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Telling your age, absolutely, carries an element of risk.

That’s why I actively advise people to lie about it.

After all, if the data is not accurate, it’s not a threat, is it? If the assumption is that giving up that information can provide a risk, then the smart thing to do is not give it up.

Unfortunately (for Discord), they’ve created a situation in which someone has a very clear and definable choice: an individual can provide information which could be used against them, whether it’s acquired by hacking, or the company itself sells that information, or it is unfairly used against the individual — or that individual can lie and Discord has no realistic and reasonable means of knowing that it’s a lie.

In the first case, we have a definable if small risk. In the second case, we remove the risk of the first and there is no risk created by an unverifiable untruth.

Risk assessment in this case is easy.

In their pointedly not “just asking if you’re 13 or older,” they are specifically and clearly denying access to their service if you admit to being younger than 13. More completely, they’re denying access to people (and I’m reasonably comfortable defining human beings younger than the age of 14 as “people,” if only vaguely) who have previously been users in good standing.

It’s a dick move, is what I’m saying.

Discord has set up a situation in which the most reasonable response for anyone who wants to use their service is to lie. I don’t necessarily want them to know my birthday, so it’s in my best interest to lie about it. Someone younger than their arbitrarily chosen breakpoint would like to keep using their service, so it’s in their best interest to lie about it. At pretty much covers the entire user base.

If anyone bears the moral burden for those lies, it’s Discord. So lie with a clear conscience.