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Maturity Changes in the Marketplace

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Brooke Linden

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Hi all,

As  many of you know, the teen grid was shut down on Friday. This week, we  will be rolling out some changes in Marketplace to ensure Residents  under 18 will not be exposed to adult content. Here is a quick summary  of what changes will be occurring.

Phase 1: 1/27 Release
On  Thursday, the Marketplace will move to the General, Moderate, and Adult  content levels already in use in the Viewer. Just prior to this release  (starting on Wednesday), we will be running a process that will add a  content level to existing items. Once the release has been completed,  you will be able to review the ratings set on your Marketplace listings  by viewing your inventory: there will be a new column “Maturity” showing  what level the item falls into. Search will now support viewing general  or moderate/adult content. Please view the updated listing guidelines (link points to the current guidelines) on Thursday for more details.

Note  that, in addition to automated process to migrate listings, it will  continue to be possible to flag listings. Please take some time after  the new guidelines are posted to review your listings and make sure they  comply. People will be able to start flagging listings based upon the  new guidelines on Thursday (though I do not expect that we will see much of this right away), so the sooner you can do this, the better!

Phase 2: by 2/28/2011
Before  the end of February, Marketplace will be updated to allow setting  maturity level preferences at a more granular level than is currently  supported, such as allowing Residents to view moderate content without  adult content included.

Why was this done in 2 steps? Timing, pure and simple. We  wanted to ensure we had the proper controls in place as soon as  possible for the teens entering the main grid. Phase 2 will provide  further refinement.

A quick update on Maturity is on the agenda for the Marketplace Office Hours on 1/26.

Regards,
Brooke

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TatianaDokuchic Varriale wrote:

It's been moved, which I find surpising considering it was started (and therefore categorized originally) by Brooke Linden.

And one would assume that Brooke knows what she is doing, but ...

The same Brooke who said  "Here's the text of the email. We sent it to all merchants who currently have an active listing."  yet many merchants have still not yet received it.

Or the same Brooke who said "This is just a quick reminder that this migration will be occurring starting tomorrow, 1/11/2011. We expect this migration to last several days and will update this post once it has completed." and still hasn't bothered updating nearly three weeks later.


Dakota Linden wrote two months ago in this very forum referring to posts being moved here:

As I also said, those posts will no longer be moved.

Seems like the moderator Linden forgot to read that.

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Dartagan Shepherd wrote:

 

TatianaDokuchic Varriale wrote:

Mickey Vandeverre wrote:

Can't find the keyword list that people were working on at all.  Would like to know where that went - was helping some people out there.

I think the keyword list discussion "Censorship Keyword List" has been removed.  I replied to it and it no longer shows in my Recent Activity.  Go figure.

 

Public parts of LL properties are considered General by default, including the forums. Discussions that themselves push the limit of General will most likely get put here, assuming more adult conversation is allowed in the Merchants Roundtable.

Something like the keywords list would most likely get deleted because it is in itself, not General by mentioning adult words and thus violates the rating to the forums themselves. I'd expect post content to at some point also come under the Maturity Ratings.

 

If that were the case, then there would be ZERO threads running in the General Discussion area 

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Mickey Vandeverre wrote:

If that were the case, then there would be ZERO threads running in the General Discussion area 

Heheh, true. Then again, this is all relatively new, and we're only seeing the results of one teams adaptation to teen integration. Would expect to see more consistency with Marketplace, in-world and general content across the board. Of course that may not happen either.

Either way personally, and drama and questions of ratings and content, morals, ethics and all that rot aside, from a business standpoint, the less liability the better for everyone.

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Dartagan Shepherd wrote:


Public parts of LL properties are considered General by default, including the forums. Discussions that themselves push the limit of General will most likely get put here, assuming more adult conversation is allowed in the Merchants Roundtable.

Something like the keywords list would most likely get deleted because it is in itself, not General by mentioning adult words and thus violates the rating to the forums themselves. I'd expect post content to at some point also come under the Maturity Ratings.

Yes, I can understand why the keyword discussion was deleted, although it really does highlight why an account verified forum would be useful, adult merchants and users could do with a place to discuss issues and not being able to raise these issues with LL via the forums is somewhat disappointing.

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TatianaDokuchic Varriale wrote:

Mickey Vandeverre wrote:

Can't find the keyword list that people were working on at all.  Would like to know where that went - was helping some people out there.

I think the keyword list discussion "Censorship Keyword List" has been removed.  I replied to it and it no longer shows in my Recent Activity.  Go figure.

As I said in that thread shortly before it got removed, It might be an idea for someone to start such a list on their own external blog if they have the time and inclination. Such a list is always going to get removed from here due to the content which is by very nature going to breech the PG / General content requirement of these forums.

Having said that, it would be handy if LL could somehow find a way to publish the list in a location that can only be accessed by age verified accounts or something. I guess its a bit of a Catch 22 for them - they probably don't want to publish it to give the cheaters a way to figure out how to still get their clearly adult content as PG by cleverly avoiding the keywords, but then again unless we know the keywords its hard for the sensible majority to use keywords correctly.

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And one would assume that Brooke knows what she is doing, but ...

The same Brooke who said  "Here's the text of the email. We sent it to all merchants who currently have an active listing."  yet many merchants have still not yet received it.


Or the same Brooke who said "This is just a quick reminder that this migration will be occurring starting tomorrow, 1/11/2011. We expect this migration to last several days and will update this post once it has completed." and still hasn't bothered updating nearly three weeks later.

 

Yup... I have active listings in SLM and in-world... I have not yet received this email.  I only heard about it because of all the discussions about it on the inworld Merchant Group and now the commerce forum threads.  So... as I have already known, LL Commerce group does NOT have a comprehensive list of who they send important Merchant email notifications to.  Some times I get an email.... some times I dont.

And yes.. the moving of this thread into a restrictive and and widely unknown secret MERCHANT ROUNDTABLE forum has been frustrating to many merchants and continues to be as this new LL Commerce Team is performing the same "discussion censorship" as all the previous administrations have.

"ohh ohhh - what we did was a bad thing and is causing a lot of egg to be thrown on our faces - lets now deem this conversation to be a merchant only discussion and hide it off the general forum".  Even though the thread was created by a Linden... it shows the real reason why threads are moved to this secret forum.

Remove the restriction of this group from the general commerce forum and allow ANY ONE THAT IS INTERESTED IN THESE DISCUSSIONS TO ENTER THIS FORUM.  Stop the restrictive censorship games LL.

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Ciaran Laval wrote:

Yes, I can understand why the keyword discussion was deleted, although  it really does highlight why an account verified forum would be useful,  adult merchants and users could do with a place to discuss issues and  not being able to raise these issues with LL via the forums is somewhat  disappointing.

 

Great point, whether some of the forums could be tied into adult accounts and/or Maturity Ratings.

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Suella Ember wrote:

Having said that, it would be handy if LL could somehow find a way to publish the list in a location that can only be accessed by age verified accounts or something.

I don't mind to receive it by email.

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Suella Ember wrote:


Having said that, it would be handy if LL could somehow find a way to publish the list in a location that can only be accessed by age verified accounts or something. I guess its a bit of a Catch 22 for them - they probably don't want to publish it to give the cheaters a way to figure out how to still get their clearly adult content as PG by cleverly avoiding the keywords, but then again unless we know the keywords its hard for the sensible majority to use keywords correctly.

 

Actually it is not a Catch 22, it is nothing but complete incompetence of the highest order. Some merchants have thousands of listings, many are perfectly innocuous items that appear to have been arbitrarily marked as adult, how many hundreds of hours will it take for them to trawl through listings grappling about in the dark?

At the very least the commerce team should be providing a list of words. Ideally the automatic flagging software should generate an automatic notification to the merchant indicating what words caused it to be flagged as mature or adult. This would have been a trivial task to add to the flagging software for any competent programmer, but .... the less said the better.

Once again the commerce team have exhibited their disregard for the merchants their customers, and callously continued on their path indifferent to just how much hardship they put the merchants through.

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CrashOV Uladstron wrote:

They moved it back.

INTRIGUE

No, not Intrigue ... Positive proof that Brooke is listening and responding in good faith.

Now for the BIGGER part of my thoughts.

First off, I was at the OH where Brooke formally announced the Maturity Ratings changes. At that time it did not dawn on me how the staggering of implementation (changes to listings first, changes to personal preference later) would affect sales. I daresay it did not dawn on ANY of the Merchants at the OH or surely someone would have raised it on the spot. But, near as I can tell, not a SOUL raised a single objection of that nature.

Yes, what's happened has had a serious impact on sales. But it's a side effect that WE did not see coming, and I'm betting neither did Brooke or the rest of the Commerce Team. But now that they HAVE seen it, I'd be willing to bet they are scrambling like mad to figure out how to undo the tempest in the quickest time frame possible.

Brooke is the Product Owner, she is NOT the programmer. There are people that work for her that do the coding. The list of naughty words has been around for a while, it was used by the In-World Search Team and apparently is still being used even though it's been shown to be very problematic. (As evidence, apparently the problems that WADE1 Jya ran into with LOLO Pets being banned because of LOLO is still around and is affecting listings that use LOL in the text.)

What is going on today is admittedly a massive blow to sales. No denying that. But I do not for one second believe this was done intentionally. And I damn sure don't believe they knew this was coming. If anything, this has been a big painful lesson to Brooke and team to pay special attention to unintended side-effects of sweeping changes. You can bet they won't forget this one for a long long time, and based on what I've heard from Brooke, I bet part of the reason the team won't forget is because she's gonna make SURE they remember.

LL will never divulge the naughty word list. If people knew the list, then they would craft their listings to use similar words, much like email spammers use funny characters and odd spellings to circumvent the spam filters. Furthermore, if anything gets learned by this fiasco, it will be that depending ON that list is a fools errand. Let's see how long it takes them to stop using it .. and start engineering more intelligent solutions.

As a programmer and long-time development lead, what I see has happened is the folks that were supposed to make a smart algorithm to simplify the process of assigning maturity ratings to every listing ... blew it .. big time. If I was Brooke, right now I'd be roasting a few chestnuts over an open fire .. in my office. I'd probably wind up having a few programmers sign a contract stating "I will not turn out code until it is FULLY tested again" .. in blood. And I DAMN sure wouldn't depend on SQA to tell me it was tested either.

So let's back up a bit .. let the folks in the Commerce Team have some time to figure out how to put out this fire .. and have some patience. Because as I said at the top of this post ... the mere fact that this thread got moved BACK here is proof .. they ARE listening and responding positively.

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Suella Ember wrote:

 

Having said that, it would be handy if LL could somehow find a way to publish the list in a location ...

The logical thing to do would be to send the list to the email address of all registered merchants, in addition to post it in the wiki.

It is not like 16 yos have never seen such words before if they stumbled over the wiki page...

 

Message was edited by: Gavin.Hird We cannot have a repeat of the situation we had when people had to move to Zindra, and would have to go through daily guesswork on what was acceptable in classified, event and land descriptions and whatnot.

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Gavin.Hird wrote:

Will these guidelines be detailed enough to also apply to goods sold in-world? I mean there is no point i locking them out of the marketplace if they can purchase the "forbidden fruits" in-world.

There's a marked difference between a sale taking place on SLM and a sale taking place inworld - SL is not a direct intermediary in the sale.  The same restrictions will apply - technically.  Will Lindens be actively policing the G mainland for adult products for sale?  No.

Further, will this keep a TG resident with a MG alt from buying a transferable adult product and transfering it to their TG account?  Nope - because inworld objects do not have any kind of rating flag.  Even if a content-rating flag could be added to objects/textures/snapshots by their creators, it would not cover anything made prior to that point by creators who are no longer on the grid.  Nor could it be protected against circumvention on copybotted items.

With no personal judgement made against Linden Lab, this is a "due diligence" action on their part to protect the company as much as possible.

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Gavin.Hird wrote:

The logical thing to do would be to send the list to the email address of all registered merchants, in addition to post it in the wiki.

It is not like 16 yos have never seen such words before if they stumbled over the wiki page...

Pardon my interruption here but .. can you imagine the outcry that would occur if only ONE email got sent to a minor? "Yup, good old Linden Lab. Sending email laced with rude, offensive and disgusting language .. to MINORS .. via email."

Can we say "Witch Hunt"? Maybe "Rioting Villagers with Torches and Pitchforks"?

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Suella Ember wrote:

 

TatianaDokuchic Varriale wrote:

Mickey Vandeverre wrote:

Can't find the keyword list that people were working on at all.  Would like to know where that went - was helping some people out there.

I think the keyword list discussion "Censorship Keyword List" has been removed.  I replied to it and it no longer shows in my Recent Activity.  Go figure.

As I said in that thread shortly before it got removed, It might be an idea for someone to start such a list on their own external blog if they have the time and inclination. Such a list is always going to get removed from here due to the content which is by very nature going to breech the PG / General content requirement of these forums.

Having said that, it would be handy if LL could somehow find a way to publish the list in a location that can only be accessed by age verified accounts or something. I guess its a bit of a Catch 22 for them - they probably don't want to publish it to give the cheaters a way to figure out how to still get their clearly adult content as PG by cleverly avoiding the keywords, but then again unless we know the keywords its hard for the sensible majority to use keywords correctly.

 

Suella....you've been to the general discussion area.  That list does not even come close to what rolls through the content there.  Not even close.

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Marx Dudek wrote:

 

Gavin.Hird wrote:

Will these guidelines be detailed enough to also apply to goods sold in-world? I mean there is no point i locking them out of the marketplace if they can purchase the "forbidden fruits" in-world.

There's a marked difference between a sale taking place on SLM and a sale taking place inworld - SL is not a direct intermediary in the sale.  The same restrictions will apply - technically.  Will Lindens be actively policing the G mainland for adult products for sale?  No.

Further, will this keep a TG resident with a MG alt from buying a transferable adult product and transfering it to their TG account?  Nope - because inworld objects do not have any kind of rating flag.  Even if a content-rating flag could be added to objects/textures/snapshots by their creators, it would not cover anything made prior to that point by creators who are no longer on the grid.  Nor could it be protected against circumvention on copybotted items.

With no personal judgement made against Linden Lab, this is a "due diligence" action on their part to protect the company as much as possible.

Yes, I understand that, but I am not sure that will hold any more now that they are going to the lengths of publishing profiles, groups and classifieds unfiltered on the net.

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I was under the assumption that there is a flag of some sort on TG accounts that places an underwear covering texture on any skin worn.  Is this incorrect?

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Darrius Gothly wrote:

 

Gavin.Hird wrote:

The logical thing to do would be to send the list to the email address of all registered merchants, in addition to post it in the wiki.

It is not like 16 yos have never seen such words before if they stumbled over the wiki page...

Pardon my interruption here but .. can you imagine the outcry that would occur if only ONE email got sent to a minor? "Yup, good old Linden Lab. Sending email laced with rude, offensive and disgusting language .. to MINORS .. via email."

Can we say "Witch Hunt"? Maybe "Rioting Villagers with Torches and Pitchforks"?

You can choose between that and mass exodus of merchants when this fully dawns on them.

As we have discussed in the 4Q economy blog thread:

"...if LL expects a monthly contribution of $470 from each of these few accounts (85k) to make their business model work, they must do everything they can to support OUR business model so we can make payments.  If not their business model will collapse faster than they can remake it into something else."

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Jesus Christ, when will you blo*dy lot stop messing about with all the settings and just leave things to settle down a little, if it's not one thing it's another and I am getting sick of it, I suppose we will now see a return to bad search, bad listing's, and loss of money again? it seems every time things start to improve a bit, you steam in and mess it all up again just for the hell of it, if you want to change things for the better, then lower the tiers and also make land charges by the 512 plot, not lumped in all together so just 1 mtr over the 'block' and you hit people with a full new charge of tier up to the next level, it's a rip off and you know it. Pis*ed yes I am.

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johnboy Snoodle wrote:

 

Jesus Christ, when will you blo*dy lot stop messing about with all the settings and just leave things to settle down a little, if it's not one thing it's another and I am getting sick of it, I suppose we will now see a return to bad search, bad listing's, and loss of money again? it seems every time things start to improve a bit, you steam in and mess it all up again just for the hell of it, if you want to change things for the better, then lower the tiers and also make land charges by the 512 plot, not lumped in all together so just 1 mtr over the 'block' and you hit people with a full new charge of tier up to the next level, it's a rip off and you know it. Pis*ed yes I am.

Agreed. We were just starting to settle down and recover from the botched marketplace transition. Now all of our stuff has been turned upside down.

This is why I stopped my eBay business. eBay got to a point where they were trying very hard to kill off small business owners.

It stopped being fun, and started being stressful.

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Gavin.Hird wrote:

You can choose between that and mass exodus of merchants when this fully dawns on them.

As we have discussed in the 4Q economy blog thread:

"...if LL expects a monthly contribution of $470 from each of these few accounts (85k) to make their business model work, they must do everything they can to support OUR business model so we can make payments.  If not their business model will collapse faster than they can remake it into something else."

I agree, the ramifications of using the outmoded and obviously error-ridden Naughty Word List is a foolish move. I have never liked products that use strictly a go/no-go blacklist method to censor or block content. (Anyone remember the Net-Nanny fiasco that blocked school kids from completing their assignments on Breast Cancer Awareness?)

Clearly the programming staff made yet another famous blunder. I won't defend that nor will I excuse it. But I do not believe it was done with bad intent on the new manager's part .. or on the programmer's part either. They clearly need to amp up their in-house expertise, employ some of the tried and true methods of accomplishing these sorts of tasks programmatically, and stop messing around with quick fixes that are known to fail horribly.

What I see VASTLY different this time around is ... we are actually seeing them back up and reverse direction .. and start working to fix mistakes. That alone is new behavior I have never witnessed before. (And if you ask anyone that was around during the Freebie Roadmap days, I'm not one to stop screaming until I see something get done.)

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Darrius Gothly wrote:

Gavin.Hird wrote:

The logical thing to do would be to send the list to the email address of all registered merchants, in addition to post it in the wiki.

It is not like 16 yos have never seen such words before if they stumbled over the wiki page...

Pardon my interruption here but .. can you imagine the outcry that would occur if only ONE email got sent to a minor? "Yup, good old Linden Lab. Sending email laced with rude, offensive and disgusting language .. to MINORS .. via email."

Can we say "Witch Hunt"? Maybe "Rioting Villagers with Torches and Pitchforks"?

I find myself agreeing wholeheartedly with Darrius ... which is novel!

If they send a list of rude words out by email you can guarantee someone would take offence a kick up a real fuss!

It just needs to be a page somewhere that has some sort of restricted access. Ideally tied into age verified accounts but, at the very least, a page on the Wiki with a warning and a requirement to confirm you are over 18 or something would suffice. That way no-one can claim offence if they were pre-warned.

LL do need to do something to sort this mess out though, or it's only going to cause us and them a ton of grief (yes, yes that me almost being critical. See how easy it is without blowing your top! )

Thankfully I only have a couple of items that seem to be stuck at 'adult' rating. I'll have a play with them tomorrow and see if I can find the offending words (I thought it was 'sexy' but removing that doesn't seem to have worked). Not gonna blow a gasket over it though (unless they have blocked the word 'cheese' - then it's all out war!)

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Mickey Vandeverre wrote:

Curious....does this affect any of your listings?

ROFLMAO!! Make up your mind Mickey .. which am I? Someone that speaks for others and doesn't have a voice because I never talk about how it affects me ... or someone that is solely focused on my own needs and world and couldn't give a damn about others?

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