Cybering on the Teen Grid? Lindens Adopt Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Policy.

by Alphaville Herald on 28/01/06 at 10:08 pm

By Mercury Metropolitan

News has been spreading quickly around the Teen Grid that "smutty" IMs are acceptable if both parties are in consent. Apparently, a Linden has been informing players that these "smutty" conversations are hard to police, and are only moderated accordingly if one of the parties reports the other. This also brings up the topic of "SEX on TSL?", a recent thread posted by Blue Linden in the TSL Forums, which states that some users are using sex beds that have made their way from the Main Grid onto the Teen Grid via transferees. In his desperate attempt to stop the spread of sexual content, Blue stated: "If you don’t want to lose all your stuff, or don’t want to be permanently removed from TSL, DELETE ALL MATURE CONTENT NOW".

Just how well is the Teen Grid being monitored and moderated for "Mature Content"? In a recent IM to a Linden*, I brought up the topic of "smutty" IMs and how they are handled:

Mercury Metropolitan: Linden , is it true you can have smutty chat in IMs? There have been reports by a few players on TSL claiming that this is allowed. Is it true?

Linden: well it is hard to monitor IMs

Mercury Metropolitan: If someone is caught doing this however, will action be taken against them?

Linden: Well the only way to catch them is if someone copies and sends to Abuse

Mercury Metropolitan: Oh, okay

Linden: hard to police. I would say it is not right, but as I say, hard to police

Mercury Metropolitan: Thanks, I was just curious about the subject =)


But a friend of mine spoke to the same Linden about this a few weeks earlier, and the reponse was a but more casual:

NS: I have a CS related question if you’re awake

Linden: hi N

NS: lol :p I was just wondering what the rules regarding IMs (TG or not) are, because there isn’t a real guideline for them in the CS.

Linden: what do you mean ‘regarding IMs’

NS: Well, like the CS says all strong language sexual content and such should be kept to M rated sims. But nothing about IMs.

Linden: naughty boy

Linden: hahaha

NS: Hey, its legal IRL…

Linden: well IMs are personal and private,  and only seen by the participants

NS: Alright.

Linden: so I would guess it is not a problem as long as the people involved agree to the ‘smutty’ IM

NS: lol, Alright. haha…smutty ^_^ kay

Linden: hahaha

* Some names have been edited to protect the identities of those involved.

5 Responses to “Cybering on the Teen Grid? Lindens Adopt Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Policy.”

  1. Prokofy Neva

    Jan 29th, 2006

    Um, if you believe this: “well IMs are personal and private, and only seen by the participants” — you believe in the tooth fairy. Of course the Lindens have the capacity to monitor all IMs sent between residents. They may not have the ability to get all the telecommuters who police the grid as harried liaisons the tools to look at these IMs, nor would those harried monitors be able to check everything with thousands of people chatting.

  2. Triona

    Jan 31st, 2006

    Prokofy, are you saying that the Lindens are just being apathetic to their own Terms of Services? The TOS were designed to protect the teens playing SL from illicit content. Why bother writing it in the TOS if they have no intention of actually pursuing it?

    Furthermore, teens are rarely going to report anyone for illicit content, even if they do find it offensive. It’s a hassle. =) Besides, the damage would already have been done by the time a report is filed. It might prevent repeat offenses, but you only need one sicko IMing a young teen before they’re corrupted.
    Never mind the fact that if they can access SL, they can access the internet, and they’re getting the illicit stuff elsewhere. It’s already too late.

  3. 782 Naumova

    Feb 4th, 2006

    I wonder who NS is? *cough cough*. Merc, next time don’t use inititals, there are only one or two people it could be and I guessed within a few seconds :)

    If they want to, let them. I don’t care about that, it’s harassment that annoys me.


  4. Prokofy Neva

    Feb 4th, 2006

    Triona, I can only urge you to just re-read what I wrote. I said if anyone thinks their IMs are private from the Lindens, they believe in the tooth fairy. That means, yes, the Lindens have the capacity to read IMs like they can anything else in the game. They probably spot-check. I’m thinking with their staff stretched thin, with the limited tools that they have (I imagine) for use by people who are telecommuters, not in the office, they probably rely (too heavily in my view) on ARs. But they probably spot-check too. So what’s your point? Yes, they put it in the TOS. No, they don’t really pursue their TOS compliance very vigorously. Gosh, these Lindens aren’t much older than teens themselves, many of them.

    I don’t think you should take the attitude that just because there is all kinds of smut and sickness on the Internet that kids can access that you should just give it a pass. You can let them know your own attitude toward it. You can do some filtering. There’s no sense to take an apathetic “anything goes” stance.

  5. Alyx Stoklitsky

    Feb 5th, 2008

    Teens? Cybering? UNHEARD OF! … Not.

    Personally, the fact that the teen grid even exists amuses the shit out of me, as any teenager wanting to get on the main grid can do so effortlessly.

    And in regards to adult content, I haven’t seen anything in SL that I hadn’t already seen when I was 15.

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