While creating a wiki today, I noticed the box that asks whether or not the wiki is designed for children under 13, and that struck me a bit. I know 13 is the appropriate age to be editing across FANDOM, but I feel that an alternate box, maybe one that asks if the community is suitable for people under 18, would also be useful.
The reason I propose such a change be made is that there are some wikis about adult-oriented works across FANDOM that contain obscene material intended for an 18+ audience. I know that 13 is generally the age where most people become more capable of handling mature content (though keep in that some have been able to do so at an earlier age) but there are some exceptions to what they are able to tolerate, such as borderline pornographic and sexually explicit content. I'm 16 and there are even some limits as to what I am able to tolerate in mature-intended media.
Enabling an "Is this community directed towards an 18+ audience?" in the wiki creation process would be very helpful in my opinion, maybe even an "Is this community intended for children under 17 option?" if the community is a bit too obscene but not exactly 18+. In regards to film, TV show, and video game wikis, I think that these boxes should checked or left unchecked in accordance with what rating the piece of media is given by the Television Parental Guidelines, Motion Picture Association of America, and Entertainment System Ratings Board.
About the "18+ audience" box, if it is ever added, I think that anyone who attempts to go on any 18+ communities will have to confirm their age first prior to proceeding; anyone who is below the age of 18 will receive a message stating they are not eligible at the moment and thus be unable to access any part of the wiki for the time being. As well as this, anyone whose accounts' Date of Birth registration field confirms them to be under 18 won't be able to access the wiki altogether.
Overall, what do you guys think of this change I am proposing? As the proposer I personally support this idea. As I stated earlier in the blog, 13 is generally the age that children are able to tolerate mature content, but because FANDOM does not have a censorship policy on information provision, there are some wikis out there about adult subjects, often containing sexually explicit content, that even younger teens may not be able to handle, and the age of majority, 18+, is generally when this content is able to be tolerated. However, keep in mind that recent scientific studies prove that the human brain does not fully develop until the age of 25, which is 7 years from majority's debut. Take this evidence as you may, but I would like to hear your guys' feedback on this change I am proposing.
I've once gone into a page with an image containing mature content (which is however for the article) and I've been given a "Content Warning" message. However, this doesn't always apply to all pages. So, IMO, I think a content warning message should be available for all pages with graphic material.
I've got an idea. Maybe we should add a checkbox which says "Not suitable for users under 18", and it should appear for content mods and admins, only. If this option is checked, it will add a "Content Warning" message. How does that sound?
^ I agree. As of now, maybe the best thing that wikis meant for mature audiences is that they should have a warning on their pages/main page to alert users that they strongly recommend viewers and editors to be ___ and up to view the wiki and its contents?
But a "Not suitable for users under 18" checkbox is a good idea that I hope is considered and approved by Staff.
Personally, I think it would be unfair to further restrict young users, I wouldn't have liked it if I was looking up something in my teens and have been barred from reading or editing on a Wiki. And I think generally, a Wiki shouldn't have explicit sexual or obscene material to begin with, for images and videos at least, I think descriptions can be more lenient. Maybe a warning on the Main Page. Or maybe someday Wikia will decide they like the idea and implement it.
As for using ratings, since this is a US website it would definitely use the US rating system. But ratings are vastly different around the world, and even in the US ratings have changed (until the 1980s there were only PG ratings for children and teens, even for mature-ish movies). And to check the mature box depending on what rating the source got might not work for some Wikis, on the Wiki I'm editing on there's different mediums (mature comics, cheesy live-action series, children's Saturday morning cartoon series), and even tho there is mature content bc of the comics, we do try to keep everything friendly.
I do like the idea of a content warning message tho.
since this is a US website
http://www.wikia.com/about claims to be global with four US offices, three EU offices, and one AU office. Maybe all servers are in the US, checking... no, in Germany a trace route ended one hop behind DECIX, with a ping time too fast to cross an ocean. IOW, you are talking about a legal nightmare here, where FANDOM would need lots of lawyers trying to comply with different laws in different counries (at least 3..5, depending on how you count three EU offices, IANAL.)