PiratePony

Underage Dating/Pedophilia on MLP Forums

Jeric

Staff's position on this is that we will not tolerate sexual predation on our forum. If you are caught doing so, we will act swiftly and appropriately. If you are a victim, or are aware of one, please inform an Administrator immediately. 

Message added by Jeric

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If it's illegal in the country where the site is hosted, I would think it needs to stay off the site. 

Edited by Total Lunar Eclipse
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7 hours ago, Total Lunar Eclipse said:

If it's illegal in thr country where the site is hosted, I would think it needs to stay off the site. 

^This. This site is hosted in Canada, and the legal age is sixteen, same as the UK. So anyone under that age is a legal minor and therefore, any adult involved with an under sixteen year old should keep it off the site and if they don't, then action should be taken.

To all the people who say, "Well, nothing physical happened so it doesn't count", we count verbal abuse as being just as damaging as physical abuse, right? If a person on here constantly targeted another user with constant verbal abuse, it would count as a site violation and the offender would be dealt with. Many cases of grooming start with inappropriate emails and/or text messages, or chat. Many sex offenders who start with non physical abuse escalate. So we shouldn't ignore this.

Oh yeah, and saying, "He/she wanted it just as much as I did" is not a defence. The adult has the responsibility to be an adult and to not respond. The Roman Polanski case is a prime example of this.

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On 2/5/2018 at 7:42 PM, LadyMercury said:

Alright. I'm back at a computer for a little while so I might as well type this up while I'm here.

As I made it clear earlier we do take issues like this seriously, and I do my best to handle them on a case by case basis and gather enough information each time to make an educated decision and sometimes it's hard because it's not always what you'd expect from the people you've known or at least thought you knew well. 

The barest minimum that I'm going to have enforced is Canadian law. That's the jurisdiction that we fall under, and without any other information given (Say it's refused when someone on staff investigates) that is what will be enforced here, because without that other information we can't outright assume otherwise. Canadian law says 16, that's the lower limit here without taking into account close-in-age groups.

That's not really the interesting part, but it gives a good baseline of what to look out for. The law regarding the close age groups states that a relationship can be held by someone under the age of 16 (14-15) with someone less than 5 years older than themselves. The logical way of looking at this (by myself) is that if you could've been in high school together it's not really outside your age group. I do usually take into account making sure that the parties haven't been doing anything questionable and look out for predatory practices, but the bare minimum is the law. 

On top of this, if information is provided from the users upon questioning and they are from countries that allow somewhat large variances in age groups that people are allowed to have relationships in I will take this into consideration and probably not enact punitive measures onsite, however I will ask that they take discussion of their relationship elsewhere and keep it in a private setting as it wouldn't do them any good to continue talking about it in the public eye. 

I'm doing my best to abstract my own personal opinions from this and make sure there's an understanding of what we have to follow. If you do see something suspicious it doesn't hurt to report it and get it looked at, as long as you're not spamming the report system with them. 

One problem I have with this is in regards to turning a blind eye to those in countries where this is allowed. Basically you're saying to let it slide if they hush hush about it. The problem is now the older person, who would be slapped into a sex offender database in my country, can be free to stay on the site...and potentially target another child here.  

Except now they've been tipped off how to get away with it.

Once again, the same generation is not the issue, but the older adults who prey on children. And this statement does little to quell my fears about child safety here.

It took weeks after me starting this thread, plus toonkritics criminal activity to hit the news for a statement to be made. 

 

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17 hours ago, PiratePony said:

One problem I have with this is in regards to turning a blind eye to those in countries where this is allowed. Basically you're saying to let it slide if they hush hush about it. The problem is now the older person, who would be slapped into a sex offender database in my country, can be free to stay on the site...and potentially target another child here.  

Except now they've been tipped off how to get away with it.

Once again, the same generation is not the issue, but the older adults who prey on children. And this statement does little to quell my fears about child safety here.

It took weeks after me starting this thread, plus toonkritics criminal activity to hit the news for a statement to be made. 

Telling them to take it off of our site is perfectly legitimate. Punishing people for something that is legal and acceptable where they're from isn't what I'm here to do. I just don't want it happening on our website. They can go do whatever legal things they're allowed to do in their country while in their country and on whatever other services that allow it. I will just ask them not to take it here because we don't want it.

It's not a very fun subject to be on and I understand the concern. I do as careful of an investigation as I possibly can when looking into these reports, and I will make it quite clear that it's not OK to come here to prey on younger users. I was more referring to people who're in a relationship that started outside of this site and live in other countries where it's not wrong to be in a relationship with that sort of age gap (Both parties that is). That's the difference, and that's why I stated that case in the first place. If they're grooming people on this site, I don't want them on this site. But I want it to make it clear that if it's a relationship that's developed outside of the site and was here before before they got here they wouldn't be booted if they're not doing it on this site. I would just ask that they definitely keep any interactions involving their relationship off of our website.

 

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14 hours ago, LadyMercury said:

Punishing people for something that is legal and acceptable where they're from isn't what I'm here to do.

Unless it's illegal in the case where the other person is from. I know that both the US and Canada have extraterritorial jurisdiction laws (by nature) to combat sexual predation against children. One is actually specific to business travel, which is something some fans overseas may want to keep in mind if they come to US cons to vend. And yes, extradition requests do happen over sexual predation of minors. 

27 UST 983; TIAS 8237.
1853 UNTS 407
TIAS.

18 U.S. Code § 2422 - Coercion and enticement

Spoiler

U.S. Code › Title 18 › Part I › Chapter 117 › § 2422

18 U.S. Code § 2422 - Coercion and enticement

US Code

Notes

prev | next

(a)

Whoever knowingly persuades, induces, entices, or coerces any individual to travel in interstate or foreign commerce, or in any Territory or Possession of the United States, to engage in prostitution, or in any sexual activity for which any person can be charged with a criminal offense, or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.

(b)

Whoever, using the mail or any facility or means of interstate or foreign commerce, or within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States knowingly persuades, induces, entices, or coerces any individual who has not attained the age of 18 years, to engage in prostitution or any sexual activity for which any person can be charged with a criminal offense, or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title and imprisoned not less than 10 years or for life.

Internet communication applies to the above USC section b for general contact while section a focuses primarily on travel. 

The Protect Act § 503 of 1992 (seen sect. 18 U.S.C. § 2251 to 18 U.S.C. § 2260)

That little gem is what was going to be your heartburn if you even acted on launching an NSFW forum here. Basically, how it is used is to arrest individuals sharing porn online to minors, even if it is legal in their state and they are within the age of consent. That's the one you need to be careful of. That's the parental silver bullet. 

Funny enough, I learned this in my Masters thanks to International Business Law courses ... Particularly International Corporate Law and International Law and Economic Development. Was actually discussed in each class due to the increased use on the internet and the connection to corporate risk. 

Go figure it would apply on a internet fansite about a cartoon. 

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21 minutes ago, Jeric said:

Unless it's illegal in the case where the other person is from. I know that both the US and Canada have extraterritorial jurisdiction laws (by nature) to combat sexual predation against children. One is actually specific to business travel, which is something some fans overseas may want to keep in mind if they come to US cons to vend. And yes, extradition requests do happen over sexual predation of minors. 

If you read the second paragraph, you'll notice I said both parties in parenthesis. Not to try and sound snarky, but since you're making the comment it seems like you didn't read that I already understand this.

If you're clarifying for the rest of the thread I suppose that's understandable.

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1 hour ago, LadyMercury said:

If you read the second paragraph, you'll notice I said both parties in parenthesis. Not to try and sound snarky, but since you're making the comment it seems like you didn't read that I already understand this.

If you're clarifying for the rest of the thread I suppose that's understandable.

'Both parties' was in a paragraph focused on clarifying that you were mostly discussing relationships that initiated off these servers. Readers will generally not parse or determine the distinction -- and most importantly -- start to process mental decisioning and judgements within the first paragraph. For the benefit of other readers, when I see something in a post's initial paragraph that requires specificity, I will provide it, as I did here. 

So, yes it was for the benefit of general clarity of the thread, as well as to remind everyone that the notion of one nation's law being the only binding arbiter, is a gross oversimplification. That is something I've heard far too often over the years here, from staff and users. I've addressed both civil and criminal culpability in this topic. Really, when it comes to this issue in general, both need to be considered. 

Remember, this isn't a hypothetical situation we are discussing. It has happened previously ... between a US and Canadian citizen. I was involved in questioning the minor. 

And no this isn't snark it's making sure that one opinion doesn't veer too far to one side or the other. As I mentioned to you, the policy you disclosed is acceptable as I don't want people banned for quick moral decisions, but it's important you all don't become too complacent and don't account for the severity of the legal implications. 

I'm pretty certain when I'm trying to be salty it comes across crystal clear. At the end of the day, I certainly believe you are genuinely concerned with the safety of minors here. That's the most important thing to me. But for those that have the ability to affect change ... they don't have the luxury of being wrapped in a warm blanket of comfort or feeling the issue is addressed. 

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2 minutes ago, Jeric said:

So, yes it was for the benefit of general clarity of the thread, as well as to remind everyone that the notion of one nation's law being the only binding arbiter, is a gross oversimplification. That is something I've heard far too often over the years here, from staff and users. I've addressed both civil and criminal culpability in this topic. Really, when it comes to this issue in general, both need to be considered. 

Alright I was just making sure, I can appreciate that and that's why I edited my post to include that, so thank you. If there's anything else left unclear by either of my statements feel free to bring it up. I'm still sorry if I seem a little snippy or anything like that as it is quite unintended because I'm still more used to more direct chat such as Discord or IRC over trying to make forum posts.

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On 1/15/2018 at 12:58 PM, Denim&Venom said:

Might not have an impact IRL, but at least it sets a precedent here on the forums and works as a deterrent to such behavior.

Not sure if it's possible here, but another action would be to ban the offenders IP address. 

even an IP ban can be easily bypassed with TOR or a simple VPN, not much the admins can do about that, any one person on these forums could easily have multiple accounts to ensure being banned doesnt effect their standing on here 

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13 minutes ago, Starlight Nova said:

multiple accounts

I think admins and such do a pretty decent job of sniffing out multiple accounts from the same person, I see new people get banned all the time in "Welcoming plaza" cuz they try to come back with a new account pretending to be somebody new to bypass their old account ban, but admins sniffs em out and they get promptly banned. I suppose the only way around this is like you said, if they're using Tor or something like that to conceal their IP address and they have multiple accounts it's possible that they could get away with it cuz every time they would log into their different accounts they would have different IP's and such.   

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Posted (edited)
30 minutes ago, Starlight Nova said:

even an IP ban can be easily bypassed with TOR or a simple VPN, not much the admins can do about that, any one person on these forums could easily have multiple accounts to ensure being banned doesnt effect their standing on here 

 

11 minutes ago, King of Canterlot said:

I think admins and such do a pretty decent job of sniffing out multiple accounts from the same person, I see new people get banned all the time in "Welcoming plaza" cuz they try to come back with a new account pretending to be somebody new to bypass their old account ban, but admins sniffs em out and they get promptly banned. I suppose the only way around this is like you said, if they're using Tor or something like that to conceal their IP address and they have multiple accounts it's possible that they could get away with it cuz every time they would log into their different accounts they would have different IP's and such.   

What I don't understand is why would you need to have multiple account to avoid not being banned? Why would you even consider dating a minor online in the first place. I don't understand the logic that would go in someone's head like that. It is true that you can bypass an IP ban like it is nothing but it doesn't make too much sense to me. Plus, it could be pretty easy to tell if someone has multiple accounts just by the way they act and how they present themselves online. Regarding TOR though, I don't know why someone would exactly tunnel through TOR when you can use a VPN no matter how crappy it is. But hey, this is just my take on it.

tl;dr, I think having multiple accounts to prey on someone online and circumventing an IP ban is more effort than it should be worth.

Edited by TheTaZe
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7 minutes ago, TheTaZe said:

tl;dr, I think having multiple accounts to prey on someone online and circumventing an IP ban is more effort than it should be worth

It is, I think that's why once most people get banned they don't come back, too much of an effort for them when there's plenty of other communities to infest with their sick thoughts :baconmane:  

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55 minutes ago, Starlight Nova said:

even an IP ban can be easily bypassed with TOR or a simple VPN, not much the admins can do about that, any one person on these forums could easily have multiple accounts to ensure being banned doesnt effect their standing on here 

Both of which I tend to catch with great regularity. TOR exit nodes are gloriously easy to spot. Also, having worked for an ISP as a systems advisor helped tremendously. 

So does a freakish skill for telling who an author is from a simple one page excerpt with no character or plot details. Also the coolest most sophisticated program for forensic analysis of writing helps quite a bit. 

21 minutes ago, King of Canterlot said:

It is, I think that's why once most people get banned they don't come back, too much of an effort for them when there's plenty of other communities to infest with their sick thoughts :baconmane:  

Most true predators move on quickly if there is a threat of discovery, yes. 

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On 6/26/2018 at 12:44 AM, TheTaZe said:

 

What I don't understand is why would you need to have multiple account to avoid not being banned? Why would you even consider dating a minor online in the first place. I don't understand the logic that would go in someone's head like that. It is true that you can bypass an IP ban like it is nothing but it doesn't make too much sense to me. Plus, it could be pretty easy to tell if someone has multiple accounts just by the way they act and how they present themselves online. Regarding TOR though, I don't know why someone would exactly tunnel through TOR when you can use a VPN no matter how crappy it is. But hey, this is just my take on it.

tl;dr, I think having multiple accounts to prey on someone online and circumventing an IP ban is more effort than it should be worth.

consider the topic with toonkritic one such discussion i started has been closed to being replied to by the admins as to why really i dont know it was educational on the situation based on the evidence everyone had and laws about both countries, some may say this type of conversation could get u banned just for going against the admins on a topic they deem inappropriate for general discussion. this would be one reason to have multiple accounts on different IP's, preventing the loss of an account in which to voice your opinions of a situation person or in this case accusations. 

this is one of many reasons from having different oc's as ur avatar for each account or  going loco and socializing with urself on the forums because everyone avoids u.

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35 minutes ago, Starlight Nova said:

consider the topic with toonkritic one such discussion i started has been closed to being replied to by the admins as to why really i dont know it was educational on the situation based on the evidence everyone had and laws about both countries, some may say this type of conversation could get u banned just for going against the admins on a topic they deem inappropriate for general discussion. this would be one reason to have multiple accounts on different IP's, preventing the loss of an account in which to voice your opinions of a situation person or in this case accusations. 

this is one of many reasons from having different oc's as ur avatar for each account or  going loco and socializing with urself on the forums because everyone avoids u.

Admins do not ban members for disagreeing with them. The Toonkritic topic was locked for the reasons that @PathfinderCS stated in the thread. Looking over the argument, It became a circular debate over details not applicable to him or the fandom and reached a natural conclusion. 

 

@LadyMercury stated the staff's intent and policy when she posted. We do not want predators on here and we investigate any potential dangerous conduct. I won't speak for other staff, but I'll recommend immediate action should anyone be caught preying on a child here. At the same time, we won't be jumping at ghosts. Accusations are not, taken by themselves, actionable evidence. There is nothing more to discuss with this topic as it has been open and everyone has had an opportunity to say their peace. Closing this out.

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