Second Life: Beggar Bots

People are reporting more occurrences of Beggar Bots hitting their groups. BUG-40546Group Chat Spam Bots. People are asking if they should be reported. The ToS is fuzzy on the topic. In general begging is not a violation of the ToS. Spamming is. So, we see varied opinions on whether to report or not.

Whirly Trapping a Beggar Bot

Whirly Trapping a Beggar Bot

The apparent consensus among those in the know keeping up with such things is: REPORT ‘EM. The Lindens are working at closing and banning accounts of the spammers.

Group managers have the Eject and Ban tool. Some do not realize it has been upgraded. Originally it did not terminate the current chat session. So, E & B didn’t immediately shut them up. Now it does. (SVC-32

Whirly says you can play with the bots. Send them a TP. They will come and beg at your location. See the image. Whirly marked the avatar in its feed.

The bots use various phrases for begging. A couple of examples:

  • I am selling my nude pics, 21 pics of me per 1000L only. Interested call me on IM that I will send FREE SAMPLE!
  • Can someone lend me 100L? Please help me complete 1250L for pay my rent, I promise pay back tomorrow.

There are various ideas for how to make this type of group begging more difficult.

BUG-17353Limit group joins per account per day.

BUG-11871Make it easy to report spam and phishing attempts from the Group Chat and IM window.

Quoting Soft Linden:

I speculate that people don’t like spam and fraudy phishing attempts, and are only bad about reporting because the abuse report interface is cumbersome enough that everyone would rather wait for someone else to make the effort.

One account I looked at had sent spam to over a thousand groups, but got zero abuse reports despite a lot of complaining in the group it hit while I was there.

Proposal: Make reporting easier by adding a “report spam” option to the avatar name context menu in chat windows. Ideally, it would pre-fill the Abuse Report description with the text for the current line, the account being reported, and would select the appropriate abuse report type.

Soft Linden’s thoughts appear to show the position the Lindens have regarding beggar spam in group chat. They want it reported so they can block it.

One of the big problems is the spammers make a new account, or several, every day.

3 thoughts on “Second Life: Beggar Bots

  1. There is a very simple solution in other games in the meantime. All you do is click on the name and select “Report” If a certain number of other residents reports the spammer, that account gets a chat ban for a few hours.
    When they start to spam again after the ban ran out, same happens and the ban time gets doubled. And when a certain ban level has been reached a gamemaster or official looks into the case or they get a permanent ban.
    Of course one has to make sure that that tool is not used to harrass someone, so it should be a high number of reports and not only one group, but several parallel, or many IM chats, but that shouldn’t be too difficult to implement and it would save LL a huge number of ARs.

    • SL uses the basic ideas you present. Running them on automatic has proven a problem in SL, so AFAIK they don’t. We have gangs in SL and they unit to abuse those systems. So, nothing is easy.

  2. I always report such beggars/spammers whenever they hit one of the groups I’m a member of, but Soft Linden is totally right on the account that the abuse report feature is way too cumbersome and makes you loose a lot of time to just report a darn bot !

    Also, the AR is totally adequate for such offenses, since those bots use stolen accounts (i.e., in excess of spamming the groups with phishing spam, the users of those bots also stole accounts from legit SLers, which is much worse an offense to the TOS !).

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