On February 12, 2009, ChristianBlog.Com announced that they were putting into place a serious of changes within the ChristianBlog.Com website in order to provide additional security features.
We detailed 11 important changes that would be taking place, including three "Immediate Changes" items.
Minor Profile Protection:
We are happy to announce that we have now enabled the first item on our three "Immediate Changes" list.
As a brief reminder, the first of the three immediate changes was:
|All profile/bio information (personal details, published blog, shoutouts, gallery, etc) will be hidden from view - unless you are a friend of the minor. This means that anybody randomly visiting the website will not be able to view anything about the minor from their biography. It also means that published blog entries will not be viewable to the general public. Only those who are friends of the minor will be able to view content about the minor. This will be the #1 biggest change in our initial changes.
As of just a few minutes ago we have now enabled the protection of all of our members profile pages, if they are a minor.
Because ChristianBlog.Com is physically located and operated within the United States of America, and as such we are governed by their laws for the definition of a minor. That definition states that a major is "anybody under the age of eighteen (18)".
How This Works:
With the implementation of our new "Minor Profile Protection", all profiles pages of those who are considered a minor will now be hidden from view if the following conditions apply:
There is one exception to this, and that is that in order to maintain a high level of protection and enforcement of our Global Policy, those individuals who make up the "Moderator Team" of ChristianBlog.Com will be allowed to view the profile pages of all members - including those profile pages of minors.
This implementation of our new "Minor Profile Protection" has two different long-term affects that we must stop and realize.
First, is that this is a major and drastic change to how the ChristianBlog.Com website has operated for the last three (3) plus years since we went online!
Until now it was possible for anybody (a member or not) to view the profile of anybody that was a member.
This is something we know and realize will have a drastic impact upon our present members! Anytime you "take away features" that never makes people happy. And to take away something so drastic, so important, as allowing or not allowing, the viewing of profiles -- well, we do realize that is a major change.
Secondly, we can say is that in the long-term the implementation of our new "Minor Profile Protection" is what is necessary to ensure that ChristianBlog.Com stays in-line with current privacy and protection laws.
One does not have to think hard about hearing all of the news on TV about our major/popular website being faced with serious security and privacy issues. MySpace, Facebook, and other social websites have been getting greater and greater pressure from Parental Groups and Privacy Groups to enforce the protection of content of minors.
We here at ChristianBlog.Com are trying to do the right thing by putting those necessary features into place before we are legally forced to do so!
Fans & Haters:
As always, ChristianBlog.Com is open to hearing from both fans and haters of the changes we make!
ChristianBlog.Com has a proven history of listening to our Community and making necessary changes were our Community desires us to make changes and were we legally can.
Unfortunately, this is going to be one of those times when we cannot really step back from this change and go "hmm, the community does not like this, perhaps we should reverse it".
This is one of those times when we are doing something because the current laws (or soon to be laws) are mandating we do something.
This explained, what we will be opening to considering is the "how we handle the protection" of minors content. That is, to explain it in another way, the process of what is protected, what happens to those trying to view protected content, and what is required to gain access.
Of that we are open to hearing feedback and suggestions. But again, the option to remove this feature is not an option. We have no place to apologize for this because it is something that WE are being FORCED to do by the laws of the land. If we knew we did not have to do this, we would not.
ChristianBlog.Com is getting close to having 10,000 members. We feel like this 10,000 member mark is our hallmark moment for the floodgates being opened! We are excited to see major new growth coming very soon! We are also excited to know that some of the highest standards that exist to protect minors is now in-place here at ChristianBlog.Com!