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"Today's Birthday" Module - how to remove the user's age?

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  • #16
    Registering with complete birth date is not new. Other sites such as Google does it too. How can the system know your age and make sure you're not underage and violate COPPA rules? As long as there's a privacy setting to hide the year or the full birthdate itself, then IMO it's ok.

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    • #17
      Facebook requires full DOB too. I wonder if those users who don't want to reveal their age do not want to join Facebook too.

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      • #18
        Thanks Glenn... I get all that, but I have no interest in COPPA (I'm not based in USA and neither are my users) - only reason I want birth dates is for the birthday module to say happy birthday. I think it's a nice community touch. Unlike faceless corporations such as Google and Facebook (where people don't mind providing age), ours are small community sites and they know I run it and (rightly so) don't want me to know their age.

        Hence... if folks want to run COPPA, yes by all means have a full date of birth option. But for those who just want to use the birthday module, why not have an option to provide just day and month at registration?

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        • #19
          I see your point. If they don't want to reveal their age they can freely set the year to a fake one and no one would know. From technical standpoint, you can't remove the year from the birthdate because it is saved in the database with date data type. It has to be a valid date otherwise it will fail to save.

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          • #20
            Thanks.... that's what I have been advising registrants but I was hoping there might be another cleaner way. Appreciate the response though, and hope it doesn't detract from the other point (ie: making the privacy settings default to display user's day and month of birth without year)

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            • #21
              You could hide the year dropdown via CSS and set it to 1900 or something via JS by default. Then all users would have a birth year of 1900.

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              • #22
                Now that's where it gets too complicated for someone like me

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                • #23
                  Hate to dig up old threads, but I've just submitted a feature request for this. Many of our users do not want to share their birth year, but still like getting that "Happy Birthday" message from the admins and other users. It would be great if there was an option to either NOT REQUIRE birth year, or simply allow users the option, at the time of registration, to "Display Only Day and Month of Birth".

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                  • #24
                    The Birthday widget has options to hide age but what the users are asking here can be resolved by using 3 separate columns to store year, month and day and use only month & day combo based on if if the site is using COPPA or not. That way, users won't feel intimidated to fill in those 2 columns without the year element. We cannot educate them to use a fake year to workaround the current design.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by hkjacko View Post
                      I have just revisited this thread after starting to build a new VBulletin-based website. I appreciate the support shown by others who have commented. The core issue remains though:

                      (a) Birthday greetings and the "today's Birthdays" module are (to paraphrase Lisa0413 ) "A great idea as a way to further forge a feeling of community" and hence are highly desirable on the website; but
                      (b) In order to use this, member have to reveal their age! Our members simply do not want to reveal their age, but are more than happy to tell us their birthday (without the year)

                      So... can't we have a simple fix whereby we can have the option of only requesting day and month of birth without the year at registration time?
                      There is no function to do this. You are welcome to submit a feature request in the tracker.

                      The current system has been the same since at least vBulletin 2 - the user has the option of hiding what they don't want to be shown via the user settings.

                      Allowing non-entry of year would break things like COPPA registration for some sites, for instance.
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                      • #26
                        Both the United States and the EU have a volume of laws which are age specific. The date of birth is a legal stipulation to being (or not being) of the legal age of compliance with applicable laws. No responsible forum would suggest users falsify their ages. It makes the forum legally liable for claims for which they would not otherwise be liable.

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                        • #27
                          Users can actually hide the year of their birth in their settings on the profile tab. If they do so, the module should not show their age.

                          I guess an Administrator can manually edit each user to change this setting for them. I am not sure I would consider that an ethical act.
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