A lot has been written in the blogs and forums about the new verification policy in Second Life. Some I agree with, and some not, of course.
I had planned to rant, but it’s been done already by others, so I won’t, for now. I still don’t trust it one bit though. Robin and Daniel met some residents yesterday to explain more, and guess what? Everyone started saying “Ooh, that’s alright then”, when they really didn’t tell us anything more than they already had. We now have confirmation that Integrity is the one owned by Aristotle, and Linden have told us, don’t worry, they’ll never share data, in fact, it’ll not even be recorded – though they will store it for two years in a vaulted database in case the US government wants a quick peek. So um, how do they do that if it’s not recorded? And um, if, as they said, they couldn’t unlock it if they wanted to, then how can they unlock it for the government?
It’s all stuff we’ve heard before from every company that wants to store your information. It’s usually lies. So if they store it, then where are the servers? Do they comply with the UK DPA, or similar legislation elsewhere?
So anyway, that’s Integrity for you. What about the grid. This is where it gets challenging, and it’s been asked by many. The current payment based verification is being removed, so all the allow access by payment status will be gone… Maybe good, maybe bad – I never agreed with it in the first place and have been banned because of it, even though I was verified myself, being paid-up. Well also now, since there are so many anonymous accounts here, it opens the door to more griefing, so, in order to defend themselves, more and more places who normally wouldn’t will declare their land to be Adult. There will be some hold-outs for sure, Caledon and Darkmere are two I know of, but for how long once they start getting griefed? The ban-list can only be so long after all. And once 99% of the grid is Adult, those of us who are left will have to verify or leave Second Life.
So ok, maybe that’s a little paranoid, maybe not. It’s unlikely to happen yet anyway. In the normal course of things, what makes a place Adult. Well, according to Linden Lab, it’s explicit sexual or violent content, but it will be the community who decides via the Abuse Report system. Of course, estate managers, being immune from abuse reports will decide as they like, at least to begin with. On the mainland though, hrm, there are some ultra-conservative types among us. What will get abuse reported as being adult content first? Will it be furries, or Gor, or the bdsm community, or the lgbt community or who? If you’re slightly off-message with your neighbours, you could be forced to declare your land as Adult. Nice!
There’s potential for more, but nobody knows yet how it will pan out. Opt-in verification by age, gender, location and so on in your first-life profile. You know how this works though, if and when it comes… It’s not optional at all, because not opting in gives an unverified status, and that means you’re lying about something… This will wait for another post, or posts, on another day.