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Topic: What do you do if you suspect.....

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Subject: What do you do if you suspect.....
Date Posted: 2/23/2009 10:29 PM ET
Member Since: 4/13/2007
Posts: 834
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That someone on the site is a minor.  I have no proof....there is no profile.....but I suspect they may be because of the wording of the PM they sent me along with the books listed on their bookshelf.  I will be the first person to say that just because you have all childrens books posted on your shelf....doesn't make you underage.....but this is the first time that I have thought that someone sending me a book might be.  I have a book on my wish list that came up through FIFO and the sender accepted and then sent me a PM.  They could possibly be handicapped or a poor typist.....What do I do?

Date Posted: 2/23/2009 10:31 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,555
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If you suspect the person's a minor, use the "contact us" link at the bottom of this page to send a note to the PBS team.  Quote the PM to them and leave it in your PM inbox so they can see it.  They can check things out.

Date Posted: 2/23/2009 10:34 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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I have a talent for finding members who are minors.  I've turned in about 5 people because their profile said their age.  It makes me feel bad because I want everyone - especially kids - to read.  But I know the reason for the rules.  Once it was a member I'd ordered a book from.  His father got a membership and the kid sent me my book!

Ruth

Date Posted: 2/24/2009 9:42 AM ET
Member Since: 8/31/2008
Posts: 2,608
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They could have a disability, or perhaps it is merely that English is not their first language?

Date Posted: 2/24/2009 9:47 AM ET
Member Since: 6/25/2007
Posts: 5,637
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Unless the person's age listed in their profile was under 18, I wouldn't do anything.



Last Edited on: 2/24/09 9:47 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/24/2009 10:12 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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Last Edited on: 10/3/10 7:23 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/24/2009 10:36 AM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,300
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This one I'd probably leave alone unless you can somehow ascertain their age.  I turned in one who listed their age (and they were underage) and they were pulled by TPTB.  Pat

Date Posted: 2/24/2009 12:34 PM ET
Member Since: 4/13/2007
Posts: 834
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Thanks everyone for the advice.  I agree that their shelf & wish list doesn't peg them as a minor.  It was more the PM and the one book review they did that made me suspect.

Thanks again

 

Date Posted: 2/24/2009 12:59 PM ET
Member Since: 5/16/2008
Posts: 2,178
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It amazes me that adults today have such poor writing skills. A woman I work with is a college graduate and writes at, honestly, the elementary school level. I understand that not everyone is a grammar nerd like me (I'm a technical writer and have a masters in the stuff!) but even what I see on the forums and reviews... shocks me. I also do a lot of penpalling, and some of the letters I get are from women in their 40s and 50s, who honestly sound like they can't possibly have graduated from kindergarten (and the handwriting - my goodness!). So, I'd say go ahead with the trade and feel fine about it. I think the chances of it being a minor are probably slim.

Date Posted: 2/24/2009 4:49 PM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2007
Posts: 13,134
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I have wondered what, if anything to do about this---I had a WL book come up awhile back and of course I accepted.  When I clicked on the sender's profile, it lists age as 17 and indicates they've been a member here for 3 years

Date Posted: 2/24/2009 5:12 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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Well, one could think that after 3 years they might jave been caught - seems a little too late to kick them off although they shouldn't be here.  It might be that TPTB need to go look at the purchases this member has made to see if they made good age appropriate choices or went "Spring Break" wild with X-rated books.  I would let a Tour Guide know and let them decide what needed to be done. It would be too bad if they were going to be 18 next week!

Ruth

Date Posted: 2/24/2009 5:19 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2008
Posts: 2,007
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I agree with you Heather, and I also decry the abysmal language skills shown in many public forums.  It is particularly shocking in these forums though.  One would think that a community of people who enjoy reading would have much better language skills.  If for no other reason than for constant exposure to professionally written examples.

Alas, many simply do not care because they see these forums not as public forums where their words are exposed to strangers, but as an informal setting, where "serious" writing skills are not needed.  Yet, where else but in a public forum, where "who" you are and "what" you are can only be judged by the words you use and the manner in which you use them, is it more important to display your knowledge, intelligence and education, lest you be seen and judged a fool or simpleton?

 

(Apologies for the formal language... I just finished "Fool" by Christopher Moore and it seems to have rubbed off)

Date Posted: 2/24/2009 5:27 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2008
Posts: 2,007
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Ruth, I must disagree with you.  It is my personal belief that a child (anyone under the age of 18) should be allowed to read any book or article they express an interest in.  I never restricted my children's reading materials, nor did my parents place any restrictions on mine.  I think this is one of the reasons why all of my children are now well-educated and well-spoken individuals.

And when I say no restrictions that is exactly what I mean.  If one of my children wanted to read "The Story of O", or similar works, they were not only allowed to but encouraged to. 

Date Posted: 2/24/2009 5:59 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,601
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Bernhard, what did you think of Fool? I didn't like it that much--I've enjoyed other books of Chris Moore's a lot, but this one just seemed to have so much raunchy stuff in it that it detracted from the story. I'm not a prude at all, but it was just way over the top, IMO. Some funny moments, but overall I was relieved to be done with it. And I do agree with you about kids reading--I self-taught myself to read by age 4, so was reading way, way above my grade level and read things in grade school that I'm sure most kids' parents would have blanched at. LOL

That said, I agree that many adults have atrocious writing skills and unless the person actually made a profile that says their age is under 18, i wouldn't be reporting them. I work with doctors and some of them can't spell for beans. Bad spelling is my pet peeve...it drives me nuts in general, but coming from supposedly "highly educated" people, it really irks! A lot of it these days just comes from people texting so much, some of those shortcuts make me grit my teeth.

Cheryl (c u l8er LOL)

Date Posted: 2/24/2009 6:37 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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I came across a 17 year old in the forums the other day.  I looked at his profile as he had said something completely outrageous (but with perfect grammar).  I really don't feel comfortable narcing on him, as he seems to really love books and I'm guessing, doesn't have a lot of money. 

Bernhard - I'm with you.  My brother and I were allowed to read anything we wanted, and the worst that could be said is that it turned us both into writers.  The only time my mother expressed disapproval of anything I read was when she thought it was really badly written.  I could read about  violence and orgies with her full approval if the prose was good. And I could read all about poorly written incest and violence (V.C. Andrews:  I'm looking at you!), but I might get a "how could you possibly be enjoying this?" and then I would get handed Nabokov or Joyce or something.

Date Posted: 2/24/2009 6:49 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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I've seen plenty of functionally illiterate adults in my time, so bad spelling, or just bad typing skills, don't really make much of a dent with me anymore:P  I've never looked at a profile and seen a member under 18 and I'm not 100% sure it would register if I did.  I don't look at shelves, see children's or YA books - which I've ordered for my own kids - and even wonder if someone could be under 18.  There are reasons why a person should be over 18yrs of age to use certain online sevices, and those have to do with legalities that aren't my responsibility to investigate & enforce.  I don't report members for being "suspicious" in some way, I report RWAP books, and subsequently, I suppose that includes the members who send them, but I don't think I'm here to police everyone in general.  I think members have a responsibility to report RWAP books and probably overt rules infractions (which I'm drawing a complete blank about atm:P), but dropping a note to PBS because I'm suspicious of something like that... nah. 

Date Posted: 2/24/2009 6:52 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2008
Posts: 2,007
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Cheryl, I completely enjoyed "Fool" and none of the "raunchy bits" bothered me in the least.  Then again, I've written erotica for a number of years now, so I'm probably immune.

I also started reading at an early age.  By the 2nd grade my reading score (first standardized reading tests given in NYC) was a perfect 12.0, though I did have to take the test twice because they thought I'd somehow cheated.

As for choice of reading materials growing up, we had a wide selection.  My step-mother was/is an RN, and my father was a former Air Force surgical technician, so there were a good number of medical texts around.  I remember reading the Kinsey Report at age 8 or 9, and Master's and Johnson shortly afterwards.  I also "inhaled" the entire Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew collections (as well as a series called "The Happy Hollisters") and the entire encyclopedia set (26 volume "Book of Knowledge" set) that I got for Christmas when I was 6 years old.

My own children are the same way, and are now doing the same with my grandchildren.  In our homes the only "bad" books are those poorly written.

Date Posted: 2/24/2009 11:53 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,601
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I have to laugh--I distinctly remember starting first grade back in the day before they had 'gifted' or 'advanced' programs and having the teacher hand out the reading books. "See Spot run. Go Tom, go" and things of that sort. I looked up at her and said, "You're kidding, right?" I had just finished the whole Laura Ingalls Wilder series at home. LOL

And I remember my teacher sending a note home to my parents in seventh grade because I'd written a book report on Alexsandr Solzhenitsyn's book The Gulag Archipelago--she implied that I had cheated and not actually read it. My father--who was a high school dropout and fiercely proud of me--went in and read her the riot act.

Needless to say, I was pretty bored during my school years. Well, bored with school, anyway. :-D It's weird, because I came from a family of mostly uneducated, blue collar folks--farmers, factory workers and the like. They're pretty sure I'm an alien from the planet Jupiter, I think.

My reading taste these days run more towards fiction than heavy non-fiction tomes I used to read as a more idealistic youngster. Life interferes FAR too much with my reading. The raunchy bits didn't bother me in Fool--there's nothing like a perfectly executed raunchy bit, actually. I just felt they rather overwhelmed the story. Or maybe I just wasn't in the mood for it. LOL

My kids all read 'some' but definitely take after their dad (my ex-husband) in that regard. When I tell them I'm spending their inheritance on books, they look at me in horror. I think THEY are aliens from Pluto. Heh.

Cheryl

Date Posted: 2/25/2009 12:09 AM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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Bernhard, I happen to agree with you about letting my children read whatever interests them - it's always been true in this house.  I'm just saying that there are reasons that a web-site would want to cover their bases when it comes to minors.  When I first joined PBS there was a bit of a furor going on because a member sent a requested book to another member.  No indication the member was a minor (under 15).  Suddenly, the sender gets an irate  PM about sending pornography (it wasn't porn per se - maybe a little suggestive or even a normal love story) from the requester's mother ranting about why did the sender think it was okay to send her daughter a book like that one?  And, of course, it was the end of the world as we know it because of this lapse in ESP on the part of the sender.  So not everyone is as open to kids following their interests as we might be.  The sender had no idea of who she was sending the book to.  There are many hyper-parents about what their kids are exposed to as far as reading material goes and it's a real flashpoint for them.  PBS has a rule about no minors.  If a minor wants to get books here the parent must be the account holder and not the minor child.  I wasn't trying to say I'm for censorship - I'm just saying it's a rule.

Ruth

Date Posted: 2/25/2009 12:14 AM ET
Member Since: 2/20/2009
Posts: 258
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I'm pretty childish at times and often read young adult books....but I'm 23. haha I even put Hello Kitty stickers on packages! I wonder if anyone ever thinks I'm underage? LOL

Date Posted: 2/25/2009 3:26 AM ET
Member Since: 11/13/2005
Posts: 1,950
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I was always allowed to read anything I expressed interest in, and sex was seen in a more favorable light than violence. I'd never dream of censoring my shelves for my kids.

On the age issue:

Here, I have noticed with my own profile, that says I am (IIRC) 29 and holding, that it doesn't update on its own. 39 and holding would be far more accurate. Therefore, anyone that says  they are 17, if a member for three years, could very well be 20 now unless they change their own age on their profile settings.

Date Posted: 2/25/2009 7:52 AM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2007
Posts: 3,326
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I'm one of those "rules are rules for a reason" people and if I know someone is underage, I will report them.  If you suspect, you are certainly within your rights to report your suspicions and let TPTB decide what, if anything, to do about it.

Date Posted: 2/25/2009 7:54 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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"When I first joined PBS there was a bit of a furor going on because a member sent a requested book to another member.  No indication the member was a minor (under 15).  Suddenly, the sender gets an irate  PM about sending pornography (it wasn't porn per se - maybe a little suggestive or even a normal love story) from the requester's mother ranting about why did the sender think it was okay to send her daughter a book like that one?  And, of course, it was the end of the world as we know it because of this lapse in ESP on the part of the sender.  So not everyone is as open to kids following their interests as we might be.  The sender had no idea of who she was sending the book to.  There are many hyper-parents about what their kids are exposed to as far as reading material goes and it's a real flashpoint for them."

My brother and his wife are like this as well, and IMO, all they accomplish with it is to give their kids incentive to do things behind their backs.  Beyond that though, this is only a sender's problem if they let it be.  It's not every sender on the site's job to monitor the age of their receivers.  If there are 15yr old kids either with memberships here or using an adult's membership to order inappropriate reading materials, the question should be, where the hell are their parents?  The irate mom should be more interested in the particulars of what her underaged daughter is doing ordering books from her PBS account than she is in the whys & wherefores of someone sending her age inappropriate materials.  It's her job to monitor what her kid is doing online & not every other PBS member's.

Date Posted: 2/25/2009 12:34 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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What can I say - Kim except you are right (as far as I'm concerned) and I think the result of the furor in that case ended up the same.  But the recipient's mother apparently didn't see it that way and tried to make it the sender's problem.  I don't know that the mother was a member herself and if not then she might not know how the PBS system works and the privacy and "reasonablenss" requirements here.  Ofcourse, there are always people who don't understand the meaning ot "reasonable."

Ruth

Date Posted: 2/25/2009 12:58 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2008
Posts: 2,007
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Something that hasn't really been pointed out much here is what Samantha brought up.  The ages given on profiles here really don't mean anything.  It's simply a number that you type into your profile.  You can make it anything you want.  Who's to say that someone whose profile says they are 15 is actually 15?  It could be a joke, it could be a typo.

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