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01/19/2006

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Kyrah Abattoir

i am looking forward to see your name in bright red with the following epitaph in your profile:

"forum troll"
"liar"

in hope it could persuade you to leave SL

Khamon

This reminds me of SPAM woes I have to deal with almost daily. The filters've become so intelligently stringent that they'll often block legitmate mail even from one internal list to another.

It takes hours sometimes to backward chain the events to determine why mails were dropped or tagged and returned. We're actually beginning to educate users to not create obviously SPAMish subject lines.

It's become absolutely necessary though to automate the process, legitimate mails being returned, even whole domains being mistakenly blocked, notwithstanding.

Considering the nature of online populations, just considering the sheer number of transactions involved in something like SL, automated account tagging and related enforcements are inevitable.

Prokofy Neva

Khamon, you appear to be justifying this tagging in the name of some "big management problem". Sounds pretty short-sighted. LL might internally tag accounts in some fashion to show a record of punishments. But I don't believe that they should make such a tagging obvious and external to expose people to constant harassment, vilification, banning, etc to keep endlessly alive what should be a one-time punishment and serving of a sentence.

Khamon

"But I don't believe that they should make such a tagging obvious and external to expose people to constant harassment, vilification, banning, etc to keep endlessly alive what should be a one-time punishment and serving of a sentence."

Agreed, what they should do is have the tags automatically downgrade over time so that any automated system based on them would respond accordingly.

Our antiSPAM software steadily downgrades tags when they're not being hit so that they eventually retire and are no longer considered SPAMish.

Prokofy Neva

Yahoo, for example, deals with the exact same type of emails coming in from the Second Life system by putting them in regular mail AND in spam. I've learned to keep checking that bulk mail spam folder to see if there are any "good" messages coming in that in fact are from a live tenant, not some object spamming to me that it is returning from a parcel to lost and found.

I'm not comfortable with taking your experience in dealing with spam in email and applying it to *people*.

Aspen Normandy

I do think that people's 'crime records' should be publicly accessible, perhaps through the website. Even if it just lists vague terms -- the offense and the punishment -- not the involved parties or the prosecuting Linden, as that might get them undue attention. But being able to identify "problem users" with a bit of research would be useful, I think.

However, I am against branding, though, for a completely different reason. I think getting different colored names is something that true griefers would strive for and embrace. It would be a trophy for them. It's the sort of mentality that a true griefer adopts -- and good ones are able to walk the fine line very tactfully.

Prokofy Neva

Commentators on Terra Nova point out in the discussion about the Cornfield that branding offenders like that only creates a badge of honour for griefers and increases griefing, as experiencein MMORPGs shows time and again.

I'm all for getting away from the silly game culture of MMORPGs with their wizards and leveling and points and offenses.

A system enabling everybody to browse somebody's offense records puts all the power in the evil Group-Think and protects none of the individuals' rights. It's a very unbalanced system. It's a system prone to abuse and IS abused as we know all to well from SL. We have no way of telling if the punishment is just, because we don't have the first thing about it in terms of knowing acquittal rates, types of offenses in the aggregate, repeat reporters who might have a grudge, biased Lindens who were previous residents with bias, etc. etc. It's an awful system because it is closed and unbalanced, and branding only increases it.

It's all about putting power in the hands of a few, then creating an aggressive-obedient Group-Think to pretend it has "mass consent" when it just has the power of the unjust mob.

Stankleberry

I'd be proud to have my name in a different color because the retards of the SL forums decided to gang up on me.

I wonder if LL will ever realize how much money they're losing by letting those people in the forums treat new people and people with beliefs that are different than theirs the way that they do. I was a paying customer until a few days ago, when I got suspended for 3 days from the game I pay for without any sort of explanation from the people that suspended me. They didn't bother to explain their reasoning the first time I got suspended, either. So now I'll just use their service for free and not have any land. Fuck em.

Red Mars

One should never, ever, describe themselves as 'valiant' or say they themselves fought 'valiently'.

Tooting your own horn like that leaves the taste of something like buttermilk that turned bad cloying in your mouth.

Just fyi

Hiro Pendragon

You know what? I've had enough of your harassing Aimee. What in God's name has she ever done to you? She avoids you, does not talk about you, does not write flaming rants about you. This is harassment what you're doing here, Prok. If you want to pick on someone, do it to someone who'll fight back, or are you too much of a chicken to do so, and you'd rather pick on people who don't talk back? You're such a troll.

Aspen Normandy

I don't see how having a list of someone's past offenses is a bad thing, Prok. Whether they be just or not.

People would only ever look it up if they were given reason to, by someone's behavior, or what-have-you.. so it should only come up for repeat offenders, whom I would think people /should/ have fair warning about.

Stankleberry: The amount of money LL is "losing" is negligible. Maybe a small handful of people are willing to pout so much over forum activity that they boycott SL. You are an unimportant minority, in the economic sense.

Prokofy Neva

Hi, Red, I don't often toot my own horn, actually, but "valiant" is the only way to describe my fight against these amazingly evil fucktards that populate the SL forums.

You know what, Hiro? I've had *enough* of Aimee trying to influence the Lindens to change our world *for the worse*. And it is NOT harassment to *fight back* against such undue -- and unjust -- influence.

Furthermore, she has regularly and often attacked me on the forums, where I cannot defend myself. So I rebut any such attacks vigorously, and often here on my blog, as is my right.

Um, take all your words about chickens and trolls, and send them to Aimee's address. She has done outrageous things on the forums, starting with her "Aimee hates you" branding campaign against me months ago, and culminating in her hysterical insinuation that my criticism of her undue influence and her role on the forums constitutes "stalking worthy of reporting to the FBI". Honestly, I don't care how lonely the fight for freedom gets out here, I'm happy to go on engaging in it, it's the right thing to do. You, however, can go right on being a suck-up and a paid fanboy : )

LL as the federal government, for better or worse, can manage the repeat offenders. After all, they have the power to track alts and manage IP blocks. There is no reason to put this information into the hands of a vindictive and stupid mob, such as we find in SL.

Khamon

"I'm not comfortable with taking your experience in dealing with spam in email and applying it to *people*."

Don't preach that shit at me. I'm sick and tired of you're holier than thou attitude accusing me of being a heartless techi-wiki block of ice.

Emails are people. That's my point. It hurts me to the core that the staff and students here can't just use email to readily communicate with each other.

We have to deal with all this automated antivirus antispyware antiuseable bullshit software because of the kinds of people that exist in online communities.

My comparison is between email populations and the Second Life population in the fact that dealing with griefing types in Second Life will certainly have to be somewhat automated for many comparable reasons.

Tell you what though, if you're gonna keep pushing my technical background down my throat like it somehow prevents me from seeing the soulfelt needs of the masses, I'll bow out of the discussion and find something else to do.

Prokofy Neva

Well, Khamon, I will preach it when you are so casual about comparing spamming emails about enlarged penises with live people who require more nuanced care.

Emails aren't people. Spam about stock, and Nigerian letters, and penises are just automatic ad texts.

People in a world should have better systems of justice, appeal, etc. than a text.

Don't push tekkie solutions, Khamon, if you want me to feel your soul. I appreciate that you are tekkie but soulful and thoughtful. I recognize that. But you do have to realize that your automated systems have no context, no appeal, no adjuciation. They rot in SL.

Prokofy Neva

*adjudication, i.e. no live human being exercising judgement over them, they are just junior Lindens handling the switchboard with a lot of automatic stuff that they don't make sense of.

Aspen Normandy

Prok: I can't follow your stance on LL. You believe that they unjustly punish people for no reason, yet you also think they should have complete secrecy in doing these things?

Do you see any sort of logic disconnect there?

Stankleberry

The amount of money LL is "losing" is negligible. Maybe a small handful of people are willing to pout so much over forum activity that they boycott SL. You are an unimportant minority, in the economic sense.

It's not really a boycott, I'll still use the game, I'll just not pay to have land anymore.

You aren't taking into account the fact that quite a few other people are discovering how things work on SL, and which people don't seem to be welcome there. They'll miss out on quite a lot of money if they continue to let the morons that run their forums and the game pull this kind of shit on paying customers. Trust me.

Aspen Normandy

Stankleberry: The "quite a lot of people" you are referring to is still a very small slice of their userbase.

It's a tiny sliver of people that even bother with the forums at all.

Venya Salome

This whole idea is just a road to more griefing. People reporting people just to get their enemy's names a different color. Griefers reporting each other just to get that "badge of honor" or what-not. People using a "visible list of offenses" to reverse-harass the more serious offenders in what they see as "pushing the griefer into quitting."

Any visible system you have is going to end up being used to harass/grief someone. That's just the nature of the online gaming world.

I'm not saying the present system is the best, but the proposed idea is just not very well thought out at all.

Hiro Pendragon

Prok >> You know what, Hiro? I've had *enough* of Aimee trying to influence the Lindens to change our world *for the worse*. And it is NOT harassment to *fight back* against such undue -- and unjust -- influence.

Everyone deserves to be able to lobby for change in a system they belong to. That's how business works in the real world, that's how it works in SL. Just because your sanctimony and viscious attacks doesn't influence people doesn't mean you should take out your jealousy on others who are more successful.

Here's a hint: Stop being such a mean old crone. As the expression goes, "You attract more ants with honey than vinegar". I've told you time and time again that you have some valid concerns, and it's a damn share that you are too stubborn to drop this role-playing bad-guy shenanigans to actually be constructive with your criticism and gee, maybe not insult people with every other breath, so that your concerns might not be missed.

That and paragraphs would severely help your arguments, but you call that your "writing style" to ramble on without any sort of focus or outline. Anyone who's taken a basic writing class will tell you that if you lose the audience because you can't logically organize your thoughts, you are an unsuccessful writer. End of story.

IRONY: You think Aimee has influence? You've got to be kidding me. The most Aimee has influence over is perhaps getting on a banner ad. The people who have the real influence are people who run businesses and do real world things - the "SIC" as you call it. You're barking up the WRONG tree! lol

Prok >> Furthermore, she has regularly and often attacked me on the forums, where I cannot defend myself. So I rebut any such attacks vigorously, and often here on my blog, as is my right.

You have a warped sense of perception. "regularly" and "often" neither apply. I do however see her perhaps write something bad when you've harassed her on this unreadable blog.

Prok >> Um, take all your words about chickens and trolls, and send them to Aimee's address. She has done outrageous things on the forums, starting with her "Aimee hates you" branding campaign against me months ago, and culminating in her hysterical insinuation that my criticism of her undue influence and her role on the forums constitutes "stalking worthy of reporting to the FBI". Honestly, I don't care how lonely the fight for freedom gets out here, I'm happy to go on engaging in it, it's the right thing to do. You, however, can go right on being a suck-up and a paid fanboy : )

Honestly, your actions do constitute stalking. Imagine if Aimee was an ex-girlfriend. I guarantee you a judge would rubber stamp a restraining order request on you.

SL is growing and innovating, Prok. And you know what? Despite your screwball paranoid ideas that you "sky-is-falling" claim constantly will sink SL. SL is growing huge, and this year you're going to find yourself just an irrelevant little troll unless you decide you want to behave like an adult.

Prokofy Neva

Hiro, Aimee is the one who is sanctimonious, coming up with this prudish and restrictive Calvinist idea of having people show the Mark of Cain on their foreheads. Honestly, it's too much. And I'm doing precisely that -- lobbying for my point of view. That's the normal way to do things, and your hysterical and aggressive notion that everybody has to get in line with Aimee and can't criticize her ideas and her methods of promoting them is completely untenable.

Just because I don't want to get into step with the Group Think of you oppressive little fanboyz and girlz doesn't mean I'm an old crone. You're the crones, all of you.

Hiro, I know it's your conviction that I'm in some kind of "role-play". That's hilarious. I'm not. I'm being myself, and I'm expressing my views. Go to hell, Hiro.

I'm not here to catch flies, and vinegar is actually a good astringent to use with the high buillshit level one gets from the forums.

Hiro, go and look at all of Aimee's posts. Clock them. Date them. Read my extensive documentation about these issues in my interventions here last month. And then see how they are attacks from her *first*, making up all kinds of wierd shit, like the one in off-topic like "Dear Jake, there's this boy who has a crush on me and harasses me to show his love" -- utter unadulterated horseshit like that. Provocative, mean-spirited, taunting bullshit. THEN there are responses from me. *Shrugs*. Hard to take, I know, when people won't fall into line.

It's not me who connives with Barnes to lure me on to a "blind date," after all, eh?

Honestly, go see what the dates and times are, how she responds, and you'll see who is first on all of this.

Hiro

Hey Prok, I hear you censored Gwyn after she totally pwned you with the "SIC" comments. That true, should we discuss "What Prok Erases?" Bwahaha!

Timeless Prototype

You know, I haven't read the forums, but reading this blog entry on its own (and not taking into account the comments afterwards), I actually find myself agreeing with Prokofy about not showing the colours for past offenses for the very reasons stated. I ignored all the personal attacks to see the important point being made. Don't give griefers badges, don't give AR abusers a score card to track.

Also, I don't think LL would do it anyway. Hell, they removed negative ratings, do you REALLY think they will re-introduce an even more significant neg rating feature?

:)

Prokofy Neva

My remarks aren't personal attacks, Timeless, you're wrong there. They are *robust criticism of ideas that are indefensible and need to be defeated as an obstruction of a free society*.

And no, I wouldn't put it past LL *at all* to introduce *yet another* stratification in their society. After all, they have the deliberately official feted categories now of Mentors, Helpers, Greeters, and Instructors. To that I could add Winners of Building Contests who they should really just make Hired Contractors. All of these folks constitute the overlords, all of them require the "clean rapsheet," so if they could enhance these people's status with an actual badge or header or colour, they'd probably like to do so. They consequences be damned. After all, the great thing about the negrate is that it was *in our hands*. I am proud that I negrated none other than Philip Linden himself for killing the GOM. I am only one of 7 negrates on the guy -- and there should have been many more.

Cocoanut Koala

Very funny and memorable title to this thread, Prok! And aided me quite well in the interesting little trip to the Wikipedia I just took, since I think I've been calling it Hobson's law.

OK - so according to this law, you can't compare branding people with the branding people that went on with the Holocaust. Though you CAN compare it to wearing a scarlet letter, or to - as I discovered earlier today - something in Snowcrash about a facial tattoo, "Poor Impulse Control."

You can say the very same thing, but you have to put it in a fantasy novel, like Snowcrash, or place it in the context of Puritan times.

So you can say it's wrong and all, you just can't say it is anything whatever in any way shape or form similar to the branding of people in Nazi Germany, ALSO intended to cause people shame and humilation and make sure no one had anything to do with them.

And this is apparently a law because: (a) people get into heated debates about any old topic at all on the Internet and (b) eventually they get so worked up that somehow Nazis get evoked and (c) that kills the thread.

So . . . this law apparently means that even when the action someone is proposing actually is BRANDING people, and branding occured in the Nazi regime, and in the Puritan era, and in slavery, etc. - you can call it a Scarlet Letter but you can't call it anything like something the Nazis did. Even though it was.

What a nice little politically correct law. Or maybe superstition. It effectively eliminates from the language and civil discussion any reference to or mention of similar things that went on during the Holocaust.

"Lest we forget" becomes, "Don't speak of it; don't point to it for examples of dangers that ought never to be repeated again and never even get a FOOTHOLD into being repeated again. After all, nothing we could ever do could ever be that bad, could it?"

Well, yes it could, on it's own miniscule level, because the same principle is at hand. Stealing paper from the office is a far, far cry from holding up a bank, but - they are both stealing. Branding people is bad, period.

However, reading on in the Wikipedia, it also says this (regarding making comparisons of political leaders to Hitler):

"Godwin's standard answer to this objection is to note that Godwin's Law does not dispute whether, in a particular instance, a reference or comparison to Hitler or the Nazis might be apt.

"It is precisely because such a reference or comparison may sometimes be appropriate, Godwin has argued, that hyperbolic overuse of the Hitler/Nazi comparison should be avoided. Avoiding such hyperbole, he argues, is a way of ensuring that when valid comparisons to Hitler or Nazis are made, such comparisons have the appropriate impact."

Well, if we are going to talk about branding people, then I consider this is an apt and valid point to mention, an important reminder, and thus an appropriate reference. Which is probably why arm tattoos, along with the Scarlet Letter, came to me immediately and obviously - and no other example did.

Branding is branding. Public shame, humiliation, and ostracism is just that, wherever it takes place, and for whatever rationale.

As someone pointed out to me (after the crap hit the fan), there is a presumed difference between someone who has committed an actual TOS violation and been suspended and people who have been UNJUSTLY branded, as in the Holocaust.

Meaning that it is EVER just to brand people. I don't think so. I think anyone who attempts to shame or humiliate another lowers himself in the process. Punish, yes. Try to lower a person's innate human dignity, no.

In the SL example, people would be walking around the world branded because, for example, they said the F word in a PG area. This despite the fact that the F word is thrown about with wild abandon on the supposedly PG-rated forums, and no Linden offers a peep. Or they shot someone who was griefing them, or pushed someone, or stupidly picked a group name that was too sexy. Etc.

Cristiano says on the forums that I am missing the point, that he hates the idea of branding residents according to their TOS violations as much as I do.

It is okay, he says, to argue that branding people would be an invasion of privacy, or to argue that it would not be a deterrant to further griefing.

But it is quite another, he writes to "evoke Nazi imagery and make any kind of association whatsoever with it."

Well, we are talking about branding people here. I think the association is already THERE, and blindingly so.

He then goes on to add that, "We are talking about disciplinary issues in a virtual world with avatars, we are not talking human rights and branding people."

We aren't? Maybe he isn't, but I am.

We are people in SL; this is not a shoot-em-up solitary game I play with myself on PlayStation II. I am talking about human rights and branding people, and human dignity, and that applies as much in online environments as it does in rl environments.

He goes on to add: "To add further insult to injury, you claim that those who would even consider this idea are demeaning the Holocaust. You brought it to this level, no one else."

I would say it is just the other way around. Someone ELSE brought the whole discussion of SL discipline to this level, however unwittingly, by suggesting we start branding people to begin with. I objected, pointed out the Scarlet letter and the Holocaust associations, and I get accused of demeaning the Holocaust.

And it's not just one person - several people were (and still are) chiming in with what a wonderful idea it would be.

It's not wonderful. It is like what they did in Nazi Germany, and in the Scarlet Letter. It's like that soldier standing over the naked men in Abu Grabe (or whever it was). It's like a lot of things, and none of them good.

As a child, I learned my lessons very well never, ever, to let this sort of thing start gain. I learned to speak out about this sort of treatment of humans anywhere and everywhere, including in something as supposedly trivial as an online game, as it involves real people, too.

The fact is, LL is never going to do this at all, because a great many people wouldn't want to play such a game, or even be in such an environment. I know I wouldn't.

coco

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