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Jun 04, 2007

Comments

1.

"What just happened to the rights of this minority?"

I'll tell you what:

Linden Lab finally decided to jump the shark for good, lose all pretense of being a "virtual world", dispense with the growing-society mythic marketing, and recast themselves as a sanitized environment, easily digestable to a puritan public.

2.

"Linden’s relationship with the notion of governance has always been vague."

The " vagueness " ( does such a word even exist ? ) tells the whole story.

Linden's relations with a lot of legal/moral/ethyc stuff was always " vague ".

3.

Governance is a big issue, especially as the place gets more and more filled with money and different kind of interests. Together with a bunch of jurists and especially aware users we've been developing a proposal to Linden Labs, which is now at a draft state, in order to ensure that each behaviour can be allowed or not depending on the kind of governance established in the given land where it verifies; we set up a wiki here: https://lgsg.wetpaint.com and we'd love to go ahead with the proposal and make it out of draft & ready to be sent to the Lindens. If any of the readers here feels he could contribute or just give his/her opinion about the draft, please do subscribe the wiki or contact Mondrian Lykin (that would be me), Ashcroft Burnham (the project manager) or Kristy Laval in-world.

4.

Oh great, my grandma will be very relieved. She has been waiting to get on second life for a long time, but didn't like it because it was too filled with objectionable material. Once I tell her they are cleaning it up she will hop right on.

Just kidding, in real life what happens when you have a long standing user base and then decide you don't like that user base, and implement changes to endear yourself to a perceived user-base is that you lose your actual users. Your new pretend clean puritan user-base doesn't spring out of nothingness.

5.

Oh great, my grandma will be very relieved. She has been waiting to get on second life for a long time, but didn't like it because it was too filled with objectionable material. Once I tell her they are cleaning it up she will hop right on.

Just kidding, in real life what happens when you have a long standing user base and then decide you don't like that user base, and implement changes to endear yourself to a perceived user-base is that you lose your actual users. Your new pretend clean puritan user-base doesn't spring out of nothingness.

6.

As an experienced community manager, this looks like what I call a "friendly neighborhood reminder" - they're not saying they're going to change anything, they're saying they will 'continue' to do things just as they have been doing things all along.

Someone, somewhere thought the "community" needed a reminder that there's already a method in place for reporting "badness."

However, I think they chose some very unfortunate words for their reminder. If the "community has made it clear" then why does it have to be said? What exactly is "broadly offensive content"?

I do think SL is at a turning point, but I think this is a symptom of being in transition - not necessarily a sign-post pointing to the future. (One can always hope.)

7.

Yes, Ren, we've all been discussing this for more than a week, even before Daniel came out with this Edict.

Here's at least 3 articles you might read that will go over not only the ground you've traversed here, but raised a lot more troubling issues:

https://secondthoughts.typepad.com/second_thoughts/2007/05/the_pedophiles_.html

https://www.secondlifeherald.com/slh/2007/06/fear_and_loathi.html

https://secondslog.blogspot.com/2007/06/beware-tyranny-of-majority.html

And I'd have more pointers for you, if it weren't for the fact that an article Tony Walsh did, with the comment about "Child Porn Panic in SL," which led to a furious debate about it, led to a vicious troll attacking me for pages, me fighting back, and both of us being permabanned. True to form, it isn't any ageplayers who have been banned just yet, that we can see, since the two who were booted after German TV caught them; instead it's people being banned on a third-party site talking about SL. If you pare away all the pages, it comes down to this: given widely divergent laws in the RL, and widely divergent communities in SL, can you have community control of morals? I would say yes, the norms can be developed as for the basic stuff they aren't so far apart and difficult to make up -- LL has a good "Big Six" in the Community Standards. Others say no, it's impossible to make law, and instead only code should be made -- coded tools that enable parcel controls and more effective abuse reports.

The first thing the knee-jerk liberals, so to speak, say about the edict is that it must be the "moral majority talking" or "this is the Fox TV type media which is all owned by evil corporations and media concentrators".

To that I say what you say: uh, where did the moral majority -- or immoral minority -- or *anything* in Second Life speak?!

In order to have rights of a minority, Ren, first you have to have rights of even a majority. We have none of that.

What we have is in fact the curious phenomenon of the knee-jerk liberal, if you will, in power, and under pressure merely to do some pragmatic things, which is basically limiting liability to litigation.

But the Lindens weren't honest about it, and didn't say, "Hey, we've got German TV and German police poking around, our lawyers tell us we have to take measures to make sure we aren't vulnerable to closure*.

In fact, in meetings inworld in their office hours, Lindens said clearly that they acted as they did and made policies due to the German TV story, and that they didn't wish to risk having Germans shut out of Second Life -- much less the entire service of SL. Their lawyers in the U.S. also gave them the advice that while this form of expression might be protected speech under the First Amendment, simulated rape might not be as protected as one thinks under landmark cases like Ashcroft, so better not to risk the litigation. We can't know what their lawyers said at the end of the day, however; they didn't say it publicly.

If you were going to do a Marxist analysis, then do it not even so much about the negative press -- which consisted mainly of German TV and only a few articles in the U.S., do it on the People's Democracy stuff that Daniel is peddling which he must have imbided on his old college campus or something.

Never have so many warmed-over 60s and 70s social theories had a chance to be reheated and served as in Second Life.

Here is he imagining that if he invokes the tribe, the community, the People, he has invoked something authentic. Of course it's all fake. But then... most people who oppose the Lindens' new edict are themselves invoking notions of "the community" which they believe really rules.

In fact there is no community; there is no public; there is no people. There's a lot of atomized customers in various chance groups, or weak formations like blog comments or groups inworld but without any real power of the purse -- at least, not recognized power of the purse (tier payers pay 80 percent of Lindens' bottom line, but they aren't organized.

And one of the reasons they can never successfully *get* organized and speak out is that each and every time they do, your People's Democracy types speak up and whine that non-landowners aren't included, so it must be all about evil land barons taking power blah blah. Class warfare, if you will.

So we get what we get. There isn't any chorus of people who have spoken against "ageplay" in any significant way. The entire intelligentsia of SL -- all the main newspapers, blogs, podcasts, etc. are all of one mind on a basic principle: that what people do in their own homes, on their own land, behind closed doors, is their business, and whether fur, fetish, fin or FIC, it's to be tolerated.

There isn't a single blog, podcast, newspaper, or notecarded newsletter that has any other point of view on this, that's the amazing thing. A few vigilante groups might have started a third-party site somewhere to take down names of people they say are soliciting as "ageplayers," but that's about it.

What people DO disagree about is what should be allowed in the public domain. Some think there should be a blank check to promote simulated child rape or adult rape or anything extreme of that nature; others think it should be allowed but outside the public eye. People like me say that what people do on their own land is their business, but just as they have a right to promote their lifestyle, so does anyone have the right to condemn it and seek to create a world without violence and slavery and simulated child molestation.

What the Lindens have done, however, is go against not only what the intelligentsia thinks, but what the silent majority of child simulators, some of whom are ageplayers, think. They've said that even if something is behind closed doors, it's fair game for an abuse report.

What's most odious in Daniel's edict -- you didn't seem to notice this -- is the idea of reinforcing the police state and having all the little fanboyz report on their fellow residents. The forums were built up with this KGB-informer-style culture; the ARs inworld are filled with this sort of score-settling.

And that's opened the door to witch-hunts and a chilling climate. In fact, I've already been targeted by this troll -- Csven Concord -- who published a picture on Flickr that claims I run "Prok's Kiddie Land" showing swingsets and roundabouts as if these are the props in some sinister child porn empire. It's insane.

Governance in world cannot be organized on this principle: "his notion of community norms that is implicit in what is being said, and the related idea that such norms empower Linden to enforce them."

For one, it can't be "his notion" -- he's a bureaucrat in a state organization that has no democratic legitimacy -- it's a corporation that has a world not even as a product these days, but a by-product.

For two, you can't substitute the deliberations of representative democracy, the checks and balances of government, and the protection of minorities through those checks and balances, with some raw feed of crowd-wisdomy fakery in a voting poll, such that the majority always gets to be a tyranny because the game gods can always invoke it as a "wise crowd".

There's been no wisdoms, and no crowds, Ren. There aren't even any mini-mobs with pitchforks as there was in the one incident I described last August.

Linden Lab isn't likely to provide any social legitimacy to this policy by showing any polls or actual data. They could come clean with the numbers of abuse reports they had on "ageplay," but given the specious and vindictive reports I've seen right on my own sims, I'd be the first to ask which percentage of these reports were faked in order to harass or settle scores.

We've all drilled on what the jurisprudence is going to be on this, what the guidelines -- those internal directives that authoritarian states always have that undermine these sorts of public edicts anyway.

And we're told by Chadrick Linden, for example, that the interpretation for what is "extreme" and "unsafe" will come from...us. That is, what *we* decide to report, en masse, as an aggregate studed by the LL governance and abuse teams, will be what is the norm.

So they are holding out the concept of "community control" in that way -- putting out a concept, and saying, you tell us what you find extreme.

If there was a conscious civil society, or even a loosely organized social movement, people could flood the Linden system with bogus reports about balloons and clowns and beach balls in their library as proof of "ageplay" -- overwhelm the system with idiocy. Or they could go in another direction -- simply refuse to file a single AR. That may happen, and might pick up speed as a movement, but given the lack of mass media and a way to really organize effectively in a world where only 40 fit on a sim and groups over 500 people begin to break, what to do?

Or...something much, much simpler might happen, despite all the agitated predictions and screeching. A relatively small percentage of people will report their genuine concerns about "ageplayers". Some small percentage of these cases will turn out to actually be related to RL child porn, or will be extreme enough even as simulation to merit banning. And people will begin to breathe a sigh of relief, because everyone has been very hobbled by their own liberal beliefs into thinking that they not only have to tolerate extremism, they have to stand by while it flourishes.

And, more practically, at the end of the day, Daniel doesn't have to get a single AR, or read and contemplate a single AR to formulate "community policy" -- he has limited the vulnerability for litigation by articulating a policy, and he can now go back to chuckling to himself about people calling up the Lab and asking if weasels have an age of consent.

8.

#1. What wasn't safe? Check out somethingawful's Second Life Safari for a very very small taste of what wasn't safe. SL makes goatse.cx look like Sesame Street.

#2. To summarize the comment above, anything Prok doesn't like is apparently Marxist. I therefore assert that she is Steve Ballmer and claim my £5.

#3. SL is irrelevant except to theorists and press-vultures who can't be bothered to check facts. It's a hangout for perverts and the socially retarded and therefore has no bearing on anything.

9.

However allegations of bad governance have ranged from badly handled in-world and forum squabbles to down right market rigging. The latter are allegations that CCP (creators of EvE) is now also facing and are probably part and parcel of running, what is seen by many, as simply an online market irrespective of how you actually run it.

Perhaps you could clarify this. As an Eve player (and an economist) this makes no sense to me.

10.

>anything Prok doesn't like is apparently Marxist.

No, hardly. I don't like Marxism. Do you? I like and dislike other things that aren't about Marxism. How about you? I have no idea who Steve Ballmer is.

And no, and I'm not even the person who introduced the word "Marxist" into this thread, hello?? Marxism is Marism -- fake People's Democracies are good examples. What Ren meant by a "Marxist" analysis was "an analysis of the material motives that one can expose capitalists by," and pointed to bad press that hurts the sales of the product.

And yes, I guess something you're all obsessed about critiquing is "irrelevant".

11.

Prokofy said "And I'd have more pointers for you, if it weren't for the fact that an article Tony Walsh did, with the comment about "Child Porn Panic in SL," which led to a furious debate about it, led to a vicious troll attacking me for pages, me fighting back, and both of us being permabanned."

As I've been named in the above post, allow me to respond at least once.

First, I agreed with Prokofy's comments on Clickable Culture. Then I volunteered that if we can't get our real life laws - even within the U.S. - to align, then an international service like Second Life was going to "be a mess".

I cited the common example of the disparity between the voting age, the age when a person can sign up for military service (without parental consent), and the age when a person can *purchase* alcohol (as opposed to *consuming* it, which varies from state-to-state).

Prokofy ignored the point and instead jumped on the thought that the Feds could be regulating a state's "drinking age"; calling me "nuts" to suggest that the Feds could exert their will on the states in this way. I pointed out that there was a National Drinking Age Act and that it did "effectively" force the states into compliance. I also emphasized that I used the word "purchased" in acknowledgement that the Federal law does *not* set an age for *consumption*.

As most of you can imagine, Prokofy argued non-stop; unwilling to concede she'd made a minor mistake. I decided not to give in to the bullying she's used on many other forums and for which she's been more than once banned. I also caught her in a lie claiming that Wisconsin has rebelled against the Feds and changed their laws... they haven't). She later tried to pawn off as an honest mistake. And when pressed about her factual statements, she replied with this classic line:

"A statement I believe to be true *is* a fact until it is *disproven*."

Okay.

So the truth is, the debate that got us both banned from Clickable Culture - withwhich I have no problem - wasn't about *this* issue; it was over the laws regarding alcohol and Federal efforts to force compliance.

In the end, however, Prokofy asserted that "local" laws would attempt assert themselves, which was exactly the primary point I was making in saying that so long as real life laws don't align, Second Life would have serious issues.

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Prokofy said "I've already been targeted by this troll -- Csven Concord -- who published a picture on Flickr that claims I run "Prok's Kiddie Land" showing swingsets and roundabouts as if these are the props in some sinister child porn empire."

The truth is that on numerous occasions Prokofy as attacked me for what I've done with the land I own inside Second Life; she frequently cites her land as being of the acceptable sort with happy little cottages that look *normal* and which raise the value of the land in the sim (something about which I don't really care).

I took two images showing what it's like to have Prokofy move in as a neighbor (as the first landowner in the sim, I wonder why she bothered to buy land if she didn't like what she saw).

I posted one which showed something that looked like what I'd find in a trailer park. No avatars. Just the lot as viewed from my own. Both can be seen here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] . I posted a link to the Second LIfe Herald and no where else. Yet within hours her tenant sent me a flurry of messages telling me to mind my own business and that they could do whatever the "fuck" they wanted in Second Life. When I informed him that this was no longer true; that Linden Lab was calling on residents to report anything "broadly offensive", and that if I saw anything that wasn't innocent going in their parcel, I was required to report it, he got agitated. He kept demanding that he had the right to do as he pleased and I repeated that this was not the case. That's all I did.

I don't know why, but the children's things were removed. Draw your own conclusions.

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Prokofy posted: https://secondthoughts.typepad.com/second_thoughts/2007/05/the_pedophiles_.html

Of greater concern to me than *virtual* porn is the real stuff.

I'd suggest everyone give this entry a read and note that Prokofy has admitted to doing nothing about the real child pornography she witnessed. In addition, over on the SL Herald, Prokofy tried to place all responsibility with a Linden representative claiming that she didn't need to report anything because the Linden must have seen the same material. I wasn't the only person who thought that Prokofy's words amounted to an allegation. And when Prokofy realized she might have gone to far, she began to backpeddle. And when I suggested that the Linden may not have even have been at the computer, Prokofy jumped at that.

The question then falls back to: why didn't anyone report this to the authorities? Why didn't the person most vocal in condemning virtual child sex between consenting adults act on the *real thing*?

Something's wrong, imo, when *virtual* activities like the one's in question become more important than the real thing.

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So that's it.

I'd rather not have been named on this blog, because then I'd not feel the need to defend myself. Terra Nova is better than this.

Thus to prevent this from escalating further - which it might if libelous statements are thrown my way here - I recommend that at least until this issue blows over, both of us no longer be allowed to post on Terra Nova.

Or, if you just want to ban me, I don't object. However, if you do, I would respectfully request that you moderate Prokofy's comments. Some of the things she's stated as fact about me are arguably worth taking to court. I have no intention of doing that, but I would expect some fairness from Terra Nova in protecting my reputation. Thank you.

12.

"In the end, however, Prokofy asserted that "local" laws would attempt assert themselves..." "... attacked me for what I've done with the land I own inside SL..."

"The question then falls back to: why didn't anyone report this to the authorities? Why didn't the person most vocal in condemning virtual child sex between consenting adults act on the *real thing*?"

"Something's wrong, imo, when *virtual* activities like the one's in question become more important than the real thing."

At least , both of you learnt ( i hope ) something about local laws. And about yourselves.
To me it seems that all you need now is to learn the difference between the avatar and the player.

Something is bad and wrong when decent peoples get so involved , immersed and passionate. Really, one need a big pile of effort and a lot of guts , to distance itself from its avatar.
Don't expect LL to help you on that;rather, try to meet your " opponent " on a webcam and you'll discover a nice decent person behind and above that avatar. Because, nothing compares to the " face to face " meeting , even if via a webcam.

When about interhuman communication and interraction , mostly when about opinions, ideeas and temper , the VWs are the worst choice . Because of the DESIGNED limitations. The human is much more than its SL avatar , and its SL avatar it's not even a pale expression of the real player. Don't let yourselves diminished in such a lame way. Have a fight in SL and a cake in RL . And don't forget to have fun, while at any of those.

13.

What just happened to the rights of this minority?

Maybe they're getting outsourced?

https://nwn.blogs.com/nwn/2007/06/simulated_sex_a.html

Still, I'll believe the mass doom and gloom when I actualy see it.

14.

I won't be responding in detail to Csven Concord, who has trolled and baited and harassed me in one venue after another, and is now venue-shopping here.

It's precisely because I was *reporting a story for the Herald,* not *on a hysterical morality crusade* that I didn't come armed to make abuse reports *already made by the people next door, and already received by Lindens*.

I don't believe that you can mount cases against people for serious charges like RL child pornography when you when the evidence was *deleted* even as I was called to the scene by a group of vigilantes trying to hound "ageplayers" out of a neighbouring parcel. I've discussed this incident at length and I did absolutely the right thing; what Csven dislikes about this incident is that it illustrates a possible connection between RL porn and simulated porn that he'd like to pretend doesn't exist. He is absolutely unhinged and stridently zealous on the point of protecting the "right" to simulated child molestation in virtual worlds. He is so shrill on this point that he can't admit that a) it's a crime in some countries; b) LL's legal advisors consider that it could be grounds for a lawsuit even in the U.S. and they simply wish to limit liability; c) it's LL's right to remove it as "broadly offensive". LL is not obliged to provide software for the simulation of child rape.

Csven is so concerned about fighting for the rights of simulated child rapers in virtual worlds that he's lost sight of how awful he looks doing this, especially when he uses the very tactics of the opposite side in the debate he claims to be trying to pre-empt, and posts a link to a picture of my tenants in SL, who have swingsets in their yard, making the utterly tendentious and vindictive claim that they are "ageplayers" and that I'm tolerating "ageplay".

There's nothing I need to "learn" about "local laws," Amilla. I'm well aware of them. I like to give due process even for TOS virtual laws, and we often don't have that. What's not clear is WHICH local law WHERE? Where the server is located? Merely anywhere SL is located? Only by citizens of those countries? By anybody? There is surely an awful lot to debate and contemplate here, and it's really a shame that instead of playing games for these last few years, pioneer thinkers like Castronova weren't in SL and studying it in detail. I've never understood that.

I can't call the RL police to a scene of a "crime" in SL I've witnessed that is *deleted* -- and where the Lindens didn't take action. It's their servers. The exact nature of liability of other residents and land-owners, actually renters of the Lindens' own rented server space, is also unclear.

Today, they might have taken a different action, but we can't even know what they did back then as they never reveal disciplinary actions.

In 2006, it didn't seem feasible that anyone other than LL would answer for these types of things, because only they would have the RL information necessary to give to authorities. Today, now that LL is trying to devolve responsibility for "adult content" to landowners, it's difficult to know our precise liabilities and responsibilities without any actual precedent rulings in any courts yet, and many people are going to overreact. My tenant felt sufficiently intimidated by Csven that he removed an innocent swingset from his yard. For shame.

Once again, as Elle is saying, get a grip, and see how it pans out. Um, so far the only person who has actually been censored here in the "ageplay" debate is Prokofy Neva, from Clickable Culture, and on the side of the issue that says yes, there should be concern that RELATES simulation but does not EQUATE it. The only person who has been victimized unfairly for content that was innocent is Prokofy Neva and his tenant.

The um anschluss of harassment that Csven and other zealots were invoking was going to happen to everybody who looked 17 with a short skirt didn't happen, and no creativity in SL was chilled -- at least not yet. The Lindens have removed names and descriptions from parcels and search with names like "Lolita" and some people have made some mild protests.

Yes, the problem will be outsourced.

15.

>When about interhuman communication and interraction , mostly when about opinions, ideeas and temper , the VWs are the worst choice . Because of the DESIGNED limitations. The human is much more than its SL avatar , and its SL avatar it's not even a pale expression of the real player. Don't let yourselves diminished in such a lame way. Have a fight in SL and a cake in RL . And don't forget to have fun, while at any of those

I also want to point out that I simply reject this model and this view. You put it forward as if it is a matter of scientific fact, when it is merely your religious faith, your concept.

I simply have a different view, believing avatars to be extensions of people and integrated with the person, and that no 'firewall' separates them as some believe.

16.

I agree that Daniel Linden's comments could have been clearer and that the ambiguity inherent in them (what exactly is forbidden now?) has been disconcerting. But there's a big hype machine in operation now, which the original post here adds weight too, about how people's 'rights' are under attack. Which rights are these? The right to simulate the rape of children in a virtual world? That's sick and wrong and is illegal in many countries, possibly the US too.

'Rights of the minority'? That's revolting. Allowing the enactment of child rape in a virtual world is dangerous, it makes RL children less safe. It enables paedophiles to meet, to enact their fantasies and to 'normalise' what is perverted, evil and harmful. The SL community should not 'tolerate' this, it needs to be rejected, firmly. Remember, the couple who were investigated by the German television programme were also alleged to have distributed RL child porn. We should not be surprised by that connection.

The civil libertarian argument does not wash. LL is taking action on this issue at long last. I'd like to think that it's not just because they want to cover their backsides but because they have, belatedly, come to realise how dangerous ageplay is.

17.

"There's nothing I need to "learn" about "local laws," Amilla. I'm well aware of them. I like to give due process even for TOS virtual laws, and we often don't have that. What's not clear is WHICH local law WHERE? Where the server is located? Merely anywhere SL is located? Only by citizens of those countries? By anybody? There is surely an awful lot to debate and contemplate here, and it's really a shame that instead of playing games for these last few years, pioneer thinkers like Castronova weren't in SL and studying it in detail. "

If you bother to read TN's archive and Ted's books , you might find that there is nothing more to debate about SL and this subject , but only a lot to contemplate. Btw, why dont you give a hand to Bragg's case Judges ? As long as you dont need to learn more....

"..pioneer thinkers like Castronova weren't in SL and studying it in detail. I've never understood that."

I'm sure you haven't. I doubt you will.
"I simply have a different view, believing avatars to be extensions of people and integrated with the person, and that no 'firewall' separates them as some believe."
The same is my pee. It separate itself.

The only acting hype machine is that trying to keep alive and active the interest for SL. Good luck trying.

18.

Prokofy Neva stated: "I've discussed this incident at length and I did absolutely the right thing"

By her own account, she "forgot" about it.

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Prokofy Neva stated: "what Csven dislikes about this incident is that it illustrates a possible connection between RL porn and simulated porn that he'd like to pretend doesn't exist."

A lie.

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Prokofy Neva stated: "He is absolutely unhinged and stridently zealous on the point of protecting the "right" to simulated child molestation in virtual worlds."

A libelous statement.

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Prokofy Neva stated: "He is so shrill on this point that he can't admit that a) it's a crime in some countries;"

Another lie. Of course it's a crime in some countries. That's why Linden Lab handed names over to the German authorities.

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Prokofy Neva stated: "Csven is so concerned about fighting for the rights of simulated child rapers in virtual worlds that he's lost sight of how awful he looks doing this"

Incorrect. I'm very cognizant that those who find two consenting adults with pseudo-realistic childlike avatars pretending to have sex with detachable genitalia they purchased from some vendor sufficiently offensive to imprison them will think less of me. Oh well.

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Prokofy Neva stated: "...especially when he uses the very tactics of the opposite side in the debate he claims to be trying to pre-empt"

This is correct. Responding in kind using Prokofy's own tactics is so dirty it makes me uncomfortable. In fact, I can't even take it to her extreme. For an example of an exchange, feel free to compare our posts on the SL Herald and judge for yourself: Link to SLH

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Prokofy Neva stated: "...and posts a link to a picture of my tenants in SL, who have swingsets in their yard, making the utterly tendentious and vindictive claim that they are "ageplayers" and that I'm tolerating "ageplay"."

A lie. The image (link in previous comment) includes no tenants, names no names and makes no claim. If it infers something, then either the people who pay her feel guilty - or not - and respond accordingly.

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Prokofy Neva stated: "I can't call the RL police to a scene of a "crime" in SL I've witnessed that is *deleted* -- and where the Lindens didn't take action."

Yes she can. As we've already gone over this, for the benefit of Terra Nova readers, Prokofy could have contacted the FBI and explained what she saw. Easily.

The excuse that the content was "deleted" is just that, an excuse. She knows full well that "deleting" a prim with an image on it in the sim does not mean a) that the texture/photo has been deleted from the avatar's inventory, b) that if it had been deleted from inventory, the image was unrecoverable from the Linden Lab server, c) that the originating computer from where the content had been uploaded no longer had the material on it, d) that if the content had been deleted from the user's computer, it was unrecoverable.

From today's news over on heise online (Link):

The man had earlier tried to delete the files with child pornography content on his hard disk, the spokesman added. Specialists of the criminal investigation department had, however, been able to restore the files, he said.
Prokofy herself provided the link to that news.

All that Linden Lab needed were avatar names. Prokofy doesn't know for certain what the Linden representative who arrived at the same scene she described actually saw; she's making assumptions.

We don't need to make assumptions about what Prokofy saw: she's outlined it for the whole world to read on her blog (and she can't delete it, because it's now cached somewhere).

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Prokofy Neva stated: "Today, they might have taken a different action, but we can't even know what they did back then as they never reveal disciplinary actions."

And for all we know, Guy Linden was on the toilet while his avatar was stuck trying to teleport into an overflowing sim. And because he wasn't at his machine, he never saw the material and didn't even realize Prokofy was trying to contact him; thus giving the appearance of ignoring her.

She made assumptions that resulted in her not taking action when she should have. If Linden Lab took action that we don't know about, no harm was done. If Linden Lab was unaware and took no action, then they're not to blame and her poor assumptions allowed pedophiles to roam free and continue to exploit children.

One would think an intelligent person would err on the side of caution. Instead, she explained on the SL Herald: "The real authorities in this situation, by my reckoning, was LL."

-

Prokofy Neva stated: "it's difficult to know our precise liabilities and responsibilities without any actual precedent rulings in any courts yet"

Witnessing real life child pornography and reporting it does not require guidance from a company based in San Francisco or some court precedent. All it requires is the same outrage Prokofy feels for *pretend sex*.

-

Prokofy Neva stated: "My tenant felt sufficiently intimidated by Csven that he removed an innocent swingset from his yard. For shame."

Or maybe he had something to hide? I can't feel bad for someone who blasts me with messages indicating he doesn't want anyone watching what they do in plain view and then, for his own reasons, cleans up the place.

Besides, Prokofy should be happy. Doubtlessly the land values went up after he cleaned up that parcel.

-

Prokofy Neva stated: "Um, so far the only person who has actually been censored here in the "ageplay" debate is Prokofy Neva, from Clickable Culture"

Apparently Prokofy forgot we were *both* banned from Clickable Culture. Either that or it doesn't sound as effective to include the whole truth. It'll certainly not be the first time Prokofy has tried to twist things.

-

Prokofy Neva stated: "The only person who has been victimized unfairly for content that was innocent is Prokofy Neva and his tenant."

I'm not so sure Prokofy herself didn't demand that tenant remove the children's toys, or even remove it herself (since it is her land). After all, Prokofy is the one with an axe to grind against people who don't conform to her wishes about how they should behave.

-

I really don't like wasting time responding to lies and libelous comments being spread by Prokofy Neva, especially since she gets to hide behind her SL avatar name while invoking my real name and embedding personal details (which she has to dig for) such that she can vomit up bile like

I often find that people who have no RL children... - Prokofy Neva comment on SLH
in order to insert and use them in sickening ways.

So from here on out, as on Clickable Culture, I'll be referring to Prokofy Neva as Catherine Fitzpatrick (which I believe is her real name; Prokofy Neva is also linked to a Catherine Fitzgerald when I google "Prokofy Neva Catherine") since she's comfortable giving that name to the mainstream media whose attention she so obviously desires.

If someone is going to state "He is absolutely unhinged" on Terra Nova, and spread lies on the Second Life Herald and elsewhere, such as

If csven is finding that one of the ways he can conceal and rationalize and justify his curious indulgence of simulated child molestation...
then I'll respond in kind and ensure Catherine Fitzpatrick is duly linked.

So either Terra Nova starts to moderate these comments appropriately or watch credibility suffer.

19.

*Pours salt on the leech*.

I've addressed all these issues repeated on my blog and the Herald, and given the links already.

20.

>I'm sure you haven't. I doubt you will.

Um, try me. I once heard a colleague of his explain it this way: he just prefers playing games. Open-ended worlds just aren't his bag.

But it's obviously in open-ended worlds where this is playing out, and is so far more fascinating. The SL hype machine is irrelevant to that factor.

21.

P.S. if anyone else, especially any TN moderators, would like to go over all the facts of the case of the incidents C. Sven Johnson is ranting on about, I'm happy to speak to them in detail, on the record, in email, in media interviews, whatever. I'm going to assume that Onder Skall was right at the Herald when he said most people find C. Sven has terrible debating tactics and simply aren't interested in going to the mat on the details.

22.

What Onder Skall actually said:

Csven's terrible debate practices are too obvious to even need comment. - Link to SL Herald comment

And the twisted version from Prokofy/Catherine Fitzpatrick:

I'm going to assume that Onder Skall was right at the Herald when he said most people find C. Sven has terrible debating tactics and simply aren't interested in going to the mat on the details.

Kinda different, wouldn't you say?

FWIW, Onder may have found our one and only exchange (afaik) less than pleasant. Judge for yourself: Link to Metaversed blog. That would explain his opinion. Though it seems a bit sparse to form a worthwhile one, I'd think.

-

Prokofy said: "P.S. if anyone else, especially any TN moderators, would like to go over all the facts of the case of the incidents C. Sven Johnson is ranting on about, I'm happy to speak to them in detail, on the record, in email, in media interviews, whatever."

Of course. She's desperate for attention.

The best thing is to ban us both, delete these posts, and let her take her venom elsewhere.

23.

Ahh. I see Prok's at it again, and even pleading for interviews this time. Hilarious.

24.

Monitoring ARs to make judgements on community standards doesn't seem right to me, if only for the reasons Prokofy stated. Anyone in the UK can remember how Mary Whitehouse almost single handedly (as it turned out, she faked a *lot* of complaint letters under pseudonyms) held British telly to ransom for decades.

The AR system offers no feedback for the opinions of anyone who wants to say "I don't like it, it makes me ill to think about it, but so long as they're doing it out of sight between themselves I don't have a problem with allowing it."

Then Daniel Linden made a statement that this stuff has always been disallowed in SL, when the facts say otherwise- the TOS and community standards explicitly allow "broadly offensive" activities, they only restrict the location of them. For Daniel Linden to stand there and say the world is flat and always has been, while the other Lindens are running round behind him with really big hammers flattening the world, isn't doing anything for clarity, or trust in Linden Lab.

What makes it all so laughable, is that I made the mistake of buying Saw III on DVD at the weekend. I have hardly any horror movies, and it was three-for-£20 in HMV in the city centre. So some vgue memory of watching the first one with friends, and a feeling I should probably have more than Ghibli animations on the shelf made me do something foolish. I don't think I've ever seen anything, ever, in SL (and I've seen all the Dolcett stuff) that comes even close to as offensive, horrific and disgusting as that movie. But you know, I just walked in to one of the country's biggest and most respectable music and video stores, and just handed them money, no questions asked, no brown paper bags, and certainly no identity checks.

It doesn't really matter. For all those who prefer simulated mass murder, and televised or filmed torture and suffering, and scorn those who prefer simulated sex, the Bragg case will have the biggest effect on this awful "world of perverts".

If virtual property rights are defined in law, I'm not even sure there will be a Second Life, or any virtual world with such provisions. Who is going to take on the risk of building, maintaining, and running a virtual world or MMO, when any griefer with a grudge can sue you because your banning them deprived them of their +5 Cock of Lolling and thus its property value?

25.

".. Saw III on DVD ..."
Ace, it does not pretend to be a life reportage ,nor a field of researches for Criminal Investigators , but " only "a horror movie .

From the very first momment when regulations/laws will be enforced in VWs , SL and the alike will simply cease to exist; because from the start , those were designed to be " the next generation of online scams and cons ". There is absolutely nothing , of a serious moral/ethic/scientific/economic/social nature /value wich could be done in those VWs.

26.

I am commenting on the earlier part of this discussion.

As a fifty-some year old "granny" who has just taken the plunge into SL, I can offer these views. I joined SL to explore the possibilities of SL as an educational tool, being a life-long educator seeking further use of technology for teaching.

After following this and several other blogs on the subject, I joined SL a few days ago. I consider myself a very liberal person, but have found myself thinking some of the stuff I have encountered is pornographic and just raunchy, and I have not (yet?) seen avatars having sex.

I would like some sort of warning. "Mature" can have many meanings. I visited a place yesterday and had a great time riding a whale and jumping off a diving board, only to wander into a dungeon like area filled with BDSM stuff and animation buttons labeled "forced female". It took away that "oh, how cool is this" feeling.

There is a huge body of research in the field of psychology since WWII on 1) how watching "models" perform violent acts desensitizes people and 2)how perpetrators of violence need to dehumanize their victims in order to escalate such behaviors. I would really not want to see SL become a medium to teach "those" behaviors.

27.

This is agonizing.

While i find myself (on the subject of "ageplay") in unheard-of agreement with Prok, and thus presumably in disagreement with Csven, it's so wonderful to see someone hit back using her own dirty tactics that i really want to see him win this debate.

Of course, if winning the debate also kept SL as the Internet's premiere paedo-pen and led to eventual lawsuits and imprisonments for LL, that would be a dream come true.

28.

Dear Prokofy:

"I have no idea who Steve Ballmer is."

He has been the CEO of Microsoft since 2000, in real life. Maybe you would know him if you had one? :O

Please, meet him: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Ballmer

Rgds

29.

"it's so wonderful to see someone hit back using her own dirty tactics that i really want to see him win this debate."

Thanks, but I don't believe there is a winner in this "debate". We both lose. I'm simply tired of being on, and watching others be on, the receiving end of some of the worst bile I've witnessed online. And unlike many professionals, I'm probably in a better position to roll around in the mud. Being banned from forums like Terra Nova won't impact me in the slightest.

-

"Of course, if winning the debate also kept SL as the Internet's premiere paedo-pen and led to eventual lawsuits and imprisonments for LL, that would be a dream come true."

Which is something that hasn't escaped me. While Prokofy fails to act when she witnesses real life criminal activity, I don't.

There are going to be consenting adults - perhaps married in RL - who are going to engage in simulated sexual activities using vaguely realistic childlike avatars while also being entirely law-abiding citizens with no interest in RL pedophilia. And there are going to be others who engage in the same activities who are also involved in supporting and spreading real child pornography. I believe the first doesn't belong in prison and the second does. And if the second group congregates and shares RL material inside Second Life, and members of that group perceive themselves as being immune to outside authority, then that might mean that law enforcement will be able to infiltrate, identify and prosecute them more effectively.

I don't have to *like* virtual child porn to be able to see the difference between the two situations. I just have to understand that there are priorities and that the spread of real child pornography deserves not just everyone's attention, but their action as well.

30.

>He has been the CEO of Microsoft since 2000, in real life. Maybe you would know him if you had one? :O

>Please, meet him: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Ballmer

Hi, Kryss. Had...what? A Microsoft product like Word for Windows? I do have one.

Meet him? Wikipedia isn't a virtual world, it's a biased and unaccountable reference system.

Sure, I can use Google too, hon, but I prefer to see what sort of answer someone like you gives -- I can learn a lot : )

And no, the CEO of Microsoft isn't a household word. He's not someone that I could find 10 people right now in my world to have name-recognition for (unlike Bill Gates or Steve Jobs).

So gloat and cackle all you wish, feel superior, but all you're letting me know is that you live in an enclave where there is name recognition for the CEO of Microsoft. Good! But it's not the whole world, it's just your world.

Quick -- and no fair Googling! Who is Marti Atisari, when did he take office, and what job did he just finish?

31.

>it's so wonderful to see someone hit back using her own dirty tactics

I realize you have this impression, but I'd love to see your links to anything constituting these types of "dirty tactics" -- and I'm so glad to get validation for that description of them! -- that I've written in which I've called someone on these pages or Clickable Culture a "worm," or a "liar" or linked to pictures of alleged simulated child porn scenes that I wanted to make sure were linked with their real-life name.

I post a lot, so I appreciate any jogging of my memory you might care to help with : )

32.

"There are going to be consenting adults - perhaps married in RL - who are going to engage in simulated sexual activities using vaguely realistic childlike avatars while also being entirely law-abiding citizens with no interest in RL pedophilia."

Csven, I don't buy your division of the people who engage in simulated child rape into 'normal' people and paedophiles. Both groups are doing something that is morally wrong and utterly unacceptable in a civilised society. What all of these people are doing is playing around with sexual imagery that involves children. For the reasons that have been rehearsed many times, this is exceptionally dangerous stuff. Paedophiles do this in order to make their desires seem normal. They do this in concert with each other in order to convince themselves that the harm they want to do to children is perfectly okay. When the SL community (and others) fail to condemn it in the firmest way possible they give succour to paedophiles.

Your RL married couple are paedophiles-in-training. They're dangerous. If the German television investigations and the Lindens' latest pronouncements make them feel uncomfortable, all to the good. The more they fear the knock at the door, the less likely they are to act on their sick impulses. The German TV programme makers, police and LL deserve praise, they're making children safer.

33.

"Your RL married couple are paedophiles-in-training. They're dangerous."

Then we should ban a whole lot of videogames right now, shut down Hollywood and the television studios, burn a huge pile of books (including religious texts), proclaim Jack Thompson a hero and set up the Thought Police with people like Prokofy Neva/Catherine Fitzpatrick in charge; people who can plainly state as she did something like this:

A statement I believe to be true *is* a fact until it is *disproven*.

I consider real child pornography not just "morally wrong", but actionable. Meanwhile those protesting role-playing pretend crimes stood around waiting for someone else to do something about a real crime.

Sorry. When people protesting pretend activities can't be bothered to protect real children, then as far as I'm concerned they don't have the moral high ground.

34.

Csven

I don't understand your claim that "Then we should ban a whole lot of videogames right now, shut down Hollywood and the television studios, burn a huge pile of books (including religious texts), proclaim Jack Thompson a hero and set up the Thought Police with people like Prokofy Neva... in charge”

Which videogames simulate child rape? The movies involving sexual abuse of children are not made by Hollywood or mainstream television studios but by sick paedophiles for their own enjoyment and to share with other child abusers. The only religions that condone the sexual abuse of children are cults, we don't have to respect their views as if they're on a par with the Resurrection or Eid. We don't have to condone female genital mutilation (despite the fact that it is 'part of the culture' in some nations); we can say that it is wrong. To condemn something that is evil and harmful, like the ageplay scene in Second Life, does not mean the sanctioning of the Thought Police. The mainstream of political debate in our home countries sees the abuse of children in child pornography as sick and wrong. It also views the production of simulated child pornography as disgusting; a step down a very dangerous road.

Have you ever tried to explain the SL ageplay scene and surrounding debate to anyone outside of SL? I tried to at the weekend. I didn't get very far beyond describing what ageplay entails before people were revolted. The fact that SLs openness has allowed it to become an enabling technology for paedophiles is extremely disturbing and a potential threat to the future of SL. I'm really glad to see the Lindens finally taking this issue seriously; for the good of SL in the long-term and for the safety of RL children, right now.

35.

Patroklus Murakami said: "I don't understand your claim"

Then perhaps you need to see things from a wider perspective.

-

Patroklus Murakami said: "Which videogames simulate child rape?"

I don't know. But are you suggesting that bludgeoning opponents to death with a crowbar is somehow less moral than "child rape" (which isn't even possible in Second Life as consent is required for the role-play)? That shooting someone in the head is acceptable behavior (which is what some games/modifications are mostly about)?

All those things and more fill existing media and have been blamed for real life incidents. If these things are morally outrageous to the People, then how is it that this morally bankrupt material flourishes in our society? makes producers wealthy and catapults others to fame?

I'd argue it's because violence is more acceptable than sex. People have bigger issues with Michelangelo's "David" than they do with "Rambo" hacking people to pieces with a dull knife. And they'd rather see a "Saw" movie than go to a museum and see Impressionist paintings. That's the real world. A world where pretend sex between two consenting adults using pseudo-realistic child avatars is somehow more disgusting than watching Hannibal Lector get a man to eat his own brain in what is undeniably a realistic portrayal... viewable in widescreen at the cinema. As they say in Hollywood: "That's Entertainment!"

-

Patroklus Murakami said: "To condemn something that is evil and harmful, like the ageplay scene in Second Life, does not mean the sanctioning of the Thought Police."

What is "evil"? and who gets to define what is and isn't?

Where is the clear evidence of harm in virtual role-play? what real child is injured by two consenting adults engaging in make-believe?

Declaring something that is purely pretend "evil and harmful", when there is no clear victim, is the work of the Thought Police.

And to justify their rigid position, Thought Police post links to studies and make questionable, over-reaching claims (Example: reference to one person who checked Prok's sources after she made such a claim - SL Herald comment).

Where is the definitive proof? And if there isn't any, then why would we imprison someone because of what they *might* do? Is that how the justice system where you live works?

-

Patroklus Murakami said: "The mainstream of political debate in our home countries sees the abuse of children in child pornography as sick and wrong."

And no one that I'm aware of is debating this point.

-

Patroklus Murakami said: "It also views the production of simulated child pornography as disgusting; a step down a very dangerous road."

I consider many things disgusting. But being "disgusting" does not necessarily make something illegal or immoral; nor is it evidence of a definitive causal link to the eventual commission of a real crime (i.e. there's no "Minority Report" ball that drops down and helps the Thought Police prevent a future crime).

- Many people consider homosexuality disgusting. You're suggesting it should be an offense punishable by imprisonment. And that someone pretending to be homosexual in Second Life will always act out that fantasy in real life.

- Many people consider same-sex marriage disgusting. They want the U.S. constitution changed to limit the freedoms of others... in the "Land of the Free", no less.

- Many people consider inter-religious relations disgusting. You can read about young women getting stoned to death for this "immoral" offense in recent news reports.

- Many people consider inter-racial relations disgusting and worthy of a lynch mob. You can probably find a few reports of people getting killed for this if you take the time to look through the news (there's so much good material that this stuff just isn't all the interesting anymore and winds up on the back pages).

Some of these things have - up until fairly recently - been illegal in the U.S. and other so-called civilized nations. In other places they're either illegal or legal in spite of protests (e.g. the protests against homosexuals in Russia last week).

Many people consider sex toys disgusting. Even now some U.S. states have banned there sale. That probably sounds stupid, but there are people who find it so disgusting and evil and so large "a step down a very dangerous road" that they felt the need to outlaw those products. I don't know about you, but I don't trust these people to decide what pretend activity is "eViL" and which is "Good".

So tell us, who gets to make the choice about whether a pretend activity that harms no human being is immoral and subject to imprisonment?

-

Patroklus Murakami said: "Have you ever tried to explain the SL ageplay scene and surrounding debate to anyone outside of SL?"

Yes. Like me they found it distasteful. But like me they find many other things distasteful (e.g. the fact that the U.S. is the world's largest supplier of killing machines - by a huge margin).

-

Patroklus Murakami said: "The fact that SLs openness has allowed it to become an enabling technology for paedophiles is extremely disturbing and a potential threat to the future of SL."

Then we should shut down the Internet as it enables far more than Second Life. Have you written your local representative and asked that your community be isolated from the Internet?

-

Patroklus Murakami said: "I'm really glad to see the Lindens finally taking this issue seriously; for the good of SL in the long-term and for the safety of RL children, right now."

While you're "glad to see the Lindens finally taking" action, I ask myself what business pressures are they caving in to and will they cave in to others? From a recent comment by Robin Linden, I believe they've left the door open... for the sake of the business and their monthly paychecks.

If that's the reason for them taking action now, it's a pretty sad one imo.

36.

Patroklus wrote:

Which videogames simulate child rape? The movies involving sexual abuse of children are not made by Hollywood or mainstream television studios but by sick paedophiles for their own enjoyment and to share with other child abusers.

Oh, nonsense. This is as foundation-less a claim as "If you make violent movies, you're just a murderer at heart."

--matt

37.

@csven , Rambo is pictured as a POSITIVE character , and the bad guys in movies are almost always the same as the RL ones. I hope you got the point. I sugest you to read the " Publications " linked on the right side of this very page.

38.

You could start with Ren's " Ethics and Games ".

39.

Amarilla said: "I hope you got the point."

No. I didn't get your point. And as I prefer reading books that discuss ethics in a broader context than "games", I'm not likely to read that one any time soon. It might be great, but I have pile of other books to read first.

So why don't you explain it for my benefit. Thanks so much.

40.

Csven said "are you suggesting that bludgeoning opponents to death with a crowbar is somehow less moral than "child rape" "
It's not about morality Csven, it's about the danger such activities pose. There's a debate about the influence of violence in videogames but the harm caused by the simulation of sexual assault on children is very real. You have not even remotely begun to tackle the argument, made by me and others, that acting out these fantasies in a virtual world is extremely dangerous, that it enables paedophiles to convince each other that there's nothing wrong with their desires and puts children in danger. Do you really believe that ageplay has no victims? The German ageplayers outed by the TV programme were, allegedly, swapping RL child porn as well. Don't you get it? Ageplay is practice for the real thing. Why can't you see that?

Csven said "What is "evil"? and who gets to define what is and isn't?"
We all get to say what we think is and isn't evil. I find the pernicious spread of simulated child porn in SL to be evil. If you don't, you're free to disagree with me.

Csven said "- Many people consider homosexuality disgusting. You're suggesting it should be an offense punishable by imprisonment. And that someone pretending to be homosexual in Second Life will always act out that fantasy in real life."
Your comparison with homosexuality is revolting, an insult to the people who have fought for their civil rights and those who have lost their lives to homophobic bigotry. We're not talking about loving relations between consenting adults but the simulated abuse of children. Comparing the two is sickening.

In response to my comment "The fact that SLs openness has allowed it to become an enabling technology for paedophiles is extremely disturbing and a potential threat to the future of SL."
Csven said "Then we should shut down the Internet as it enables far more than Second Life. Have you written your local representative and asked that your community be isolated from the Internet?"
Paedophiles are hounded and hunted down on the Internet and that's a good thing. Law enforcement agencies cooperate internationally to track the people who make and trade child porn. This is a very poor argument Csven. We don't tolerate child porn on the Internet, we try to eradicate it. We shouldn't tolerate simulated child porn in SL either, we should condemn it for all the reasons that have been raked over time and again and which you seem to reject.

41.

"People have bigger issues with Michelangelo's "David" than they do with "Rambo" hacking people to pieces with a dull knife. And they'd rather see a "Saw" movie than go to a museum and see Impressionist paintings. That's the real world."

Maybe that's your real world. If you cannot see the benefits and the no harms in seeing " Saw " today and the paintings tomorrow , if from " Saw " all that's impressing you are the blood and the sufferings , then i cry for you. You seem to be a person having issues with both " David " and " Rambo ". You read the wrong books , or you learn nothing from them; at least, wrong / nothing for the matters TN is about.

I cannot explain you anything, as long as you don't even aknowledge the differences between entertainment, movies, internet and VWs. In your posts is a total mess of bad used terms , twisted concepts and an amazing lack of " thoughts discipline ". You simply ignore the known facts and scientific " finds " in the matters of ethic , morality , sociology , policy , laws,and so on and so on. But you still refuse to READ the
" Ethics and Games " by Ren Reynolds, wich btw is the starter of this thread. Browse up this page , and on the right side you'll find the links. Stop being so self-sufficient and arrogant ; or, ofcourse , you can continue trolling. And spamming. Or put some order in your ideas and tell me something i haven't read it already right here at TN .

You could start with this :Csven said "What is "evil"? and who gets to define what is and isn't?" The answer is : any community gets, any society gets, as much as that society already defined where it aims to.We already defined a lot of " evil " , blonde....

42.

Patroklus Murakami said: "It's not about morality Csven, it's about the danger such activities pose.

Please provide links to uncontested sources which show a definitive and consistent link between this role-play activity and the commission of a related real life crime.

-

Patroklus Murakami said: "There's a debate about the influence of violence in videogames but the harm caused by the simulation of sexual assault on children is very real."

Qualify "harm" and provide links to uncontested sources showing definitively that consensual adult role-play involving pseudo-realistic childlike avatars does "very real" harm.

-

Patroklus Murakami said: "You have not even remotely begun to tackle the argument, made by me and others, that acting out these fantasies in a virtual world is extremely dangerous"

And I'd say that the burden is on you and others to provide incontrovertible evidence that virtual play-acting is irrefutably dangerous and requires that we imprison people for engaging in the activity before they commit a real life crime.

-

Patroklus Murakami said: "that it enables paedophiles to convince each other that there's nothing wrong with their desires and puts children in danger."

A position which presumes that the people engaged in play-acting are - from the outset - pedophiles.

Please provide an uncontested source that proves beyond a reasonable doubt that all consenting adults who engage in simulated sexual activity which includes a pseudo-realistic, pixelated representation of a minor are, in fact, pedophiles.

-

Patroklus Murakami said: "Do you really believe that ageplay has no victims?"

I believe that it's not been proven that "ageplay" always has victims.

-

Patroklus Murakami said: "The German ageplayers outed by the TV programme were, allegedly, swapping RL child porn as well."

Not according to what I've read. From the Linden official blog (Link):

On Thursday May 3, we were contacted by German television network, ARD, which had captured images of two avatars, one that resembled an adult male and another that resembled a child, engaged in depicted sexual conduct. Our investigations revealed the users behind these avatars to be a 54-year-old man and a 27-year-old woman. Both were immediately banned from Second Life.

During a subsequent interview with ARD’s Report Mainz documentary on Friday May 4, which aired Monday, the reporter presented photographs that he said were found in Second Life and that appeared to include sexual photographs involving a child.
...
Despite requests, neither ARD nor the Germany authorities have yet disclosed to us the location of the photographic images in question, and we have not been able to independently locate them. No further details about the images or the potential investigation reported in the German press are known to us at this time.


From what I'm reading, Linden Lab banned these individuals on May 3rd. Now if they banned them, then they doubtlessly had free access to their inventories. So the question is, if the day after they banned these people, May 4th, they were informed of real child pornography, wouldn't Linden Lab logically look first through the inventory of the two individuals already identified? Yet from the official blog they indicate not being able to locate those images.

Now, if they've since linked those two individuals to those real life images as you're saying, I'd be happy to read about it. But I've not read that. So please provide a link so that I and others can get ourselves caught up on the latest news (though it doesn't do anything more than show that in this particular case, some people were engaged in both activities; virtual and real).

-

Patroklus Murakami said: "Ageplay is practice for the real thing. Why can't you see that?"

Because if I were to go into Second Life now and have pretend sex using a childlike avatar, I personally wouldn't be any more interested in women under 30 than I am now. Why can't you see that?

And if virtual activity is, as you're suggesting, "practice for the real thing" such that people will fail to restrain themselves and undoubtedly act in real life as they are practicing in virtual life, then why don't you see that we need to ban all games that involve simulations of illegal activity?

-

Patroklus Murakami said: "We all get to say what we think is and isn't evil. I find the pernicious spread of simulated child porn in SL to be evil. If you don't, you're free to disagree with me."

And that's what I'm doing. Feel free to provide links to undisputed and well-researched reports. Up til now, the reports being linked which I've read state that there are no definitive correlations. I'd actually like to read one that does make that claim.

-

Patroklus Murakami said: "Your comparison with homosexuality is revolting, an insult to the people who have fought for their civil rights and those who have lost their lives to homophobic bigotry. We're not talking about loving relations between consenting adults but the simulated abuse of children. Comparing the two is sickening."

What's revolting and sickening to me is the self-righteousness of those who believe that their behavior is the norm and the standard by which to judge everyone else. And while you and I might see nothing wrong with homosexuality, rest assured we're probably - unfortunately - in the minority on planet earth.

-

Patroklus Murakami said: "Paedophiles are hounded and hunted down on the Internet and that's a good thing. Law enforcement agencies cooperate internationally to track the people who make and trade child porn."

Real pedophiles can also be "hounded and hunted down" in Second Life. Where is anyone saying otherwise? And who is saying it's not a good thing?

-

Patroklus Murakami said: "This is a very poor argument Csven."

Yet you provide no substantiation for your claims. If we're going to go throwing people in prison for pretend role-play, the burden of proof is on you, afaic.

-


Patroklus Murakami said: "We don't tolerate child porn on the Internet, we try to eradicate it. We shouldn't tolerate simulated child porn in SL either, we should condemn it for all the reasons that have been raked over time and again and which you seem to reject."

And that poor argument is based on this kind of logic: directly equating real child pornography on the Internet with the consensual activity of adults using pseudo-realistic childlike avatars to poorly simulate sexual activity.

What I reject is an argument lacking evidence that definitively links role-play activity of this type to real life crimes and real life victims. Show me the uncontested evidence, and I'll reconsider my position. Until then, I'm not going to support throwing consensual adults into prison for Thought Crimes.

-

Finally, as I never had any desire to become involved in this discussion, and as I doubt we're going to change each other's minds, I'll leave you the final word. Hopefully you'll provide links and leave allow them to speak for themselves. But do us all the courtesy of providing sources that don't come to the table with a predetermined agenda.

43.

The interesting question for me is: do the foundations of Second Life automatically presume a Libertarian stance? I'm not sure they do, it's just up until now that's been the de facto assumption.

Since no mechanism exists for the population of Second Life to assume governance (and here we move from ethics to politics, alas) we seem to be weighing between anarchy and autocratic control by its operator. Was anarchy what was promised? Or merely what they have let occur?

On reflection, I'm not sure any part of this argument comes down to ethics at all, unless it is the ethical challenge to Linden Labs to afford to the residents of Second Life the autonomy that was originally implied. And even here, the issue is essentially political.

Best wishes!

44.

To Ren's original post...

Ownership and governance are two independent issues. Linden may grant ownership to players without any governance. I own my house, but the laws of the U.S. are the same inside it as they are in my neighbors' houses. Players may own some of their content, virtual land, etc., but ownership exists within a larger set of concerns about governance. Ownership issues are, themselves, a sub-set of governance issues.

So... the fact that players can own something (or not) doesn't have that much to do with laws/rules, except where they intersect ownership rights/responsibilities. For example, a law/rule might state that if you break various other laws/rules, Linden will shut you down and take all your stuff and keep any value you had in the game. Alternatively, Linden could have a rule that says that you'll get "fair market value" for your owned goods if you get kicked out. Or anything in between.

As to the rights of any minority within a space, they depend entirely on the nature of the minority. People who set things on fire in RL are a minority. Their rights, as they pertain to everything else, are exactly the same as non-arsonists' rights. Arsonists have the *same* rights as everyone. But, just like non-arsonists, they are not allowed, legally, to set crap on fire that doesn't belong to them.

A minority categorized by behavior isn't necessarily a minority, especially from a legal standpoint.

From a business perspective, I'd say that Linden would be very wise to shut down age play and rape fantasy simulations. I do believe that (in the US, anyway) the shared, avatar-based depictions of these things aren't illegal for consenting adults. But they are disturbing enough to the vast majority of users and potential users of SL (especially business, corporate and educational users), that their prohibition just makes good sense. If another publisher has a VW where "anything goes" is the mantra... that's another story. Linden has clearly got their eye on SL being "for everybody." Very few in the great sweep of "average" can stomach even text descriptions of rape or age play, and as a "feature," they should turn it off. Even though there isn't, as I said, anything illegal about the activity in some countries.

Personally, I think that it's a shame that the moral issues in the spotlight of VW's are so... grotesque. There are subtle and interesting issues at stake, some of which we've discussed here.

As to the "slippery slope" issue -- which I see we get into from both sides -- that says, if age and rape play are banned from SL, soon all that will be left is a Disneyfied, sterile world of kum-ba-yah, I say, "Bullshite." There are all sorts of spaces in which type "Z" behavior is banned, but all the other letters are fine.

I'm a big fan of the First Amendment, and you could certainly make the case that using an avatar to simulate whatever the hell you want in SL is a free speech right. OK... but that doesn't mean that one of the leaders in the field needs to stick up for every type of free speech in a privately published space. Yes, the Supreme Court decided that fictional depictions of child sex are allowable; see "Romeo and Juliet," etc. Just because it's legal doesn't mean it doesn't make sense to make it against the rules.

45.

Argumentation about whether or not to allow simulated child molestation always hinges on whether anyone can show some demonstrable link between RL criminal action, RL child pornography which is illegal in most states, and simulated activities in a virtual world. Not enough work has been done on this field; one can't expect ludologists who justify violence in video games and never find any link between the admissibility of such violence and behaviour of childreen and teens in real life to be the experts you'd want to go to on this for an impartial view, however.

Simulated activities aren't "thought crimes" because they are expressed in public, but their simulation is supposed to give them "protected" status in the minds of apologists for simulated pedophilia.

And in these debates, there are always concerted minorities of pedophiles and apologists haranguing and browbeating people showing revulsion about this expressed *action* (not "thought) in virtuality with strident claims that there is "no" connection between simulation and reality -- it's analogous to the argumentation that there is "no connection" between *possession* of child pornography and the more serious crimes of *making* child pornography and exploiting children, or committing rape of children.

The same speciousness and illegitimate argumentation we see among pedophiles trying to carve out a protected realm of "possession" as non-criminalized and unrelated to the chain of criminal production of pornography by being consumers and fueling the exploitation is at work in the argumentation that simulation in a virtual world is completely firewall-protected from real life.

The presence of the German case where the member of Second Life also possessed real-life child pornography is one where the connection was indeed made and very starkly. Of course, there's lots of efforts now to pick apart this case, saying gosh, the user used Google, does Google get accused of child pornography? Gosh, artists use pencils, should pencil manufacturers get accused? Etc. One suspects that whatever connection is ever found with pedophilia, there will be attempts to wriggle out of it.
https://www.heise.de/english/newsticker/news/90646

You would never know if from the apologists, but in fact there are experts, law-enforcement officials, psychiatrists, foundation officials, child protection agency staff, etc. etc. that will all proclaim this connection and their work is all easily located and is all part of a huge body of literature on this subject, some of which was used in the debate within the EU that led to current laws that also criminalize simulated pedophilia as well.

One easily Googled example of an FBI agent giving congressional testimony with a resounding "yes" there is a connection between pornography and criminal acts can be found here:
https://www.fbi.gov/congress/congress02/heimbach050102.htm

Is this debated and picked apart by pedophiles? Sure, but they're motivated and organized, and their critics aren't, and are hobbled by fear of undermining their liberal sensibilities. As another website puts it, quoting an official, "They lie." Sure, they're organized and pick it apart. Sure, they can't find 100 percent connection and will harass any specialist or opinion-maker or journalist who proclaims this, worse than the Scientologists harry their critics.

But we need not find some 100 percent or even 10 percent causal connection between porn and criminal acts, and by analogy simulation and porn or criminal acts, to condemn them and not tolerate them in our virtual world. Robin Linden makes this case eloquently at the meeting today:

"I have to tell you though, that we can't address every single corner case or possibility, In part because the real world hasn't decided which of these things they'll tolerate. Let me ask you all this. When faced with an opportunity to create a new world where things are supposed to be better, do you think there's a place for slavery, forced sex, and the like?"
https://www.secondlifeherald.com/slh/2007/06/robin_lindens_b.html#more

This article in The New York Times does an excellent job of researching the issue. Interestingly, through a whole series of circumstances, this reporter was hounded out of his job by organized and aggressive pedophile activists, in part due to his own bad judgement.
https://nytimes.com/2006/08/21/technology/21pedo.html?ex=1313812800&en=40a45848114deb35&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss

The Times and its sources doesn't show some lockstep causal effect, although many news stories over the years show child abusers being found in the possession of child pornography. No, the argument a law-enforcement officer makes is more subtle: that Internet chat rooms, support groups, websites etc. (and by analogy, though he does not mention it, simulations like SL), create an enabling environment that justifies, rationalizes, even encourages pedophilia as "OK". That in turn lowers the barrier to inhibition. Does that show a lockstep causal relationship? No, but it's enough of a concern that in some countries, simulation is banned, too, and in the SL setting, LL itself has banned simulation to limit its liability to litigation.

If pedophilia is to become just another "rights group" seeking tolerance of "lifestyles" with its own jargonistic repertoire of euphemisms ("ageplay" and not "child molestation" and "minor-attracted" not "pedophilia"), it can try to wear down liberal consensus about tolerance of ranges of human sexuality. But they do this by distracting from the crime involved, trying to claim for "rights" what is in fact already proscribed by criminal law, then arguing backwards from that reality to a special protected status for simulation.

46.

"The interesting question for me is: do the foundations of Second Life automatically presume a Libertarian stance? I'm not sure they do, it's just up until now that's been the de facto assumption."

Article Five of the Community Standards of SL states:

"Indecency
Second Life is an adult community, but Mature material is not necessarily appropriate in all areas (see Global Standards below). Content, communication, or behavior which involves intense language or expletives, nudity or sexual content, the depiction of sex or violence, or anything else broadly offensive must be contained within private land in areas rated Mature (M). Names of Residents, objects, places and groups are broadly viewable in Second Life directories and on the Second Life website, and must adhere to PG guidelines."

When the standards state that the depiction of sex, violence or anything else broadly offensive must be contained within private land in areas rated Mature, then it doesn't take a great deal of inference to assume that these activities are permitted.

The kerfuffle over ageplay is more useful as a study into the international consequence and impact of SL and other worlds like it, than as an argument to hold about itself. Because there really are countries out there that will execute a man for kissing another man, while his neighbour fucks his twelve year old wife in full accordance with his culture and law. So while it's easy to be casually racist and say "oh we'll base our metaversal morals on white men's rules " it really is a problem. Because you're not "in rome" doing "as the romans do". You're all together in this other space, that isn't anywhere really, and arguably is in California, or Texas if you have to fall back on where the servers sit. And even that seems like a make-do kind of legal situation.

47.

The dirty tectics i references, by the way, are those consisting of spamming comments threads with endless immense posts and thus making the entire thing effectively unreadable - the signal/noise rate drops through the floor - thus effectively ending or killing any argument through sheer endless loghorroea.

The occassional long comment - as some of Andy Havens are, for example - is entirely acceptable. However, continual and persistant posting of wordcounts like Prok's merely reduce otherwise fascinating discussions to off-topic sludge.

I realize i am off topic. In the interests of brevity, therefore, i'll cut this comment off right now.

48.

@ Csven ......"Please provide links to uncontested sources which show a definitive and consistent...." "...and provide links to uncontested sources showing definitively that..."


Omfg :-) Csven, look at yourself : you are the living prove of what harm playing too much games on internet can do to a healthy mind....assuming that you had one .

You know what is " absolut, uncontested and definitive " ? The stupidity, moron.
"And while you and I might see nothing wrong with homosexuality, rest assured we're probably - UNFORTUNATELY - in the minority on planet earth."

LOL ! If you were in majority, how would you differentiate the " birth " from " vome " or " clisma " ?! Or, your supreme goal in life is to be the " ultimate standing ass " ?! If you were to be a majority, then who would give birth to the children you seem to like so much ( too much ? much too much ? insane much ? ) ?!

49.

You know, just from seeing your and Prokofy's posts , one could make a very " documented " opinion about " how harmful playing SL can be ".

50.

Rich, it seems silly, what you're writing -- Andy's long comments are ok, because he's one of the clan or the class or you like what he says? But...Mine aren't because I'm not in the clan and you don't like what I say. I wouldn't have to go line-by-line with someone unless they tendentiously misrepresented me, argued in bad faith, and insulted me every other word. Some people simply leave an argument when that happens. I don't. Sure, it's hard on the eyes. Then...don't look.

Amarilla, stop it with your moral equivocation, your equalizing, your equivocation. Read my blog, or what's left of Clickable Culture, then tune in, instead of doing this moral equivalency stuff, it's wrong. I'll tell you what's harmful, and it's not "playing" SL: it's letting bullies like Csven run a forums comment section into the ground, and never standing up to them, never exposing their tactics, and mistaking the *fighting* those tactics as *the thing itself* and saying *a plague on both your houses*.

It's when good men and women do nothing, and equivocate like this, that evil becomes possible. We don't need blog codes of conduct or bans, we need people of good will to step up to the plate early on and say: those techniques are dirty and unacceptable. and the meaning of what it means to "fight dirty" can't be as Rich is speciously, like "Oh, you wrote a long whiney post" or "oh, you are debating line by line".

Instead, "fighting dirty" means calling names, misrepresenting, trolling, baiting, inciting, etc.

51.

Prok: Just to be clear... I'm not a member of a class or clan. I'm a game player, writer and marketing guy (not in the game industry). I've been playing interactive games of various sorts since about 1978, both in RL and on computers. That's it. I'm beholden to no one and no company when it comes to my opinions expressed here. If someone finds a positive contrast between my long-ass posts and yours, there is a possibility that my polite method of argumentation -- which never delves into insult, ridicule or hyperbole -- simply find more favor. Remember the Paranoid's Corollary: Just because everyone is out to get you, doesn't mean they're always wrong.

Now... Thought *is* a kind of action, just as speech is. Thought can't be controlled (as it can't be monitored... yes), though it can be directed. Speech is one way that thought is directed.

I agree with you that there is probably -- I would say, very probably -- a strong link between those who regularly engage in simulated age play, and those who enjoy actual child porn. I would not agree that there is always going to be a link between that group and those who product child porn, simply because of the general ratio of audience members vs. creators. Nevertheless, real child porn is illegal (and I believe, reprehensible) because it involved children by definition.

The problem with simulated acts, of any kind, is that they do not *necessarily* link to the acts depicted. I have murdered millions of electronic enemies in my life, yet I have never killed, nor wished even moderate physical harm, on any other real human. Even those I deeply disagree with. I am an almost pure pacifist; I believe that killing is wrong.

So why do I engage in, put up with and allow my son to simulate killing? Because I can differentiate between thoughts, words and actions. When he says, "I finally killed the big boss at the end of the level!" I know, and I know *he* knows, that there is no logical or physical connection between the act of engaging in game-related activities, and what he will do in RL.

Violent crime in the US has dropped dramatically in the two decades since video games became prevalent. Do I think there's a causal linkage? I don't know. During that same period, we also had the rise of easily available, home-viewable porn in the form of VHS and then DVD and now the Internet. Causal linkage? I have no idea. But I know it's ridiculous to say that millions more people watching porn and playing video games *causes* more violence and sex crimes, because there is an inverse relationship, even if it's not causal. Now... could there be other, non-crime-related, negative affects from porn and video games? Sure. Maybe autism is up because of that. Maybe obesity. Maybe illiteracy. I have seen no good studies that make any kind of case for those things, but anything is possible.

What is not just possible but definite, is that linking thoughts and words to deeds without direct causal, substantive evidence is extremely dangerous from a civil liberties standpoint. I am not justifying child porn, which, as I've said (and will keep saying), is illegal and evil. I am not justifying its creation or its consumption, both of which are noxious and equally condemned illegally and, imo, morally.

What I am saying is that *no* thought or speech (outside of careful restrictions on libel, assault, etc.) should be made illegal, because the right to such is as important as almost any other. If you could show me a direct, 100% connection between the creation or viewing of any simulated, immoral act -- which is a type of speech -- and the commission of the act itself, I would still defend the right of those who wish to speak thusly. Because that right, when it begins to be eroded, will eventually lead to a state where our thoughts will be governed and inhibited in ways that are deeply unpleasant.

Speeding is illegal. Should we ban racing games? Cloning is illegal. Should we ban games where it's possible to have avatars that look exactly alike? Murder is illegal. Should we ban war games? Having sex with animals is illegal. Should furry play be banned from SL?

You may say, "A furry isn't an animal." I agree. And a child-like avatar is not a child. It is a fictional representation, which is a kind of speech. Yes, speech is an act and is governed as such. And there are cases where acts in a VW could have RL, legal consequences, such as assault or threats or blackmail. But those are examples of speech that is already determined to be illegal. It doesn't matter if I threaten you by voice, over the phone, by mail or with a sock puppet.

Yes, in Germany, it's illegal to create or view simulated child porn. That's their choice, and I disagree with it. I would advocate, instead, that companies like Linden take the initiative and say, "In this space, these are the things that are OK, and these are the things that are not."

But be careful what you wish for in terms of banning thoughts and words... that's a stick with a point on both ends.

And please keep in mind, I am not an apologist for child pornographers or even those who engage in age play in SL; I am an apologist for free speech. It is a privilege worth protecting, even in the case of speech we find reprehensible.

52.

Prokofy Neva said: "I'll tell you what's harmful, and it's not "playing" SL: it's letting bullies like Csven run a forums comment section into the ground, and never standing up to them, never exposing their tactics, and mistaking the *fighting* those tactics as *the thing itself* and saying *a plague on both your houses*."

Just a tiny sample of crude tactics and bullying behavior courtesy of Catherine Fitzpatrick:

May 30: on Catherine Fitzpatrick's blog - "Breaking Clickable Culture"

Jun 01: on the Second Life Herald - "Fear and Loathing in Second Life: The New Sex and Violence Policy"

Jun 02: on her blog again - "You will probably be in jail for the next 3 to 6 years"

Jun 02: and yet obsessively again on her blog - "Uncultured Clickability"

Jun 03: and then because she couldn't stop foaming at the mouth, the opening salvo here on Terra Nova - "Prokofy Neva's comment above"

That Terra Nova tolerates this behavior in posts here - including my own replies - tells me that perhaps it's less relevant now; that its best days are over.

An outside observer recently wondered: "Is it just me, or is Terra Nova actually quite... boring? The subject matter fascinates me; the treatment almost always sends me to sleep.". Perhaps the powers-that-be feel they need to be more like the Second Life Herald. It's certainly looking more and more like it imo.

But when Terra Nova tolerates people like Prokofy Neva/Catherine Fitzpatrick, who consistently abuse the privilege of commenting here - when they're not spending time clogging blogs and forums with their bile, and calling researchers like Nick Yee "annoying twit(s)" - it runs the risk of losing the respect and interest of those who have something worth saying.

53.

Well said, Andy.

54.

Thanks Csven. But your compliment seems to belie your most recent statement about the state of TN...

;-)

I likes it here. And Prok has lots of interesting things to say. And disagreeing with her is my only aerobic exercise some days...

55.

Andy, perhaps my comment seems to belie my statement, but if the situation were already lost, there'd be no risk to run.

And while I agree that Prok can make interesting points (hence the reason I agreed with her in that original CC post), so might people who are put off by such engagements and remain silent.

56.

Prokofy, dear:

On May 30, your blog

"If you need to brush up on some of the basic premises of a free society in which free thinking is possible go read even the Wikipedia entry on Karl Popper."

On June 6, TN:

"Wikipedia isn't a virtual world, it's a biased and unaccountable reference system"

I am confused here.
You advised someone (in your own blog) to read something you consider "biased and unaccountable".


1)Are you plain evil to your readers?
2)Or did you change your opinion about Wiki recentely?
3)Or else, is it only "biased and unaccountable" when it is convnient to you?

Cheers,
KW

57.

I am confused here.
You advised someone (in your own blog) to read something you consider "biased and unaccountable".


1)Are you plain evil to your readers?
2)Or did you change your opinion about Wiki recentely?
3)Or else, is it only "biased and unaccountable" when it is convnient to you?

Yes, tekkie literalism deeply hobbles thought, Kryss, so what can I tell you -- zoom out, and feel the wider world.

I haven't changed my opinion about Wikipedia whatsoever. Wikipedia is greatly biased and unaccountable -- and really a horror, when you see it's viral meme factor showing up in every Google return.

When you are dealing with people on a blog, however, what can you do? They read Wikipedia. They google and turn that up first. You're stuck. They often tend to trust Wikipedia; they don't know any better. I can't very well tell them to go read, I dunno, Isaiah Berlin or something. So I give them something easy, the poor dears -- go read Wikipedia! EVEN Wikipedia will give you at least *some* idea about the concept of an open society.

If you read Popper or anybody on open societies, for that matter, you'll quickly come to realize that in dealing with Wikipedia, we are dealing with the Captive Mind. It's a real hobble, as I said. However, one can try -- try to get people to pry open the jaws of death.

So no, nothing contradictory here, hon, and something that I pronounce biased and unaccountable remains so -- and I'm scarcely the only person with this view! -- but it's unfortunately *there* -- and given the low attention spans and whatnot, well, let them go read it on there -- it's incomplete, but gives some of the idea.

58.

What is not just possible but definite, is that linking thoughts and words to deeds without direct causal, substantive evidence is extremely dangerous from a civil liberties standpoint.

Andy, I've outlined all the argumentations against this idea in my blog post, "The Pedophiles are Responsible".

The EU, Canada, and other countries *have* made this link and that's why even cartoonish or simulated child porn is *also* illegal.

The law-enforcement agents have also pointed out very cogently

I was just speaking at length with a lawyer today who has, in his practice of many years, happened to have defended clients accused of child molestation. And he had absolutely no problem in conceding that there is a connection between pornography and acts of molestation, and that there's a connection between simulation and lowering of inhibition that creates a field of danger for action. None at all. Because of his own practice, experience, impressions, cases. Is there some handbook of psychiatrists that has ruled at the World Psychiatric Association that pedophiles who view porn or play SL always and everywhere go out to molest children? No, of course not. But you only need a small percentage of correlation to be concerned; and you don't have to be a rocket scientist to see connections, even if not *causal* connections.

It's as if nobody ever really reads the Miller test and really thinks about it. There's nothing redeeming in value here for social or literary or political reasons.

Your notions of being such a mild-mannered reporter and thinker, and your portrayal of me as some sort of ranting nutter making ad hominem attacks merely is *selective*. You tune in after the fact, when I'm fighting back against someone who is like a rabid junkyard dog.

There shouldn't have to be such venom attached to this debate, after all.

Are you aware of a single work of art, avatar skin, store, parcel, situation that the Lindens have banned or warned about related to bondage, sex, rape, or "childplay"?

The only thing we *might* point to is evidently the removal of some extreme anime pictures from a store -- but here I'm speculating by what's absent, not by what's present.

Where's the beef, Andy? There's no beef. Nothing happened. The Lindens want to sic their police informant networks on this. The only person who has been pilloried is me, for having a tenant with a swingset.

59.

Prokipso Lorneva said: "When you are dealing with people on a blog, however, what can you do? They read Wikipedia."

That argument doesn't hold water. If you think Wiki is crap, stick to your conviction. Try to raise the level of discourse.

Your adept use of Wiki to support your argument when it is CONVENIENT belies your conviction. Except the conviction that what Prok says is "TRUTH" at any given moment... and anyone who dissents is evil to the core.

Prok=Truth Other opinions=EVIL

Ipso lorum baby!!
Oh, and while I was popping your words into Word for a count and got 1500... you cranked out another 3,000.

ANOTHER WIN FOR PROK!!! YAY!!

(Nobody in real journalism responds like you do in ANY WAY, even to people clearly baiting them. Grow a thicker skin, have your say, and move on. Act like you've 'been there'.)

60.

Prokofy Neva / Catherine Fitzpatrick said: "The only person who has been pilloried is me, for having a tenant with a swingset."

Actually, the swingset image (shown here) was nothing. From my perspective, it was ignoring real child pornography and getting upset over simulated activities by consenting adults instead that takes the cake afaic.

I guess you've forgotten about it again.

61.

Really? Prok harbors kiddy porn? Well, normally I would be skeptical about that.

But what you said is a statement I believe to be true, so it must be a fact. At least until it is disproven.

Prok is a registered kiddie sex offender!! It is the TRUTH!!!

(and that isn't an attack, Prok, it is the TRUTH! Weee... I am so free now that I don't have to actually use reason, and am not in any way accountable for my unverified belief!)

Oh, and don't forget Prok's wisdom...
"Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Integer nec metus. Donec pellentesque nunc et nunc. Ut imperdiet malesuada urna. Maecenas condimentum volutpat nisl. Curabitur eget enim. Phasellus augue sem, hendrerit vitae, ullamcorper sit amet, nonummy sit amet, justo. Etiam lectus diam, pulvinar vel, aliquam id, viverra vel, lectus. Nullam pede. Suspendisse in felis. Nunc ac quam. Nullam porta lorem et eros. Cras non ligula. Ut vel nulla. Donec dapibus, turpis eget cursus malesuada, nisi tortor cursus libero, vel vehicula nibh purus id ipsum. Ut nec risus. Praesent tristique, quam in feugiat varius, orci tellus blandit neque, rhoncus pretium nisi quam non nunc. Nulla facilisi. Sed elementum facilisis purus. Aliquam ipsum nulla, semper nec, scelerisque eget, sagittis eu, velit!"

Weeeeeeeeee!

62.

"But recently Linden have made two significant moves: Keeping Second Life Safe, Together (daniellinden Thursday, May 31st, 2007 at 6:00 PM PDT) and Age and Identity Verification in Second Life (daniellinden Friday, May 4th, 2007 at 4:25 PM PDT with a number of clarification posts here and here). "

I like the USA; first you have the " Patriotic Act ", then you have the suspension of the " habeas corpus ", then you have a president condoning the torture and refusing to abide to Geneva conventions and the Kyoto act , you have Gitmo , you have Valerie Plame leak,now you have LL , a private owned company asking for your ID and Bank Account and all :) In the name of your's avatar security and freedom, ofcourse :) And to protect the children, ofcourse :) Don't forget to fight the terrorists , whomever they are, if any at all .

63.

"But recently Linden have made two significant moves: Keeping Second Life Safe, Together (daniellinden Thursday, May 31st, 2007 at 6:00 PM PDT) and Age and Identity Verification in Second Life (daniellinden Friday, May 4th, 2007 at 4:25 PM PDT with a number of clarification posts here and here). "

I like the USA; first you have the " Patriotic Act ", then you have the suspension of the " habeas corpus ", then you have a president condoning the torture and refusing to abide to Geneva conventions and the Kyoto act , you have Gitmo , you have Valerie Plame leak,now you have LL , a private owned company asking for your ID and Bank Account and all :) In the name of your's avatar security and freedom, ofcourse :) And to protect the children, ofcourse :) Don't forget to fight the terrorists , whomever they are, if any at all .

64.

Amarilla, what you are doing here is called "trolling" and "inciting hatred".

Linden Lab is a software company, and it has a kind of concept of creating a "country," but it's not actually "a country". And 60 percent of its members now are *non-American*. So, blame America first, if you will, but do recall that SL isn't "American" anymore, and in fact the "child porn panic" does NOT come from "Amerika" and "The Moral Majority" but comes from EUROPE. German, Belgian, Dutch police. Not the FBI. Tu sais ce que je dit?

Your notion that what LL is doing is "like" Gitmo or Valerie Plame or Kyoto or whatever other memes the hard left comes up to rant about simply does a disservice to your own belief system, by appearing to trivialize all those other serious matters about global warming or the torture or suspects from the battle field or leaking of security matters. And of course, the rabidity with which you raise all these little memes is never matched by equal concern about, oh, Litvinenko's poisoning or Chinese global pollution or energy consumption, which is as serious a problem as anything "Amerika" can come up with.

I've never seen more hysteria around a simple matter of verification of one's status as being over 18. A credit card is insufficient for this. So you need a driver's license or a passport or some other government ID. There are companies to provide this service, and while all sorts of hysteria was stirred up about this company "Integrity," it was mainly based on two stories memed around: a) a Wired story from 2004 (!), not ever followed up with anything fresher, in which two reporters created fake identities to buy mailing lists and found this scandalous and b) the states attorneys general probing on budtv.com.

What Europeans often don't *get* about Americans is that *they themselves, through their media and through their institutions* identify things like a leak leading to lack of privacy in a mailing house, or a commercial website of a beer company that can't really keep out under 21, and *they fight that*. It's as if you are not accustomed to that sort of dynamic at all, waiting passively for the government to be perfect for ever and anon and finding that plu-perfect government that you vote into office and then wait to do everything.

You tune into the first part of the scandal when the media or law-enforcement uncovers these flaws precisely because it is a free society, then you don't appreciate *that* fact and don't stay tuned to the resolution of the story.

LL quietly, repeatedly explained in office hours exactly what kind of stringent arrangement they would have with any verification company. Lists are not going to be sold. And BTW, voters' lists and their sale are the lifeblood of the political system. Perhaps making and keeping databases of political contributors and supporters seems evil and sinister to you and like "buying politicians" but that's how you get democratic participation from grassroots organizations. There's nothing intrinsically evil in collecting voters' lists and selling them as a service.

So if EU privacy laws would not find that this company or some other company meets their privacy standards, what's your plan for verifying the status of age 18? You want to abandon the effort? You will cite the fact that gadzillion teens get on the adult grid anyway?

But adult verification isn't about only keeping kids out, which is hard to do when they can steal their mom's credit card, etc. It's about having an adult name on file that is *responsible for the adult content on that server*. THAT is what it is about. Being able to have an avatar linked to a bona fide responsible person, in the event that a real-life authority demands this proof.

Again, it's about making the people who wish to have this content be responsible for it before any RL authorities, and not make LL serve as a cover and as a deflector of any RL concerns from media or law-enforcement.

Whater argumentation you have against this has to start with your first confronting what you're about here: are you for not having adults take responsibility for their content on their rented servers? They do with every other ISP and in every other jurisdiction, even being on the Internet. Why would SL be some magical exception?

65.

Jeez, Prok...i've said " i like the USA ".
Let me enlight you : "responsibility" , two entries : 1-what you can enforce on others , for their wrongdoings , and 2- what you expect to be enforced on yourself for your own wrongdoings.Consequences.
It can take one more than 20 years of University studies on sociology , psychology , psychopathology and other such shitt , or it can be required only a tiny bit of common sense , in order to " figure out " the meaning of a few words : honesty, decency ,truth, health , love ,respect, goodwilling, compassion.
In the human nature you have a mix of only two things : the good and the evil. Keep that dynamic balance more prone to the good , if you wanna evolve , or , ofcourse, you can go back to the animal. The first responsibility you have toward yourself.

66.

>Let me enlight you : "responsibility" , two entries : 1-what you can enforce on others , for their wrongdoings , and 2- what you expect to be enforced on yourself for your own wrongdoings.Consequences.

Uh, sorry I resist attempts to "enlighten" me of this type. You could apply your own words to this situation, however. The Lindens are asking people to take responsibility for their own wrongdoings. To have CONSEQUENCES fall on them, not on Linden Lab. They are not enforcing norms on others; they are asking them to be responsible, and indemnifying themselves.

I can't see a whole lot wrong with that, frankly.

67.

Wrong. LL can solve more easily : by software's code. They are not enforcing norms , they " only " condone and allowes and created and maintain the environment. Also, LL could simply perm ban the " sex offenders ", LL 's EULA/TOS gives them this power.

68.

Prok, i'm not a " hard leftist " . The socialist doctrine did the most harm to the human race and not only. At least what we've seen comming from it : the communism , the nazism ,the fascism , the stalinism; maybe the bushism too, but i let the history to pronounce on that.

69.

There is really no privacy in the Internet: all of your activities can be tracked down, if needed, since we use an identified connection that is paid for. So, unless you are a good hacker, such thing and anonymity online is an illusion. By good hacker here, I mean someone technically competent enough to leave no traces.

No big deal in the way LL is implementing the age verification process. The problem is, its conceptually wrong. For reasons already extensively pointed out in many blogs and forums.

But, I would be willing to review my position of not verifying if LL also implemented a sex-verification policy.

Verbum meum pactum
KW

70.

Almost forgot: Amarilla, you mentioned nazism?
I will have to invoke Godwin's Law here...
:)

71.

Before to prctice the political activism , if you wanna be effective, you need to study history and politology first : the nazism is derived from socialism . Almost forgot : the bolshevism too. Just crazy sons of a sick doctrine. Proved by history.

But don't be shy,or sensitive, you can tell us more , including about the links between nazis and zionists , and how comes the socialist doctrine have at its core the hatred disscourse and the promotion of physical violence and aggression between social classes.The socialism in history produced only extremism .

My post was : i am not any sort of leftist, because i disagree the socialist doctrine. Sick doctrine, applied and enforced on peoples by sick leaders .

For your knowledge : McCarthy was a socialist and Bush is one( well, already two of them ) too , because they promoted/promotes the antagonism and agression and extremism between social classes.

72.

You know what I think is harmful? You know what disgusts me? When a small subset of an issue distracts the public eye from one of our biggest problems as a society, and enormous numbers of children continue to be harmed by our inaction and lack of even a vague awareness of the problem.


50% of the women in the United States of America are either sexually abused, molested, or raped before they reach the age of 18. I've seen estimates as low as 30% if you want to use more conservative numbers. Take a moment and figure out how many millions of rapes a year that is. How many millions of rapists we have amongst us. It ain't 3 or 4 guys running around doing it to everyone. The percentage of rape/abuse/molestation victims among males is frighteningly high too, well into the double digit percentages. (To my shame I've forgotten the numbers on that.)


The majority of these abuses are perpetrated by family members and by close friends of the family. Guys (sometimes females, but mostly males commit these acts) that nobody would ever suspect, decent seeming, friendly, upstanding members of the community. The vast majority of them aren't out there downloading child porn pictures, reading child porn novels, or acting out ageplay scenes on Second Life. They're more likely watching sports or chatting with their friends about the latest hit movie they saw. Many may have only given into temptation in one moment of weakness when nobody else was around, feel ashamed and would never do it again - but the girl got emotional scars from their act that will last her whole lifetime. Others may keep doing it, and the girls often don't tell anyone because they fear the male in question, or how their family would treat them if they knew they were now "tainted" and "unclean".


That so many of our men can convince themselves, at least once, to go ahead and cross that line that may ruin a young girl's life is the problem. That we brush it under the carpet, often don't believe girls that claim such things have happened, provide an atmosphere where girls often don't want to come forward and guys can hide their guilty secret for a lifetime, that's something we need to fix. That most of us don't even KNOW how many millions of rapes occur among us, we need to fix so we can stop it from happening so much.


Stereotypes of the trenchcoat wearing stranger who drives down to the schoolyard and says "Would you like some candy, little girl?", to spirit her into the car and rape her somewhere private... These perpetuate the false impression that it's just a very, very few, a tiny twisted minority among us that would do such a thing. That if only we can stop the one-in-ten-thousand weirdo pedophile creeps, then our kids won't be raped any more and we can be safe and happy.


But it's just not true. "Normal" average folks rape kids by the millions. There's so many that you KNOW some of these people, and don't even realize it. They need to be stopped too. They need to be stopped too. They need to be stopped MORE, because there's far more of them.


Obsessing over people who sell child pornorgraphy photos to each other distracts us from fixing the REST of the problem. Sure, obsess over them, arrest them, stop them from doing that. But find a way to stop all those millions of other rapes too.


I'm sure that some of the people who act out ageplay scenes in virtual worlds rape little kids too. I'm equally sure that others of the people who act out such scenes never do so, don't want to, and never will want to. I've acted out my share of murders, arson, theft, and yes kinky sex, I know personally that people sometimes roleplay actions they'd never want to really perform. Is the split between dangerous pedophiles who act out ageplay scenes and "people who just like to act out really weird stuff but not do it" 90/10? 50/50? 20/80? 10/90? 99/1? Who cares, stop the millions of real rapes and stop obsessing over something that might be involved in a tiny, tiny percentage of them. Most of our millions of rapists don't play Second Life or any online games at all, thank you.


Mind, I don't hold to the fallacy "if a large problem exists, you should never contribute money or effort towards the world's smaller problems". If somebody wanted to optimize the way ageplay is or isn't dealt with in online worlds AND they are aware of the larger problem, and have thought through what they do or don't want to do as far as spending time and effort on THAT problem, I'm fine with them. It only upsets me when the small problem helps distract people from even KNOWING that the larger problem exists, to the point where the vast majority of people alive today don't seem to know at all about this staggeringly huge problem.


Heck, we even have some rules and policies about rape and ageplay in place on Furcadia. We don't want people to run into stuff all over the place that they'll find offensive, or that might trigger painful memories for 30-50% of them. Most of our policies on those sorts of things date back to before Second Life even opened their doors.


But I don't for one minute think that dealing with make-believe rape on Furcadia is a fraction as important as the times I rant at groups of people like Terra Nova to say "WAKE UP, people, HALF of our women are victims of sexual abuse and we have to make that stop!" People often don't want to believe those numbers when I cite them. But when someone argued with me about them once, back when I used to discuss stuff on Usenet, I went and looked up numbers on rape statistics as reported by police departments, the FBI, federal agencies dealing with public health and other matters that keep related statistics... All of the numbers I could find on the web support the assertion that millions of rapes happen per year in the United States. MILLIONS. Please worry about that to whatever extent you feel is appropriate, take any actions you may feel you ought to take, if any, etc. But don't live in ignorance or live in denial, or take comfort in the convenient fiction that child-rapists are "obvious" and "very different from us" and "easy to identify, catch, and stop". That ain't how it is, folks, except in some few "tip of the iceberg" cases. Stop them too, sure, then "notice the iceberg" please!

73.

Dude get a grip. In 2003 about 0.5% of women in the US were victims of sexual assault. Any is too many but don't try to take the attention off pedophles, furrys and other slimebags in Second Life by being angry about rapes outside it.

74.

The reason the total number of women raped is actually a lot larger than the 0.5% who were sexually assualted in 2003 is because rapes have occurred in all those other years before 2003, and after 2003. Add 'em all up, and it comes out to 30% to 50% of the female population in the USA. To paraphrase your wording, "Don't try to take attention off all the rapes of the last few decades by being angry about rapes in 2003."


For perspective though - by my math, .5% of the USA's female population would be 750,000 sexual assaults in 2003 alone. That's way more than the entire population of Second Life (unless you use their wildly inflated "two million accounts" estimate). If you were to choose to fight two problems in your life - whatever percentage of Second Life's users who are pedophiles, and the rapists who assaulted 750,000 girls and women in 2003 - how would you divide your time and energy between those two tasks, given the relative magnitude of the two problems? Everyone can validly pick a different answer to that question, but don't ignore the larger problem, please. Online pedophiles are very distracting - and while they are worth stopping, I hate that it distracts everyone from millions or rapes. 750,000 rapes a year is millions of rapes.

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