Thursday, 24 June 2010
SL 7 B looks to be a downer, and other thoughts
A safe adult hub. This is public land run by Linden Labs calling itself safe. Okay. But it is worth noting that this safe hub is in the center of Zindar.
Frankly Linden Labs was idiotic to try and impose some kind of moral order on Second Life, creating a filtering system and a separate sex island. Treating avatars as inmates in a private school for boys has been an utter failure. The recent mass firings of Lindens and rare apology from Philip Rosedale.
Linden Labs built Second Life on the basis of liberal ideas about personal freedom and property ownership. As long as you didn't break the law, land you owned was land you owned. The entire thing was a break through. Linden Labs brought Lawrence Lessig, guru of Internet law and freedom, to form a Constitution which promised to make Second Life a Free Republic of virtual reality.
And then something went terribly wrong.
Maybe they hired too many people. The classic Standford prison experiment where some students are guards comes to mind. Suddenly a group of employees had some power and some need to justify their existence. Too many employees looking after community are going to seek problems that need fixing, to justify their jobs.
Somehow Rosedale got caught up in the entire Facebook and Flickr "family friendly" ideology. That is where a site acts as though it is protecting the safety and privacy of members by implementing systems of censorship and control.
I sadly see this in almost all the new web sites. At some point they become concerned about the liability of human activity on their servers. Why standard TOS can't deal with this like they do with almost anything else escapes me.
People being as thy are the end result is usually less trust and more of the very conduct that the rules were intended to stop.
Rosedale needs to return to the principles that founded SL liberty, and needs to return to reality. SL is a video game, in that way it is safe everywhere. Nothing on the screen can hurt you unless you provide private information to someone who might being grooming or stealing. These issues are common to all Internet communication platforms and email protections should be the model.
In fact the entire process of confirming your identity via passports, and requesting more information in order to make SL safe makes it far far less safe.
Well this will be my fourth SL B, and SL 7 B promises to be a gloomy event.
Rober1236 Jua the Cyber Trekker of Second Life