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May 09, 2007



It was inevitable there was going to be a backlash, and it was inevitable that it would zoom in on the most sensational possible headline. I figured Ageplay was going to be the first major scandal a few months ago, and the kiddie porn shouldn't have been a surprise to anyone.

But you can't really say that LL is just an innocent victim of media sensationalism. For starters, the stuff is *there*, and until very recently their procedure for keeping out children was less than a joke (Sesame Street age verification: "Can you subtract 18 from 2007?"). And they didn't mind using the media to create a sensation that tripled their size in 6 months. Back when the PR frenzy was getting started, I commented on this blog that ageplay was going to trigger a shitstorm, and it was going to splash all over the entire industry.

Right now, I've got to figure out how to convince the parents of the teenage girls playing Orbis games that Second Life has nothing to do with us, that we're one of the few game operators that is *really* COPPA compliant, and our anti-predator policing is so agressive, we suspend accounts for *not* reporting the receipt of innappropriate communications and the only way to get them unlocked is a real phone call from the parents.

Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind, pardon me if I don't feel too sorry for them. God only knows how much SL's coming bad press is going to cost *us*, so I don't see why I should feel sorry for what it will cost them.



It still amazes me how the appearance of an avatar influences even the most experienced game player. Pedophiles know perfectly well in their rational mind that that innocent young thing in game could be anybody, but they go ahead and do it anyway.


Ren Reynolds wrote:

And while I don’t want to diminish the harm of child porn, I do want to recognize that it exists and is traded through email

Indeed, but email is and should be covered by common carrier provisions. Second Life's a single, private service that has, unless I'm mistaken, always made a point of banning content it deems unacceptable (swastikas for instance).

Dave is right on. No sympathy is deserved.



Child porn, words to conjure with. So controversial and provactive that they never fail to spin eyeballs toward anyone willing to use them. The more interesting word here is ‘jurisdiction.’ What will happen when Germans or Dutch try to prosecute someone who lives elsewhere? What if the local government where the accused lives will not co operate? Are we on the road to internet borders? Will there be a chinese/soviet style “Electronic Curtain?”


Ren, it's funny, I just finished writing a post about this. The ridiculousness abounds, but you definitely did call it.


When I first started reading this I thought it was going to be about SNDA's announcement of an Asian Second Life and potential US/Europe SL-killer.


Why this story right now? Because the German police investigated SL when an accusation of child pornography was made. RL was bound to intrude sooner or later.


Why this story now? Back in the days when there was a thing called "journalism", this would have been called "sensationalism." Now we live with 'media consultants,' 'press secretaries,' and 'public relation specialists.' And we can no longer rely on them even for accurate reports of public events.



Oh, I don't know. To many people outside of this little online game expert world the revelation that a game exists that tolerates graphic child molestation simulations is pretty sensational. Though, with much of the Second Life community, it is irresponsible media only if it carries a negative message. Where was the outcry when Linden was heavily utilizing those same media consultants and scientific PR to hype their wares? Hell, the Financial Times just this week ran an almost one-page piece of "journalism" that was entirely indistinguishable from a puff piece written by Linden themselves.


tolerates graphic child molestation simulations?? Which game is that?? Who says so?? Let him appear before a jury, swear an oath, and accept the results of his words.


"a game exists that tolerates graphic child molestation simulations is pretty sensational."

Reminds me a little of the internet in the early days. Nowadays people watch machinima song and dance declaring "the internet is for porn". Sing along everybody.


I feel old. I actually remember when the only place you could find porn on the internet was in the alt.binaries newsgroups. Open an FTP or web site with pictures the least bit racy, and your bandwidth would get flooded out in hours. And I remember a "Lalalala, I can't hear you, there's no kiddie porn in alt.binaries.pictures.erotica.preteens" reaction then, too.



Pointing a finger at internet porn is one thing. To accuse the Lindens of deliberately tolerating it is quite a different thing.


Mikyo, randolfe_ said "graphic child molestation simulations" (emphasis mine). That's just ageplay by another name. To be even more precise, he said that it will be revealed to people that a game exists that tolerates it, so it appears to me that he was hypothesizing what it will be called in the press.

However, I think that his hypothetical term doesn't echo enough other terms to catch on. I expect that opinionistas will actually call ageplay "graphic child molestation roleplay" or just "simulated child molestation".



tolerates graphic child molestation simulations?? Which game is that?? Who says so?? Let him appear before a jury, swear an oath, and accept the results of his words.

I think you'd be sadly disappointed at what a jury of 12 regular folk in somewhere like Indiana would find that fits that bill.

To accuse the Lindens of deliberately tolerating it is quite a different thing.

What exactly is "deliberately tolerating"? I just know they aren't doing anything about it.

So can we put you in the "Age Play is just dandy" camp, or in the "Linden is divinely infallible" camp?


"I just know they aren't doing anything about it." You lie, and your statement could well have legal consequences for you.



With all due respect, I've had SL cultist cretins threaten my family. I'm not particularly concerned with your misplaced proxy legal threats. If you are comfortable with what you're defending then you're beyond my empathy. Maybe try bullying someone else into silence.

I'm sure you also fail to appreciate the irony in your own statement, which by your definition would be equally libelous towards me. After all, would you like to prove how you know I am lying about something so mundane as typing two words into a search box? Are you sure I don't know how to hit my PrtScrn key and save screen shots? You lie is pretty strong stuff for someone apparently scared of blog-libel consequences.

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