Saturday, March 28, 2009

outside, and they lead us out quietly

The corporate language they're choosing to use is anything but clear for the casual bystander; but the Lindens are now working towards working towards development of adult continent rules.

Here's some of the highlights from that link:

Q: What laws are going to be applied/quoted to support what is considered Adult Content? It is a very thin line you guys are trying to walk. It would have to be challengeable and be supported.. cant be simply an Opinion surely?
A: Sexually explicit likely the largest piece - not talking about private, talking about what is publicly advertised to public; another category intensely violent activity, not simple shooting more like beheadings and torture; third category actual photographs nudity, pornography
Will need to allow for exceptions for artistic display, educational components, health; some definitions in place being honed with input included

So they're still working on defining, albeit fuzzily, what "adult" versus "extreme content" is, but this is a fairly solid step--they're not going to evict everyone who has a sex bed, unless we move it out to public spaces and advertise what's going on. Private interactions should remain unpoliced. Emphasis on should.

Q: Nude beaches?
A: Simple nudity alone hard to regulate

They're admitting they're going to have problems in this area. Considering that not a large portion of the grid chooses to walk around nude in public--I hate to be harsh, but that's not my main concern. SL nudists only allowed to be nude in their own private spaces, I personally am fine with that, and don't necessarily see a problem with an edict not to shop nude. (While of course understanding that people will do what they want anyway, just to push the limits, if nothing else.)

Q: What about pictures of naked skins?
A: Tough area to get right; search filters may apply here; e.g., genital words go to adult category; still thinking it through

So art gallery displays, skin shops, makers of prim bits, and the like may need to follow this development closely; so far, it sounds like they're in the clear (at least the galleries and skin makers), but will have to be clear about what and how they offer access to nudity.

Q: If someone uses words like Essex (valid UK location), or watch our play Dick Whittington, they could be parsed into Adult Content?
A: Probably not; lean toward conservative side

This one, I admit, is a problem for me, if only because I know how many problems occur with students in the world beyond who need to turn in health class reports and a) find things they absolutely shouldn't have to deal with, or b) find access to everything concerning the term "breast", say, for breast cancer, blocked and filtered out by their school's auto-blocking software. Both ways have implementation difficulties.

Just as a search for "breast cancer charities" in SL, you want to show up as some branch of the RFL, and not some balloon-sized prim breast shop with protruding prim pierced nipples; but watching the search terms for what is and is not "adult" is going to be three shades of headache right there.

Q: Is this a precursor to incorporating the Teen grid?
A: Nope

Finally something connected to the Lindens comes back with a quantifiable answer. So okay--unless there's been another breach of faith, sequestering "adult" activity has nothing to do with eventual reunification of the Adult and Teen grids.

Q: Multinational platform and opinions could result in a flood of complaints; you will have to tenfold your support team
A: It's true will get many reinterpretations; happened with gambling - still get reports about games that are not games of chance; similar misinterpretation on age play
Have a team who understand policies and only enforce where there is really a violation; will have to do same here; feel confident have learned how to do that and can do it

Maybe; I still say I can name ten places that use so-called "games of chance" that haven't been touched by the gambling ban. How'ver, that's neither here nor there; what they are saying is that yes, they do understand this will require a separate "Adult" police team, for lack of a better phrase, to go through each complaint case by case.

Q: Re: policing/policies - the parameters being used to decide what is adult content, if not legal based, could be construed as being nothing more than discrimination, which in itself is illegal
A: Adult definitions are around sexually explicit activity and intensely violent activity; those are not 'strictly legal' based definitions

And this is a private company anyway; though I and everyone else forget that, they have no responsibility to provide game access to everyone in a way consistent with the provisions of the various gender/disability/religion laws enacted in RL. That they are choosing to operate within these strictures should be lauded as a good deed.

Q: Will the adult region SIMs be in the same price category than mainland (195.00 USD) or because it is now an adult content SIM which would attrack certain traffic will the price be raised
A: No intent to price differently from Linden Lab; on open market another story

In other words, parcels rated "Adult" may well rise dramatically in price, or plummet to below current mainland levels. They're saying they have no control over resale, and won't even try.

[Q]: Is content separation [motivated] by feedback from corporate enterprises?
A: Fair question; corporations are a small component of the resident groups that want more control predictability; they span from organizations to businesses to lots of residents doing lots of different things

In other words, Dude, everyone complained, chill, we're not selling out. Whether they are or not remains to be seen, but that's at least what they want publically perceived.

Q: Would having a red light mainland make the public and press think worse of SL as 'being like Amsterdam', i.e., ignoring what else it has to offer other than adult content; would creating a specific area for this kind of thing have a negative impact on the [brand's] value
A: The same content in SL now will be in SL after AO; it may be perceived as a red light district yes; everyone knows platform has broad creativity; so no, that's not a concern

This one confused me, sheerly on the count of, Second Life has an Amsterdam sim, which is pretty much a red-light district already. So I had a moment of head-tilt there.

What they seem to be saying, though, at least on the surface, is Yes, we know, this is going to increase our rep as being nothing but the game where the perverts are; we don't care, though, because we're able to mention so many other things our residents do that the media will follow up on those aspects of the game.

Even though, by and large, most media outlets never have...

More later, when I sort through more of the forums stuph, including the new thread unification thread (as redundant as that sounds, and is).


Rhianon Jameson said...

I'm still more concerned about how they will implement age verification than about the exact parameters of what is considered "adult." If I have to go to the red-light district to find a new skin...*shrugs* it's not a big deal, unless I can't get age-verified in some reasonable - easy, low-cost, respectful of personal information - way. Just my two hundreths L$.

Emilly Orr said...

So far, they seem to be insisting on age verification or credit card/PayPal payment information verified; if they continue to accept both forms as valid proof of age, then we'll be fine.

It is a thorny issue, though--because no child (rated as below eighteen in America) can enter into a legally binding contract to provide payment for services rendered and goods received, thus even if they have credit cards issued in their names, their parents or legal guardians are listed as ultimately responsible for any generated debt.

It should be enough that the Lindens are instituting payment verification along with--and in some cases mentioned as replacement for--formal age verification. But it remains to be seen how the decisions will ultimately play out, considering the kid-with-card scenarios discussed on the forums.