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Age verification ideas?

boyzforumboyzforum New
edited May 2014 in Vanilla 2.0 - 2.8

I get a lot of young people joining my forum, and would like to restrict some forum categories to members above a certain age.
What would be the best way to add age verification for existing and new members?
Is there an add-in I could use?

If not, I am thinking of adding:

  • a birthdate property in the members profile (not visible to others, and not editable by the member)
  • a simple once-only popup that asks for their birthdate
  • if member is above a certain age, assigns them the role "Carded"
  • restrict certain categories to Carded members

A more fun/ user-friendly way to do it could be

  • popup says "Find out your Roman-Chinese Zodiac" and asks for birthdate
  • member gets a badge to indicate their starsign, such as Tiger Leo, Horse Libra etc
  • member gets a link to a horoscope site
  • meanwhile the roles /permissions are set ("Carded") as above

So, not being a programmer myself, I'd like to ask the wise and worldly people here at Vanilla for some ideas on how to implement this. Thanks for any help.


  • NeilAnimeNeilAnime New
    edited May 2014

    You could probably do most of that without much coding. If you want to do it your self i would look into how to make a simple plugin, how to add custom user profile properties, and how to add roles to users. The rest you can do within the forums permissions and roles systems (add a carded role and add a category that only carded users can view)

    EDIT: Also you would coordinate the custom profile things together with the role adding with an if statement that adds a role if they chose over 18

  • vrijvlindervrijvlinder Papillon-Sauvage MVP

    a simple once-only popup that asks for their birthdate

    Useless unless you can verify the age of the person. Forums used to ask for a picture salute to verify it was you. But the only way to verify is someone is 18 plus and that is also questionable, is with a credit card. People lie all the time about their age. Specially the under aged.

  • Thanks.
    Yes, people lie about their age all the time. However it's impractical and overkill to insist on credit card verification for a free forum. I'll settle for self reporting and
    that's why I thought of masquerading the age verification thing as a" find out your horoscope" game.

  • @NeilAnime‌
    Thanks, I think I can set custom profile fields, and with the YAGA addin it would be possible to award roles based on profile properties (I think).
    The only required coding would be the once-only birthdate popup which would pass the data to the profile.
    Any ideas on what the code would look like?

  • @boyzforum‌ Well you can look for a basic vanillaforums plugin tutorial, then search for how to make a popup window using a plugin. I would suggest gaining some basic php programming knowledge beforehand though.

  • boyzforumboyzforum New
    edited May 2014

    @Linc‌ Do you think the Vanilla coding team could help me? Concerned about cost though.
    By the way Support denied my request to add YAGA.

  • vrijvlindervrijvlinder Papillon-Sauvage MVP

    Just have them upload a selfie holding a handwritten note with the url of your forum and then say that it is checked for photoshop manipulations so don't even try.

    This works well in most cases. Deters spammer too.

  • LincLinc Detroit Admin

    @boyzforum YAGA isn't available because it's redundant to the Ranks, Badges, and Reactions addons that are exclusive to cloud customers. Contact [email protected] for a customization request.

  • @vrijvlinder‌ thanks for the suggestion. I agree it sounds very effective. However it is not practical for my forum - we have 90,000 registered members and three staff.

  • @Linc‌ I see. OK, I'll contact Sales.
    BTW is there a reason Van2Shout is not offered?

  • LincLinc Detroit Admin
    edited May 2014

    @boyzforum‌ The simplest explanation is that no one on cloud has requested it that I recall. To get an open source addon onto cloud requires a decent amount of time to evaluate, revise, and deploy it.

    One of the key differences between cloud and open source is we take all responsibility for the safety, performance, and stability of your forum, so we're pretty conservative about what code we'll allow to run on it. Making a judgement call about whether something has the potential to undermine your entire site is a difficult and time-consuming process, especially when we determine changes are necessary. If we don't offer something on cloud it's because we take our jobs very seriously, not because we want to deny you a cool feature. :)

    I just took a cursory look at Van2Shout and it's really complex (by typical addon standards, anyway). In less than 3 minutes I found it violates a number of our coding standards and has at least 1 serious scaling problem that would likely cripple it at high volumes. So, I'm guessing it would be costly to get it on cloud since that would all need to get fixed (and that's probably the tip of the iceberg).

    [edited to add more thoughts]

  • Understood, Linc.

  • vrijvlindervrijvlinder Papillon-Sauvage MVP

    It is the only one of it's kind for Vanilla OS . I wonder why you don't create one for the big leagues . The problem arises when people use it as a chat room instead of a shout box .

    A shoutbox should be small and only be used for small stuff. A shout out. It's when people use it like a chatroom that there are problems.

    I think more and more people are buying chat room services because they are maintained by a separate entity and does not affect the site directly .

    There is a service called Rumbletalk

    I tested it and works really good. This is great for large sites or small ones. They do offer a variety of packages.

    They have partnered with others software providers , in the way of plugins that streamline the process of maintaining the Box.

    I tested it by embedding it into my site. It works on all devices . Maybe this can be an option for you. Since it does not install in Vanilla as a plugin but it is an embed. I don't think you will have an issue with the service providers

  • LincLinc Detroit Admin
    edited May 2014

    @vrijvlinder Fundamentally, we are a forum, not a chatroom. We don't have interest in producing chat-like features because that will never be our strength and it comes with a whole new set of issues. There are some great third-party chat products that can be added to any Vanilla forum with a Javascript widget. The Pockets addon is great for accomplishing this.

  • hgtonighthgtonight ∞ · New Moderator

    If you are running on the hosted platform, I can't really help you write a plugin for it.

    I like the idea though. :D

    Search first

    Check out the Documentation! We are always looking for new content and pull requests.

    Click on insightful, awesome, and funny reactions to thank community volunteers for their valuable posts.

  • vrijvlindervrijvlinder Papillon-Sauvage MVP

    @Linc said:Fundamentally, we are a forum, not a chatroom.

    Yea I did not mean to make a chatroom, just a little box for shouts. But people tend to spam the box too.

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