Total of 2 Million Accounts Disappear

9:30 am analysis, last names

I previously wrote that 800,000 accounts had disappeared from in-world search since mid-January, 2009. The SLNameWatch census bot has continued to count last names since then, as usual. Heritage names, including names that came and went before I founded, are only scheduled to be counted every 3 months, since we don’t normally expect rapid changes on names that are no longer available. Therefore, these numbers come in slowly. Nevertheless, the fact is, the more I survey name usage, the more accounts are suddenly missing. The total now stands at 2,024,371 accounts. This amounts to 15 percent of all accounts with heritage last names.
Some of the names still haven’t been counted since the purge started. So, I expect this figure to keep increasing. It may be that more and more accounts are being deleted, or it may just be that it takes a while for my census bot to notice, or both.
Meanwhile, I now know that the Total Accounts figure was intentionally removed from the economic statistics page. The economic statistics page is back, and everything is intact (in XML format, now), except the total accounts figure. *Shrug*. The bright side is, SLNameWatch is now the authority on the total number of accounts in Second Life®! :)
When the economic statistics page last reported the total number of accounts, on 2009-01-15, the figure read 16,785,531. At that time, indexed about 95% of those accounts, effectively validating this figure. Now, reports 15,298,788 accounts. The figure has dropped by 1,486,743. Meanwhile, new users have been adding to this total at a rate of about 14,000 per day, or about 546,000 new accounts during this period. This means that 1.5 million accounts disappeared to make the figure drop to where it is now, PLUS 0.5 million old accounts must have disappeared to make up for all the new accounts created during this period, to keep this figure from increasing. This 2 million account figure roughly matches what I have found using a more direct method. The total account figure shown on the front page of is accurate.
Getting back to the account cleanup, let me add that it no longer follows a pattern. Even names that were closed in the last year are affected. This differs from what I observed in my last article. My main character’s last name, Childs, is unaffected so far. Meanwhile, other last names that were offered to new users later than Childs was, such as Little, Short, Littlething, Kidd, and Writer, have gotten haircuts. It’s hard to find a pattern.
The most popular last name of all time, Allen, previously had 155,022 users registered under it. Suddenly, its usage count has dropped to 110,932.
We have a new champion for most heavily-used last name. Namely, GossipGirl, which has 155,699. GossipGirl is not affected by this purge, perhaps because it is a custom name. Even without the purge, Allen and GossipGirl had just swapped positions in the list of most-used last names, but only just barely. Now, it’s no contest. What is it with GossipGirl, anyway? Can you please create a GossipGirl2, or something? My bot is gets bored.
-Big Adz ))

10 Responses
  1. Peter Stindberg :

    Date: February 23, 2009 @ 11:33

    During my 2.5 years in SL I only ever met ONE other Stindberg so far – she is a few days younger than myself, still active, and I met her in summer last year by chance. Last time I checked there were some 200 Stindberg found in search. Does your bot have any way to know how many Stindbergs are still active in SL? Where I would define active as having logged in within the past 4 weeks?

  2. Adz Childs :

    Date: February 23, 2009 @ 20:23

    That is a really excellent question. Unfortunately I don’t see how it can be done and still have LL be on my side. Last login date is not easily available. It’s certainly not returned in the regular 100-people-at-a-time people search tool. It may be hidden in individual users’ profile pages. I checked OpenMetaverse just now, and found that this information is not in public struct AvatarProperties either. But, even if it were, we’d be entering the territory of asking LL servers for 16 million queries…

    In the official sl viewer, if there were an easy way to get this information, I could create a bot to automate it.
    But this is not the case. In the regular viewer, this information is only available in a couple of obscure ways, as far as I know. One is if you have a specific person’s uuid and you set up a LSL script to poll their online status continuously. Another is if you are in a group that they are also in, and the group permissions allow it, you can view their last online date. And that’s only for one user.

    The only ways I can think of getting that information for large numbers of accounts would really thrash the servers on LL’s side of things.

    I really appreciate your question. It’s always nice to know what SLNameWatch users have in mind. Your question prompted a very nice thought exercise.

  3. Adz :

    Date: February 23, 2009 @ 20:48

    Oh, look at that… DirectoryManager..::.AgentSearchData.Online is a String. I always assumed it was a Boolean. *runs off to investigate*

  4. Adz :

    Date: February 23, 2009 @ 21:06

    GroupMember.::.OnlineStatus is a String which could be useful but of course is not practical for the reasons above.
    Meanwhile, DirectoryManager..::.AgentSearchData.Online is readily available but is a boolean. It just says “False”. So, yeah… what I said before stands. Phew. That would have soaked up my weekend for sure.

  5. MarkByron Falta :

    Date: March 3, 2009 @ 22:32

    Congratulations on exposing Linden’s sneaky attempt to hide the total accounts stat as they do a massive prune of dead accounts. On the 24th of Feb, M Linden had bragged in the new blog about daily perusing “our very extensive metrics dashboard to see how the company is doing (with literally hundreds of measures for everything you can imagine from Resident satisfaction to registrations in last hour to frame-rate-per-second) for 10-15 minutes.” I called him on that in regards to cutting off public view to most all the relevant metrics and he replies, “we are reworking that part of our site now. We want to be able to share data, ensure it’s accurate and provide context around it.” LOL, the key is “provide context around it” aka “spinning the bad numbers.” Appreciate your effort in providing real numbers while Linden rammps up the corporate spin department.

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