Elwood Abernathy: How LL Will Keep Their Customers?

by Alphaville Herald on 21/08/08 at 7:59 am

Lab holds grandpa’s alt accounts hostage for being underage – then refuses to talk?

by Pixeleen Mistral, National Affairs desk

Elwood Abernathy is not happy with Linden Lab

A distressing notecard from Elwood Abernathy was waiting when I stopped by the Herald offices last night:

I read with interest the Second Life Herald about intlibbers difficulties with age verification and the Tizzers ban. I have three alts that have been disabled due to age verification ID checks, apparently the lindens think I am 16 years old because someone A/R’d me, a griefer perhaps? I was told I belong on the Teen grid. In real life I am a grandfather for God’s sake. I wonder how widespread this is among the people who pay Linden Lab hefty fees. I pay 2 1/2 sim tier, and if I had not for some reason, three weeks ago, consolidated tier from one of my accounts which is now disabled, I would be in a tier deficit. The Lindens simply will not talk to me about this issue, only demanding more and more identification be faxed to them, even asking for my social security card. I am considering cashing in and going with a free alt.


A quick look at Mr. Abernathy’s profile led me to his blog – and chilling details of how the Lab treats some of its landowners.

According to the Linden Lab price sheet, 2 1/2 regions require ongoing tier payments totaling $500 USD/month. For most businesses, this sort of customer would get better treatment than an unverified anonymous account – but this does not appear to be the case in Second Life. It is becoming clear that all residents of Second Life are subject to detailed age verification checks whenever the game gods feel so inclined – and the potential for anonymous false accusations as part of griefing or other resident conflicts is frightening. As a matter of policy, Linden Lab does not release the names of those making accusations in abuse reports, nor does the lab publicly discuss its disciplinary actions.

Mr. Abernathy details the problem:

“It has been since August 8th now that three of my alts have been disabled for being underage. I said in live chat in a role playing sim that I was 16 1/2 years old. Reverse those numbers. Anyway, I have sent the Lindens whatever they asked for, regretably, because now they have copies of my identification, including my driver’s license. I did have the sense not to send my social security number or card. They have ignored the issue up until now. So now I am going to ignore them. And if they disable my main alt, so be it, the 100 residents of Thousand Palms can have some free rent until the lindens they get around to taking the land back, which will be quite a while given the glut of land on the mainland.”

“I created a kid alt on July 27, 2008, after 11 days got banned for being underage, and since then have had to prove my identity to Linden Lab, forget the fact that EACH of my accounts is secured by my credit cards, including the banned ones (yes two got banned) and my main concierge account is 2 and 1/2 years old and age verified. I also have two other accounts for land management that are age verified and payment secured. I faxed my state issued official legal birth certificate. That was not enough they wanted the one that came directly from the hospital the day I was born. I faxed that one too. They requested another proof of identification so I sent my Pennsylvania State Driver’s License.”

With even Prokofy Neva – virtual fanboy numero uno – tiering down, Mr. Abernathy points to the real problem for the Lab, “We don’t have to ask what they are doing to retain new accounts, the question is what are they doing to retain long term paying customers.” Exactly. Perhaps M Linden would like to address this issue soon? Or has LL outgrown the need to pretend to play fair with its customers?

34 Responses to “Elwood Abernathy: How LL Will Keep Their Customers?”

  1. Marc Woebegone

    Aug 21st, 2008

    Grandfathers excommunicated? Who’s next?

  2. forelle broek

    Aug 21st, 2008

    If LL is really asking residents for copies of their social security cards, or for their social security numbers, that is a violation of federal law.

  3. Oden

    Aug 21st, 2008

    This Suspension of accounts for suspected being underage aint new. I know of about 7 people in my circle of friends who have had the trauma of having their SL personas held prisoner for up to three months as they wait for Linden Lab to verify their true age via drivers licences or security numbers.

    One of my friends even had his Avatar suspended TWICE, even though he had proven his age once, LL still suspended him a second time.

    I have a phobia of Linden Lab and their crazy policies. its called Lindophobia

  4. FlipperPA Peregrine

    Aug 21st, 2008

    The problem with this is the same problem as the DMCA: some people are using it as a weapon. In the midst of SL drama, the ease of filing an A.R. shouting “zOMG, they’re underage!” is far too easy to mess up someone’s account. There should be harsh consequences for those who abuse these mechanisms.

  5. Rico Roizman

    Aug 21st, 2008

    LL is really full of shit now, they ban the wrong people, and not ban the actual greifers and the actual underagers. I mean what the hell is wrong with the people down at LL, The AR System needs to be fixed, Because anyone can get reported for anything and have not done nothing, and FFS, He has Payment Info Used, Owns 2 and a half sims. Although it is very easy for a 16 year old to be verified with a credit card of another family relative, which in this case I do not think so. But LL has gone to far, now they want SS Numbers and crap. They need to wake up and hop on the real issues at stake within the Second Life virtual enviornment, They first created that age verification, to get your Credit Card numbers etc and to get your payment Info So it will put you a step closer to making them money and buying Lindens. LL needs to be looked into beyond all of thier BS.

  6. Reality

    Aug 21st, 2008

    Try again Forelle. So you know how many companies these days ask for your social security number?

    Your Insurance Company.

    The doctor’s office.

    All Employers.

    Credit Card Companies.

    Those are the major ones kiddo. Guess what? None of them are in violation of federal law either. some of them even require the information and will do nothing until they have it.

    to Elwood, all I can say is this – Nice job twit. Don’t role play a kid in open chat. Take it from a former Role Player – people are idiots and WILL report you for whatever is within the context of your scene.

    Let this be a lesson.

  7. Neo Citizen

    Aug 21st, 2008

    I don’t actually think Linden Lab has a lot of competition to worry about in their niche market (yes, SL is a niche). They’re not Worlds of Warcraft, they’re not Everquest, and apart from being an MMO, they have a different target audience.

    Never mind the PN and the other idiots who seem to think they’re still playing Worlds of Warcraft (yes, I’m talking about you, FrizzleFry – whoops).

    The real competition on the horizon for Linden Lab right now are ‘There’, ‘Lively.com’ from Google, and the upcoming ‘Blue Mars’. Of these, ‘There’ has been stumbling along for years and only recently seems to have found its footing, and Blue Mars isn’t out of the oven yet (but as it lacks any kind of user created content, it’s going to be a very pretty shopping mall and chat room, and little else). Lively is a joke, as we’ve all seen – it takes half an hour to figure out how to walk,

    So yes, Linden Lab may have some problems in certain areas, but at the moment, they appear to be able to afford it. They’ve taken the initiative in making sure Woodbury and Tizzers Foxchase go down and stay down, and they’ve gone from fixing stupid obvious problems to closing some really obscure, difficult-to-exploit bugs that you can only take advantage of by hacking the packets during an open session.

    Now if they could fix the latency issues, eliminate unregulated financial institutions in SL, fix some rendering bugs that first year computer graphics programming students could fix, and put the same level of energy into keeping the trolls out of the game that Blizzard Entertainment puts into Worlds of Warcraft, they’d have most of their major issues solved.

  8. sickoftheBS

    Aug 21st, 2008

    Funny, LL feels free to keep a 10 year old account open after that 10 year old stole her mother’s paperwork to send it to obtain the account back. LL knowingly allows hardware banned users to circumvent the hardware ban and come back to the grid only to harass users (who own more than 10 regions) and it’s ok!!!! This has been going on for months, it’s time we cleaned the grid up. It’s time for accountability of LL and the users.

  9. Reality

    Aug 21st, 2008

    what it is ‘time’ for is the tripe from idiots like you to go away.

    Sick, you’re part of the problem, not the solution. You’re deluded into thinking that Linden Lab is somehow different than any other Service Provider out there in terms of accountability.

    They’re not. They can and will do as they please.

    Get. Over. It.

  10. FrizzleFry101

    Aug 21st, 2008

    Protip: JLU uses underage AR’s to get people they don’t have griefing/disclosure dirt on, and I do it after inspiration from Kalel Venkman because it’s hilarious.

    A long time ago (roughly half a year) I was slowing down with the griefing and using a legitimate account to build things, got agebanned by Kalel when it became apparent for him that there was nothing else to AR me for, supposedly he was planning on having Plexus Linden give him the age verification info if I rolled along with it, which is a federal crime. That set me straight and I’ve been griefing at full force ever since.

    Also to the idiots out there (Neo Citizen), SL is a video game, LL is a video game company, they’re not a bank, they’re not your hospital and they’re not your employer, it’s world of warcraft with play money you can buy. What would a normal person (not you) do when Blizzard asks for 3 forms of ID, ultility bills and their SSN? Banks, hospitals and employers have to answer to someone when they steal from you, LL doesn’t, it’s in their TOS.

    Targeting their game differently doesn’t make LL more than a video game company and thus more trustworthy with your personal information, especially when 2 members of the g-team are corrupted as hell and almost every furry has at least a friend of a friend of a linden.

    In fact LL is less than a video game company, its more of a virtual club of people doing favors for eachother, look at Plexus Linden getting caught red-handed trying to frame intlibber for stupid shit, and Meta Linden banning someone for their opinion on their own blog, Frontier Linden who used to ban everything in sight, leading to his demotions. JLU having landowners banned from the game for not allowing JLU in their sims. It’s all a circus.

    Game mods in, lets say, EVE did much less than this and still caused a shitstorm resulting in a the company hiring people to watch over the them all. Linden e-mafia games in SL cause people to lose theoretically real money (which is the trap, they make you buy their e-money so they can steal it away) and LL itself doesn’t care, money people lose from bans is money LL doesn’t have to pay back, and thus is bonus profit for the company.

    This is why I laugh at sl faggots who preach to me about stopping the griefing and playing legitimatly, because I can login to one of my alts and have them agebanned by AR or disclosure banned through a LL contact (yes, harry and plexus linden’s e-corruption goes both ways as long as they don’t know I made the call), they lose everything, and I laugh. Knowing what I know SL is nothing but a playground for trolls and Lindens to play with the thousands of gullible idiots paying thousands of dollars to rent fractions of servers.

  11. Rape-Ape

    Aug 21st, 2008

    @Neo Citizen

    “I don’t actually think Linden Lab has a lot of competition to worry about in their niche market (yes, SL is a niche). They’re not Worlds of Warcraft, they’re not Everquest, and apart from being an MMO, they have a different target audience.”

    Funny, because last I checked half the team behind EVE came from leaving LL, and EVE steals alot of LL customers. EVE being a SPACESHIP MMO, a game.

    So, this may sound crazy to someone like you (who is stupid), but if LL is competing with EVE, then maybe, maybe LL is a videogame and in fact not reality and thus is competing with other games like EVE, sims online, and 3d chat gimmicks like Lively.

    Maybe, just maybe, if you believe hard enough…

  12. lol

    Aug 21st, 2008


    “to Elwood, all I can say is this – Nice job twit. Don’t role play a kid in open chat. Take it from a former Role Player – people are idiots and WILL report you for whatever is within the context of your scene.

    Let this be a lesson.”

    Then what about all the babyfurs crawling around SL right now, with scripted piss/shit diapers? They must be AR’d every day but Lindens really seem to want to keep them close.

  13. Amanda Amaterasu

    Aug 21st, 2008

    And yet, the truly underaged users keep coming back and never get banned. Completely ridiculous.

  14. Reality

    Aug 21st, 2008

    Hmm, perhaps Lol because none of them actually were stupid enough to state an age in open chat?

    come back when your IQ is at least high enough for basic reasoning skills, hmm?

  15. Prokofy Neva

    Aug 21st, 2008

    Ageplay is against the TOS. By simulating a minor, that’s what caused Elwood’s account to be banned, not his actual age. He lightly steps over that issue.

    I’m not a fanboy, but then, I wouldn’t expect the Horrid Herald to understand the difference.

  16. Prokofool

    Aug 21st, 2008

    Prok, why would the g-team age-ban a legitimate ageplayer when members of the g-team are bouncers for ageplay sims on their alts?

  17. Reality

    Aug 21st, 2008

    Prokofy Dearie? sexual Age play is banned by Linden Lab. They have had no problem with other child role play.

    Get your facts straight before you post – oh wait! That’s too much work for you!

  18. Corsi Reality

    Aug 21st, 2008


    Corsi goddamn you’re bad at hiding yourself.

  19. Jeezzus

    Aug 21st, 2008


    I tried to read this $hit, I really did, but I couldnt.

    Now Frizz’s entry was most enlightening I will admit and pours massive TRUTH & WIN.

    But having said that…

    I got about 1/4 the way thru your piece IntLibber and thought to myself, this guy is either punished with an infirmity and therefore has the only real excuse for being a total self absorbed SL puke trap OR this guy is just a real, totally self absorbed SL puke trap. I often wonder if some of these Herald writers are aspiring journalists, or english majors in college. But I’ve come to this conclusion – no f’n way – they are just loser types with no basis for real-world interaction, motivation and intercourse for that matter. Go grab some summer y’all while it’s still making an appearance. SL is destined to go the way of the dot.cum bubble soon enough. “Anal”ysis of anything in that regard shows TRUE basement dwelling tendencies.

    Go out and “get some” reals before it’s all gone… Seriously

  20. Anonymous

    Aug 21st, 2008

    LL could keep its customers if they’d cut the immature special treatment for some and none for others, and started acting like a real company.

    This is why I dont take up griefing no matter how fucking full of shit LL is, it isnt worth it because they’re destroying themselves.

    They dont offer a stable business platform, infrastructure wise, or financially. The whole thing reeks of a scam and plays out like a scam.

    I have the feeling we’re not getting the whole story from elwood. But claiming he’s underaged and wanting to milk tons of info out of him is a load of shit too.

    They wonder why people have fears of LL selling all that information. No company has the right to force you to give them social security info. ever. two forms of ID and a picture of yourself should cover it. it isnt foolproof as a minor could get his parents’ shit when they’re asleep and get back on. But it’s a god damn game, not a government level security agency.

    Linden Labs will not be able to keep their customers. What will happen is, more and more lindens will become trigger happy and start abusing tons of residents at random, pulling these little loopholes. More and more of the “dedicated” residents will start learning how easy the system is to abuse, with little or no ramifications if they do, and start ARing everyone they dont like, including people who have had bad relationshops, friendhsips going south, and the good old fashioned drama mongers who constantly look for things to get offended at or personally hurt over so they can stir up shit. Eventually all this childish bullshit will cause so much damage, Linden Labs will not be able to rebound from it as their reputation will be completely and utterly shot.

    Why do I say that like it’s in the future? It’s already about here, not every resident knows they can get people banned from SL permanently at the drop of a hat just yet.

  21. Alyx Stoklitsky

    Aug 21st, 2008

    “Ageplay is against the TOS.”

    Only if sex is involved, Prok.

    Think before you post next time.

  22. Forelle Broek

    Aug 21st, 2008

    Doh! Reality is of course correct that collection of SS numbers is common in various settings. What my comment should have said is that LL’s demand for a SS card or number could be a violation of *California* law (specifically I had in mind Section 1798.85; some other states have similar laws protecting SS number privacy). Maybe I was sleep deprived when I wrote the initial comment.

  23. Prokofy Neva

    Aug 23rd, 2008

    Reality dearie pie? We’re not getting the full story here. Why is this “grandpa” pretending to be a 16 1/2 year old boy or less on these sims? What indeed is up with this?

    This is how LL keeps their customers: making sure that grandpas don’t do stuff like this because it’s suspect. I don’t notice Elwood supplying a full and frank explanation about all this was about.

    And Reality dearest? The full proof that your name does not describe you is that you are here, day after day, posting in the Herald comments. So, get a life. No, don’t bother, you’re a menace.

  24. AnonyhouseAfro

    Aug 23rd, 2008

    This happens a lot honestly. And it’s the fact that Linden Labs got so much in shit with the law when they didn’t have anything to keep kids from joining, that they’re spurting shit everywhere out of every hole on their body. That’s how scared they are. They also don’t know what the fuck they’re doing, you could AR someone several times for “Intolerance” or the like, and the issue would be overlooked entirely. They instant ban AGE ARs, without even paying any attention. The lindens who do the banning, are simply dumb as fuck because if they keep doing this, they’re going to fuck themselves in their shit-covered asses when someone decides to go, “You know what? I invested thousands of dollars in this game. And I got banned. What’re they trying to run here?” and get sued out the ass for it. They have mediocre admins, and retarded workers handling the banning. There isn’t any processing of anything. You’re assumed guilty right from the start if you get AR’d for age, so it doesn’t matter. The only way it’ll change is if someone sues them for LL making false accusations and making that person lose thousands of dollars. Seriously, it could be called upon as Linden Labs is becoming a fraudulent company.
    Yours truly,

  25. Reality

    Aug 23rd, 2008

    Prok Dearie? I post here to slap twits like you in the face with the sort of things you lack.

    See – your kind assumes way too much and attempts to press your morals on a Fantasy World. Your kind even goes so far as to claim that what one does in such a world must somehow reflect on what they do in the real world.

    Guess what Dearie? That’s a load of horse shit.

    for a real Role Player – there is nothing more going on than simply playing a role. If there is more going on – it is none of our concern as the play is between two consenting Adults. End. Of> Story.

    The menace here Dearie is you and your moral activist kind attempting to put a label on and control anything and everything.

    Kindly get your head out of your ass and see the real world Dearie – You do NOT ‘live’ in Second Life – you make a living FROM it. Your Avatar is NOT real and has only the feelings YOU give it.

    Next you’re going to try and say that a digitized image has a soul.

  26. FrizzDryer

    Aug 23rd, 2008

    “Protip” FrizzleFry:

    You had already been banned from SL. If anyone knew a new account was yours, they wouldn’t have needed to accuse you of being underage. You would have been banned again for alt abuse. Yes, you were breaking the SL TOS just by showing your face on the grid again, so any “slowing down” you might have claimed is completely irrelevant.

  27. FrizzleFry101

    Aug 24th, 2008


    And then the cycle goes on as always.

  28. Lord George A. Zimmer IV, High Inquisitor for his Majesty God Emperor Frizzle of Fry CI

    Aug 24th, 2008

    When one n­igra falls, twenty rise to take his place.

    That is the cycle of the Afro.

  29. jellomonster

    Aug 25th, 2008

    Prok Dearie…

    Shut your Ayn Rand worshiping yap. It’s NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS what he was doing role-playing a 16 1/2 year old.

    Heaven forbid that a retiree wants to run around like a kid again.

    You seem to have picked up on the capitalist part of your goddess Rand, but you seem to have totally glossed over the freedom part. If it doesn’t affect you, kindly shut the fuck up.

    You’re a fascist. Do as Prok says, or face the consequences!

    Go feed your cats.

  30. FrizzleFry101

    Aug 25th, 2008

    Go look over the babyfurs at cub conclave and kit estates, this Elwood guy will look pretty good in comparison. Everything from scripted piss/shit diapers to macro babyfur fetish to babyfur bondage gear to BDSM cage cribs, you name it.

  31. Catherine Cotton

    Sep 3rd, 2008

    “If LL is really asking residents for copies of their social security cards, or for their social security numbers, that is a violation of federal law.”

    sniff sniff “Lawsuit”

  32. Jkay

    Nov 12th, 2008

    I know where he is talking about. I age verified my account and then out of nowhere i got banned. So i checked my mail and saw the asked for me to verify my age. So i send a copy of my passpoort and utility bill and got unbanned. Then three days later i got banned again. They asked for the same info. so again i send the stuff then a nother 3 days later it happends again. This time they asked me to profide a nother form of verification. So i profided a copy of my driverlicence and i get a email back saying the wont unban my account and they wont talk about it anymore either. Now some linden called Harry Linden closes and locks all tickets i send. Goodjob LL

  33. Alyx Stoklitsky

    Nov 12th, 2008

    So, Frizzle – don’t take this the wrong way, but exactly how much time to you spend over there looking at babyfur diapers anyway? You seem pretty fixated on babyfur diapers. And furries, and all that goes with it. It’s almost as if ..

    No, that’s unthinkable.

  34. mootykips

    Nov 13th, 2008


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