Is an “Adults Only” warning paragraph enough?

Blogger, as we all well know, encourages people who blog about “Adult Content” to willingly put up a warning splashpage. If you don’t, and they catch you, they’ll forcibly put one up that you can’t ever remove. Site owners who are not on Blogger frequently put a little “Over 18 Only” Warning text at the top of their sidebar.

Of course, the little warning text doesn’t really do much. Children won’t see it and suddenly click away. Is it just there as a CYA move?

I don’t know if Blogger’s warning pages actually interact with the Internet Content Rating Association or other means of Parental Controls, and thereby prevent kids from seeing those sites. At most they’re going to prevent people who are of age and offended by sex from seeing talk or photos about sex.

Recently I stumbled across this site/organization called RTA (restricted to adults), a place to go to self-label your site to prevent children from even accessing your site (provided, of course, they’re accessing it from a parental-controlled computer).

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My question for my peers is this… how do you feel about this service? Would you use it? Why or why not? The ONLY question I would have is would this service also be employed by companies wishing to prevent their employees from viewing “pornographic” content at work and therefore preventing some of your readers from accessing your site?

6 Responses

  1. “Of course, the little warning text doesn’t really do much. Children won’t see it and suddenly click away.” When I was younger than 17, those warnings worked on me. Once I hit 17 I figured I was almost 18 and was usually only on educational sites anyway ( was common). I’m sure plenty of other people weren’t deterred, but I was.

    Onto your question. I think it’s a good service in theory, but I don’t have any knowledge on how parental controls work in reality to predict its effectiveness. I wouldn’t use it simply because I’d rather not list my site somewhere as a site to be avoided. I don’t care if it prevents people from not seeing my site *while at work* because they should be working then and not stealing company time for the sake of a sexy blog.

  2. Jake Holden says:

    I self-signed my blog with another site that let you set various levels of ‘explicitness’ – I think I rated mine as something like explict images, but also somewhat educational.

    I did it because I was getting a lot of (possibly accidental) traffic from search engine users using quite innocent terms and wanted to take the responsibility away from me for publishing such content, to parents for not filtering their children’s internet access.

    I don’t think it’d be the end of the world if someone 14/15+ accessed our blogs though, they’d probably learn a lot more positive things about sexuality than they would from any other source!

  3. hubman says:

    I don’t think that it’s my responsibility to “protect” someone elses kids from my blog. As a parent, it’s MY responsibility to pro-actively monitor what my kid is viewing on the internet, just trusting some parental controls software isn’t enough.

    BTW, Google’s stock warning screen doesn’t show up when reading blogs in Google Reader, so there’s a quick way around it right there, just use a feedreader

  4. LivingFire says:

    I have the blogger warning splashpage, and I put that up of my own accord. For me, I’ll admit it’s a CYA move. Mostly from blogger’s wrath, but also from any potential parents, guardians or organisations.

    I wouldn’t personally self-label with RTA or similar – simply because I think I like the middle ground I’m currently in. The splash page is there, so it gives fair warning, so no one should stumble across it when looking for something far more innocent… But equally, it IS accessible, and I think I find that preferable. When I was under 18 I did access similar sites for self-education purposes and I think these sites are part of what helped me shed what was once quite a negative view of masturbation (I used to get mega guilt trips after).

    So yes, for me, I’m happy with just a splash page, precisely *because* it can be clicked through. The responsibility is still off me, because I’ve given fair warning, IMO.

    LF x

    ~ That is true. I know that had I accessed blogs and toy reviews at 17 I’d have been a lot better off. I just have to wonder if there’s any legal ramifications – the adult sites that have lots o porn make me think there is, but i dunno.

  5. Janie says:

    I don’t even have a warning on mine. That’s probably really irresponsible. Whilst I wouldn’t want small children accessing my blog, as soon as someone becomes a teenager I figure there are a lot worse things they could see on the Internet. When I was younger I learnt everything I knew about sex from blogs on the Internet and it was a very beneficial education, and I would hope that others might find that from my blog.

    There is a certain amount of personal responsibility involved, as hubman says – it is not my decision what other people’s children can and cannot access on the Internet. But at the same time I wouldn’t want some innocent child being emotionally scarred by what they find. It’s a sticky situation really.

    Also, I also used to click off websites with a 18+ content warning. I was such a goody two-shoes for soo long!


    ~ LOL oh my lord thats cute. I didn’t have teh internetz when I was under 18 many moons ago but I can gaurantee a little warning wouldn’t have kept me away. And yes I agree there’s a lot of good info on our blogs but I wouldn’t want them to be too young to understand BDSM/kink, read it “wrong” and get hurt.

  6. Jake Holden says:

    “Also, I also used to click off websites with a 18+ content warning. I was such a goody two-shoes for soo long! ”

    You are too cute!