Friday, July 29, 2011

LL Adds More Griefer Tools.

by Cummere mayo

I'm not sure if I have written yet about the major griefing tool that LL has allowed jira to become. Basically as long as you cozy up to certain lindens you are allowed to use Jira to threaten, harass, degrade, and flat out terrorize your fellow SL community members. And if those same lindens do not like you, your account gets blocked from logging in. Which means certain devious individuals (I could name allot of these users) who are muted in world, blocked on the forums, etc, can sit there and reply to any jira you created or had on your watch list, and you cannot block that feed, or close/unwatch, the jira(s) that person is using.
The harassment of this form I've personally witnessed has ranged from simply being told over and over that your opinions are worthless, (ie: "I do indeed know what I am talking about. Kindly stop speaking as if you know one whit concerning privacy: You do not.") and that you're stupid, to outright threats of violence (ie: "Bitch I'm going to kick your ass."). All of these despite being abuse reported and even sent directly to Alexa Linden have been allowed to stay up. is a perfect example of this. In it a known SL harasser has constantly been posting there in nasty tones to other users, most of which have blocked him in world. When asked to stop he has threatened everything from Abuse reports to ass kickings to worse to those asking him to please stop.
I won't in this post go over all the KB's pointing out that this harasser is the one that doesn't know what he is talking about in this article. That is beside the point. The point is, that the Jira has become a tool that can be used to terrorize those that have had their access to Jira locked out and often those lockouts have been simply because people close to Alexa have been proven to be wrong or worse wrong and greifers.

If the Jira being remade into a griefer tool wasn't bad enough, now LL has added a new griefer toy: Facebook like feeds, but without even the few protections offered by that datamining site.
On Facebook, you can block anyone, no matter whose feed it is from being able to see your feeds, as well as hide their responses so you don't have to see them. I have not found any way to do that in the new feeds on SL. At best, and this is secondhand info because i have not had anyone post on my feed to test this theory, if someone posts to your feed, you can block them from doing so again.
However, they can still post on other feeds. In the less than three days since this feature has gone live, people are already using the feeds of "friends" of their victims to post harassing messages ranging from just mildly annoying taunts, to very sexually or violently explicit threats.
One of the most disturbing was posted by an exhusband to a woman who not only has him muted inworld but has a restraining order on him using one of her SL friends feeds he had seen she had posted to. His message was along the lines of basically told her he would find her, her kids, and her sister and rape and kill them.
As usual, LL doesn't even have a way to abuse report this kind of crap or to block it. Attempts to abuse report it inworld, if they even get a response are told to file a ticket or to use tools on the site. Tickets are responded to with "file an abuse report." There are no tools I can find on the site to report it. (Honestly I think certain members of the web team are actively trying to facilitate this stuff but that's just personal belief based on the poor design.)
Furthermore, even with the 2.8 viewer downloaded and installed, I cannot find a way to turn off notifications that you are getting responses on feeds, so even if you do not actually check the feed, a person or group can simply keep posting to one or more feeds you have so your screen constantly has their name(s) on your screen interfering with your ability to use Second Life.

Some Lindens claim that user feedback of these new features have been positive, but a few honest ones admit that the majority of feedback has been very negative. Ignoring the twitter feed and just going off profile feeds here are some great comments I have seen:

"Yay! SL came up with a brand new way for griefers to attack!! Griefing isn't for just in world anymore :S *sigh* SERIOUSLY???"

"OMG, not *another* social network.."

"How the FUCK do I turn this garbage OFF?"

"well another Facebook clone I am going to ignor"

"What in the hell is this?"
(and the classic reply:) It's SL trying to be Facebook. Because I need a graphics hog to play Farmville.

"This is my stupid feed." (The irony of this one is classic, but I cannot say why.)

"This kind of crap is exactly why I left Facebook."

and one of the most telling of all:

"These dumb feeds weren't my idea!"

"Yet one more way Linden Lab ruins SL."

NOT including Lindens I've seen exactly TWO comments in support of feeds:

"Hello, my people. I like the new web profiles." (This was posted after a joke about running away if they received farmville invites.)

"I like the feed. (And I don't even have a Facebook account!) Though, I'd prefer if the 'About' tab was the default tab for the profile, rather than the 'Feed' one. The main purpose of profiles is telling you who someone is. What they have to say usually can already be seen in local or group chat."

Even an LL exec admitted that the majority of SL users didn't like the feeds, and that LL ignored the pleas not to add them because they hoped people would be attracted into SL if it became more like Facebook. The same exec admitted they had already seen it used as a greifer tool and that it likely would continue to be because LL didn't know how to fix that.

Now, why doesn't that surprise me?

1 comment:

Hitomi Tiponi said...

Even on SLU (usually more negative than LL's forums) most comments about the new web profiles have been positive, although there are differing views. Also there are clear areas for improvement - and personally I have just turned off the feed until the controls become more granular.

In the first few hours LL reacted to user opinion and allowed a setting so that nobody except you could post to your feed, and one to make 'About' the first page you'd see when accessing the web profile.