First, if you haven't done so already, go immediately here to change/manage your 'adult content' settings. (Thanks to various LJ users for pointing this out.)
But mine is not a voice of complaint. I hope I don't make (more) enemies over this, but I have a tendency to voice my opinion. (Hm ... thought I had turned off 'obvious'.)
Everyone seems to assume that LJ is just out to get us. That their primary objective is to make money off us.
Well, duh. They are in business.
That does not necessarily mean that everything they do is to control/manipulate/extort. It *does* mean that they have to protect themselves from the crazies. From what? From the same people that we all have to watch out for. That 'moral majority' which is neither moral nor a majority. The people that think children are precious innocents who can be instantly affected and permanently harmed if they see pictures of real bodies, or come to understand that having sex is a natural and necessary part of life.
There are whole teams of these people on the internet, specifically seeking out the oversexed and frustrated user who just wants to share with like minded people.
In my own personal, misguided opinion, this new step is very well planned. Well, better than anything else I've seen.
1. It allows you to set, in a way that 'strangers' can see and understand, just exactly what kind of exchange you are here for, and whether it is appropriate for them to read.
2. Two, it mandates that several people have to think that you have been remiss before LJ has to bother checking it out. Again, 'strangers' who have read the rules have to admit that it is logical. They can't just demand instant banning of a journal on the basis of one complaint.
3. This is the big sticking point.
How to actually stop a minor from looking at a restricted post?
No one can but the parent.
And whether we like it or not, a child has the value that is assigned to that child by his/her parent. If the parent says, "'My child will not be exposed to porn", it is up to the parent to make sure of what the child is actually reading; to make sure that the actual birthdate is the one being entered. If the parent doesn't do that, nobody else is responsible. Like it or not, it is the legal responsibility of a business to allow parents to set limits on their children. (Thank God my parents did not! /irrelevant)
Just as a store is required to check ID before selling cigarettes or alcohol, LJ is required to ask age before allowing access to things the parent restricts. They are only required to ask, not verify.
DO WE REALLY WANT THEM TO HAVE TO VERIFY????????
No thanks. I don't want to have to give out my license number every time I want to join something.
The fact is that if the 'child' is going to lie about his age, ...
Who cares, if the parent doesn't?
When Raederle was 14, it was I who advised her to put in a fake birthdate. Because *I*, her parent, didn't want to limit her horizons. Yes, it did open her up to some predators. I kept track of who she was in contact with and what they were saying. And when someone wanted to meet her, she trusted me enough to tell me about it. And we went together to the meeting. (He didn't show. Heh.)
I think time has borne me out. I'm so proud of her I could burst. But the point is, it is all up to the parent.
They just need the proper tool from the business that their child is dealing with.
There may well be problems and bugs with this new system. I for one mean to give it the benefit of the doubt.