Comment on Comment Period Open for AO3 Terms of Service Updates

  1. I just wanted to let you know that when I was reading the Draft of the new ToS, age policy I found the definition of who was age-barred confused. It wasn't clear whether or not all user's under the age of 16 who lived in the EU were age-barred, or just those who were not of age in their country.
    I was also wondering if guests who left a comment or kudos would have to verify their age? Will age-barred users be able to use the archive in any capacity (for example simply reading stories on the site) ?

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    1. Thanks for asking, and for your comment about the age-bar definition. That is something others have pointed out as well, so we plan to clarify it when the ToS go live. Only users who are not of age in their country of residence or citizenship will be age-barred. (Also, as noted above, if it turns out that the EU applies the GDPR to tourists visiting EU countries, we will need to update the ToS to incorporate that issue.) The way it will be formulated is that all users under the age of 16 who reside in or are citizens of an EU country will be age-barred unless their nation permits data collection from individuals under the age of 16, and they meet their nation's age requirements for data collection; they will still be age-barred if they are under 13, which is our longstanding worldwide policy.

      Regarding guests: like many other sites, all users (whether guests or logged-in) will need to acknowledge their agreement to the Terms of Service (by clicking on a pop-up or equivalent mechanism). This isn't a significant change from the past: the Terms of Service always stated that users needed to meet the site's age requirements (at the time, age 13) to use the site, whether logged-in or not. The only changes are to satisfy EU requirements: first, the increase in age for EU users (from 13 to 13-16 depending on their residency/citizenship); and second, that users will need to click to show active (rather than passive) agreement to the terms when they arrive at the site.

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