by Alphaville Herald on 19/05/06 at 8:15 am
by Dow Jonas
At a packed town hall meeting with live Skype call-in as well as typed text in-world, SL chief executive Philip Linden, in reply to a query from Second Life club owner Trader1 Whiplash, responded to residents’ concerns about repeated grid-grashing by unnamed griefers by commending them to federal authorities:
“If you are a club owner in SL, that’s exactly like being a Web site owner on the Web,” Philip said. “Interrupting somebody’s commerce on the Web is a serious crime. In cases where we are able to establish a reasonable equivalance between that kind of disruption, we have, and we will be, and we will get better at, turning those people in, in general to the FBI here in the US. We are serious about doing this and we have done it.”
Reports to authorities would not be limited to just entire grid crashes disrupting the service of the online virtual world, now claiming 222,000 members. “Even taking down a part of the grid . . . we’re going to get better at that,” the virtual world entrepreneur said. Philip’s remarks ended widespread speculation about whether LL had, in fact, followed through on threats to call the FBI about players who have brought down the 2,600-plus servers that run Second Life, which are located in San Franciso, through the use of malicious scripts that self-replicate and overload the servers.
As for other kinds of in-world harassment, shooting, trespassing and other “criminal acts below the threshold where you’d see RL authorities getting involved,” Philip said, “I suspect that people are going to create groups and collections of individuals [and] add to the ban list names of [griefers].”
“We haven’t seen this because we’re too small but we’re going to see this. . . . The fear of being banned from very large collective land masses will also serve as a civil redress, I guess you’d say. I don’t think we get a choice as a company.”
Club owners and landowners have already been operating for some time a group known as S.L.A.M., where names of griefers on any location are instantly posted to all other group members on line so they can ban the suspect, too.