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It saddens my heart to write this, as it did when I wrote the Forum Protectors PMs last night. They have all been very gracious and understanding, which reminds me why each of them was chosen. I was going to wait until Friday to let the rest of the forum know, but it seems that many already do:
A few weeks back, our legal team performed a full analysis of the site and recommended that we do a background check on every member of the staff. We did so, and, as you know everyone passed and WI is that much safer now. We provided them with the results of these checks.
Upon reviewing of our staff list, we were questioned as to why the "Forum Protectors" were not background checked. We explained that the Forum Protectors were children who qualified to be moderators, but were too young to do so. They informed us that, in order to comply with Safe Harbor policies and COPPA (federal laws), we must remove the staff position immediately because it gives the impression that we are employing children as volunteers and we also are forbid by law to run background checks or ask for identifying information from minors.
We have to eliminate the Forum Protector role as soon as possible. I've told them that I would do so, and I have given all the Forum Protectors notice before I do it.
I'm so sorry, but we've enjoyed having them all on the staff and we hope that they stay and "do what they do" as they always have done. They were always distinguished users, which is why they were chosen.
On Friday evening, they will be returned to normal status.
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