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Dear fellow gaians,

it has come to my attention that gaia site moderators have no official guidelines as to what PG-13 means. Double standards are definitly in place. As one moderator thanks me for reporting "sexually explicit materials", another moderator basically harrasses me for creating a "false report" when reporting similar materials. This forces me to making a thread about this to create an opportunity to discuss this topic.

Keep in mind that the PG-13 rating was created for movies and has been adapted to websites and games, to inform parents about the contents.

According to The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition PG-13 means:
PG-13 (pjthûr-tn)
A trademark used for a movie rating indicating that admission will be granted to persons of all ages but that parental guidance is suggested in the case of children under the age of 13.
source: The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

All over the world PG-13 means "Parental Guidance if under 13 (movie rating)", however on gaia nobody is allowed to be under the age of 13. So what does this line in the Information for Parents mean??

Information for Parents
Is Gaia appropriate for teens?

We try to keep our site at a "PG-13" level, and a dedicated staff of moderators constantly monitors the forums to remove abusive or racist language, inappropriate images and adult content.


To me it seems redundant, but I would like to know what gaiaonline thinks is PG-13 and what other gaians' opinions about this topic are. So please use the topic voting buttons to express your opinions. Vote thumbs up if you think that gaiaonline should either change its rating levels OR thumbs down if you think that this topic is meaningless.
What does gaia have to say about this?

In the Terms of Service it clearly states that...
Terms of service
4. Prohibited Conduct -- BY USING GAIA ONLINE YOU AGREE not TO:
4.2
send, post, or make available pornographic, threatening, embarrassing, hateful, racially or ethnically insulting, deceptive, tortious, defamatory, libelous, or otherwise inappropriate or offensive content to other Gaia Members;

4.11
intentionally interfere with the operation of Gaia Online or any Member's enjoyment of it, including intentionally posting inflammatory statements to get a reaction ( "Trolling" );

4.12
post, request, or link to sexually explicit material or conduct;

4.13
discuss, promote, or depict any form of child sexuality, abuse, exploitation, or related topics that may be harmful to or threaten the security of a child or minor;




Furthermore... in the Rules & Guidelines it clearly states that...
Rules & Guidelines

Interacting with Other Users on Gaia:

Be Courteous:
Please be civil and courteous towards your fellow Gaians. We have a very liberal policy regarding language, but overly abusive language is not permitted. If your post is excessively vulgar, insulting, explicit, or hateful, it may be removed and disciplinary actions may be taken on your account(s)."

No Trolling:
Posting material that is inflammatory or intended solely to offend or provoke other members is called 'trolling', and is not permitted.

No Cybering:
Soliciting or engaging in cybersex (exchanging descriptions of sexual experiences) or mature content role play is not allowed on Gaia Online. Making sexually suggestive or explicit posts can result in them being removed, and action being taken against your account.

No Child Abuse:
Discussion, depiction or promotion of child sexuality, abuse, exploitation and/or related topics that may be harmful to or threaten the security of a child or minor is not allowed. Submitting any content or utilizing language or terms meant to imply or insinuate these situations may result in action being taken against your account.


Images:

Mature material:
Any material that is sexually explicit or pornographic, or depicts excessive violence or gore is not permitted. Tasteful nudity in the art forums is allowed on a case-by-case basis, but on the whole, it is a good idea to cater to a range of audiences. Keep in mind that some members may be as young as 13.


Repercussions
I was wondering what the repercussions are that gaia takes in regard to violators of the above quoted rules & guidelines and Terms of Service.... so I've asked around a bit. Someone was honest enough to say that his/her account has been banned for the coming six months for posting "sexually explicit materials" (pornographic images) in the GD. This user also stated that it is not a big deal as he/she has multiple accounts on gaia that are banned and will be unbanned soon. Furthermore he/she stated that "i can always create a new account, so gaia can't touch me".

Suggestions
To be taken seriously by the small, but increasingly growing, group of violators of gaia rules, gaiaonline should permanently ban repeat offenders from making use of any part of gaiaonline, instead of giving them a temporary ban of six months.
It has come to my attention that many of the moderators are just students accessing and moderating gaiaonline from campus networks or in public places where viewing "sexually explicit materials" is inappropriate. This limits them in their actions. So in my opinion gaiaonline should employ in-house site moderators that can be reached 24/7.
Gaiaonline has an optional word filter, but many gaians bypass it by using spaces or visually similar characters in the blocked word. Bypassing such filters is in my humble opinion not acceptable and should be considered as not PG-13. This not only happens in posts made to the forums, but also occurs in signatures and usernames.
A movie's single use of one of the harsher sexually-derived words, though only as an expletive, shall initially require the MPAA to issue that film at least a PG-13 rating. More than one such expletive must lead the rating board to issue a movie an R rating, as must even one of these words used in a sexual context. Therefore i strongly suggest that gaiaonline changes its PG-13 levels to an R rated level.


On a further note
Over the years i have seen the amount of gaians online drop significantly. That to me is no surprise. During my investigation as to parent's perceptions on the website Gaiaonline.com i found out that many other websites condemn gaia for allowing explicit content in forums, signatures, profiles and usernames.
Libraries, schools, and other public places with internet access often use a wordfilter to block certain sites. With gaia's current policy towards the use of explicit language it doesn't surprise me whatsoever as to why the amount of gaians online has dropped so drastically. I live in Europe where the tendency towards movie ratings is less restrictive than in the USA, so I like to consider myself to be quite liberal and tolerant towards use of language and such. However, since gaiaonline is a site hosted in and mainly targeted towards US teens, I respect and uphold the Rules & guidelines and Terms of Service I had to agree with when i joined gaia many years back. I just hate to see the pleasant community gaiaonline used to be go down the drain due to mismanagement of any sort.
Lazarus Larkin's avatar

Gaian

I don't think the problem is the percieved rating level; I think -- and your post pretty much illustrates this -- that the problem is that different mods have different ideas of what's okay and what isn't. I'm not sure what the actual solution to that would be, though. I don't really know anything about what mod training is like currently, but there just doesn't seem to be any way to get every mod to agree on exactly what is all right and what isn't considering how much material is on Gaia in the first place.
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I have personally experienced that there IS a gender difference between what is actioned vis a vis imagery.

Namely, there can be signatures of drawings of barely covered ladies' giggles and bits, but god ******** forbid some bulge is visible. I got 2 week'd for that once, can you believe it?

The funny thing is, it was a censored version of an explicit drawing. rofl
Sakura Latte's avatar

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It may say that they try to keep their site at a "PG-13" level, but it isn't strictly PG-13. Besides, movie ratings don't really apply to websites.

From an ex-mod:
Quote:
We do not run on PG-13 rules. We have Gaia Acceptable Content, as movie ratings do not really apply to an online website. People generally understand the term "PG-13" and what it implies insofar as adult content, hence its use to get across the idea that there are certain things we do not permit on Gaia Online; this does not mean, however, that one can say "X was in a PG-13 rated movie, so if it passed there, I can post it on Gaia!"

This is particularly the case when you note that PG-13 means children under 13 must be accompanied by an adult. Due to COPPA regulations, Gaia does not and cannot permit children under 13 to register and use Gaia Online, and enforces this strictly.

For more clarification on what is considered to be Gaia Acceptable Content, feel free to check out the Rules & Guidelines link at the bottom of any page. While it isn't exactly the same as a "PG-13 rating," it contains an explanation of what is considered acceptable content on Gaia Online, and is supplemented by Rules & Guidelines stickies at the top of any given forum.
La Dame de Glace's avatar

Desirable Cutie-Pie

Hmmmh, where to begin? . . . OK, Gaia definitely doesn't qualify as a "PG-13" website if you use the standard definition. After perusing Internet history about parents' problems with the content, user names, and signatures, I've become uncertain that it ever has been PG-13.

The Information for Parents also seems in need of a rewrite because the dedicated staff of moderators no longer "constantly monitors the forums to remove abusive or racist language, inappropriate images and adult content." Instead, one moderator stated that many of them are moms with young kids and full-time college students whose purpose is to be available to respond to reports of inappropriate content made to them by Gaians; therefore, they don't monitor, they respond--that is, they are not proactive, only reactive once the material is posted and reported.

Finally, I do agree that Gaia's moderators need more guidance on interpretation of the ToS because they seem to be inconsistent in their responses to reports made by others.
La Dame de Glace's avatar

Desirable Cutie-Pie

I beg to differ; the PG-13 rating used on the Internet came directly from movies and is applied as such on other sites. As well, the greater problem appears to be that moderators frequently seem to lack adequate familiarity with the ToS that they are supposed to be enforcing.

Sakura Parfait
It may say that they try to keep their site at a "PG-13" level, but it isn't strictly PG-13. Besides, movie ratings don't really apply to websites.

From an ex-mod:
Quote:
We do not run on PG-13 rules. We have Gaia Acceptable Content, as movie ratings do not really apply to an online website. People generally understand the term "PG-13" and what it implies insofar as adult content, hence its use to get across the idea that there are certain things we do not permit on Gaia Online; this does not mean, however, that one can say "X was in a PG-13 rated movie, so if it passed there, I can post it on Gaia!"

This is particularly the case when you note that PG-13 means children under 13 must be accompanied by an adult. Due to COPPA regulations, Gaia does not and cannot permit children under 13 to register and use Gaia Online, and enforces this strictly.

For more clarification on what is considered to be Gaia Acceptable Content, feel free to check out the Rules & Guidelines link at the bottom of any page. While it isn't exactly the same as a "PG-13 rating," it contains an explanation of what is considered acceptable content on Gaia Online, and is supplemented by Rules & Guidelines stickies at the top of any given forum.
I think people that say Gaia isn't PG-13 just don't know what PG-13 actually means, here, copied and pasted from the Motion Picture Association of America's website:

"A PG-13 rating is a sterner warning by the Rating Board to parents to determine whether their children under age 13 should view the motion picture, as some material might not be suited for them. A PG-13 motion picture may go beyond the PG rating in theme, violence, nudity, sensuality, language, adult activities or other elements, but does not reach the restricted R category. The theme of the motion picture by itself will not result in a rating greater than PG-13, although depictions of activities related to a mature theme may result in a restricted rating for the motion picture. Any drug use will initially require at least a PG-13 rating. More than brief nudity will require at least a PG-13 rating, but such nudity in a PG-13 rated motion picture generally will not be sexually oriented. There may be depictions of violence in a PG-13 movie, but generally not both realistic and extreme or persistent violence. A motion picture’s single use of one of the harsher sexually-derived words, though only as an expletive, initially requires at least a PG-13 rating. More than one such expletive requires an R rating, as must even one of those words used in a sexual context. The Rating Board nevertheless may rate such a motion picture PG-13 if, based on a special vote by a two-thirds majority, the Raters feel that most American parents would believe that a PG-13 rating is appropriate because of the context or manner in which the words are used or because the use of those words in the motion picture is inconspicuous."

Based on that, we are sort of lower on the scale XD; Gaia doesn't allow nudity x ox then again it's weird because that's for movies, they should really get a rating specifically designed for websites . 3. Gaia doesn't has (in my opinion) really risque things, I mean yeah we have some sexy items, but have you seen tv this days? XD;

Edit: sorry if this sounds "know-it-all"ish, I just think it's such a simple thing x 3x just a Google search away that I don't know why people get so confused over this (I've seen countless threads in SF offended in the site's "PG-13 rating", it's just, weird). They should really reword that page, PG-13 shouldn't be mentioned XD; it seems everyone has an opinion on what it means and no one bothers to check x ox they should just use light humor and be cute and quirky, pure Gaia realness and charm the parents in XD; then again what 13 year old now-a-days have eagle parents around while using a website like Gaia? . 3.
La Dame de Glace's avatar

Desirable Cutie-Pie

Viviette Valentine
I think people that say Gaia isn't PG-13 just don't know what PG-13 actually means, here, copied and pasted from the Motion Picture Association of America's website: "A PG-13 rating is a sterner warning by the Rating Board to parents to determine whether their children under age 13 should view the motion picture, as some material might not be suited for them. A PG-13 motion picture may go beyond the PG rating in theme, violence, nudity, sensuality, language, adult activities or other elements, but does not reach the restricted R category. The theme of the motion picture by itself will not result in a rating greater than PG-13, although depictions of activities related to a mature theme may result in a restricted rating for the motion picture. Any drug use will initially require at least a PG-13 rating. More than brief nudity will require at least a PG-13 rating, but such nudity in a PG-13 rated motion picture generally will not be sexually oriented. There may be depictions of violence in a PG-13 movie, but generally not both realistic and extreme or persistent violence. A motion picture’s single use of one of the harsher sexually-derived words, though only as an expletive, initially requires at least a PG-13 rating. More than one such expletive requires an R rating, as must even one of those words used in a sexual context. The Rating Board nevertheless may rate such a motion picture PG-13 if, based on a special vote by a two-thirds majority, the Raters feel that most American parents would believe that a PG-13 rating is appropriate because of the context or manner in which the words are used or because the use of those words in the motion picture is inconspicuous."

Based on that, we are sort of lower on the scale XD; Gaia doesn't allow nudity x ox then again it's weird because that's for movies, they should really get a rating specifically designed for websites . 3. Gaia doesn't has (in my opinion) really risque things, I mean yeah we have some sexy items, but have you seen tv this days? XD;


Curiously,you seem to be the only one--so far--who has missed the myriad nude drops and solicitations, invitations to partake in drugs, and sexually explicit discussions in the Chatterbox and GD threads.
Lazarus Larkin's avatar

Gaian

La Dame de Glace

Curiously,you seem to be the only one--so far--who has missed the myriad nude drops and solicitations, invitations to partake in drugs, and sexually explicit discussions in the Chatterbox and GD threads.


...those are all against the rules and reportable though.
Lazarus Larkin
La Dame de Glace

Curiously,you seem to be the only one--so far--who has missed the myriad nude drops and solicitations, invitations to partake in drugs, and sexually explicit discussions in the Chatterbox and GD threads.


...those are all against the rules and reportable though.


that's the issue... such threads can easily be prevented from being posted in the first place by checking them for certain words. And it seems that some (if not most) moderators display a double standard when it comes to interpreting such materials when they are reported.
Sakura Latte's avatar

Melodious Fairy

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La Dame de Glace
I beg to differ; the PG-13 rating used on the Internet came directly from movies and is applied as such on other sites. As well, the greater problem appears to be that moderators frequently seem to lack adequate familiarity with the ToS that they are supposed to be enforcing.

Sakura Parfait
It may say that they try to keep their site at a "PG-13" level, but it isn't strictly PG-13. Besides, movie ratings don't really apply to websites.

From an ex-mod:
Quote:
We do not run on PG-13 rules. We have Gaia Acceptable Content, as movie ratings do not really apply to an online website. People generally understand the term "PG-13" and what it implies insofar as adult content, hence its use to get across the idea that there are certain things we do not permit on Gaia Online; this does not mean, however, that one can say "X was in a PG-13 rated movie, so if it passed there, I can post it on Gaia!"

This is particularly the case when you note that PG-13 means children under 13 must be accompanied by an adult. Due to COPPA regulations, Gaia does not and cannot permit children under 13 to register and use Gaia Online, and enforces this strictly.

For more clarification on what is considered to be Gaia Acceptable Content, feel free to check out the Rules & Guidelines link at the bottom of any page. While it isn't exactly the same as a "PG-13 rating," it contains an explanation of what is considered acceptable content on Gaia Online, and is supplemented by Rules & Guidelines stickies at the top of any given forum.


Um, I'm pretty sure the TOS is drilled even more into their heads when they go through training? After all, one of the requirements for being a mod is to know the rules of the site.
Sakura Parfait
La Dame de Glace
I beg to differ; the PG-13 rating used on the Internet came directly from movies and is applied as such on other sites. As well, the greater problem appears to be that moderators frequently seem to lack adequate familiarity with the ToS that they are supposed to be enforcing.

Sakura Parfait
It may say that they try to keep their site at a "PG-13" level, but it isn't strictly PG-13. Besides, movie ratings don't really apply to websites.

From an ex-mod:
Quote:
We do not run on PG-13 rules. We have Gaia Acceptable Content, as movie ratings do not really apply to an online website. People generally understand the term "PG-13" and what it implies insofar as adult content, hence its use to get across the idea that there are certain things we do not permit on Gaia Online; this does not mean, however, that one can say "X was in a PG-13 rated movie, so if it passed there, I can post it on Gaia!"

This is particularly the case when you note that PG-13 means children under 13 must be accompanied by an adult. Due to COPPA regulations, Gaia does not and cannot permit children under 13 to register and use Gaia Online, and enforces this strictly.

For more clarification on what is considered to be Gaia Acceptable Content, feel free to check out the Rules & Guidelines link at the bottom of any page. While it isn't exactly the same as a "PG-13 rating," it contains an explanation of what is considered acceptable content on Gaia Online, and is supplemented by Rules & Guidelines stickies at the top of any given forum.


Um, I'm pretty sure the TOS is drilled even more into their heads when they go through training? After all, one of the requirements for being a mod is to know the rules of the site.


No offence to you or anyone, but since when do mods receive training? For if they did, there wouldn't be so many discrepancies between their verdicts on certain types of contents of reported posts/treads. I often had to direct a moderator to the specific text in the R&G or ToS and even to the PG. So as far as i know there is no training given to moderators whatsoever. I think their qualifications are "show proof of breathing for at least 18 years", "the amount of posts made by them in the forums" and "the amount of reports they made before becoming a moderator". I think that in many cases the greeterfellow from wallmart has better qualifications than some of the moderators on this site.
Sir Messenger's avatar

Dapper Rogue

Quibuz


No offence to you or anyone, but since when do mods receive training? For if they did, there wouldn't be so many discrepancies between their verdicts on certain types of contents of reported posts/treads. I often had to direct a moderator to the specific text in the R&G or ToS and even to the PG. So as far as i know there is no training given to moderators whatsoever. I think their qualifications are "show proof of breathing for at least 18 years", "the amount of posts made by them in the forums" and "the amount of reports they made before becoming a moderator". I think that in many cases the greeterfellow from wallmart has better qualifications than some of the moderators on this site.


Since the first Mod on Gaia, but you prefer being a sour pickle about it.

http://www.gaiaonline.com/forum/featured-announcements/apply-to-become-a-gaia-moderator/t.30631407/?login_success=1359781741

Quote:

We have divided the areas of the website that require support and member services and named leaders to each of these areas. These leaders will be building a group of responsible moderators under their direction and will ensure their realm of responsibility is covered. Each team will have a specialty that they will concentrate on, which will provide Gaia with total coverage from Minigames to PM’s.

Moderators will have strict quality prerequisites to meet, and will be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure maximum education and fairness. Discipline amongst our ranks and adherence to our refined Terms of Service (Still under construction) will maximize our relationships with our members. A new Help Center will one day replace our Rules and Guidelines page to provide even more information.

A complete and built-from-the-ground-up training center and team has been feverishly working on defining in hard terms what it is to be a Gaia moderator, what is expected of you and how to perform in this volunteer role. There will be a laundry list of curriculum and training staff to ensure maximum throughput for our newly announced public moderator induction process.


If you continue to think that Gaia just willy nilly chooses anyone with a pulse, that is a personal problem you, on your own, will have to wrestle with.
Lazarus Larkin's avatar

Gaian

Quibuz
Lazarus Larkin
La Dame de Glace

Curiously,you seem to be the only one--so far--who has missed the myriad nude drops and solicitations, invitations to partake in drugs, and sexually explicit discussions in the Chatterbox and GD threads.


...those are all against the rules and reportable though.


that's the issue... such threads can easily be prevented from being posted in the first place by checking them for certain words. And it seems that some (if not most) moderators display a double standard when it comes to interpreting such materials when they are reported.


I totally disagree with that. There's pretty much no subject on Gaia that's utterly taboo in every context, and making mods approve every post would just be ridiculous.

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