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Sep 10, 2007



At least the author actually spoke with experts in the field of virtual worlds for this one!

Yesterday's buzz among educators in Second Life was unfortunately focused on the article in the Chronicle of Higher Ed about the possibility of being sued by harassed or offended students who were exposed to Second Life as a course requirement. That author only spoke to a general practice civil lawyer (now there's an oxymoron).


Barbara - do you have a link to that? I can't find it anywhere.


Just found it in my Google alerts. Someone posted it here:


Says they have permission, so I'll link to it.

Here's the question: "Will you be held accountable for requiring students to enter a virtual world filled with online harassers?"

I suppose some administrator could make an issue out of it, but legally, the question is pretty absurd. The fact that the article doesn't actually point out any grounds for a lawsuit (it hints at intentional infliction of emotional distress, but doesn't quite get there) is telling. I'm not saying there won't be a suit over interaction between avatars over this kind of thing at some point -- in fact, I think it is likely -- but extrapolating that to a successful claim against the professor who did nothing more than expect students to use the tool that was also, independent of the course assignment, used to harass the student is just absurd. It'd be like suing a professor for requiring a student to take a survey on shopping habits at a mall where the student happened to get called a racist names by some random person.


Hmm, seems like the Chronicle thing is essentially Julian's story about ten years late to the party. Oh well...

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