back to article Social networking site bans oldies over sex offender fears

A social networking site has deleted most of its users over the age of 36 because it claims older users pose a danger of sex offending. It claims to be forced into the action by the Government, but the part of a law it cites is not yet in force. Faceparty has deleted what it describes as "a huge number of accounts" from its …

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Hmm...

...because a sex offender couldn't possibly set up any number of free hotmail etc accounts...

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Anonymous Coward

I smell

I smell bullpoop!

However I see the reasoning, child abusers are often not children, therefore all adults should be placed in interment camps until they can prove that they are not child abusers.

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Flame

Utter Twoddle

How is this going to protect children? Obviously it's not. As for anyone over 36 being a paedo, words fail me. Why 36? There are plenty of offenders in their teens and twenties. And there are plenty of over 36s on Faceparty who use it to meet over over 36s.

Can't wait for the first age discimination suit.

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Anonymous Coward

heh another thought

Now all this failparty need to do is add all the emails and details they deleted to a list labeled "Deleted becouse they may be peadophiles" and then share that with other sites, then the government and then the media, and the total number of dangerous/active predatory peadophiles go from a few hundred to several hundred thousand! There by justifying all the insane numpty law that could follow.

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Re: Hmm...

...and would *never* lie about their age...

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Ash
Flame

Oh dear lord...

Let's be frank here;

1) Anyone who wants to screw a kiddy will pretend to be roughly the same age as them, into the same piddly little toys or shitty kids TV programs, and lie through their teeth all of the time. They're not going to have a profile which reads "Hi, i'm 47 years old, looking to have sex with a toddler."

2) ANyone who's over the age of 36 and HAS a social networking account is just an idiot. They should have more sense.

Flame on!

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Paris Hilton

It's worse than TV Licensing

I've always argued that the approach of TV Licensing (we can't find you on a list of TV users, therefore you must be using a TV illegally) is as absurd as accusing all adults who aren't listed on the Sex Offenders Register of being sex offenders.

Now that day has come.

If I was a middle-aged user of Facespace or Bebook or whatever, I'd be suing for libel. Well, I'd like to think that I would. Reality is, I'd just write a strongly-worded email.

Paris beacuse she's sexually offensive.

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Paedogeddon

How long until Jacqui Smith claims that paedophiles are "using an area of the internet the size of Ireland"?

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possible extension

Sounds great, here's more possible deranged ideas:

a) men are more likely to be sex pests than women, so ban all men

b) students between 18-25 are likely to pretend to be younger than they are, so just ban all of them

c) younger members of the public are most at risk, so to protect them better, ban anyone under 16

I know someone will say 'but think of the kids!' I don't condone sex offence and I can suggest a few things that should happen to such offenders, but the usual response always seems overkill, and always makes the innocent feel guilty. Sex offenders don't care, they'll just go elsewhere, use a fake email (not like there's no way of getting any kind of mailinator account or anything), etc, while people who genuinely want to join are made to feel like criminals for the minority.

Here's another thought the govt should try - why not just ban the internet, then that should stop all illegal activities and get a few more votes....

Oh and one other thing. I'm not that age yet but 36 isn't exactly an 'oldie', but ageist aren't we?

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Stop

Help!

I turn 36 next month & now I'm worried I may suddenly turn in to a sex offender.

This is ludicrous. A complete nonsense reaction to the governments nonsense notion that sex offenders will only have one email address.

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Would it be wise to ensure

that no staff member of facebook, its operating company, suppliers and the like is over 36 years old, because they, too, MIGHT be a paedophile.

But there again, some might lie about their age. Don't worry though: no self-respecting paedophile would do lie about his age just to re-register with Facebook.

Now would they?

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Avi

Why not extend the logic?

and remove them all?

"We understand that only a minority of users are sex offenders, but you must understand that we cannot tell which"

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Happy

Exemptions

I assume teachers are exempt, otherwise how else are they going to spy on the gangs. Still it's nice to know that no one under the age of 36 is a sex offender.

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Anonymous Coward

They'll have to become a Scout Leader instead now...

"It was old style pedo-ing. Before it got such a bad name"

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Happy

Why 36?

Seems an interesting line to draw. I'm 36 in a few weeks' time - I can't wait for my sex offending years to begin!

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Alert

Ageism

So they have admitted to breaking the law then? Ageism is illegal in the UK as far as I recall.

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Paris Hilton

eh?

wow, this is indeed an example of a mega badly thought through excuse for an action...

Surely it is just asking for a darwin award?

Exactly what assumptions are they presenting?

1) they talk about a law which is not in place as if it was in place - which is incorrect - misinformation.

2) they talk about above 36 as if this age has anything to do with sexoffender - which is a lie - disinformation. As if people below 36 were not offenders? This 'discovery' would indeed be worth a Nobel Prize if true!

3) they talk about those sexoffenders how are above 36 as if they would be honest in advertising their age - which is amazingly ignorant or just a misleading argument and thus again a lie.

This 'social-networking' site deserves to go under quickly and swiftly, because if this is their strategy for dealing with sex offender fears they I would certainly not let my kids to use their site.

Paris - because surely she must be over 36 by now...

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Gates Halo

lol

they went bust thats why they deleted everyone as their pile of pants website had such much crud on it, the db couldnt cope

for years they refused to let people leave the site lol

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Abusing Reporting Abuse

"Children should be able to use these environments but make it easy for them to report abuse."

That's great, except when someone reports abuse because they don't like someone and that person is then investigated for the abuse.

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Gates Horns

I do hope...

... nobody working for faceparty is over the age of 36, they could be in the dole queue come monday...

to be honest i wish i was a few years older, i wouldnt have to manually delete my account on there then :)

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Anonymous Coward

No possibility of 30 year old offenders then?

If it's only a "minority of older users", what's the percentage of "younger users"?

How can they claim this is not ageist, when they're clearly implying that sex offenders are all over 36 years of age? Perhaps I'm turning into a Meldrew type reaching the grand old age of 36 years 3 months and 5 days.

Oh no, that means I'm going to be a sex offender now... Time for the elastic band around the sensitive areas I think...

So much for the reports of teenage muggers - obviously being old is no longer a sign of stability and maturity - just a sign of descent into the grimy world of sex crimes.

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Silver badge

So...

If existing users get to 36 do they get to pay a visit to the carousel, or can they get renewed?

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Marvelous

I can't wait until my 36th birthday. Only 11 years to go, but I'm positively bouncing at the thought of all that sex offending to be had.

Seriously, what on earth are they playing at. Faceparty has made an utterly ageist move and I really do think a boycott is in order.

I suspect the majority of "sex offences" is done well under the age of 36 anyway. Usually mid twenties for rapists isn't it?

Obviously there's no chance of people after committing a sex offence from registering as a 14 year old. Just like there's no chance of an 8 year old registering under the guise of being 13.

Face party, you get a thumbs down for such a blatant move to rid you user base of the only folk on that list with any money to spend on potential advertisers on your site. Well done retards.

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Anonymous Coward

Publicity stunt and rank hypocrisy

I used to be on faceparty. The overall age is fairly young, but at the time :

1) All users were over 16. People could lie, but that's what was stated.

2) Lewd pictures were practically encouraged, as this enabled faceparty to make money by restricting the pictures behind a payware barrier.

2a) There's an explicit 'agony aunt' column attached to the site

2b) Faceparty also attended the sex exhibition held at GMEX in Manchester selling membership, with the implication it was useful for hookups.

3) There were quite a few people considerably older than 30. There were chatrooms and so on especially set up for them by faceparty.

I'm sure it's a possibility that there are older people trying to take advantage of younger people, and that this should be prevented, but perhaps they should revisit the definition of 'paedophiles' when the user age is over 16...

Paedophiles? Rubbish. Probably due to them losing out to facebook and suchlike. I second the fact they're trying to rejuvenate a tired old website.

Posted as AC, as I really don't fancy being sued.

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wow. Complete logic failure.

Assuming the story is true and not your usual run-of-the-mill fake, I'm... appalled. Not that they banned people from their site just because they claimed to be over 36. But because they thought it would make a single bit of difference. Last I heard, all the social-network based paedophiles that have been caught recently were using accounts where they claimed to be 15 years old or so, not over 36. So right there the website decision makers fail any sort of ability to think or process logical thought.

Alternatively, they're lying about what happened to cover something up. Exactly what they would try to cover up with such a ludicrous story is beyond my ken.

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AC
Alien

yeah like that'll work

validating against known e-mails is one thing but checking birth records ... doubt it.

I say we go the other way and ban social networking sites instead since they only serve as either a pretty text message or jazzed up e-mail, the rest is all bullcrap.

{PS we need an eye rolling icon}

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Anonymous Coward

Just report them....

...to the appropriate body responsible for enforcing age discrimination laws. You can't offer a service to the public and bar users of a certain age/colour/sex/disability

If I tried to ban people above a certain age coming into my shop I'd quickly be up before the beak on an age discrimination charge.

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Stop

LOL

so then, if all the kiddies that are registered now are allowed on, will they get there accounts killed on their "supposed 36th" birthday

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You have to ask yourself...

Are YOU employing DecisionTards like this in YOUR organisation?

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Anonymous Coward

Stupid, Stupid, Stupid.

Err, making such a stupid and unjustified statement could well mean they open themselves up to a libel action. After all the are effectively saying we are deleting your account because we think you might be a sex paedophile. A lawyer would have a field day with that.

A stupid action which is obviously pointless as well.

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Surely...

...it would be more effective to ban children from social networking sites.

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Stop

Utter b****cks

What I especially liked was the brazen lies by Faceparty:

"Lying about your Age On-Line:

Any person who lies about their age on the Internet is committing a crime under the sex offenders act. It is a criminal offence to pretend you are younger than you really are online. Offenders will be banned and reported to the police. Older users who have been deleted must NOT create new accounts pretending to be younger as that will result in criminal prosecution and you will be placed on the sex offenders register. "

A criminal offence to lie about your age on the internet? Oh really? I'm on the Internet. I'm saying I'm 42. Bring it on.

What unadulterated BS...!

Mike

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Anonymous Coward

social engineering 2.0

Isn't it funny how the most "progressive", "web 2.0", "open minded", "stick it to the man" people will put in place the most draconian and over the top rules and measures once they have a bit of power and responsibility?

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Anonymous Coward

Diiiime bar? DIIIIME BAR?

"sex offenders registering their email addresses"

Yet again Ms Smith demonstrates her absolute incompetence over anything to do with IT.

Nobody has multiple email addresses do they? And once you have an email account, of course you can't have another one can you?

Silly cow.

As for faceparty, no sex offenders are under 36 are they? They just magically become perverts on their 36th birthday.

Silly twats.

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Silver badge

Lies, truth and subterfuge

Yup, child sex offenders will always tell the truth about their age, name and email address. After all what have they got to hide?

This is ridiculous beyond words, and being over the age of 36 I find this quite offensive.

More bullshit to match previous legislation that will only ever catch those that tell the truth and follow the rules. When is it going to click with those who make these policies/decisions/laws that criminals do not tell the truth nor follow the rules?

Those criminals that this kind of thing will catch are already offering themselves up to plod by posting self incriminating evidence on youtube.

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Age descrimination

Where are the Grey Panthers when you need them?

This is stupid and I really would like to see this site go out of business.

A sexual predator is going to just falsify their registration.

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Stop

Much simpler means of "protecting ickle childy wildren" (tm)

1) Make anyone on the sex offenders list (or List 99 which lists people who've been banned from working with children and vulnerable people)declare this when getting internet access either at home or in an internet cafe. Quite simple to police.

2) Have IP addresses of the aforementioned people registered with a database - makes a whole lot more sense than just an email address.

3) Make it an offence to apply for membership of any social networking site without truthfully declaring that you are on the sex offender's list and/or List 99. Social networking sites can then also double check with the IP registration list.

4) People so identified have restricted access to the facilities of the social networking site, e.g. must be invited to link up with people who know them an can't proactively seek connections with other people.

I think the above might have a chance of working. The government's screwball plan is just another prime example of why they won't be in power in two years times.

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ageism

"Despite malicious rumours spread by a few people on the website, it is not true that we have deleted members due to 'ageism'," its notice said.

From the OED: noun prejudice or discrimination on the grounds of age.

Deleting all accounts where the owner is over 36 sounds like a clear cut case of ageism to me.

Apart from the lack of a basic understanding of english, by ensuring that their site is full of kids they make it the prefered choice of paedophiles, thus demonstrating a complete lack of understanding about anything at all. Such a shame retardparty.com is already taken.

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I'm 39 and I'm not a nonce...

Oh please - how many Paedophiles will sign up using their real age if their purpose is to groom the young?

Having just looked at the Faceparty web site, I can't imagine why anyone over the age of 19 would want to join in any case.

Bah.

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Anonymous Coward

Is that actually legal?

I was under the impression that age discrimination is illegal.

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Re: Utter Twoddle

"And there are plenty of over 36s on Faceparty who use it to meet over over 36s."

Not any more there aren't!!!

"Can't wait for the first age discimination suit."

Not likely - it's a private site so they can do what they want. If they want to delete everyone over the age of 36 they can do that. They're only representing themselves, not anybody else, so are perfectly within their rights to do that.

On the other hand I DO NOT agree with it, and actions like this are to make stupid people in high positions think that FaceParty are doing a good thing. The age of 36 baffles me though - I have plenty of friends over 36 and none of them are paedophiles - in fact none of my friends are.

The world's going crazy. Now if you're over 36 you're a suspected paedophile - I dunno :(

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No brains

And has it never occurred to anyone at Faceparty that paedos who groom tend to pose as young people anyway so their accounts are hardly likely to give their real age!

One day common sense will prevail over knee jerk policies but I suspect this is an account cleaning process by Faceparty. Wonder if its actually legal to discriminate like this?

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Unhappy

Megan's Run

Damn do I become a pedophile next birthday?! Screw that, I'm off to Sanctuary....

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Renew! Renew!

At a guess, I'd say that someone's been watching too much Logan's Run.

Ah, the fiery ritual of Carousel...

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another solution

if they aren't doing it to get a younger "more valuable" userbase (even though those in their late 20's to 30's will have more money than the teenager) then why don't they ban anyone under the age of 20?

If it's paedo's they're worried about, after the ban of kids from the site, I see no problem with a 36 year old pretending to be a 13 year old talking to another 40 year old pretending to be a 12 year old and arrange a meet up together.. hell, get some cctv footage of it and sell it as the next reality show!

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Happy

Hmm

Is it just me, or does the name "Faceparty" bring images to mind which are decidedly NSFW? As in "The party's on my face - be there in two minutes"...

The happy smiley face because, well, wouldn't yours be? (And the Paris icon is far too obvious.)

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What a ridiculously-ran company

What the hell? Even their quotes make them look fools:

"We understand that only a minority of older users are sex offenders, but you must understand that we cannot tell which," No sh1t Sherlock!!

"Despite malicious rumours spread by a few people on the website, it is not true that we have deleted members due to 'ageism'," Um, so let's choose an arbitrary reasoning to ban a certain segment of our population. Did they also ban all 36+ women? Why not just ban anyone under 16?

"because a gang of paedophiles had arrived on the website and had carried out a series of attacks on younger users". So why not close all accounts made after a certain date?

===

"It did say in its notice, though, that the site did have a serious problem with sex offenders." Again, close the Under-16's accounts then. Either way, sounds a great site to visit.

Wow, whose their PR spokesman? They're doing a great job today

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Which are they?

Clearly Faceparty are either liars or idiots. I wonder which.

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Anonymous Coward

Just another thought.

Facebook probably realise full well that they will have to backtrack on this one. They also know that most adults over the age of 36 once they realise that their account they carefully worked on (most of the over 36 yo's I know spent an eternity on pimping their pages) and building large networks, for the past 2 years, has all been deleted, will probably shrug their shoulders and go down the pub instead or wash the cars and cut the grass.

So by not giving notice and just deleting accounts, they have got rid of a large number of users they don't really want and avoided a huge furore that would have happenned if they had given notice, simply because older adults wouldn't get as stroppy as students/twentysomethings would do over their account and work being deleted.

The only oldies that would probably re-register would be the very people they say were the cause of the culling, the child abusers, and a few adults for who Facebook is their only social life, therefore they would be left with a much smaller population of over 36's to monitor for strange behaviour.

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Paris Hilton

Really?

This seems to imply that the only thing defining a paedophile is age difference. IIRC, I was quite interested in sex before I was 36...

PH - as I still am.

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