Social Networking Site Bans Anyone Over 36 as “Likely Sex Offenders”
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UK-based social networking site Faceparty has in recent weeks deleted the accounts of most of its users over the age of 36. On a notice, Missing Account?, published on the site, the owners claim that UK government legislation requires them to check older users against individuals entered on the sex offenders list.

More specifically, Faceparty state “this legislation is based upon checking email addresses against a government provided list. Faceparty has never insisted on validated email addresses and can therefore not participate in this new scheme.” Let’s leave aside for now the fact that the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act, the bill that includes the provisions detailed by Faceparty here, is not yet law in the UK. Let’s also ignore the absurdity in setting the age of 36, above which Faceparty believe – in the absence of any law, or known evidence, or referenced peer-reviewed research – users are more likely to be sex offenders. Consider instead:


  1. Faceparty does not validate email addresses, contrary to the single best practice for social networking sites. Since sex offenders could have lied about their email address, no decision based on email addresses could be taken.
  2. It is highly unlikely that Faceparty verified the given age of their users. Of course, sex offenders would not have lied about their age, even if they did lie about their email address, and so a decision based on age is a perfectly valid one to take.

Do you notice the delightful irony and sheer inconsistency inherent in the two bullets above?

So why then the deletion of user accounts for those over 36? Is it, despite the protestations of Faceparty, all part of a plan to return to a younger and more ‘edgy’ user base? Is it that, as they said in their ‘Missing Account?’ notice, there was a serious problem with sex offenders and pedophiles attacking younger users? Or could it be instead that, as reported on [Page no longer available – we have linked to the archive.org version instead] (a UK publication, for which a subscription is required,) earlier in April Faceparty downsized from 18 employees to just 4; removed all advertising from the site; and experienced a change in ownership (being sold by CIS Internet Ltd back to the original owners, Anarchy Towers)? None of these are illegal, of course, and we’re not suggesting any unlawful behaviour on the part of either party. But there are many inconsistencies in the reasons given by Faceparty for the account deletions.

The foul language on Faceparty, on site owner-provided content, as well as user content, may herald a new target user base. Grim Rita may just be an archetypal chav.

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In conclusion, we can’t put it any better than a spokeswoman for the UK government-backed Child Exploitation Online Protection Centre, who said “it’s pretty easy to lie about your age. One of the things we’d like to see all sites do is adopt a Report Abuse mechanism. We think social networking sites are fantastic but providers have a duty of care to children. Children should be able to use these environments but make it easy for them to report abuse.”

We at The Internet Patrol like to think that responsible parents are also watching what their children access on the Internet. (We like to think that, but of course cases like this one make us realize just how Pollyanic a thought that is.)

No Paywall Here!
The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
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One thought on “Social Networking Site Bans Anyone Over 36 as “Likely Sex Offenders”
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  1. Don’t they think that people liet about their age. A lot of these pedophiles oftern pretend to be much younger. And not everyone over 35 is a pervert. What is wrong with them?

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