I have been noticing a large number of kids, usually about twelve, who keep trying to ask questions on the writing SE. They get shut down, and they should, because that's the rule. But there is nothing to stop kids from under thirteen from viewing the site.
- I hate to see what is clearly a swelling of interest in writing get shut down because of what is usually a one-year difference. As a Dad, I'd go nuts if my kids showed an interest in writing voluntarily. Is the 13 year age limit a standard across the entire SE, or can individual SE's have their own age limits based on the appropriateness of the material? I know kids can get on with the supervision of their parents, but I don't entirely follow how we recognize if parents ARE supervising. I know how hard it is to keep my kids OFF the internet (somewhere between impossible and virtually). Especially in COVID-land, where writing material looks essentially like homework. I would vote to lower it to twelve (if that were an option), not because they have great questions, but because this is a relatively safe topic and something educational. That, and we need more future GOOD question askers/answerers.
- Barring a shift in the age range, Do/should we have a list of writing resources we can direct underage readers to that are considered age-appropriate to answer their questions? It seems less than responsible to just say "Well, you can't ask here, so just start exploring the wild internet on your own and see what comes up." There may already BE such a list, and if so, let me know where it is. But the internet is like perpetually shifting sand for this kind of thing, and is it up to date?
- Can/do we have a tag that specifically marks a question as appropriate for a certain age group? There are questions and answers I wouldn't want a fifteen or sixteen year-old to read, let alone a twelve year old. There are a LOT of tags, and other than asking people to avoid tags about sex/torture/rape type topics, do we have a way to tell those twelve-year-old's (or more critically, their parents who may be casually watching but not that closely) up front that a question contains material that is inappropriate for kids under a certain age? a question about character development might have violent or sexual content, but the title and tags may not reflect that. I know no one likes a rating system, but would a courtesy tag for content be appropriate?