Disney channel website parental control is lame Tuesday, March 25, 2008
If you happen to be the parent of a young girl then it's almost inevitable you will have heard of Hannah Montana and High School Musical, the Disney sensations. Moreover, if you happen to have Disney via satellite or cable, you'll also be familiar with the endless loops of episodes dished up but still watched avidly by your kids.
Disney is a master at 360 degree packaging with stage, tv, merchandise and online outlets for your kids to immerse themselves in their favourite wholesome characters. Cross-referrals are especially well executed and when Hannah Montana's T-shirt competition was announced on the TV, my youngest daughter was straight over to the PC wanting to enter.
And then came the annoying bit - registration. Firstly, they want you to choose a user name but of course anything resembling a name a child can remember has already gone. Ten tries later and still no success in finding an unused name and so we resort to something impossibly long. Why don't they just suggest something to you?
Now for the pointless bit. The child is asked to enter their email address and their parent's email, so that their consent can be sought for the registration. Ok, so that is sensible but why then allow me to enter the same email address in both? Well, obviously some kids may not have email addresses and need to use their parent's email in order to proceed. But that also means that a child can enter their own address in both fields and circumvent the control.
Nice try but no cigar.