ICE Briefly Becomes A Stranded Minor: Loses Its Twitter Account For Being Too Young

from the yeah,-but-only-briefly dept

Yesterday afternoon the Twitter account of the US's Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) briefly disappeared from the internet. Was it... anti-conservative bias? Nope. Was it ICE doing more stupid shit in locking up children and separating them from their parents? Nope. Was it ICE's willingness to seize domain names with no evidence, claiming "counterfeit"? Nope. It was that ICE had changed the "birthday" on its account to make it so that its "age" was less than 13. Thanks to the ridiculousness of the Child Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which has basically served only to have parents teach their kids it's okay to lie online in order to use any internet service, most websites say you can't use the service if you're under 13 years old. ICE changed its "birthdate" to be less than 13, thereby making it... shall we say, something of a "stranded minor" and Twitter automatically, well, "separated it" from its account.

Might be nice for ICE to get a sense of how that feels.

Of course, what this really highlights is the idiocy of COPPA and how nearly every website tries to deal with its requirements. As we noted, Twitter, like many internet sites outright bars kids under 13 to avoid COPPA's rules. Twitter does note in its forms that you need to put in your own date of birth, even if your account is "for your business, event, or even your cat."

But... that's bizarre. For accounts like this, whose birthday matters? Many such accounts are managed by multiple people. Whose birthday gets put in there? The answer is, of course, that a birthday is just made up. And, if you make it up, apparently you need to make up one that is older than 13 to avoid this COPPA-based "separation."

Anyway, ICE figured stuff out and made a little joke about it:

Frankly, I'd rather they focused on actually helping asylum seekers find protection in our country rather than tossing them out, and maybe put some of that effort into reuniting the 666 kids back to the families they've lost track of.

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Filed Under: age restrictions, birthday, coppa, ice
Companies: twitter


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  • icon
    Koby (profile), 13 Nov 2020 @ 10:55am

    Legislation

    They should have just put down the date that it was established by the Homeland Security Act back in November of 2003. That would make it 17 years old today, and beyond controversy. No other date would make sense for the agency.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      TFG, 13 Nov 2020 @ 11:09am

      Re: Legislation

      Beyond COPPA controversy, maybe. Certainly not beyond any of the other controversies.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Nov 2020 @ 11:36am

      Re: Legislation

      Plus, it would not break the law.

      There is nothing in the COPPA that makes it a crime to lie about your age on any website. So, nobody in ICE could be prosecuted for lying about their age

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Nov 2020 @ 11:26am

    666 kids? Beastly, I say!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Mononymous Tim (profile), 13 Nov 2020 @ 12:01pm

    Too bad COPPA doesn't apply to adults that act like petulant 12 year olds.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Nov 2020 @ 12:16pm

    The only useful thing about COPPA today:

    Something that the FTC can use to give a slap on the wrist for the shoddy security of any tech company targeting children.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    icon
    seedeevee (profile), 13 Nov 2020 @ 1:12pm

    Charlatan

    Every city and county in the United States separates children from parents that have been arrested.

    You look like a charlatan pretending that what the Feds do is any different.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 13 Nov 2020 @ 1:23pm

      It’s one thing to separate a child from a parent in the custody of law enforcement.

      It’s a whole other ballgame in a whole other city in a whole other goddamned country to separate a migrant child from a parent in the custody of law enforcement, give the kids to God-knows-who, lose track of the kids in the system (if they were even put in the system to begin with), send the parents back to their home country, and leave over five hundred children separated from their parents for God only knows how long (maybe even the rest of their lives).

      If you can defend that practice without sounding like a sociopath with no ability to feel compassion or remorse, I’d certainly like to see you try.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 13 Nov 2020 @ 10:45pm

      Re: Charlatan

      Every city and county in the United States separates children from parents that have been arrested.

      Not like this they do not. They do not separate them. They do not lose track of who they are. They do not lose track of their families.

      And none of these people have been "arrested" they're asylum seekers, you disgusting terrible human being. Go fuck yourself. Seriously, go fuck yourself, you piece of shit.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 13 Nov 2020 @ 11:18pm

      Re: Charlatan

      "Every city and county in the United States separates children from parents that have been arrested."

      Do they also do it so incompetently that nobody knows who or where the parents they were separated from are? That seems like uniquely ICE incompetent evil.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Nov 2020 @ 5:43am

      Re: Charlatan

      "Every city and county in the United States separates children from parents"

      Oh, well ... that makes it ok then.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 13 Nov 2020 @ 2:12pm

    You'd think they'd find a better use for that tech...

    ''Stay tuned here for more great news about the works that the men and women of ICE do every day to protect the homeland.''

    I had no idea that Twitter was open to cross-dimensional posts, in this case Bizzaro world where ICE actually does that rather than just harass brown people.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Nov 2020 @ 4:41pm

      Re: You'd think they'd find a better use for that tech...

      I like how some people do not understand the multiple implications of the word "homeland".

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 14 Nov 2020 @ 5:44am

        Re: Re: You'd think they'd find a better use for that tech...

        Never did like that term, sounds too Nazi to me.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 16 Nov 2020 @ 8:21am

          Re: Re: Re: You'd think they'd find a better use for that tech..

          "Never did like that term, sounds too Nazi to me."

          That's because the term "Homeland" has always been the english dog whistle for the german term "Vaterland". After WW2 it really wasn't a good idea for the US to import so very many of the more skilled nazis and give them high government posts. Some key parts of that culture stuck.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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