Hugsies Blog!

September 3, 2007

Age verify

Filed under: Second Life Shit! — Hugsie @ 11:36 pm

Last week the Linden Blog stirred up this controversial issue again. This time they actually named the company that will be doing this so-called age verification. The ironic thing about this the blog post starts out by saying how important trust is, but nobody trusts this idea at all. Aristotle is the company in question that will do these age verifications. It’s been rumored this company has leaked personal info in the past. No word if it was intentional (sold to spammers) or they were hacked, or whatever. Assuming this rumor is true, it can lead to spam (including junk snail-mail, or phone solicitation) or identity theft.

In an age where your identity is treated as a commodity for others to make money from, people are in a high state of paranoia about this. While this is a well founded fear to have, at the same time I think nothing is going to happen. The same information you use in your everyday life (where it is far more likely to be “stolen” from) is the same information that Aristotle will us to “age verify” you. Linden Labs won’t get any of this information a (for which LL already has your info if they wished to “steal” it from you, but noting to prove your age), and apparently Aristotle will discard this information after it’s been used.

The Lindens keep stating that this is entirely voluntary. You have the choice to get age verified or not, and you’ll STILL be able to visit Mature sims. As a land owner you also have the choice to flag your land as “adult content” or not. They imply this is NOT going to be mandatory, but is it going to be enforced at all?

The real reason Linden Labs is doing this isn’t to “protect the children” but too legally move the culpability of “exposing adult content to a minor” from Linden Labs to the landowner. Linden Labs and wash their hands from this from now on.

This is my theory on how this will work out.

There’s only going to be a select few people who will bother to get age verified. With that barely any land owners will flag thier land as “adult” unless they think they need too, or perhaps are forced too. But exactly how will they be forced to do so? It’s not like LL knows everything that goes on, with eyes watching everything. Someone will have to be a tattle-tale.

Someone will have to file some sort of report about it like an abuse report. And we all know how well Lindens respond to those. Lindens don’t do JACK SHIT as it is about abuse reports as it is. The only time time they step in is if a large number of people report it, often days after the incident. I’ve seen people texture script bomb the welcome area with obscene images, and nothing really happens. But when you read the Police blog, you’d think there’s a constant crime wave (Recent article in PC Magazine talks about this, but they are idiots). A good number of those Police blots are about people flaming in the Forums.

If you own land with adult content it’s up to YOU to keep the kids away from your so-called “adult content,” but Linden Labs can’t really enforce you to do so, afterall LL keeps claiming you DON’T have to do this. They will likely let it fall to a law attorney (local DA perhaps) who will file suit against the land owner.

This age verification is just a ploy to make YOU believe that no minor will see adult content on Second Life, but that can only work when EVERYONE USES IT, but not everyone will, and the majority will not.

AS a whole I don’t think anything will really come of this. If it’s toitally vollentary, no one will bother until there seems to be a NEED to it. As to what this need will be isn’t exactly clear, and no one is sure how this will be played out, if at all. Everyone else is taking this to an extreme on all sorts of angles about this. The paranoia of ID theft, the notion that you’ll suddenly be no longer be able to access your own land, and more separation between the “haves” and “have-nots.” Others are screaming foul play, and threaten to leave SL, as well as soothsayers claiming this will shut down SL for good.

Same kina bullshit that’s been said for years every time a big change like this happens. Be it $10 life time memberships that was done back in 2004, FREE lifetime memberships that happened in 2005, then the banning of casino games a couple months ago, and now with age verification.

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