There’s quite a few furry discord servers that are requesting pictures of people’s IDs in the form of Driver’s licenses, Passports and other forms of legally accepted ID. This is an absolutely ludicrous practice, there is simply no legal reason why a discord server owner should have a photo of your ID at any point. There is simply no reasonable person that would hand something out like that to a stranger.
Think about the times that you’ve actually needed to present ID for something. I know the only times I’ve had to send photos of my ID is to my current employer, to government agencies and to purchase things like blades online from reputable companies that have strict privacy standards involving destruction of sensitive data. I’ve never felt the need to present my ID to a bunch of furries, for example, in fact they would be the last choice for any type of ID at all.
They claim they want my ID to verify that I’m adult and they don’t want minors seeing porn on their server. Fair game, except:
- My ID is sensitive information that is about to be handled by parties that certainly don’t follow any laws regarding data protection.
- There is nothing stopping minors from using images of IDs online.
- There is nothing stopping minors from using images of other people’s IDs, like their parent’s or a friend’s.
- You don’t legally need my ID.
As far as most things go, actually if you don’t legally require personal information from me I won’t even give you the time of day with it. When was the last time you ever presented your ID to a website like e621 or Pornhub? Would you really give your ID over to a website like that, knowing that your personal information is now linked to your activity on porn sites. This is a huge privacy issue. The way that these corporations operate is as follows:
- They provide a warning about adult content before you can access the site.
- You have to assert that you are 18 or above before you are granted access to the site.
- If you are caught claiming you are underage, they will remove your access to the site.
This is what you call an innocent before proven guilty approach, where the site deters minors and requires them to lie anyway to get access to the site. You can safely presume that someone that would lie to get into the site is more than capable of getting a fake ID that isn’t theirs sent over. Making the Pirate Bay harder to access made it more popular, not less, and there are now hundreds of mirrors and proxy servers to access illegal copyrighted content.
One important factor is that these adult websites remove their culpability by allowing minors to only be able to access it if they are willing to lie and go through nefarious means. It means that PornHub never allows a minor in if they’re aware of the minor’s status. As a result, there is no legal action that can be taken against them.
On the topic of forging IDs or finding them online, many of you may cry that you can just reverse look up the image that is sent in order to determine if it’s unique. This is a myth, it takes 5 minutes in GIMP, a free image editor, to produce an ID that can’t be reverse image searched. Let’s assume that the people you’re sending your ID to are fine with you isolating just the age segment (which means that the ID is useless as proof anyway, but more on that later):
Here’s an ID from a google search, it has a watermark, it’s framed correctly and looks like a good scan. Let’s make some minor adjustments to confuse image search engines and see what we get:
Be honest, would you really not mistake the second image for a photograph taken with a smartphone camera? As you can see, we’re born in 1986 according to this passport photo. Let’s be real here, before you read this, you wouldn’t have thought twice, and you definitely wouldn’t want to offend the person by asking them for a timestamp, as you didn’t ask to begin with. Let’s try and reverse image search it:
No luck with Google Reverse Image Search! That’s my go-to usually, it’s definitely better than TinEye, but let’s try that anyway:
No luck there either, turns out that 31 year old (as of this writing) you just ID checked is actually 13.
Naturally when you tell the offending discord server owner this, they instantiate the following rules to try and punish you for disclosing the flaw:
- In order for only you to get access, you must provide also a written note/timestamp with your username.
- If you don’t do so, you are a minor.
- It’s now allowed by the rules for all users to repeatedly assert, without evidence, that you are a child.
This is designed to hedge you in of course, because the whole point of refusing to give your ID is on principle that it’s an ineffective method that only amounts to Security Theatre. That is to say, it gives them the feel good factor that they’re better than companies like PornHub that have spent millions researching this issue. Privacy and security of the users are traded for the illusion that they are protecting the users, while actually harming them in the process.
Then you’ll get the inevitable strawman that goes something like this:
We are not going to let minors into our NSFW chat, why do you want to let minors access porn?
Funny, I don’t remember ever advocating intentionally allowing minors in. I simply asked that you would stop collecting people’s IDs. They also like to use incorrect logic to pin down your motives:
The only reason you would be pushing so hard to have this rule removed is because you’re underage!
I think it’s a good exercise to replace the situation with another and show just how ridiculous this is:
The only reason you would be pushing so hard to remove the death penalty for felons is because you’re a felon!
But it’s easy for people to just get a model of how you must be inferior, in order to make up for the fact that they don’t actually have any response.
An amusing side effect of this is that the people who run these Discord groups collect a lot of IDs that could be used to fake their own age, and as such their age is unverifiable by their own standards.
I had a recent run-in, although I was configuring networking on my machine at the time so was unable to grab any screenshots before I was banned for the offence of “being underage”, you can see however some of the aftermath, as I was not the only one sympathetic to this cause. They did however delete the entire channel to hide the conversation, which brings some serious doubts on how much they trust the arguments they put out against mine:
Looks like they want me to “learn a lesson” and want to get me banned for harassment. Funny, this doesn’t seem to fit the definition of harassment very well:
I fail to see the repetition here, anything that can be solved by blocking someone is not harassment. I do find it funny how this group of people gets a plot going based on one person being called “a fucking idiot”.
After finding my FurAffinity page, the denial kicks up a notch, as the owner starts to claim that I must be 16! Meanwhile, another puts guesses at 14 and 40, a wild range. There’s a real struggle to find a story that makes me out to be a minor, or ‘old guy trying to get with soem barely legal teens’. So I must be underage or a pedophile, these are some pretty far out conspiracy theories.
Occam’s Razor would dictate the simplest explanation wins, not some lunacy, but we’re dealing with people compensating.
Oh no, the future furry youtuber will get me. Judging by what makes furry youtubers popular, I’d much rather stick to writing slating blog posts and chilling out on FurAffinity, than make generic rhetoric videos on topics like otherkin and other such nonsense.
Moving past the “You’re underage” point to the “Let’s criticise what they spend money on!” point. It’s a good way to tell that you’re talking to people who likely don’t have jobs. I do of course spend my money on other things, like my apartment, gadgets, going out, holidays (I do still hold a valid chinese business visa!). This whole argument revolves around jealousy and hatred.
In fact, it’s an example of the Negative Ben Franklin Effect: The idea that someone who wrongs you is more likely to do it again than had you wronged them first. Simply put, their views are entrenched and they need to find some reason to dislike me, fast, which leads to outright jealousy.
It’s surprising how far people will go to try and assert they weren’t wrong, even if it involves crafting complex theories and simply expressing envy. There’s a reason it’s a deadly sin, you know!