for keeping parents off. It opens up the opportunity for pedophiles to cruise the site too as they won't be stopped by anything you can put in place short of a check against the national registry which can be gamed. I am sure you have thought these things through and all you can do is make it more difficult for parents/guardians to access the site. The Harvard example was a jumping off point and not a business plan plus he hacked their data. My 12 year old has a Gmail account created by his grade school to receive teachers emails meaning they don't require .edu emails any more.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick View Post
    I get your business model and am not aware of the legal grounds for keeping parents off. It opens up the opportunity for pedophiles to cruise the site too as they won't be stopped by anything you can put in place short of a check against the national registry which can be gamed. I am sure you have thought these things through and all you can do is make it more difficult for parents/guardians to access the site. The Harvard example was a jumping off point and not a business plan plus he hacked their data. My 12 year old has a Gmail account created by his grade school to receive teachers emails meaning they don't require .edu emails any more.
    Well, he hacked into their personal data to make 'facemash'. The email address was harvard.edu. Facebook allowed registration based on the Harvard email address, no harvard.edu, no access. I can back that up through the book "The Facebook Effect" and wikipedia-"The Web site's membership was initially limited by the founders to Harvard students, but was expanded to other colleges in the Boston area, the Ivy League, and Stanford University."
    This made Facebook exclusive only to Harvard students and kept out everyone else but to do something like that today is really hard because as you mentioned:
    "My 12 year old has a Gmail account created by his grade school to receive teachers emails meaning they don't require .edu emails any more."
    And since everyone has an email address, that wont help me separate the 14-27 group from the rest.

    As for
    It opens up the opportunity for pedophiles to cruise the site too as they won't be stopped by anything you can put in place short of a check against the national registry which can be gamed.
    To be honest, this shouldn't happen as they won't have access to it just like parents wont. Another thing to do is to make all profiles private but that wont guarantee that children wont accept a friend request from people they don't know.

    I was in Romania to visit a friend of mine. They have this really nice thing called "CNP" roughly translated to Personal Numeric Code which is given to everyone at birth.
    It comes in the following order 1 19 02 93 ... where 1 stands for gender (1-male and 2-female), 19 is date you were born, 02 is month, '93 is year and there are other numbers such as city code, etc.
    I saw this being used by Orange... they had plans for people aged 16 to 18 and 18 to 24. In order to activate this deal you had to send in your "CNP" which they would validate and approve or disprove.
    The way I see it is that if there is a similar scenario which can be applied worldwide, a simple message can be send to the user and this message will contain a number for every CNP accepted, then this number can be used to make an account. Now I really need to find this worldwide scenario.

  7. #7
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    CNP won't fly here in the US! You could require a social security number but to my understanding the US government doesn't offer their database to commercial ventures. Not everyone gets one until needed for a job or checking account.

    I wasn't being literal with the Harvard example and its not relevant to your purpose. I don't have an answer to your need but perhaps another member can chime in.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick View Post
    CNP won't fly here in the US! You could require a social security number but to my understanding the US government doesn't offer their database to commercial ventures. Not everyone gets one until needed for a job or checking account.

    I wasn't being literal with the Harvard example and its not relevant to your purpose. I don't have an answer to your need but perhaps another member can chime in.
    Ok, thanks for the input.

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