• 18Sep

    Everett Linden writes:

    So, flag your parcels and do your part to increase trust and safety among your fellow Residents in Second Life.

    Nonsense. Absolute, pure, grade-A malarky.

    Flagging parcels as “Restricted Content” has little to do with trust, and absolutely nothing to do with safety.

    North Korea will not decide to bomb Japan because they learned that somebody didn’t flag their erotica gallery.

    Women in the Middle East won’t suddenly stop being oppressed and abused, now that the potential customer base for adult shops is being slashed.

    Children in Darfur will not stop being slaughtered for the color of their skin, just because some teenage boy in the US is prevented from catching a glimpse at a polygonal pudendum.

    Violence, oppression, persecution, and militant zealots — these are the sorts of things which threaten our safety. Nobody is going to be safer just because some “verification” company is able to add a “This person uses SL” checkbox next to your entry in their database.

    So, given that it’s not about “trust”, “safety”, or any of those fluffy words that Linden Lab litters their blog posts with, what is this about?

    Gwyneth Llewelyn has offered us her extremely thorough and in-depth look at the implications of identity verification. It contains what is, in my view, the most likely explanation:

    In effect, Integrity does not really provide “just a verification service”. Their core business is actually far more interesting: they buy LL’s liability in case LL gets a lawsuit for letting minors to see “inappropriate content”…. Whatever lawsuits will come LL’s way, they will simply get Integrity to pay for them.

    In other words, this isn’t about ideals at all. This about business, legal liability, and cover-your-ass. The only way to get insurance against civil lawsuits is to get rid of the gambling and shift legal liability to land-owners who neglect to appropriately flag their parcels.

    That’s all well and good. Really. The legal system is full of warts and onions as a result of its long and storied past. It’s perfectly understandable, from the business perspective, that a company like Linden Lab would need to buy insurance against lawsuits.

    But why doesn’t Linden Lab just come out and say, We have to do this, in order to protect the future of Linden Lab and Second Life? Why do they try to pull the wool over our eyes, and feed us this propaganda about trust and safety and think of the children!?

    Posted by Jacek Antonelli @ 9:54 pm

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