The Lies We Tell Age Gates

The Lies We Tell Age Gates

I wasn’t really born in 1863. But I just lied and told an age-gate on the website for the game publisher Bethesda that I was. And the dumb thing believed me. (This is how we keep the children safe.)

You’ve probably lied to an age-gate too. But how?

I asked this question on Twitter yesterday.

Some replies…

And, look! An honest person…


  • I was just talking about this today at work. I usually do 1-1-something in the 70s.

  • Being a coder in Australia, I usually choose a date exactly 18 years back to the day to check if the logic is sound.

  • Age gates have nothing to do with keeping children safe from anything. They’re used to protect the publisher, website, whatever because if you lie about your age to get into the ‘naughty content’ then the onus is on you.

  • Whatever it scrolls to. Scroll scroll. Sounds like I scrolled enough. Click.

  • 1/1/anything in the early 80s/late 70s

    I don’t have to lie now-a-days, but I still do because I’m too lazy to scroll through and enter my actual birthday.

    • I don’t HAVE to lie, but I do because of, y’know. Paranoia. Anything entered digitally has the date of birth, name, or email address of my imaginary alter-ego. Who shares certain vital statistics with a couple friends of mine, so they’re easier to remember and can be looked up by me if I ever forget.

      The only things I put the real data in for are ones where I suspect I could possibly go to jail for lying – like to the ATO, or the major banks or such. Jail, or secret jail (which is much worse). I’m trying to fool identity thieves and marketeers, not governments.

  • Age gates are so pointless. Its just a complete waste of time and does nothing to achieve the actual goal of keeping out minors.

    • At least, any minor who knows how to use a calculator or subtract in their heads.

      • Well yeah. I used to think it was for legal reasons that they had it, but then I realised that there’s not way it would stand up for the same reason its not enough for minor to buy smokes over the counter simply by saying they are 18.

    • Absolutely. Why even bother, if you are trying to get people to view your content, stop putting up insipid barriers.!

  • I hate those things….. 1980 gets further away every year….. 2 bloody scrolls now

  • I do my year right but I don’t bother with the day and month.

    Why can’t they just have a thing saying “are you over 18?”

    • You are a User eXperience genius. Honestly.

      One button click vs scroll, scroll, scroll that reveals nothing but dates skewed to the 1st January.

    • Some sites do, and it’s great. Any site that asks my birthdate and really only needs to know if I’m 18+ is getting 1/1/1900.

      • Yeah me too. I’m January 1st then I just scroll to a date somewhere between 50-100 years old.

    • That’s scary that people born when I was in high school are now adults.

  • I always go 100+ years.
    Centenarians are under represented in the intarwebz.

  • I usually enter my date correctly, however when I enter dd/mm/yyyy when its expecting mm/dd/yyyy and it rejects me, I just scroll down 2 pages and click whatever.

    Likewise, if I’m on a site that SHOULD KNOW BETTER like Steam where I’m clearly logged in and my age is pre-set, it still prompts me to enter my date to view the video. Old enough to buy, not old enough to view. Ridiculous.

    • Yes! the steam thing, it’s so bloody annoying! can we start a petition to have it removed?

  • I usually put in my actual birthday. But it’s easier for me, being born on 1st of January.

  • I often go 1980 because it’s easy to scroll to, and it is actually my year of birth.
    I never bother changing the month/day though, meh

  • I have a friend who was born on the 1st of January, 1992. It’s actually harder for him to lie.

  • I wouldn’t mind age gates so much if they let me type in the date manually, all this scrolling is frustrating, 30/04/1985 is often not close to the top of any list.
    usually 1/1/random scroll down past 80

  • I’m OK with age gates, but they NEED to just be “are you over 18, yes or no”… But no, the age gates as we know them are actually designed for market research… except the data is USELESS.

  • A lot of porn sites use 2 buttons

    1. Click here to enter if you are over 18.
    2. Click here to back away.

    So I’ve heard………………..

  • Yep age gates are absolutely pointless – I’m well over 18 but as most people have said I just use 01/01/1980. Funnily enough the official AU government approved gates mandate the use of credit cards as ID, but even then kids can get around that by using prepaid VISAs, VISA/MASTERCARD debit cards etc.

    But who pays for porn let alone softcore crap behind an aussie age gate lol. I know age gates are used for all sorts of content but ya get my point 😛

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