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Can someone under 13 use Instuctables? Answered

Someone I know is under 13 has over 7000 views and has a award winning Instructable is he allowed to us Instructables. I know the children act states we need to be 13 or older,but can't he just get his parents to say he can use the website through a form. Can you guess who the person is?



Best Answer 9 years ago

The "Over 13 rule" is not an ambiguously chosen age limitation. In the US, there is a law entitled the "Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998". It's a law designed to protect children from internet dangers. For the sake of having a starting point to define "children", congress chose "under age 13". As a result, all websites collecting personal data in the United States are required to comply with the law. Collecting personal data comes along with a membership-based website, like Instructables.

The rule is there to protect the folks who run Instructables from liability if a child uses the site. Specifically, most sites provide a provision for children, which involves parental consent. I don't know the specifics for Instructables, but if you're concerned, I'd email the admins asap.

More info at the source of all human knowledge

Query: If a 13 year old lies about his/her age, doesn't talk about their "offline" life, and doesn't post any pictures relating to themselves in reality, would this act apply, as the website operator has no idea that the kid is really a kid, and therefore cannot say that he has to protect said child?

I'm not a lawyer, so consult appropriate legal counsel if needed. The Relevant text is: "It is unlawful for an operator of a website or online service directed to children, or any operator that has actual knowledge that it is collecting personal information from a child, to collect personal information from a child in a manner that violates the regulations..." The specific part that is important is the "actual knowledge" portion. A website will be violating the act if it collects data knowingly. The site provides the caveat of age 13 to protect itself against liability users may engage in. The burden of responsibility lies not on the site any longer, because it's made every effort. So in short, essentially yes. In a court, a prosecutor may try to apply COPPA, but the site has protected itself, and it's unlikely that COPPA would properly apply. (Again though, I'm not a lawyer...)


Keep yer data safe, and don't give out yer name, age, or location and viola! You are approved! All of the responsibility is then transferred from the admins to you and your parents.

It is important though to learn a few things in order to pull this off... Oh, and no caps...

Oh, and the admins cant approve (in fact they should probably say its a bad idea) this plan. Doing so puts the blame on the admins if anything goes wrong.

who is admin fungus amugus ,instructable robot

You can probably find the right person to contact in the "About" section down at the bottom of each page.


9 years ago

I don't think the under 13 rule is really enforced. No one is really going to care, so long as this person acts mature. I mean, even if they aren't very mature *cough* dj radio */cough* ...

And would the person be... you?

/lmfao'd. Yeah, the rule definetely isn't enforced heavily, at least, you probably won't get banned for it... I think I signed up for the site at about 12(ish) but hadn't really used it until I turned 13 anyways. Just don't be an AOLer. I used to do that when I was 9 (on blogger, shoot me) and it really, really bugged people. Sadly, I mistook spelling things wrong as "cool". :|

Even if they want to enforce the rule, there's no way to prove your age on the internet easily. Not many people would join websites that ran background checks on you when you signed up.

i asked the admin and he says to just signup with parents emails

I think that that is just so that kids under 13 have their parents approval before they use the site.


9 years ago

What's really weird is that this site is designed for all ages, even humans under 13, so I don't think it's a big deal. If it's you.. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Actually, most of us that answered could be under. Well just don't go around saying someones under.

Guessing is irrelevant. If you are violating the Terms of Service, then your account may be terminated at any time at the complete discretion of the Instructables Staff.

With parental supervision, there's no reason why a 12 year old shouldn't be given access to instructables. The key is the parental supervision. Personally I think the same goes for kids older than 13 too, but I digress.