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  • Bane Cane
    Bane Cane closed this thread
    18:12, June 24, 2013

    Hello,

    We wanted to let you know that in order to comply with federal law, Wikia is reviewing the way it handles communities that may be considered directed to people 12 years of age or younger.

    This wiki has been flagged as falling into that category, and I wanted to let you know about it. While I know Dragonvale has many fans of all ages, it can also be especially appealing to the younger demographic for purposes of the newly revised Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).

    The only change you will notice is that we will be turning anonymous editing off for wikis in this category. Your users will still be able to edit and participate. They just need to make sure that they are logged in first. We hope the impact on your community will be minimal.

    We realize this might be an inconvenience, but this is a step Wikia has to take in order to make sure we are in compliance with federal law. You can find out more about COPPA here: http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2012/12/coppa.shtm.

    The changes to the law will be going into effect July 1st, 2013 although you may see some changes before then. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

    Thanks, and Happy Editing! --semanticdrifter @fandom (help forum | blog) 23:22, June 20, 2013 (UTC)


    Edit; If we're linking this thread in community messages, then I want to point out Semantic's blog in regards to this topic, as it contains some important information not mentioned here. -Tatz

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    • does turning off anon edits also turn off anon comments? 

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    • I believe so, as comments are considered to be edits

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    • that's what i thought, i just was wondering if he meant protecting pages, because "no anon edits" is an option. 

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    • This isn't exactly clear. Did anyone understand that? I only got a few sentences.

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    • TheWizardz786™
      TheWizardz786™ removed this reply because:
      lol, sannse's explanation was better than mine - no need to take up room!
      23:58, June 20, 2013
      This reply has been removed
    • It just means that everyone will have to log in to edit (including to comment)

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    • I am sure some people will be unhappy, but it is the law and has to be followed. This has actually been an issue (COPPA) that I've done reports on for classes.

      If there is backlash we can say that the host site is abiding the new adjustments to the federal law.

      I'm actually surprised something about this hasn't been done sooner.

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    • Yeah I got that part. But what is this new law, COPPA? Is it only being implemented in the USA?

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    • It's not a new law, rather a revision to an existing one, this law prohibits people under the age of 13 to enter personal information online. In compliance with this, wikia has always required people to be over 12 to make accounts. However, the law is about to be revised, so wikia has to revise their policies as well

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    • Oh. Ok. Thanks for that clarification.

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    • yay no more mean anon comments!

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    • Is this for all wiki's or just for the ones that have been flagged like ours? Just wondering...

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    • interesting, anon editing/commenting can be negative for the most part or just a plain nuisance so i guess this is a plus....

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    • I think, although we have no choice, this is a huge loss for the community. Many of our unregistered users contribute a lot to the conversations. It's sad to think that they can't participate any more without registering.

      I also think this will result in more underage users registering, unfortunately.

      I'm going to update our main page so that it no longer says we are a wiki that anyone can edit; to make it clearer that only registered users can edit.

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    • The Lord of Sun and Shadow wrote:
      It's not a new law, rather a revision to an existing one, this law prohibits people under the age of 13 to enter personal information online. In compliance with this, wikia has always required people to be over 12 to make accounts. However, the law is about to be revised, so wikia has to revise their policies as well

      Exactly!

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    • Leajey wrote:
      Is this for all wiki's or just for the ones that have been flagged like ours? Just wondering...

      This won't be Wikia-wide, but only for wikis that fall under the category.

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    • Oh...all right 

      Thanks :D

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    • I like this, it'll make the wikia more orderly, and safe for everyone, but it'd be annoying, because some users of this wikia do like to remain to stay anonymous, with no account. Not sure how I feel about this yet...I'm neutral...

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    • Soda786™ wrote: I like this, it'll make the wikia more orderly, and safe for everyone, but it'd be annoying, because some users of this wikia do like to remain to stay anoymous, with no account. Not sure how I feel about this yet...I'm neutral...

      This is sota how i feel, i am 50.1/49.9 on the matter and i am in favor of the law it will keep people safe as soda said also it may have the the benfiet of people thinking about what they say before the post.

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    • Hello!Everyone.Oh my!I'm feeling very sad to hear that unregistered users won't be able to edit anymore.The upcoming policy change has pros and cons. The pros of implementing the policy change would be less spam edits (which are mostly by unregistered users), less rude/mean comments etc. However, the cons would be more underage users would register, less contribution....I think. I'm still confused with the upcoming policy change. I thought wiki's are site where anyone may edit but users under the age of 13 years, cannot create an account. Wouldn't this lead to more users that are underage creating an account on the site? I know that some unregistered users are unkind but not all of them are. Some unregistered users are so helpful and kind. It would be sad not to see them commenting. Some new unregistered users that need help would not be able to seek help in the comments section :( Anyways, rules has to be followed. I have a very :P question...lol..... Is this upcoming policy change going to last for only a limited period of time?

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    • Adriano 25 wrote:
      ... I thought wiki's are site where anyone may edit but users under the age of 13 years, cannot create an account
      ... Is this upcoming policy change going to last for only a limited period of time?

      We believe in the ideal of open editing, wherever possible but we still have to comply with U.S. federal law and that means we have to restrict anonymous editing on certain wikis. The change will be permanent, although we will be periodically reviewing the policy.

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    • Hi!Seman. Thanks for the quick response. Yup!I agree. Owhhh! Thank you once again :D

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    • In the end the priority is keeping people safe and abiding by the laws (United State of America federal laws in this case ...Wikia is a United States based entity)...to make sure we still serve the public while remaining safe.

      I understand why Wikia needs to do this to wikis which attract a lot of the younger demographics.

      Yes, it will be sad that some people who wish to remain anonymous won't be able to contribute anonymously and some may even stop coming to the wiki, but it is important to remember that it is possible to register to edit and it is possible to still get information from the wiki anonymously as well.

      It won't surprise me if people under age thirteen start making more illegal accounts by lying about their age, but it will have to be dealt with just as it has been in the past when it has happened.

      A brighter side to this is that there will probably be less trolling, vandalism, and rudeness by people hiding behind anonymity in the comments and the pages.

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    • Ah, I'm assuming you guys are popping in on most of the popular wikis that attract many users from the younger audience, yes? Well, it can't be helped. People will certainly be upset but it isn't as if we have a choice in the matter. Neither the Dragonvale Community nor Wikia itself. I'm also guessing account use will spike upward, but it's not particularly anything we can't handle.

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    • While I digress that the concern for having alot of under-aged users, according to Wikia Terms of Use, is legitly hard for the site to handle, I think that turning off anonymous editors off from contributing will definitely add to our problem's cases.

      It is very true that we have alot of under-aged (12 and below) contributors on the site, who are deligently participating on alot of DragonVale Wiki Activities; however, shutting them off from participating (since most, if not almost all, underaged users remain as anonymous contributors), will definitely make them think of violating the Wikia Terms of Use more -- they might end up creating accounts for themselves just to edit on the site, because we will be asking them to create an account in order to edit).

      While having us shut down anonymous editing has its benefits, it also has its tendency to bring more sadbacks. Knowing how we have alot of anonymous editors in the site -- they build up half of the site's wiki activity -- they will all be enforced to create an account in order to edit. This doesn't exclude under-aged users. 

      We are already having a hard time of keeping underaged users in patrol, and elaborating how the wikia terms of use is violated by them creating accounts whilst being underage... I don't know what will happen if they started creating accounts and we may never know how to handle them because they might have violated the policy and we might never know. 

      Is the purpose of shutting down anonymous edits to prevent under-aged users to edit? From my naive point of view, I think it's encouraging them to create accounts instead -- to edit. Please let us know more of the reasons why the shutting down of anonymous edits will help us review how wikia handles communities that may be considered as directed to younger audiences (12 below). Any responses for my concerns may suffice too. Thank you very much. JustinDaOne (talk) 07:23, June 21, 2013 (UTC) ~

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    • So there's a couple issues here. We do recognize the value of anon editors; we all were all anons once. We know there will be tradeoffs. However, in order to comply with COPPA, we need to take steps to restrict the types of information we collect on sites with a large underaged base, including IP address. We respect the ideal of open editing, but we have to protect ourselves. Anonymous users can still view the wiki, but they will have to register for an account to participate.

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    • JustinDaOne wrote:

      I don't know what will happen if they started creating accounts and we may never know how to handle them because they might have violated the policy and we might never know. 

      That's... not really something we can deal with. You can only address the problem when you specifically know someone is violating rules, usually if they've let it slip somewhere. You cannot take action against an under-age account if you do not know that account is actually underage. So I don't see where the problem is, we'll deal with it as we always have: block the account when we know for sure the user is underage. If you don't know for sure, well then frankly, there's not much you can do about that, and there's no point in worrying about the "we might never know." It's not our job to know what accounts are underage or not. Simply to take action when we know of it.

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    • I think that Wikia has to do this from a legal standpoint to avoid violating the adjustments to the federal law. Whether people break the law by creating underage accounts is not Wikia's choice, but the choice of the person creating the account. Wikia has to follow the federal laws if they want to still exist.

      I'm not sure there is a choice here on the issue and I can understand why the federal law has some stricter adjustments after reading some of the things people say in edits and comments all over the internet trying to hide behind anonymity. I think part of this has to do with taking trolling and negative comments more personally at a younger age and not realizing that it is how the internet is now and doesn't reflect on them as a person which may lead to lower self-esteem or situations where they may be in a dangerous situation.

      In reality there are dangerous people on the internet and the adjustments seem to be directed at trying to make it harder for younger people interact with them; therefore making it more safe for people under thirteen who are on the internet.

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    • I think this is sad, firstly it will dramatically decrease the activity on this wiki, I would estimate that more then 70% of the activity is from anons (it might even be much higher). Furthermore like Justin said it will just make more people create illegal accounts (and you cannot blame them, I would do the same if I were that age). 

      The only problem with anons commenting is that their IP-adres are vieuwable right? Wouldn't it be a better idea to not let us see the IP-adresses (maybe even encrypt them) but that we can still see a list of post that anon has made.

      In fact I don't agree with the whole COPPA law... but that might be because I am not from the U.S.

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    • I don't think Wikia would do this unless they had to by law. They can see that a lot of contributors the wikis using their site have large anonymous contributors.

      That being said, it is a lot easier for someone to troll and be mean to someone when they think they are protected by anonymity and an IP address which can be used by multiple people (public places, shared households, etc.).

      While it is sad that we (the DragonVale Wiki) will probably lose some editors and probably some visitors looking to ask questions in the comments, it is better than the entire wiki or Wikia as an entity being shut down by not following the laws. Then no one will be able to find the information online here at all.

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    • While I agree with you their bane, you say that we will lose some editors, I am not sure if wikia has statistics for this, but I assume this is not "some" but "a lot" of anons that comment and visit the wiki (a lot more then our logged in editors). Also it will cause less future accounts (since anons cannot comment or edit they might never know what it is like).

      Also while I agree that this wiki has a lot of young users I personally don't think it is fair to penalise our older anons because of young users might post. There could also be an pop-up when you want to edit or comment as an anon that you need to say that you are 13 years or older.

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    • Tatz- But that's not really what's the big picture of it. It it more like, we're trying to take steps to find a solution, but we may actually end up having more problems. Whether we will know or not, the fact that underaged users will for sure create an account is there. We, as a wiki which which will be trying to restrict underage users to edit, will encourage them to make accounts themselves. We're trying to enforce federal law, but we might actually end up being an accomplice to underage users breaking them by plat-out telling them that "this wiki's contents can only be edited by registered users". 

      I don't know, but it's sounding like: "Let's revise the policy to comply with the law, so that the rest is their problem." 

      Essiw- Unfortunately, I don't think having anons post, but IP isn't viewable is not going to work. It will be hard for us to block spammers/trollers, but something like this suggestion should be an option for the set solutions to having us comply with the federal law.


      I'm sorry if I'm saying rash things, I'm jus typing what I'm thinking right now. But I feel legitly sad that this will happen: Anonymous users will NEVER be able to contribute on the site. (I saw it mentioned above that this will be a permanent action). As we are discussing this right now, not even one of the Anonymous users got notified. And they will just wake up on July 1.... :(


      Is this inevitable? Can't we take other countermeasures? ~

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    • my only issue with this is...if i am an underaged anon, what is to stop me from making an account, while still being underaged? 

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    • I don't think anything would necessarily stop you, but it would be illegal to create an account and lie about your age.

      • "You" being an underage anon in that statement; not Wiz.
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    • ^That is only true if you live in the U.S. though, creating an account in Europe is not illegal (only against wikia's policy).

      @Justin, I am talking about a system where we cannot see the IP but can see what post an anon has made (so for example each anon has its own number that means nothing).

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    • Leajey wrote:
      Is this for all wiki's or just for the ones that have been flagged like ours? Just wondering...


      think so. its also on the Inazuma Eleven wiki and Battle Bears wiki, so yeah.

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    • Godling, it's not all wikis; it's all that Wikia has identified as having a large "underage" user base since the content appeals to that group.

      I'm sure our partners at Wikia have looked at other options, and we will just have to see what "wiki life" is like once we have no unregistered commenters. That will be interesting!

      Justin, you can't be seen as encouraging people to violate a law if you say "you cannot do this" and they say "I am going to anyway"! Those who choose to provide a false answer to the age question are choosing to violate a rule.

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    • Does this apply with anon's polls? (voting)
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    • I agree with DT and Bane's first statements... and can I see the list of wikis that falls under this category please?

      Also, yea, whatabout polls? (voting)

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    • JustinDaOne wrote:
      We, as a wiki which which will be trying to restrict underage users to edit, will encourage them to make accounts themselves. We're trying to enforce federal law, but we might actually end up being an accomplice to underage users breaking them by plat-out telling them that "this wiki's contents can only be edited by registered users". 

      You're making this entire thing into something it isn't. Are we specifically telling users "Hey, if you're not old enough to make an account, you should do it anyway since we'll have to block anonymous users"? No, we are not. We are simply going to say that due to circumstances beyond our control, we will no longer be allowed to have anonymous editing on this wiki. That's it. That is in no way, shape or form telling users to make an account. If they make an account, they did that of their own choosing, of their own free will, and we are not to be held responsible for that. 

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    • I think with polls we might have to wait and see unless someone knows of a wiki which is choosing to block anonymous edits and has polls on it to check the answer to this inquiry sooner.

      Also, if there is backlash we can say that the host site is abiding the new adjustments to the federal law.

      We may even want to put something on our main page and Community Corner similar to what Tatzel mentioend like:

      "Due to circumstances beyond DragonVale Wiki's control, we will no longer be able to have anonymous editing on this wiki after July 1st, 2013."

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    • OK, thank you.

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    • Tatzelwyrm wrote:
      JustinDaOne wrote:
      We, as a wiki which which will be trying to restrict underage users to edit, will encourage them to make accounts themselves. We're trying to enforce federal law, but we might actually end up being an accomplice to underage users breaking them by plat-out telling them that "this wiki's contents can only be edited by registered users". 
      You're making this entire thing into something it isn't. Are we specifically telling users "Hey, if you're not old enough to make an account, you should do it anyway since we'll have to block anonymous users"? No, we are not. We are simply going to say that due to circumstances beyond our control, we will no longer be allowed to have anonymous editing on this wiki. That's it. That is in no way, shape or form telling users to make an account. If they make an account, they did that of their own choosing, of their own free will, and we are not to be held responsible for that. 

      I'm certainly not making things into something else. This policy change is NOT wikia wide. We are just one of the chosen wikis which seem to not "qualify" in handling our underaged users. (I'm saying this because I don't have the list of all wikis affected by this, but its certainly not ALL wikis).

      We are basically having to set up an announcement, wiki-wide, that we are to be stripped off from anonymous edits. This is our site's delimma. We certainly don't want to tell them that they shouldnt create accounts, but that one possiblity of them assuming it -- from us letting everyone know that we will be informing them that anonymous edits from our specific site only, (and those which are affected by this) -- is there.

      Because I don't see any other way of preventing this to happen, seeing how our responses from Wikia is absolute and just, I guess I'll just have to accept that this change is happening. And as you said, its beyond our control.


      On July 1st, this wiki, "directed for 12 years old and under", will be RESTRICTING users 12 years old and under from participating in ANY wiki activities. Unless they create their own accounts -- out of their own discredits. 

      Well goodluck to the future of out site's activity. ~

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    • Lets remember why the wiki exists, it's meant to be a place for information first and a social tool second. I think some users on this thread have forgotten that, yes, anon's may not be able to "contribute" anymore, but do they need too, Does anyone? Also, our community will not grind to a halt without anon editing on the DragonVale Wiki, as the DragonVale community extends far beyond the wiki, the DragonVale Facebook is part of the community, the DragonVale subreddit is part if the community, the community exists on Twitter, on Instagram and other social networks, on blogs, and on other DragonVale specific websites. It evens exists offline, when a group of people talk to each other about DragonVale, they are just as valid members of the community as us. The Wiki may suffer, and I'm not even sure it will, but the Community will be just fine.

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    • ^We are talking about the Dragonvale wiki community, not about the DV game community. About your question "does anyone need to contribute?", if no-one did the wiki wouldn't be here, the anons are part of the wiki contributers...

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    • JustinDaOne wrote:
      This policy change is NOT wikia wide.

      It's not wikia wide because not all wikia deal with content that attracts children. Of course this policy doesn't affect wikis such as Assassin's Creed or Silent Hill or something, because those wikis deal with mature content, whether it be text or screenshots. That's not to say that there aren't underage users there, but they are a different category. This policy is going to primarily affect the more family oriented wiki that are out there, especially the large ones, such as ours.

      Essiw wrote: ^We are talking about the Dragonvale wiki community, not about the DV game community. About your question "does anyone need to contribute?", if no-one did the wiki wouldn't be here, the anons are part of the wiki contributers...

      Wording it like that is kind of a slippery slope. Would we be where we are without anonymous users? Maybe, maybe not. Many have been quite helpful and no one is denying that, but the bulk of the work has been done by registered users, not anonymous editors. And indeed, some anonymous editors did end up becoming some great registered editors, but the vast bulk of the anonymous contributions on this wiki are article comments. And if that's an issue, we'll just have to figure out someplace to direct anonymous users so they still have a social link, if it can no longer be on this wiki.

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    • I am not going to pretend that I did not edit on the wiki anonymously (mostly in the comments) before registering a few months later. Sure it was a way to get acclimated to the community, but we also have more activity now and are more well known now so people may just register anyway from hearing about us and wanting to help out.

      The facts are that COPPA has some adjustments that are causing Wikia to make changes on how wikis with content which attract younger demographics interact with them. As mentioned above it isn't a secret that we have had issue with vandalism, rudeness, and trolling from people hiding behind anonymity (while not only anonymous users have done this it is more common) and I think Wikia is trying to prevent violating the new adjustments to the law. Legally (and possibly ethically and morally) Wikia as an entity has to ensure a safe place for younger users. Unfortunately their decision at the moment will prevent anonymous edits and comments on wikis with content which attracts younger people.

      The DragonVale Wiki community will have to adjust to this new course of action as well and deal with it the best we can.

      It is likely that Wikia (our host site) had a meeting about how to handle the adjustments to the law and don't want to have to do this to the wikis as well, but feel like they have to. We should be glad that they don't have to completely turn off all wikis directed to younger demographics. This results of the adjustments to COPPA could be a lot worse than it is.

      I still think we should have a notice in Community Corner to warn people of the upcoming change and will be linking this forum.

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    • I'm not crazy about DV Wiki being singled out in this way.  Yes, DV does attract many young ppl to the game and also to this Wiki...I just feel it would be fairer to make this change Wiki-wide instead of just targeting certain Wiki's. I should think that in order to make sure Wikia is in compliance, implementing this change Wiki-wide would leave no room for doubt.   I was an anon for quite a long time before I registered.  However, I mostly read information and did not comment much. But anyone can go on any site and any Wiki regardless of age.  I fail to understand why this is not being done all across the board.  

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    • DV isn't being "singled out." I don't particularly see what the issue is, knowing that our wiki attracts more of our younger peers than some other game-related wikis do. Why should the same restrictions be put on other wikis that focus on a more mature audience? That's hardly fair to them. Yes, I understand the whole argument about not being fair to us either, but the fact of the matter is we attract kids. We attract a LOT of kids on this wiki, because such is the whimsical nature of DragonVale. And because Wikia has to attribute each and every single edit any person makes, this causes a problem for wikis aimed at younger audiences, because those younger users are going to anonymously leave their IP when they edit.

      Like I said before, I'm not downplaying the contributions of our anonymous users. But I hardly see the fuss, either. We can easily find a workaround and filter our anonymous contributors elsewhere so that they may still participate.

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    • Hello!Everyone. I understand that this upcoming policy is to actually extend the COPPA Rule to cover persistent identifiers that can recognize users over time and across different websites or online services, such as IP addresses and mobile device IDs but isn't there any other way to overcome this problem. I'm not sure how but I have a suggestion, for example having a code or something for each unregistered user that does not show their IP address. OMG!I sound so :P.

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    • I think the issue is more about people under age thirteen interacting through comments and editing with anyone since they aren't really supposed to. Wikia's terms of use require people to say they are thirteen or older to register an account so by law registered users are law.

      Unfortunately, with anonymous contributors there is no way to identify the age of the person so to abide by the adjustments to make sure it is harder for anyone under thirteen to accidentally interact or be involved in a dangerous encounter (spam, vandalism, trolling, exchange of personal information, etc.).

      These activities may affect younger people emotionally or even put them in physical danger more than people over age twelve, so the editing for all anonymous users are being turned off on wikis which target younger demographics to follow the law in trying to keep people under age thirteen safe online.

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    • Bane Cane wrote:
      I think with polls we might have to wait and see unless someone knows of a wiki which is choosing to block anonymous edits and has polls on it to check the answer to this inquiry sooner.

      Polls can still be used by anons on wikis where anonymous edits are blocked.

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    • Knj00 wrote:

      Bane Cane wrote:
      I think with polls we might have to wait and see unless someone knows of a wiki which is choosing to block anonymous edits and has polls on it to check the answer to this inquiry sooner.

      Polls can still be used by anons on wikis where anonymous edits are blocked.

      Thank you for answering this for us. The answer is what I expected but wasn't sure of.

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    • I can see points from every angle being made here... I am just a bit confused about why this has become such a long discussion instead of just expressing a concern and driving on.

      We've simply been informed that our wiki will no longer allow Anonymous editing in order to align with U.S. Federal Law.

      It is not a matter of whether you, I, or Wikia agrees or disagrees with it (the law and/or Anonymous restriction) -- Wikia is a U.S. based company and either abides by local laws or deals with the consequences.

      I just think all this back and forth about why this is how this is or what this will mean and why it is good, bad, or other is a bit more than what was asked for by Semanticdrifter... maybe I am mistaken!

      Anywho, this sucks but we shall thrive nonetheless...

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    • Can anons still browse the wiki?

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    • Yes, of course. The information will remain public and unchanged.

      The ability to edit pages and post comments will require logging into a registered account however.

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    • Well, we can't help people creating illegal accounts. After all humans are prone to these actions. So this action will benefit Wikia by making sure they abide by COPPA. So how would this change much of anything? People who really want to be able to contribute to this wikia will make illegal accounts, and get what they want. So will this really help, if there will still be people younger than 13 going on this wikia? The thought of this would help, but technically speaking it wouldn't do much...So I think we should leave things the way they are right now...after all there's no way we can go to a user's house once they've registered, just to check if they're older than 13...that'd be creepy. So this action would just be a failed attempt to try and get people to be older than 13 to talk on wikia...I think things are fine the way they are right now...but it wouldn't hurt anyone if this plan did come through...I think everything would be the same, only wikia's affected by this will surely feel a decline in population.

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    • It does not stop anything - what it does is make wikia guilt free! 

      They will stop anon commenting - now if you are underaged and you want to make an account, the fault is on you! 

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    • By law Wikia has to do what they can to prevent underage people from interacting with other people who may cause them harm in any way. Whether underage people choose to lie about their age and create an illegal account is not Wikia's fault. However, if Wikia finds out about an underage account holder they will have to handle it how they have in the past and remove authorization of it.

      Right now this forum seems to be rehashing and repeating the same opinions and thoughts. Wikia is only trying to abide by the law or they will get penalized and that could affect the wikis even more drastically in the future. It is sad that this has to happen, but it could be a lot worse as some have stated above.

      This forum will now close as it was meant to inform the DragonVale Wiki Community of the upcoming change and not serve as a place argue about how it may be unfair, be good, be bad, or cause a decline in users or contributions.

      We will make it through this change and handle what may come when it comes. The community has come a long way since September 2011 when the DragonVale Wiki was first created and will continue to provide up-to-date information about released content in DragonVale for anyone to view and use.

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