Accusation Is Enough

7:46 am child avatars, law, policy

After a friend of mine was falsely accused of SL’ing while underaged, and I watched the difficulties he went through and the presumption of guilt and the utter lack of compassion on the part of Linden Lab, I decided that it would no longer be my place to report suspected underage residents through the in-world A.R. system under any circumstances. I adjusted my in-world profile accordingly.

I apologize that I cannot be more specific about this, but I can only say that since this event several months ago, other similar events have happened that only reinforce my decision never to A.R. underage, even if this age is expressed in open chat, which is the firmest evidence possible from my limited position. I have parcel powers to ban such residents from my land, and from several regions, and I can alert the leaders of some of the kid community groups. But, that is as far as I will go.

For the record, I do not want anyone under 18 on the main grid simply because that opens us all up to multiple vectors of real-world liability. Unfortunately we the residents have no way to affect this. All we have is a false sense that the system helps protect us, somehow.

Rai Fargis agrees. In a recent blog post, he writes:

We have no means to verify the real age of a resident. To do so, we would have to meet them in person or check their real life ID, which we are not obliged to do. A resident stating to be underage could have lied, could have been drunk, could have made fun. Heck, it could be a typo. A chat window is not RL identification.

An abuse report is a measure not to be taken lightly. Residents banned from SL lose their land, their Linden Dollars, their creative work and probably their friends.

I will not abuse report residents solely based on them saying they’re less than 18 years old, as long as I can not prove this to be true.

Perhaps if there were a system of sanctions against filers of false abuse reports, a faster turnaround time requiring less sensitive personal RL documentation to clear one’s name, benchmarks to show that the system is working or not, greater communication and sympathy from Linden Lab, or if they would at least work on weekends for crying out loud, I would change my mind about this. But as it stands now the system is so broken as to be useless and, sadly, dangerous. It is more of a griefing tool than anything else. All it does is cause trouble for many adults who have done nothing wrong. I hope I am never a direct victim of it.

-Big Adz ))

One Response
  1. Dusan Writer’s Metaverse » Kids on the Grid? Card ‘em. Governance, Trust and Identity in Virtual Worlds :

    Date: August 17, 2008 @ 11:20

    […] The argument was put forward by another blogger: […]

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