Originally Posted by matadorpoeta
i read you entire post as paranoia. you're saying that big brother is watching, and we should be afraid to say or do anything that could be construed as even slightly different from the accepted standard. as i said earlier, the responses i saw were either akin to "teenage girls are too annoying" or "15-16 years old", which is apparently legal age in most states. i don't see how that makes for a taboo thread, unless you're being super uptight.
If so, you should work on your reading comprehension. The point was that there are laws -- relatively new laws, the peripheries of which are still somewhat unsettled -- that deal with sexual content relating to minors on the internet. I was simply pointing out that, in light of that, it is understandable that the moderators chose to be prudent and curtail the thread before it went downhill. Keep in mind that unlike a conversation among friends over a beer or a coffee, you have no idea who might participate and no accountability for what they might say. The point is not whether people should be able to have intellectual conversations about the topic. The point is whether, in light of all the relevant considerations, it was unreasonable for the moderators to decide that people interested in discussing the topic should do so elsewhere rather than on Styleforum.
People should absolutely feel free to say or do things that may deviate from accepted standards. They should also have the maturity and sense to consider the context and audience for what they say.
In addition, while the cultural, social, and legal issues touched on by such a discussion can be a legitimate discussion topic -- and I assume most of the posters on the thread approached it as such -- it is disingenuous to pretend that there is not a danger (again, especially in an open, anonymous discussion board where we know we get trolls and worse) of it quickly sliding into creepiness or worse. If acknowledging that makes one uptight, then I am guilty as charged.