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OffJumpsJack 06-22-2009 04:33 PM

OT: Question for the Mods **Answered**
Apropos of Nothing, I received the following note in my Ravelry message box. I was wondering about this KH as an alternative.


Positive Role Model
Sent at 6:32 AM Today

Hi, Jack. Just saw your profile. Hope you donít mind me adding you to my friends. I am a grade 3 teacher in Saudi Arabia, and I just taught my class to crochet. Three of my boys are here on Rav and I am always looking for GUYS that are crocheting to provide good role models for them! No prejudice on my part, but since these are YOUNG boys, I am looking, obviously, for STRAIGHT men who crochet! The main Raveler, is [student name or pseudonym]. [a Ravelry membername] If you can help him out with patterns or how toís or just encouragement, that would be great!
Random and unexpected. Would anyone here recommend Ravelry for grade 3 students? (I presume they are under age 10) I don't believe there are any 'parental' controls to Ravelry, are there? I was surprised by some Ravelry project pictures that I happened across, ones I would NOT want my own children to see. (Tag was "Naughty"; 'Nuf said?)

I considered a reply suggesting this KH forum because the mods here do such a good job addressing post that may cause issues with the sites stated "policy" (can't think of the exact wording used here).

Does KH have a questions for the Mods section/thread for post of this nature?


Jan in CA 06-22-2009 04:39 PM

We have a private forum for discussions, but nothing public.

I'm not sure that kids that age should be in ANY forum or social networking site to be honest. IMO it's just not appropriate. We have a few young people in KH, but have had problems with them from time to time. If they are already on Ravelry there isn't much we can do and it's really up to the parents in these situations.

I also don't like the way she worded that message to you. I know what she means, but it comes across as somewhat intolerant..or something. Not sure how to say what I'm thinking..:??

OffJumpsJack 06-22-2009 05:05 PM

Jan, To me it almost sounded leading.. almost like a reverse psychology ploy. The stereotype is that a male who knits or crochets is also, erm, of a marginalized sexual preference.

Although the emphasis could simply be a reflection of the cultural view in Saudi Arabia.

Thanks for you comment.

knitasha 06-22-2009 09:00 PM

"The main Raveler, is [student name or pseudonym]. [a Ravelry membername] If you can help him out with patterns or how to’s or just encouragement, that would be great!"

Pardon my cynicism, but this smells as fishy as three-week-old bait. You say the message was random and unexpected. I wonder how many other men on Ravelry received it. I wonder if the "teacher" is really a teacher or someone looking for friendship (or something else) in a roundabout and rather creepy way. I wonder if the message-sender is male or female and really is in Saudi Arabia.

I agree with everybody who says that third graders should not be on social networking sites (assuming that third grade means about 8 years old, as it does in the US). But the bottom line is: are you interested in mentoring a kid you don't know and "helping out with patterns or how to's or just enouragement?" If not, just say so politely and leave it at that. You are also under no obligation ot respond to an unsolicited message; just ignore it and it will go away.

However, I think the responsible thing would be to forward the message to Casey at Ravelry. If young kids are participating in the groups and forums, he should be aware of it. By the way, have you checked the profile of the membername you were sent? Just click on "People" and type it in. The results might be interesting.

knitasha 06-22-2009 10:30 PM

Okay -- I checked further. And I am relieved to say that this seems legit. I went to the "People" tab on Ravelry and clicked on "By Country." I then clicked "Saudi Arabia" and found all the groups there. Bingo! One is called "How Like to Krochet Group" and it was apparently founded in March, 2009, without the teacher's knowledge by an 8-year-old. His name and profile are on Ravelry. The teacher's name is Miss Hunter and she is encouraging more kids to join Rav. It is an international coed school, by the way, so it is probably more liberal than most Saudi schools.

Still, Ravelry was not designed for kids and has no parental controls. One of the children belongs to 289 Ravelry groups! To your concern, Jack, some of these groups may include adult content. (Groups that show naughty pictures or use bad language have warnings at top of the page, but that's not going to stop a curious child from checking them out.) Perhaps someone should mention this to Miss Hunter. And I still think it would be a good idea to contact Casey. It really is not a place for children.

ETA. How does Miss Hunter know whether the guys she is inviting to mentor her boys and girls are good souls like Jack?

auntcrafty 06-23-2009 01:27 AM


I would never ever as someone who works with children approach a stranger to be a mentor with my children!

Also, I'm not comfortable with a lot of places on Rav and certainly wouldn't like my children to go on there without supervision.

Good advice to let Casey know!

AngieLanigan 06-23-2009 10:55 AM

I would definately let Casey know. What a strange situation all around. I don't remember specifically from signing up at Ravelry, but I know that every vBulletin site I've ever signed up with, I've had to confirm that I was over 13 years of age. If Ravelry doesn't have the same legal agreement, they probably should. I agree that it's not really an appropriate place for a bunch of 3rd graders to be hanging out. And to be honest, I think it's really strange for a teacher to not only be encouraging it, but to be actively assisting them.

Jack, please don't take this the wrong way, but as an adult in today's society, I would never befriend an unknown child over the internet, especially if I were a man. It shouldn't be this way, but unfortunately there are so many ways it can be seen in the wrong light, I personally wouldn't put myself in that situation, regardless of how innocent my intentions were.

It just blows my mind how naive this teacher is, that she would encourage a minor under her care to develop any kind of relationship with an adult stranger over the internet. Does she have no idea how many perverted, twisted people there are out there? This whole thing is very disturbing to me :(

AngieLanigan 06-23-2009 11:38 AM

I did check Ravelry's Terms of Use, and they include this:


You may not use the Services and may not accept the Terms if:

1. You are not of legal age to form a binding contract
I imagine that 8yrs old is not legal age.

knitgal 06-23-2009 12:07 PM

Not that this has anything to do with the situation, but I don't like the way that the teacher worded the message either. Like Jan said, it sounds intolerant which puts me off the whole situation.

Why does someone's sexuality have to play into this at all? Are gay men not allowed to be mentors to little boys? What is she afraid will happen? So strange to me.

OffJumpsJack 06-23-2009 12:28 PM

To turn this back to KH
Being still new on rav, I';m having a hard time finding where or how to get this to the right people over there. Now that I know Casey and Jess are the founders I know how to proceed.. If they have a forward button or icon?... :think:

I'm still looking and learning over there. Thanks for all the comments and support. I just didn't know where to discuss it over there. ;)

Yeah, the Internet is a like a wilderness, there are some wild animals and predators just outside the civilized outposts (like moderated forums). :sad:

Thanks to the Amy, Sheldon, and all the Mods here that keep us safe. (an also to all members who help just like a community watch).

Is there any issue with suggesting KH forums to this teacher as a safer, more responsive (timely) help forum?

Either way, I would think adult supervision is required (isn't it always required for any Internet accessible site?).

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