Are there any age restrictions for WinWorld/WinBoards?

I was just wondering. Because sometimes you guys may act like there are restrictions for who can be on this forum, as you sometimes say that WinBoards is a place for adults and people who can treat themselves as adults. I'm only 16 (almost 17) (during the time I'm writing this topic), and I seem to act like a smart and mature contributor here, and I joined this site when I was, I wanna say, 15 years old, and even then I was a good person. In fact, I can actually be a good contributor without even reading the forum rules, I never read them before, but I'm still nice.
Anyway, it seems almost as if "quality discussion" is a policy on WinBoards, and childish behavior is not tolerated here. But what if someone can't help it? What if someone had disabilities? What if someone wasn't a native English speaker (I know some members here who are not from the United States)? You should always be nice to those types of people.
So what I'm asking is, are there actually restrictions on age here? And is that true that childish behavior is not acceptable here?

Off-topic comment:
I'm actually the only person at my school who knows what DOS is :D

Comments

  • No, there is not any specific age restriction. One must simply act mature and try to get along with others. Sometimes even small children can be more mature than some adults.

    We don't ask for anyone's age, so we judge purely by post content. Yes, quality discussion is essentially a policy. Winworld is a place to discuss vintage and historic software and occasionally hardware products. The idea is for it to grow as a knowledge base for others to benefit from.

    If someone "cant help it", then they really shouldn't be here. Sadly, there have been a few instances when I have had to ban seemingly otherwise intelligent older adults who simply refused to behave. We don't have time to hand hold people.

    Language issues are a bit different. If someone drops in here and asks intelligent questions, makes valuable contributions, or such, then we will gladly tolerate broken English. Mindless or totally unintelligible posts, however are not tolerated. Often such posts come from spambots and we don't have time to weed out who is human or not.

    When ANYONE joins a forum, they should ALWAYS read the rules. It is great if they already know how to use a forum and "behave", but many forums have specific little rules that are better to know up front than find out the hard way. For example, on Winworld offering Windows XP for download is likely to earn an immediate ban.

    It is good to hear that a younger person has interest in "vintage" software, or even technology at all. Sometimes it feels like modern schools are just churning out meat for the Chinese to eat.

  • @SomeGuy said:
    No, there is not any specific age restriction. One must simply act mature and try to get along with others. Sometimes even small children can be more mature than some adults.

    We don't ask for anyone's age, so we judge purely by post content. Yes, quality discussion is essentially a policy. Winworld is a place to discuss vintage and historic software and occasionally hardware products. The idea is for it to grow as a knowledge base for others to benefit from.

    If someone "cant help it", then they really shouldn't be here. Sadly, there have been a few instances when I have had to ban seemingly otherwise intelligent older adults who simply refused to behave. We don't have time to hand hold people.

    Language issues are a bit different. If someone drops in here and asks intelligent questions, makes valuable contributions, or such, then we will gladly tolerate broken English. Mindless or totally unintelligible posts, however are not tolerated. Often such posts come from spambots and we don't have time to weed out who is human or not.

    When ANYONE joins a forum, they should ALWAYS read the rules. It is great if they already know how to use a forum and "behave", but many forums have specific little rules that are better to know up front than find out the hard way. For example, on Winworld offering Windows XP for download is likely to earn an immediate ban.

    It is good to hear that a younger person has interest in "vintage" software, or even technology at all. Sometimes it feels like modern schools are just churning out meat for the Chinese to eat.

    1. Sometimes I think that it's a little "crude" to not respect people who may have disabilities. I'm not criticizing or anything, I was just saying, because it makes me think that some people don't really like people with things like autism, Asperger's Syndrome, dyslexia, or other mental disorders. Fortunately I don't have any mental disorders, but other people might. Sometimes I see people get banned for no reason, because I check their posts, and I don't see anything that might violate the forum rules.

    2. I do know that requesting Windows XP or later is not allowed here, but I know how to use a forum/message board without any guidelines being read, like I said. It's not like I'm trying to show Ignorantia juris non excusat.

    3. I don't have a big interest in vintage tech, I mean I do sometimes like to try it out, but I also like the newest and hottest tech, of course.

  • I'm not sure if it's still in place, but there used to be a restriction because of COPPA that you had to be at least 13. But I don't think it was ever really enforced. If you could act like a mature adult, you were fine regardless of your actual age. It was more of a mental age than a physical one. There were plenty of adults that acted like children.

    I also think our tolerance of childish behavior reduced over time as we got older.

  • @BlueSun said:
    I'm not sure if it's still in place, but there used to be a restriction because of COPPA that you had to be at least 13. But I don't think it was ever really enforced. If you could act like a mature adult, you were fine regardless of your actual age. It was more of a mental age than a physical one. There were plenty of adults that acted like children.

    I also think our tolerance of childish behavior reduced over time as we got older.

    I thought COPPA only comes in affect for websites that are hosted in the United States. And I'm sure a lot of forums do not always tolerate childish behavior and never have, but may be able to tolerate some bad grammar if the OP isn't a native English speaker.

  • edited March 16

    @BlueSun said:
    I also think our tolerance of childish behavior reduced over time as we got older.

    Yeah, it seems to be true for computer forums in general. Compare the posting style on MSFN in 2001 to now, and our old posts from 2004 to now as well. Survival of the fittest (or the most intelligent) indeed.

    And as for autism, it is a spectrum, and some are less capable of making tasteful contributions online than others (look at YouTube comments on most Windows-related videos). And then there are some on the high-functioning part of the scale who are capable of properly participating in forums like this (like me).

    I'm also not too far from the OP in terms of age.

  • @JonathonWyble said:
    I thought COPPA only comes in affect for websites that are hosted in the United States. And I'm sure a lot of forums do not always tolerate childish behavior and never have, but may be able to tolerate some bad grammar if the OP isn't a native English speaker.

    Well this place was hosted in the US for a while. But I really don't know the specifics of COPPA. I think it's kind of like the GPDR thing, where a lot of sites follow it even if they don't legally need to just because they don't want to deal with having different policies for different regions.

  • @JonathonWyble said:

    1. Sometimes I think that it's a little "crude" to not respect people who may have disabilities. I'm not criticizing or anything, I was just saying, because it makes me think that some people don't really like people with things like autism, Asperger's Syndrome, dyslexia, or other mental disorders. Fortunately I don't have any mental disorders, but other people might. Sometimes I see people get banned for no reason, because I check their posts, and I don't see anything that might violate the forum rules.

    We have no way of knowing if someone is disabled or not. Even if we did, that is no excuse for serious mis-behavior on a forum. I'm not perfect, and I can sympathize with some of these problems.

    You won't always see why someone got banned. We generally prune garbage posts in order to maintain a somewhat professional appearance. (Not touching the really old stuff though).

    Sometimes accounts don't even have to make a "post". This forum has a misfeature called an "activity stream", and we have had a problem with spambots signing up and putting advertising links there. The accounts get banned and their content is removed.

  • I once saw someone who was a 9-year-old (and he even admitted of being that age too). In most other forums though, people are to be 13 or over in order to participate, mostly because of the COPPA thing.

    Also, I should confess that I have Aspergers but at least I don't act like an idiot online, for all eyes to see. Furthermore, people need to stop using their mental condition as an excuse for their behaviour. I've seen that crap many of times at DeviantArt and it gets really tiring.

    Unrelated to the thread though but, I remember Stitch once complaining that the whole abandonware scene attracts immature youngsters like what @win32 stated earlier, and I remember we had a few of them until they were swiftly banhammer'd.

  • @Bry89 said:
    I once saw someone who was a 9-year-old (and he even admitted of being that age too). In most other forums though, people are to be 13 or over in order to participate, mostly because of the COPPA thing.

    Also, I should confess that I have Aspergers but at least I don't act like an idiot online, for all eyes to see. Furthermore, people need to stop using their mental condition as an excuse for their behaviour. I've seen that crap many of times at DeviantArt and it gets really tiring.

    Unrelated to the thread though but, I remember Stitch once complaining that the whole abandonware scene attracts immature youngsters like what @win32 stated earlier, and I remember we had a few of them until they were swiftly banhammer'd.

    Yeah, I've seen that stuff from a while ago happen (I actually was a lurker here way before the reopening of WinWorld in 2017), where there was a bunch of people who acted childish. I also remember there being a group of users known as River Swimmers. I did not laugh at those people, but rather felt bad for them for being ridiculed in such ways. That was very unacceptable.

  • As I recall, very early on, Winworld had a "no deletion" policy. Problematic posts were instead moved in to "The River of Dumb", and instead of an outright ban users were sometimes restricted to posting in The River, AKA "River Swimmers".

    A big problem with this was that these garbage posts were still publicly visible. Often containing filth, embarrassing content, spam, other unprofessional content, and most importantly Stitch's own reactions.

    Trolls virtually made it a contest to get tossed "in to the river".

    The number one rule of dealing with trolls is to not feed the trolls. That is, do not give them any kind of reaction. They thrive off of reactions, negative or positive, and all of the above was feeding them bigtime.

    With a deletion policy, most of the trolls eventually shriveled up and lost interest since almost no one ever saw or responded to their work.

    I've tried to loosely model the policies around here after the Vintage Computing Forums. (vcfed.org). They have had a few major issues the last year or so, but before that... the biggest drama was a very heated thread debating the use of decryption techniques in data recovery. In other words, very successful. B)

  • @Bry89 said:
    Unrelated to the thread though but, I remember Stitch once complaining that the whole abandonware scene attracts immature youngsters like what @win32 stated earlier, and I remember we had a few of them until they were swiftly banhammer'd.

    It's hard to say for sure, but it certainly does seem like it attracts a younger audience. Probably mostly made up of kids that just don't quite fit in with their generation and latch on to the things from the previous generation. Which used to be mostly music but now includes old software / hardware. And then there's the older generation that wax nostalgic over the old days. I'd say there's not a huge demographic of people in the middle. Could be completely wrong about that, but it's just what it seems like from my vantage point.

    Also, I think it's worth noting that the people that started this site were in the 12-16 age bracket. I remember Duff being the young kid for a while. So we attracted the younger crowd because we were the younger crowd.

  • @BlueSun said:
    Also, I think it's worth noting that the people that started this site were in the 12-16 age bracket. I remember Duff being the young kid for a while. So we attracted the younger crowd because we were the younger crowd.

    Ah yes, those probably are considered the "good times" when a forum/community is finally open for business and everyone gets to know each other. It's probably very surprising that on most forums, the earliest members have most likely started out as immature teenagers, but then years go by and they become legal grown-ups.

    Off-topic comment:
    I've also been pondering around your website (Hypnos), if that is your site, because I've seen the name "BlueSun" in a lot of articles there. Mostly checking out the Hypnos forum on the Wayback Machine, and it seems pretty neat. I think that community should come back online (I read the latest blog post there).

  • @JonathonWyble said:

    Off-topic comment:
    I've also been pondering around your website (Hypnos), if that is your site, because I've seen the name "BlueSun" in a lot of articles there. Mostly checking out the Hypnos forum on the Wayback Machine, and it seems pretty neat. I think that community should come back online (I read the latest blog post there).

    Yes, Hypnos is my site. It was neglected for a while, but I recently upgraded the forum software and migrated it to a new server. Maybe a wasted effort given there haven't been many posts the last couple of years, but I wanted to at least try to preserve it.

  • @Bry89 said:
    Also, I should confess that I have Aspergers

    I also have something to confess. I have autism, but you never saw me act like a complete idiot. If I did, please forgive me.

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