Blog Category: Integrity

Age Verification: The Middle Ground Solution to a Violent Video Game Ban

As my grandmother used to say, “There are always two sides to every coin.” And when it comes to the debate surrounding violent video games, no adage is more appropriate.

Yet the situation’s unfortunate as there is a middle ground.

Instead of looking for productive answers to selling adult content, both sides seem to be digging in deeper, falling back on tried and true philosophical positions which are certainly not productive to a real lasting solution.

While it may be a matter of debate as to whether video games add to violent behavior in minors, one cannot reasonably consider them to have a beneficial effect upon kids or a positive impression from parents.
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Impostors Create Fake Social Network Profiles to Damage Reputations

Was your mom right when she said, “…Words will never hurt you”?

In the Internet version of new age political graffiti,  impostors create false profiles on social networks like Facebook and Twitter to create real damage to reputations of politicians, celebrities, and sports figures.  Since social networks do no verification of individual profiles, impostors or fraudsters can use these platforms to cause undo harm to the real persons they portray.  Some of the first example of this was the fake Steve Jobs blog by the Forbes writer Daniel Lyons, which was thankfully handled in a professional and editorial way.  Others have not had such good luck with fictitious profiles.
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Can teens click away their internet identities to advertisers without parental concent?

Have you wondered how an opt-in or opt-out contract works on the Internet when the person consenting is not an adult?

Most contract law requires a person to be of legal age, typically 18, to enter into a legally enforceable agreement. Minors can enter into a contract but it is voidable until they are 18 years of age.

One should consider parental consent a good first step for a child to give away their rights, in this case their internet identity to advertisers to mine, market and advertise.

This will be brought before a judge in a class action lawsuit filed in California against Facebook for the use of the “like” button.

California law requires parental consent in order to obtain a minor’s consent for using their name or likeness for an advertisement.

Facebook doesn’t do that according to the lawsuit, which you can read more about here.

Lawsuits like this one could result in anyone under 18 having to get their parents’ permission to sign up for Facebook for which a system like Integrity is very effective in ensuring that the parent is indeed in control of their child’s digital identity.

Michael Bolcerek
Senior Vice President of Business Development for Integrity

Peanuts and Cracker Jacks to Captain Morgan and Coke

Major League Baseball was never immune to commercial appeal, but the all-American game is now venturing into uncharted territory that could tarnish the brand of baseball if it continues in this direction.

I recently received an e-mail from Major League Baseball (MLB) promoting Captain Morgan Rum.  It invites me to “Follow the Captain” as he throws out the first pitch and join them on Facebook.

This concerns me as I have never been properly age verified to receive the adult-oriented promotion, and secondly, it relies on Facebook to ensure that kids do not access additional content.

In the first instance, the actual advertisement prior to verification of age is a bit concerning if I was brand manager for Major League Baseball.  Promotion of alcohol to minors should be a very restricted advertisement activity, and simply requiring that someone enter an age greater than 21 seems to be a very feeble approach to controlling this marketing.

Secondly, the ad relies on Facebook to restrict viewing. But the social network often fails to verify individual age and identity.  I have friends with dogs who have Facebook profiles, or their 7-year kids are listed as 18, so I am certain there is no check  to accurately verify identity and the corresponding date of birth.

Therefore this is truly ineffective and improperly-named age verification, as there is no verification even performed.  I would hope for more from our national pastime.

Michael Bolcerek
Senior Vice President of Business Development