I saw the reply to this thread about multi-use situations in schools and felt like I should say something.
I understand that the TOS says that you cannot share your account, but I think there needs to be a solution for school settings and other situations where there are kids involved. There are a particular set of problems that arise due to GF’s cloud-based services:
- GF legally cannot register kids under the age of 13 without explicit parental permission. It says in the TOS that kids need their parents’ permission, but I do not remember being asked for my age and I suspect that GF has no process in place for garnering parental permission.
- It may be against a school’s acceptable use policy (AUP) to allow kids to use their school email addresses to register for a web service such as GF.
- The forum is not necessarily an appropriate place for kids (especially middle school and younger). In addition to occasional adult-focused discussions, the presence of private messaging isn’t kid-safety-friendly.
I think it behooves GF to create a special group user account option for schools, libraries, etc., that either have no access to the forum/shop or can have permissions set on a case-by-case basis. Or adjust the TOS to allow for educators to create group accounts for people to use without providing individuals with a password. Right now, it’s a questionable use case for high schools and an inappropriate one for middle schools.