We have had younger users ask questions in the past. It's great to see children show enthusiasm for space exploration. There has been at least one meta discussion in the past about creating a tag for questions written by or for an audience of children. (Despite having many upvotes, that request was denied, but apparently because the tag was confusing.)

About an hour ago, a 12 year old posted a question. I added a new tag called to it. The intent is that answers should be written for a younger audience. The tag description states

This question and its answers should be written for a younger audience: children under the age of 16.

That age was arbitrarily chosen, but a reasonable cutoff for more sophisticated questions and answers.

This raises several points for discussion:

  1. First, sorry about doing this without prior discussion. Are we okay with going ahead with this idea?

  2. The tag is intended for questions asked by users self-identifying as younger. Should older users also be allowed to ask such questions, as long as the answers are written for younger readers? Should there be a limit (number of questions, reputation limit, daily rate) to prevent abuse?

  3. Should duplicates (but one only) of standard questions be allowed, so they can be answered at a more basic level? Or perhaps allow simpler answers in the original that are tagged at the top ?

  4. Are there any other types of questions that we normally would not allow, but would be okay with this tag?

  5. Are there types of questions that would normally be allowed, but not allowed with this tag? (For example, most technical questions would not be asked by a child and are therefore inappropriate for the tag.)

  6. What should the guidance be for answers? To what age level should they be written? Should references be mandatory, encouraged, or optional?

  7. Are there any questions we would want to retroactively apply this tag?

  8. Are there frequently asked questions that we want to establish a standard question and answer for?

  • 9
    $\begingroup$ Children under 13 are not allowed to create accounts. meta.stackexchange.com/q/61770/299013 $\endgroup$ Feb 18 at 18:22
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Fair enough that we enforce the age limit; however, the way that is conducted does matter. Being a jerk to a child is never okay, even if it is to enforce rules. Stack Exchange already has a bad reputation for being unwelcoming. Shame on those who downvoted the kid's posts -- how do think that makes him feel? @OrganicMarble's responses to this kid's posts are an example of doing it right and being nice. $\endgroup$
    – DrSheldon
    Feb 18 at 20:14
  • 7
    $\begingroup$ Downvoting isn't disrespectful or mean. The alt/title text for question downvotes is "This question does not show any research effort; it is unclear or not useful." For answer downvotes, that text is "This answer is not useful." Questions and answers of similar quality from non-child users also get downvotes. $\endgroup$
    – Erin Anne
    Feb 19 at 1:54

1 Answer 1


I think it's a mistake to try to make a separate rule/styleset as "for kids" demarcated by only a tag, even if that's for 13-18 year olds rather than people younger than the site's rules specify. We engage with lots of people who don't have much background knowledge on spaceflight or physics, and what we ask of them is what we should ask of all users: do some research, show evidence of that, and ask a clear question.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .