Hugsies Blog!

April 28, 2009

Linden Censorship, and segergation.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — Hugsie @ 6:33 am

There’s a whole lotta chatter and paranoia about the proposed changes with adult content in SL.  Linden Labs seems to want to ignore the obvious fact that the #1 reason why people use SL is for the adult content with little to no restrictions to newbies accessing that.  Where esle can you play interactive virtual porn, and pay little to nothing in doing so?  It’s often this sort of content that encourages new users to become paying members.  Most other places (say uthereverse) require subscriptions to access the adult content with out so much as a sample. Oh and lets not forget the fact that SL is a cross platform MMO where as most other MMO’s are windows-only.

The thing that I really love is the PR spin the Lindens give on this.  Taken from the Adult-oriented content controls FAQ, via SL’s knowledge base, they answer some common, yet very weak, questions:

Is this something that Second Life users have asked for?
Yes. Numerous Residents, ranging from adult-content vendors to educators, have requested that we provide additional tools to enable them to tailor their inworld experiences and make them more predictable.

Horseshit. This is something the Lindens basically sprang up on us over night. If we, the users, have been asking for this then we would have been expecting this years ago. After the initial controversy of Adult Verification, that became a huge joke, that should have been our first hint to something grander since it was clearly a step towards more restrictions and lack of freedom. However they waited a good two years or so after the Adult Verification fiasco settled down before they announced this new segregation proposal.

How does this move prevent minors from entering Second Life or accessing content?
As part of this initiative, we will require Residents who access adult content (or view Adult search results) to go through an account verification process — either being verified through our age verification provider, or have a verified payment method.

Then what was the entire point of Adult Verification, since one of their main mantra (which I agreed with) was that having billing info dosen’t mean the user as over 18 years old. Any person of any age can get a bank account in their name, and use that to pay into Second Life. Credit cards companies and banks aren’t in the business of checking a customers age since it’s not against the law for a minor to have them.  While these institutions likely hold DOB information in their databases, but it’s not public record. So it’s not any one else’s business to access that information, and in most cases it’s illegal for them to do so.

Doesn’t this move go against the free spirit of Second Life and the internet?
No. From its inception, Second Life has been an open place, where Residents are free to explore a wide diversity of creative pursuits. This openness has fostered a tremendous amount of amazing content inworld and helped make Second Life what it is today. We are committed to preserving that openness while at the same time, ensuring that Residents can engage in Second Life in the manner most suited to their needs and interests.

This is the biggest load of bullshit I’ve ever heard.  I know that LL has the best intentions in this regard if given the choice they would HAVE let Second Life become the wild-wild-west of the internet.  They would have allowed casino gambling to continue, they wouldn’t have bothered with adult verification, and all this extra bullshit that make it sounds like The Man is coming down on us.

But the reality is that you can’t have security, and “protect the kids” with out censorship, restrictions, and segregation.  You end up retarding creativity, freedom, and choice. The Lindens know this but they don’t want to admit it publicly, since the user base may quit en masse. Thus causing a huge portion of their economy to vanish over night. So they are trying to spin this as if nothing will change.

Is LL trying to deemphasize the community so it can focus more on the enterprise market?
Not at all. There are many communities in Second Life — from educators, artists, entrepreneurs, gamers, enterprise users, and many more, including those interested in adult content — and there’s room for all of them in Second Life, just as there is on the Internet at large and in the real world.

WHAT? The reason why LL is making these policy changes is because THEY CAN! The reason why there’s “room for this on the internet at large and the real world” is because no one has that much control over them, DUH!  At least not as much control that Linden Labs has with Second Life.  This analogy is ridiculous and slaps in the face of common sense.  Whoever wrote that is a fucking idiot.

How will this program help attract new users?
It will make Second Life more attractive to new users by making it more customizable and easier to search for relevant content, whether adult or non-adult.

See this is where LL wants to ignore the reason why people login to Second Life in the first place.  FOR THE ADULT CONTENT. Yes it’s not like the adult content will be removed from SL (but a lot of it will be LOST due to this change), but the moment new users find out they are RESTRICTED from the content they are seeking, and probably have to spend money doing so, then why bother logging in again?

I do believe the search engine in SL has a LOT to be desired, but that’s because users simply abuse how the search engine works to get hits on searches (using discriptions filled with common meta key-words, but no acctual description).  Linden Labs isn’t talking about making it easier/customization to find what users are looking for they are going to restrict search results based on you being verified or not.

The fact the news of this is going around, will likely cause users to NOT BOTHER starting accounts on SL if they are going to be restricted from the content they are seeking.  If users want to explore a PG world, they can already check out www.there.com.

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