Age Gates

Everyone’s seen them. You load the page for the latest viral video or the most recent update to your favorite web series, and the video player loads a screen similar to the one above. You have to provide the information requested to view the video, and you do so at once because the video is just that friggin’ awesome.

But you have to wonder — what’s the point of the age gate? I mean, I get the point. In theory, it’s supposed to weed out viewers who aren’t considered “mature” enough to view the media in question. At least, I think that’s the point. The thing I keep tripping over in my logical analysis, though, is the fact that age gates are pretty easy to subvert. Heck, it’s like they don’t even try to do anything more than put up token resistance, y’know? It’s almost like age gates throw up their hands and back away slowly, saying, “Hey, we know you’re not an adult and you’re just going to enter a false birthdate into the form so you can watch this video. And really, we’re not going to try to stop you. We just have to play a little CYA, y’know? We were never designed to be a serious security measure.”

Then again, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe age gates exist just so publishers can collect a little demographic data on their viewers. That, at least, would make the silly things at least a little worthwhile.

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