[Foundation-l] Wikimedia Census

Andrew Whitworth wknight8111 at gmail.com
Mon Feb 11 15:07:39 UTC 2008

On Feb 11, 2008 9:16 AM, Thomas Dalton <thomas.dalton at gmail.com> wrote:
> > From a practical standpoint, we can't be certain that anybody is or is
> > not 13. Even though we could state that you must be over 13 to
> > participate, we can't possibly validate users who claim to be. While
> > it doesnt work in all circumstances, a policy of "don't ask, don't
> > tell" might be in order here. At least then, if there was a
> > COPPA-related problem, we could plead ignorance.
> Not asking for ages leaves a major hole in the survey - age is one of
> the key discriminators between different demographics.

True, but telling people that you are going to discriminate against
them (by collecting less information from them) if they fall into
certain age ranges is just going to motivate people to lie. Some
people might reason "I can help more on the census if I lie about my
age and therefore get asked more questions".

Before discussing this any further, it might be instructive if we all
knew what COPPA is all about, and what kinds of information are
covered by it. If we aren't asking questions which are considered
"sensitive", we might not have to worry about this at all.

--Andrew whitworth

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