Second Life Griefing

Griefing is an ongoing problem in Second Life™. I am seeing a new round of user complaints regarding griefing. Most of the recent complaints I’ve seen involve free sandboxes. The most recent notable example is VooDoo’s complaint that I mention in: #SL Adult Content Problems.

Bullies – Image by: Chesi – Fotos CC

About five days after my article posted a thread started on SLUniverse. See: LL looks like idiots when they can’t keep griefers out of thier own info hubs. The ‘colorful’ title pretty well says it all.

It is pointed out that Linden owned sandbox regions in the LEA Project are user moderated. Allowing users to moderate regions has possibilities. The use of user-moderators also has special problems. Darrius Gothy wrote a really good article on those problems back in 2011… (sounds like my grand dad). See: Griefing: User Sponsored Enforcement Groups.

To have much chance of successfully convincing the Lab to change their behavior I believe one has to be able to see issues from the Lab’s viewpoint. So, I highly recommend Darrius’ article. Few of us get to see the backside of user moderation.

For a company, moderation has to strike a balance between the need to keep customers and the need to eliminate problem makers. For a company to allow moderators that have no invested incentive to keep people in a game, their easy solution is kicking them out. The system falls into the typical path of least resistance: eject ‘em. Companies fear that too many good customers will be ejected and lost.

To a company, allowing its customers to moderate is just asking for problems.

I suspect many people will fail to recognize how clever griefers can be. It seldom takes them long to figure out the best griefing can be done with the God Tools of a moderator. Infiltration then becomes a goal and the company has to deal with new security issues and types of griefing.

Managing users that are moderators is a challenge. The drama that springs up between users and moderator-users is unending.

Proposals that address all the problems, or at least most of them, are the only ones I believe are likely to have any chance of influencing the Lab. To write such a proposal one must understand the many aspects of the problem.

If you think you have good solutions, speak up at SLUniverse.

9 thoughts on “Second Life Griefing

  1. Two of the sims where I have land recently experienced the worst griefing I have ever known in SL. Indeed, I did not even realise it was griefing until alerted by LL. What happened was that invisible prims were scattered over both sims causing scripts to slow down to almost zero. As a result, both sims were virtually unusable and it took the Governance Team several days to fix and clean both of them. The culprit was, as usual, a noob alt a day or two old.

    Personally, I would like to see some kind of restriction on what a noob avvie with no payment info on file can do, as at present it is far too easy for someone to use one to instantly grief anonymously.

  2. Should be a reputation system based in amount of votes. Some kind of “like or dislike” for people. Then each SIM owner should have the necessary tools to restric the SIM to certain % of likes/dislikes. This doesnt prevent of someone making a new avatar and grief of course. But I dont understand why reports seems to never work. I can understand that LL will not ban someone with few reports. But after some amount of reports and taking in account why are those, there are clearly an evidence that that person is making problmes in-world. A temporary ban or even paying lindens to “unlock” your avatar to move freely for all kind of SIM could by aplied too. There is nothing that hurt more than having to pay to unlock your possiblity to play (this can be also restricting mac adress).

    • Voting systems are another source of griefing. They tend to be abused by vigilante groups.

      It is hard to know what is going on with AR’s. The Lab won’t comment on them. They used to post stats on them.

      • Stop people being able to open anonymous accounts and straight away use them for griefing and you will immediately reduce the problem to a significant degree.

        • True. But, a major key to using SL is being able to have the anonymous accounts. Removing anonymity would decrease SL popularity and the number of people using SL. If you were around for the opening of Google+/Circles and the problems at Facebook, you should have an idea how large a problem that is.

          • I am not advocating that people should not be able to have anonymous accounts, simply that it should not be possible for them to use such an account immediately for griefing as easily as it as present.

            For example, if people without payment information on file and/or age verification had to wait a week before being able to venture into Mature and Adult regions, that would help to cut down griefing.

            • I expect it would have little if any affect on the rate of griefing. I suspect it would only take griefers a week, or two at most, to begin to queue up new accounts. Griefers adapt.

              I expect it would have more affect on player retention. New players will not see the reason for the frustrating limitations.

  3. I think the article you mentioned (Griefing: User Sponsored Enforcement Groups by Darrius Gothy) is very interesting but I disagree that there cant be happy mediums. If you had ONLY LL doing the ‘police work’…you’d have an understaffed situation (as you have now). An prganic system would allow residents to earn the ability to form such groups and work with LL to maintain a mature environment. I think Darrius is over-reacting and not providing an actual solution. As Ive mentioned the LEA Sandbox relies completely on a tiny body of residents to manage it. Ivory Tower is another similar example. I think the answer is related to transparency. Resident ‘Police groups’ could work great IF they were 100% transparent and accountable, working with LL in that regard.

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