I was a mod here for about a year, and I once looked through a bunch of old posts, and realized just how much ACC's demographic really changed. The site really used to be primarily populated by users who were younger than 13. When the COPPA law was being addressed by the site owner and updated measures were put in place, it really caused a stir, since a large percent of the website's audience had a "road block" to continue using the site.
Nowadays, I'd say a vast majority of users, including newbies who are signing up for the first time, are 18 or up. Rather than cling on to old rules "just because it's how it's always been", like so many other forums do, ACC is willing to evaluate their existing rules+policies and make changes, which is a huge positive, and many other sites should take notes. I'm apart of quite a few forums, and some of them have rules clearly haven't been updated or enforced in years, yet they still exist because nobody wants to be the one to tackle the re-write.
"Now even words like "damn" and "hell" are allowed"
Really?? I avoided using these words in my fan fic because I thought they were banned
"The site really used to be primarily populated by users who were younger than 13."
I remember this. Its kind of weird really. People who were 18 were basically the ancients of the site, and now people who are 30+ are so common!
"Nowadays, I'd say a vast majority of users, including newbies who are signing up for the first time, are 18 or up. Rather than cling on to old rules "just because it's how it's always been", like so many other forums do, ACC is willing to evaluate their existing rules+policies and make changes, which is a huge positive, and many other sites should take notes."
Ive has a bit of thinking about why this is, and these are the two reasons I came to.
-Animal Crossing's general demographic has shifted older, due to the more design oriented functionality and Pocket Camp being on mobile. I'm going to be honest, I've been on social media, and haven't really seen anyone under 16 talk about the game. Not that I actively follow younger people, but rather, Twitter and Insta are infested with 14-18 year olds.
-Young people just don't use forums anymore. This is probably the biggest factor. Back when I was a kid, I didn't have an option other than forum, and I was constantly told social media was unsafe. Now, kids use those sites all the time.
But yeah, this site isn't really a "children's" site anymore and so a lot of the restrictions are unnecessary. I was reading over the ACC creative writing guidelines and it's funny how irrelevant almost everything there is because it's information intended for very young people.
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factories far away
It seemed like the rules were more strict in the early days of this site like you all stated. Younger users and most likely, those words were considered bad to them. Just reading some of the posts here, ACC seemed way more active. With social media improving, forums are a dying thing.
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"With social media improving, forums are a dying thing."
I used Pokecommunity a lot last year, and it was still pretty alive, but I feel that's partially to do with the demographic and discussion Pokemon attracts, so it depends where you go and what franchise it is.
Official forums tend to stay alive for longer too, is something I've noticed. The official The Sims forum is still very active, though certain portions of the site are completely dead, especially those dedicated to legacy titles.
Your rhinestone eyes are like
factories far away
I'm pretty sure the change was made in 2010. If not, it would have been 2011. I remember the announcement that a bunch of words were being removed from the filter and it was just "crap" and like fifteen different versions of "freaking."
"Really?? I avoided using these words in my fan fic because I thought they were banned "
They were until sometime within the past couple of years. I still haven't gotten used to this one.
I saw it on a thread recently and looked around like ... y'all aren't afraid of the mods??
When I joined ACC, I was part of that group of kids under 13. I was probably 11 or 12, and I just assumed most folks were around my age. I remember thinking folks in high school were so grown.
The lack of younger folks these days definitely comes from the prevalence of social media -- my job with a national organization for folks 18-25 had folks create an animal crossing GroupMe, and folks there all say they use Discord, FB, etc. to communicate with others for trading, turnips, and wifi.
It makes me glad to see so many folks playing Animal Crossing, and while I understand why they use these platforms (instant messaging/chat, voice chat, image sharing, etc.) I miss ACC and stop by frequently.
But yes! The fact that ACC is adapting itself makes me thrilled. So, for the fun of it ... crap! That'll be my first and last time probably saying it here.
Lol I don't remember crap being not allowed, but damn & hell is mildly surprising even though it's not offensive. Mostly cause I could be used as fightin' words. Whoopsie daisy if that actually isn't allowed to be said though.
"but damn & hell is mildly surprising even though it's not offensive"
Where I'm from, these are and always have been completely innocuous words (with crap always having been considered to be a bit more "severe"), so it's not too surprising to me.
That said, I can remember that it was quite the culture-shock during the early days of widespread public internet access when I learned that some folks from some countries consider them to be swearing!
I'm only surprised because most online forums that would have kids come online (like ACC) generally didn't allow the words. But yeah irl its always been benign. But I remember this family of 8 kids that lived down the street from me like 15 years ago, who'd say I swear too much if I'd say "oh my gosh" so....
Ah yes, early to mid 2000's kid's forums... a relic of the past.
Tbh I think actual kids just all play Fortnite or Minecraft... idk what actual kids do. I live in an area full of old people so I don't see kids too much. The last time I talked to a younger person is my niece who was 13 at the time a few years ago, but probably near 16 now.
But yeah, I think Nintendo's market nowadays is family and kid-friendly games for older players. Which is perfectly fine. Actual kids don't care for them though, it seems.
That combined with other users mentioning kids not using forums (if they even know that forums exist) means there's just no point in this site even pretending to be a kid's site. It's just a family-friendly site used by adults at this point.
~Grand winner of Push the Button  in Forum Games with 2113 points!~
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This thread just unlocked a memory from the deepest recesses of my brain. When I was a kid and basically lived on this site, my friend and I learned that 'bloody' was a bad word elsewhere in the world because he couldn't say he had a bloody nose. I actually don't know if that word is still banned. I guess I'll find out when I hit submit! Though also if Michael is by chance reading this and it sounds familiar, what up bro, hit me up, I miss you.
But also, in honor of my child self who thought she was so cool and mature if she swore- damn.
I make mistakes, but my own,
and it frees me.
That's fairly interesting to know - especially since I have some old infraction points on my account from when I was a dumb kid like 15 years ago and would try to cleverly bypass the swear filter. Shame those points never expire, marked for life.
Another rule I noticed that's been loosened is about having multiple accounts. I noticed on another thread that was discussing the past quite a few people talked about having their old accounts banned as kids or being too embarrassed of them or something and then making new ones. Back in the day that definitely would've warranted a permaban just for saying that, but I guess it's fine now??
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I've seen people mention that they used to have another account, but if there's an explanation it's usually that they forgot the log-in information, in which case I think the policy is that the admins try to help them get back into it. I don't remember seeing people admitting to having been banned; that definitely warrants a ban of the duplicate account.
"I did see quite a few folks mention that "OMG" used to be censored."
This happened in the mid 2000's, as I remember it, as a direct result of drama started by a specific user. Not going to allude to who, obviously, but I think most people on this site at the time would remember their name. They basically raised a stink about it, I'm sure you can imagine the justification used, and would have posts/comments reported for using it until it was formally made against the rules. I believe they eventually got themselves permabanned due to their penchant for drama, which is unsurprising, as they were older then than I am now and would start harassment campaigns against children.
Reflect on your childhood, your sensation, your words, your emotions
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"I'm pretty sure the change was made in 2010. If not, it would have been 2011. I remember the announcement that a bunch of words were being removed from the filter and it was just "crap" and like fifteen different versions of "freaking.""
My favorite variation of "freaking" on that list was "flippen".