Comment on Comment Period Open for AO3 Terms of Service Updates

  1. geometric triangle pattern

    We added the new AO3 age policy (as described above) in compliance with the GDPR for EU users between the ages of 13 and 16, and added references to hiding/deleting accounts and content submitted by age-barred users.

    I would love clarification on this. I'm American, but the idea of losing a chunk of fanworks horrifies me. If someone is in this age range and has posted fic, will the fic be deleted? Is there no alternative to preserve the content, such as disabling the account, something? Fic vanishing, especially from a place that we all tend to use as a safe, uh, archive for content makes me so sad.

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    1. Dick comforts Damian

      I agree with this. It would make more sense to me to at least hide the account until the person's sixteenth birthday, at which point the person's work would be automatically unhidden again.

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      1. I agree, but I think it would make more sense to just lock the account (so the user can't log in) rather then delete or hide their works until the day they turn 16 according to the birthday they provided when making their accounts. Maybe if someone tried to click on the account name or go to that users profile, there could be a note saying that the account is locked until further notice or something along those lines. It would be so awful to lose tons of work on the archive.

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      2. Dick comforts Damian

        I just realized that for the site to know that a person has turned sixteen, it would have to know their birth date, which is personal data. *facepalm* Man, seems like there's just no way to win, unless the fics are scheduled to automatically unhide sixteen years after the date the user created their account??

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    2. Since the GDPR hasn't "gone live" yet, we don't know 1000% how the EU is going to enforce it; what we do know is that we will remove personally identifying information when we affirmatively and explicitly know someone is deemed by the GDPR to be too young to consent to sharing their own information (like their email address) -- and we won't assume someone's age when we have no information about someone's age. However, because we don't know exactly how the age aspect of the GDPR is going to be enforced for things that are not personally identifying information, we can't yet say for sure what we will have to do. I know that's vague, but that's why we put language in the TOS that lets us decide once we see how the GDPR is being viewed and enforced. If compliance when we know someone is "age-barred" means we can orphan works and remove notes that include personal information, like someone's Twitter or tumblr username, then that's what we will do.

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      1. Sorry the above comment didn't show up as Legal logged-in but I've fixed that now. Hi! OTW Legal Committee here, hoping to answer questions (but it's getting late on the US East Coast, so any questions asked starting about 30 min from now will get answered in our AM).

        Last Edited Wed 09 May 2018 11:14PM EDT

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        1. geometric triangle pattern

          Your reply makes a lot of sense. I'm relieved you don't want to delete fanworks either. Let's all hope a solution like orphaning works is viable once we know more.

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      2. If compliance when we know someone is "age-barred" means we can orphan works and remove notes that include personal information, like someone's Twitter or tumblr username, then that's what we will do.

        I sincerely hope AO3 won't be orphaning anyone's fic without their explicit permission. Someone retroactively being deemed as too young to be on the site /= their giving permission for their fics to be orphaned. Imo, it would be better to give any too-young users a choice between having their works orphaned, and having them deleted and a copy provided to them (the latter being what currently happens when someone deletes a work from AO3).

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        1. We definitely won’t be orphaning works without the submitter’s* explicit permission.

           

          *We aren’t saying “author” because we host works that aren’t textual.

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