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MissManaged

A walk in the dark

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I walk with purpose through the community in which I reside, striding the mostly well maintained walkways, paying little attention to neither the perfectly manicured lawns to my right or to the sprawling beachfront to my left.  I round a corner and meet the pitch blackness head on.  I slowly work my way along the outside edge of the community and find myself inching my way though the inky blackness of the poorly lit alley, creeping along the backs of pristine houses, some with tall hedges or fences to block an outsider’s view.  I become more alert now, aware of the jumble of voices that echo through the alley. 

Here there are no street lamps and the alley is poorly maintained. I must be cautious as I step over great fractures in the pavement and attempt to sidestep unruly weeds overgrowth that has overtaken most of the alley.  Every now and again, I see one of the local city workers slip silently in and out of the darkness, but he never sees me.  He just carries on with his own agenda unaware of my mission, or that of the residents who gather in their backyards near the alley in the unpromising darkness. 

I dodge clothes lines of dirty laundry waving gently in the breeze, before noticing the overturned dumpster.  I gaze at it in eager expectation wondering what treasures of information I can glean from it.  I begin sifting through the old junk mail and coffee grinds, the empty fast food containers, and discarded milk cartons to get to the nitty-gritty.  I have entered the dumpster of Linden Lab, the unkempt alley, the no man’s land.  It is a place known to its residents as my.secondlife.com. 

I’m sure that Linden Lab thought it was a spectacular idea in the beginning.  Many of their residents agreed.  It was a platform created to continue the social aspect of the online experience of Second Life without being tied down to a downloaded program.  People who could not normally or would not normally communicate with someone outside of the online grid could not continue the party without logging in. 

I’ve silently observed for some time, and what I’ve witnessed is the stuff of high drama.  Action, adventure, romance, laughter, tears, this place has it all!  I must warn you however, it is not for the faint of heart!  Oh no, don’t enter this dark alley unless you are armed and have your wits about you, for this place is truly a no man’s land, a last frontier only without the promising aspect of an incoming sheriff.  There is no law in these parts young man!   

The staff of Linden Lab seems to tread rather lightly, side stepping the colorful displays of dimwitted humor that delivers as insults, harassment, and just plain bad behavior.  People are virtually attacked and then respond.  Others weigh in with almost sportscaster like commentary, while some prefer to judge and others just stir up the stew of animosity that keeps this alley unwelcoming to many.    

What I have observed is a faction of individuals who feel they have the upper hand in the intelligence department.  They are portrayed as evil villains who sulk in the darkest corners of the alley rubbing their hands together ominously, riding high on their portentousness, and feeling invincible.  You can almost hear the maniacal laughter, but it isn’t really a funny type of thing.  Many I know are hesitant to enter the alley, some are turned off by the stereotypical social media feel of it, and others are put off by the villains who lurk, despite knowing they are really mostly harmless and boring old men most likely with nagging wives and too much time on their hands.  I have seen though, that their hesitation is well founded.

I find myself pondering the Terms of Service for Second Life, and wondering about the selective enforcement of them.  Sure, Linden Lab has stated they will not involve themselves with resident disputes, but I have to wonder, at what point exactly, does it evolve from a resident dispute and become harassment and then according to the Terms of Service, an actionable offense?  Is it the point when seemingly mild mannered residents spout off in foul rages in retaliation to some highly offensive comment or persistant dogging of that individual?  When the self appointed kings of the “feed” chase other residents around forcing them to close their page to all but friends? Maybe when they begin to show visible animosity against gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, creed, or nationality?  Perhaps it is when those have been dogged to the point of closing their premium accounts?  Or maybe it is when they board up their pristine houses and move out for good. 

When I purchased my home many years back in the physical world, I paid especially close attention to the condition of the alley behind it.  Linden Lab would do well to take a closer look at their alley and the ever growing sewage spill that may well end up lowering the property value.  I hope that Linden Lab decides to clean up the alley, it's beginning to stink.

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Took me a bit to see where you're going but I believe I understand. You're talking about The Feed. While I share your wish that a Community Standards oversight existed there, I don't think it's as critical a situation as you do, for the simple reason that avoiding it avoids all the drama that goes with it.

My friends in SL who don't use the Feed (that is to say probably more than half) care nothing for what happens there and really there's no reason why they should. I usually visit (USUALLY, not always) only my own home feed and since my feed is Friends Only I can skip most of the BS if I so desire. Thus I don't really think it will drive current residents away.

That being said, I cannot imagine that it does not drive prospective residents away. A couple of days spent browsing through the posts on offer would be enough to convince a new visitor that this is a group of whackos he'd want nothing to do with. And really that's a shame. That is why I said there should be Community Standards oversight. Don't know how it would work but there has to be something better than this. Even Yahoo Sports has someone who can make the 'post deleted: inflammatory content' or some such message pop up.

 

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Dillon Levenque wrote:

Took me a bit to see where you're going but I believe I understand. You're talking about The Feed. While I share your wish that a Community Standards oversight existed there, I don't think it's as critical a situation as you do, for the simple reason that avoiding it avoids all the drama that goes with it.

My friends in SL who don't use the Feed (that is to say probably more than half) care nothing for what happens there and really there's no reason why they should. I usually visit (USUALLY, not always) only my own home feed and since my feed is Friends Only I can skip most of the BS if I so desire. Thus I don't really think it will drive current residents away.

That being said, I cannot imagine that it does not drive prospective residents away. A couple of days spent browsing through the posts on offer would be enough to convince a new visitor that this is a group of whackos he'd want nothing to do with. And really that's a shame. That is why I said there should be Community Standards oversight. Don't know how it would work but there has to be something better than this. Even Yahoo Sports has someone who can make the 'post deleted: inflammatory content' or some such message pop up.

 

Hello Dillon,

As you saw in my post, I referred to the Feed as the back alley.  It is not the prime factor of Second Life, but it is an element that should not be ignored.  I feel it could be a wonderful tool; however it is flawed in the lack of maintenance.  I appreciate the idea of not having someone lurking over your shoulder with their finger on the big red button at all times, but it seems that some are taking advantage of the fact that no one is looking. 

Certainly, you could avoid it, and thus not have to subject yourself to the drama, but it’s a bit like allowing the convicts to run the prison, as my grandmother used to say.  :)

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The my.sl feed is an anarchy. Anything goes, even the things Linden Lab used to jump at when AR'ed in-world. I've had my private info revealed, and repeatedly so; I've been slandered in the worst possible ways, I've been threatened. And nothing will be done about it - in fact the trolls post with confidence that they "rule the feeds" and that is a literal quote from one of them. My.secondlife could be a fantastic tool, connecting people who are in different timezones and allowing them to share their adventures, and for the most part it is. Until you walk into the wrong alley and you find yourself hounded, sometimes for years, by some idiot who uses everything you say against you and on top of that blames you for talking about it. And it has no functional blocking tool, so not only is there no moderation, there is also no possiblity for you to liberate yourself from the trolls.

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Laetizia Coronet wrote:

The my.sl feed is an anarchy. Anything goes, even the things Linden Lab used to jump at when AR'ed in-world. I've had my private info revealed, and repeatedly so; I've been slandered in the worst possible ways, I've been threatened. And nothing will be done about it - in fact the trolls post with confidence that they "rule the feeds" and that is a literal quote from one of them. My.secondlife could be a fantastic tool, connecting people who are in different timezones and allowing them to share their adventures, and for the most part it is. Until you walk into the wrong alley and you find yourself hounded, sometimes for years, by some idiot who uses everything you say against you and on top of that blames you for talking about it. And it has no functional blocking tool, so not only is there no moderation, there is also no possiblity for you to liberate yourself from the trolls.

Hello Laetizia,

 

Thank you for sharing your story.  Indeed you are one who I’ve seen take a hard hit from the “rulers”.  I think the word troll gives them too much credit.  While trolls are portrayed as stupid, they have power in their strength, and I do not see that in this case.  I’ve seen you in the past as a prolific sharer of information, tips, photos, etc.  I hope that Linden Lab will at some point feel the need to step up and clean up their mess and ensure that people such as you can continue to enjoy sharing their creative and productive side with others. 

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I have yet to wander into that dark alley, but I shall heed your admonitions.

 

 

Mostly, I just wanted to say that post is a marvelous piece of prose.

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Maybe these inhabitants of the feeds are not quite up your alley, but what else to expect while on that short road into Arkham Asylum with more than one Joker ?

 

madhouse.jpg

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What a fun thread.  And what a great audience.  I think the feeds are great; a wonderful way to communicate opinion, in-world pics, factoids, humor, sl adventure, drama, satire to name a few.  All of this comes with a scrollbar, too.

Enjoy. 

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Keriwena wrote:

I have yet to wander into that dark alley, but I shall heed your admonitions.

 

 

Mostly, I just wanted to say that post is a marvelous piece of prose.

Hello Keriwena,

Thank you for your compliments.  :)  It was my hope to draw attention to a problem within the community.  I certainly would not want anyone to feel that they must avoid the my.secondlife.com website because of a few problem individuals.  There is much to be share, and a lot of very creative people have done so.  It would simply be a much nicer place if more people planted flowers and less spread fertilizer.

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TDD123 wrote:

Maybe these inhabitants of the feeds are not quite up
your
alley, but what else to expect while on that short road into Arkham Asylum with more than one Joker ?

 

madhouse.jpg


Hello TDD123

Indeed, and the Jokers seem aplenty! 

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Storm Clarence wrote:

What a fun thread.  And what a great audience.  I think the feeds are great; a wonderful way to communicate opinion, in-world pics, factoids, humor, sl adventure, drama, satire to name a few.  All of this comes with a scrollbar, too.

Enjoy. 

Hello Storm,

I'm pleased you are enjoying the thread.  You are correct that the feeds are a wonderful way to communicate opinion.  The problem is when opinion is transformed into harassment and belligerence.   Most people who like to perpetuate drama would prefer willing partners to participate.  Who really wants to dance with someone unwilling?

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MissManaged wrote:

Hello Storm,

I'm pleased you are enjoying the thread.  You are correct that the feeds are a wonderful way to communicate opinion.  The problem is when opinion is transformed into harassment and belligerence.   Most people who like to perpetuate drama would prefer willing partners to participate.  Who really wants to dance with someone unwilling?

HI MissManaged :)

Thank you for such a warm greeting, it was unexpected; however, welcomed.

Opinions are funny thing, and so is perception.   You see, what my problem is, and for my entire life, I was the 'whom' with all the girls (and some men) wanted to dance.  So they always asked.  Maybe it's my look; perhaps my disposition; certainly NOT for my dancing abilities.  However, each and every time, I walked my partner across the room--to the middle of the dance floor so they could scored their 'trophy' dance.  So I danced.  And I dance, and I dance.  I don't complain when my partner steps on my toes; she (and some men) should not complain when I keep dancing because she (and some men) don't know how to do the SL Two Step.   So I dance.  And I dance.

The feeds are fun, somewhat boring at times, but fun nonetheless.  

 

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Storm Clarence wrote:


MissManaged wrote:

Hello Storm,

I'm pleased you are enjoying the thread.  You are correct that the feeds are a wonderful way to communicate opinion.  The problem is when opinion is transformed into harassment and belligerence.   Most people who like to perpetuate drama would prefer willing partners to participate.  Who really wants to dance with someone unwilling?

HI MissManaged
:)

Thank you for such a warm greeting, it was unexpected; however, welcomed.

Opinions are funny thing, and so is perception.   You see, what my problem is, and for my entire life, I was the 'whom' with all the girls (and some men) wanted to dance.  So they always asked.  Maybe it's my look; perhaps my disposition; certainly NOT for my dancing abilities.  However, each and every time, I walked my partner across the room--to the middle of the dance floor so they could scored their 'trophy' dance.  So I danced.  And I dance, and I dance.  I don't complain when my partner steps on my toes; she (and some men) should not complain when I keep dancing because she (and some men) don't know how to do the SL Two Step.   So I dance.  And I dance.

The feeds are fun, somewhat boring at times, but fun nonetheless.  

 

Hello again Storm,

Congratulations on your status as the dancing man, perhaps your dancing skills improved with each dance, in which case it was worth the effort and sore toes.  Yet even in your own scenario, all partners wanted to dance.  Many here seem happier to stand on the side line, or possibly dance to another band, why try to force them into a dance?  Though pondering this statement above, it appears it is a game of sort, as I stated before, a way to fill in the boring spots of time.  I would much prefer a dance partner who steps on my toes over one who dances me through the sewer.  Wouldn't you agree?

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I don't use my feeds, but I do follow allot of the more "colourful" feeds and I must admit I find it very entertaining. It's like watching a bad soap opera where the majority of the "main characters" are played by adults with the mentality of children. You see the cliques and groups form and they bully each other or individuals, then they return to the comfort of their groups to pat themselves on the back and to mock their victims, all the while it is them who are being mocked by the rest of us viewers who are watching the show.

 

I guess I should feel sorry for the people who are harassed and victimised, but at the end of the day I don't know these people personally and they are not being forced to use their feeds. They are choosing to expose themselves to an un-moderated environment inhabited by losers who have nothing better to do than create drama to enhance their otherwise dull existences. I for one hope LL allows it to continue as it's good entertainment and helps pass a slow work day. 

 

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MissManaged wrote:

Hello again Storm,

 ... I would much prefer a dance partner who steps on my toes over one who dances me through the sewer.  Wouldn't you agree?


Hi again MissManaged :)

No, I do not agree. 

Who else would you expect to find in the darkest, dirtiest of back alleys (and sewers) that you analogized in your OP? Prince Charming?  Do you expect a matron in the washroom, too?  Don't go to the sewer and then you won't be dancing in a sewer.    

 

 

Like I wrote, perception is everything.  

 

ETA a hi.

 

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Does not good dancing result from both people dancing to the same music? If that's not the case then the result is only mayhem, I would think.

Are we discussing the act of the dance or the environment?

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There was posted in another thread that "PS In a public forum where someone writes their 'business' -- it then becomes public business; it does not belong to just them anymore."

Everything has checks and balances, the above mentality would not last in RL (liable is legal action), it would not last her in SLF because the mods would apply the ToS to correct it and the poster, but it does happen in the feeds because no rules apply.

I wonder that if I was inflected with say diabetes would the same person be willing to share with me?

Knowing something does not give license to ridicule, does it.

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Porky Gorky wrote:

I don't use my feeds, but I do follow allot of the more "colourful" feeds and I must admit I find it very entertaining. It's like watching a bad soap opera where the majority of the "main characters" are played by adults with the mentality of children. You see the cliques and groups form and they bully each other or individuals, then they return to the comfort of their groups to pat themselves on the back and to mock their victims, all the while it is them who are being mocked by the rest of us viewers who are watching the show.

 

I guess I should feel sorry for the people who are harassed and victimised, but at the end of the day I don't know these people personally and they are not being forced to use their feeds. They are choosing to expose themselves to an un-moderated environment inhabited by losers who have nothing better to do than create drama to enhance their otherwise dull existences. I for one hope LL allows it to continue as it's good entertainment and helps pass a slow work day. 

 

You naughty little Peeping Tom, you.  Rawr.

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Ah, the feeds. Where everything is black or white.

Where who or what you "love" can get you shunned... or brand you a criminal.

Where "loyalty" demands that one condemn those that they themselves have no issue with.

Where reading a single post on someone's feed can equal "watching" or "stalking".

Where mutes and unfollows are threatened and announced, and rescinded, daily.

Where perceived association with someone labels you their "cheerleader" or their "attack dog".

Where, if you don't like the way a discussion is going, you can just delete all of your comments.

Where one's political affiliation can be used as a club in a discussion that has naught to do with politics.

Where people who have their own feeds closed complain about other people having their feeds closed.

Where you can blame your own bad behavior on alcohol or opioids or having a bad day or...

Where cliques are bad. Unless it's your clique, of course.

Where people whose friends just can't seem to "scroll on by" advise other people to... "scroll on by".

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baby Kranfel wrote:

Everything has checks and balances, the above mentality would not last in RL (liable is legal action), it would not last her in SLF because the mods would apply the ToS to correct it and the poster, but it does happen in the feeds because no rules apply.

I'll assume you mean libel.

You mean like... someone, completely unfounded, alleging that someone is a pedophile?

Yeah. Utterly disgusting.

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