Coders under 13 years old


Because of COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act) restrictions, no persons under the age of 13 are allowed to participate on our forums. IF we notice or have suspicion that someone is under 13, we will email you and ask you to confirm your birthday within 24-48 hours. After that period, if you are either unable to confirm your birthday or if you do not respond, you will lose access to these forums. Revocation of access to the Codecademy Discuss forums will not affect your ability to access learning content on

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To clear any confusion see here.

More specifics here.


@alexcommunitymgr what are we to do if we suspect someone as being underage? Do we flag one of their posts, or is there a way to report them? Or do we just message a moderator?


@jibblyj I give them a link to this topic, and let them figure out what they want to do.
I'm not going to flag people for their age if I can at all help it, because I would've been practically heart-broken if someone had deleted my Codecademy account while I was under 13 (I'm old enough now, though).
If they're acting inappropriately or goofing off excessively, then I might report them, but I don't think age is any sort of a good reason to kick someone off of the forums if they're acting maturely - and I've seen 30 year olds acting way less mature than people younger than them on here :)
I'm glad that Codecademy is giving under-13s more freedom than they did when I first joined CC.


Ok I will do the same, thanks for the advice.


But this is completely illogical!!!!

If you suspect someone is under 13, and you email them, but they happen to miss your email, or someone doesn't check their email for a while (like a person like me, who checks emails once a week), and they don't respond, YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME IF YOU FIND THAT REASON TO DELETE THEIR ACCOUNT!!!!!

Wouldn't it be more logical to simply block their access to the Q and A Forum, and not give them the option to enter the forum, until they confirm their age.

I am highly disappointed in you alex_bowen: Coding relies on immense faculties for logic, and understanding the possibilities of a situation. How can you think that this is fair and logical decision?

As famous tennis player John McEnroe coined the now famous phrase: YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS!!!!


That is exactly what happens. They are only blocked from the forums.



Ur statement is in contradiction with what she said


She is only talking about the person's forum account, not their account. She may have meant suspend or block instead of delete. That is our normal procedure.


I think what @davidkovic wants to say is if you send an email to a person you suspect that is under 13 years old, this person can be not checking their emails regularly and if you delete their account when they didn't even read this email and they didn't have under 13 years old, then it will be illogical.


Is this scenario you are thinking about:

  • someone posts in the forum that they are under 13
  • we send them a message/suspend their account
  • it turns out that they are not under 13 at all but were just kidding


@davidkovic and are different things. You have an account for each, but they share some details. Because you have an account for each, one of your accounts can be banned or suspended from the respective site if needed, and you will be able to access the other site still.

The general scenarios when we suspect that someone is below the legally required age are:
1. They said that they were underage. (Most common)
2. Someone else said they were underage. (Much less common)

Depending on the scenario, we will act differently.
For scenario 1 we will usually look at their account to see if there is anything to hint their age, and look at their previous posts, and if it appears that they are underage, they will be suspended* from the site.

For scenario 2 we would have to do a lot more researching. We would look at their account to see if it shows their age, look at their previous posts, and probably look at the profile of the person who told us about the underage person, to see if they have any relation to the potential underage child. After this I assume a message will be sent to the user suspected of being underage, either on the forum, by email or both, and if there is no reply, or the user is underage, the account will be suspended.

This shouldn't be the case, but if it is and they get suspended, it's their fault. We could always message them to make sure, but if they get suspended for lying about their age then it is all down to them being childish.

*I say suspended because the accounts do not (normally) get perma-banned, but instead get temporarily banned from the site, usually until the user is old enough (e.g. if user is 12, suspended for 1 year, if user is 8, suspended for 5 years, etc.).


So if someone goes around, hypothetically, saying that people are under 13, and some portion of those people happen to not check their email, they could actually get banned????!!!!!! Plus, how does someone actually prove they are over 13?

What does it mean "confirm"? You just say you are 13? What if someone is lying, and what if someone keeps insisting someone else is under 13 when they are not, how do you settle the dispute? How will you determine whether the suspected junior should be kicked, or punish the liar who is perpetrating an act worthy of in their own right, of being banned from the forum? This seems like a very shaky policy of Codecademy.

The reason I'm worried about this is that there are people who hate me on codecademy, whether in the closet or not, and it takes only one bad guy, out of the millions in codecademy, to get me out of codecademy forums (and in reality, anyone can have this possibility, because I'm sure I'm not the only one with enemies on this site).


I will try to get tighter wording together for this, it may take a few days. I will say, that at this point, I don't believe that there has ever been a case where someone else has pointed the finger at an underage user - unless it was to point at a post in which the underage user said that they were under age.


It's not logical to regard something with indifference based off of the idea that it hasn't been done before. It is very plausible and conceivable. You can easily, right now, go and post that someone is under 13, and there is a chance that they could get kicked. The only thing stopping you is that you're not a bad person (I hope :slight_smile: ). But there are easily lots of bad people out there, everywhere, in almost every community and society. Thus, if such an occurrence does occur, it will be incredibly unjust if someone gets kicked because of such an easily conceivable, and avoidable situation. As an organization that is "committed to building the best learning experience inside and out", and even itself admits that "Education is broken", don't you feel that it is your right to follow through with this loophole that has potential to harm many very good people who are eager to learn coding, and only desire good for all?



It's a very small chance. If we hear someone is under thirteen, we try to get more solid proof than just "oh, someone else said they were too young". We understand that sometimes someone will get angry and do stupid stuff, so it's highly unlikely we'd just ban someone based on one person saying so.

As I understand it, if we ask the user in question about their age, and they say they're old enough, then that's good enough for me. It's not my job to make every one tell the truth (please do, though), and if they've deliberately mislead us, then it's not our fault if we let them stay when they actually are too young.

It's a practically nonexistent loophole. Again, we try to follow up with the user and if they don't respond within a certain period of time, then it's their fault (although I personally think a week is a little short). But also, if we ban them and they respond a few days later via email, then we can unban them.

I think you're worrying a little too much about a problem that's really not as bad as you think it is.


I am only 12 years old but can i still code? Im thirteen this year. I can't give my birthdate because i was taught that it can be dangerous to give personal info. I started coding yesterday with my 18 year old brother.


Hi Bethany, you are correct about that.

You can code as much as you want but you can't use the forums until you are 13. I'm going to have to suspend your forum account. We'll be happy to see you back when you turn 13! Please PM me.


A post was split to a new topic: Old enough to play?


what are forums?:question: