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Meromictic's avatar

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So lately in other parts of the site, I've seen a few people asking for pen pals. I've also seen several users give out their phone numbers. Mostly its users that have known each other for awhile and I honestly didn't think much of it. I also know some users that have met up dated/married.

But it breaks the first rule in the TOS as well as the Privacy Notice.

At the same time though, after spending hours with some people on zOMG or w/e, I would rather us have a more easy way of contacting each other. I don't like the idea of having to log onto a site just to ask someone about his/her day. Plus, it would make the married people's lives hella awkward if they actually followed the TOS.

I'm not sure if there would be a good way to change it. I mean, I've never heard of anyone getting banned because they met another Gaian offline. At one point I even met a mod at her house. o3o;

So guys, is this rule just to cover their behinds? Or do you believe that there needs to be a better crack down on it. If so, would it be like when everyone was getting banned for having botted gold? Ever meet anyone from Gaia or giving your information? Thoughts on those that do so? I've always felt that the GCD is the most hesitant forum when it comes to personal information.

Any other TOS rules that you find just as awkward?
Existential Existence's avatar

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It's there to cover their butts, and rightfully so. Otherwise all ye parental units would be all up in Gaia's face saying the website's not safe for younger teens (Good Morning America + cybering segment anyone? lol).

i've given my address/email to good friends on gaia. we mail stuff to each other. it's fun smile

people also skype each other a lot. for some people gaia is only one of many (usually the main, but still only one of many) ways people contact each other.

technically though i don't think most people break the TOS because there's the caveat to that line: never display blah blah blah..."with strangers or people you just met "

& when people exchange info, at least from what i've seen, it's usually with people they've known for a while.

add: oh yeah as for meeting people, i've met someone from gaia at a con before. that probably happens a lot though...'cause that's what the purpose of cons are for...
Erynne's avatar

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Everyone who attends a con should all be banned. They've exchange way too real information by actually existing and proving each others' existence. scream
Gaia should be shut down to prevent further security breaches. DANGER! DANGER!
Lazarus Larkin's avatar

Gaian

I didn't even know that was in the TOS. A bunch of my Gaia friends exchanged Christmas cards this year, heh. I've met a few offline too.
Lulu the Mainspring Lady's avatar

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The TOS, imo, is more to protect the underaged

I'm an adult and find the idea that I'm not 'allowed' to give other people information about myself pretty damn patronizing
... it also would not really make sense as a rule

so yeah
really seems to me like it's a clause for parental ease of mind and minor protection more than it is a prescriptive behaviour for us intelligent and consenting older folk

EDIT: OH also against posting your irl details publicly
like in a thread or something
because legal/danger/stalker chance/possibility of dead animals in the post or whatnot
pretttyyy sure there's some legal protection against letting people do that

but yeah
none of us are that stupid
... or are we

Zzyli's avatar

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Zzyli - Zzy as in Xylophone, Li as in leaf



I've exchanged Skype details with quite a few friends, for convenience of play in ZOMG and also just to hang out, and have exchanged letters with a few close friends. I even actually met up with someone who I'd met via Gaia when she was visiting her sister who lives (relatively) close to me. We were both adults who took suitable precautions though (letting other people know of our plans, meeting in a public place and such). I know plenty of people who've swapped mobile numbers (though I haven't because 1. International Texts 2. half the time I forget the thing exists).

I always felt this part of the ToS was more about sharing personal information in a public setting, such as a forum post. Especially for minors I imagine this could be a serious issue. The words used in the Privacy Policy as part of the ToS is "display" information, and my (possibly legalistic) view, always viewed that being more about sharing it in your profile, posts & such. I mean, even on Facebook, which is 'friends only', I don't display photos which show my house frontage or numberplate, because once information is on the internet, it's certainly not that hard for other people to find it.

As I've certainly heard plenty of stories of people meeting up & even dating/getting married from their connection on Gaia, I'd imagine that it's not a problem, as long as you're prudent about it. The fact that Gaia itself hosts events at conventions makes me think that it's okay for us to build relationships away from the computer screen. 4laugh


Accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative...
VVhip's avatar

Dangerous Sex Symbol

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THe whole "Never give out any Gaia issued passwords"

On the face of it, I thought it was any password. But it says a "Gaia issued password". So does that mean one that Gaia gives to me? Because I made my own password up for myself.

The rules and guidelines say not to give out any password or encourage another to.

So it's contradictory. And a little confusing.


BUT what I'd love to see fixed is the help center. It's messy and needs updating.

The Rules and Guidelines could also use links to stickies in various forums that have general rules too. Some of those apply sitewide.
I've given out my personal info like numbers and address a few times. I think it's just there to cover their asses. That said, I've seen on other sites, people posting their phone numbers in open threads. "OMH CALLME! :digits:"

I've thought about calling the numbers I find like that just to scare them lol.
that's specifically regarding the site
Gaia doesn't want members posting their info and sharing that around and potentially getting into bad situations and especially not getting into that situation through their site
so they advise you to be safe and there's a rule not to share your personal info
but that's just on Gaia, what you do off-site is up to you and if you wanna exchange numbers with your skype buddy you go right ahead
scullylam's avatar

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so.. does this relate to how users may share pictures in their journals and profiles? just wondering because people do go ahead and post info there in those areas.

i agree that you shouldn't post certain info in the forums since that is a pretty open place. anyone can read it, even if you aren't logged into the site you can still access the forums.

the only places i can think of how users may share contact info be pm, meebo, zomg (whisper/crew chat).. those are the only ones i can think that is a more "private" setting. then again, i can't even remember how i gave friends info.. having gaia friends outside of the site.. and well, maybe it was from one of those ways.. hmmm.. *scratches head*

either way, it is nice having gaia friends outside the site so you don't really have to log on to talk to them. xd and with those having more than just say a skype.. those are more lucky. *lol*


also, at one time didn't gaia have an area where you can type in your contact info? your aim, skype, etc? maybe before the forums had a nice new shiny version? or maybe i am remembering wrong.. sweatdrop
Creamy Filling's avatar

Aged Elder

there are several people in a guild i frequent who all live in the same city, and within the guild everyone talks about where to meet and phone numbers, etc. In a public forum, though, it's not a good idea to post personal data.
Tute Sweet's avatar

Beloved Bunny

Lulu the Mainspring Lady
The TOS, imo, is more to protect the underaged

I'm an adult and find the idea that I'm not 'allowed' to give other people information about myself pretty damn patronizing


This is how I feel about it, too.
Don't get me wrong, I completely understand why Gaia would put that in their ToS to cover themselves; the world is full of crappy parents who'd rather use a website as a scapegoat than take responsibility and admit that they should have taught their children about online safety.

But I'm an adult, I am perfectly capable of making that kind of call for myself, and I have exchanged personal information with many of my friends on Gaia (one of whom is coming to stay with me later this month! *squee* ) with no ill effects, because I use common sense when doing so.
Fortunately, it really doesn't seem to be a rule Gaia are trying to enforce.
Meromictic's avatar

Winged Stargazer

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scullylam
also, at one time didn't gaia have an area where you can type in your contact info? your aim, skype, etc? maybe before the forums had a nice new shiny version? or maybe i am remembering wrong.. sweatdrop

yep
User Image

It also would link a website for you and I think you could add ICQ to your list of usernames. I don't remember skype being one of them.
Bronia's avatar

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It's just to cover them so nobody can sue Gaia if someone gets kidnapped for posting their information of Gaia. I've given my email out to someone on Gaia and thats it, but I know my guild does a lot of card exchanges and everyone generally knows at least the country or region where everyone else lives. As long as you're not giving out your phone number, birth date, Social Security number, whatever else could get you in deep trouble Gaia wouldn't do anything to stop it.
scullylam's avatar

Sparkly Stalker

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Meromictic
scullylam
also, at one time didn't gaia have an area where you can type in your contact info? your aim, skype, etc? maybe before the forums had a nice new shiny version? or maybe i am remembering wrong.. sweatdrop

yep
User Image

It also would link a website for you and I think you could add ICQ to your list of usernames. I don't remember skype being one of them.

ah that is what it was. icq. skype is probably still too young so it was never around. xd and that is awesome you have a screenie. man, so weird how things changed.

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