Real World SecondLife Crimes: Virtual Rape & Pornography

I found a really interesting article in the Washington Post and I thought I’d share it. Apparently there have been an increasing number of crimes in second life. This article talks about a virtual “rape” that happened as well as child pornography and how local authorities are responding to it. The article debates on whether or not SL should be policed and if users should be subject to real law. How far is too far?

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3 Responses

  1. hydralisk says:

    That was an interesting article. Thanks for it.

  2. Thaumata says:

    That article was a joke. The reporter obviously didn’t do any checking into how the user interface actually operates in SL. There is no way to force another avatar to do anything at all. I can offer to animate your character, sure, but you will first get a pop-up which asks for your permission. There are sections in world which cater to people wishing to engage in consenting role play of a violent nature, but it’s literally impossible to actually rape someone in SL, or rob them, or even HUG them if they don’t allow it.

    The part about the woman with the child porn club next door was kind of laughable, also. The Lindens are actually enforcing a zero-tolerance policy about things like that. I can’t imagine that if she had taken the time to actually report it as a TOS violation (two clicks from the main menu) that they would have ignored it. “Child Porn” is the scariest phrase for any website to hear.

    Additionally, most residents there take a fairly hard line approach to age-play and child-avatars. I know dozens of locations which do not allow child avatars, even when the person playing them has verified their account with a credit card and the club doesn’t even contain activities of an adult nature.

    There are so many amazing art projects and so much live music in SL that it’s REALLY a shame that guys like this one are too busy sensationalizing a couple of nutjobs who can’t work a user interface instead of covering the people who are using this new medium for positive means. (check out slrfl.org, for example, which has raised over $40k USD for cancer through SL.)

    Sorry to stomp on your blog here… I just really hated this article and saw that you were linked to it.

  1. June 5, 2007

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