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The Use Of Alt Avatars


xalier Streeter
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Sadly, there is no real way to tell exactly who is who in SL. Same as in real life.

Interestingly, the one major difference between how it works in RL and SL is the new "Adult" policy. Though it's still not 100% foolproof, I have noticed a huge decline in stalkers, creeps, and generally annoying people since we changed our sim to "Adult" rated. I made our sim "Adult" when it was all going down - even though I am pretty sure we could still have no problem being "Mature". I didn't want the headaches and issues, so we just flipped the switch.

As an end result, sales have remained pretty much the same (except this last month, but it seems everyone in SL - including LL is having issues this month) but the "creepy people hanging out" factor has gone way down. I think this is because you have to take extra steps to create an avatar who can access the adult areas in SL. It's not a ton of extra work, and it's still possible to sneak through, but it is extra work. And that equates to the notion that if you spend the time to get it set up, you don't want the avatar to be "disposable" - you're more likely to take care of it and not get it banned. If you can just create a user name and password and log in - it's disposable. If you get banned/blocked/ignored/kicked out of SL, you just create a new one.

Thus, though it's not a foolproof way to go about it, my experience has shown that you are far less likely to encounter stalkers and creeps and the like if you hang out in Zindra or other adult rated sims. That's not to say that there still aren't plenty of @$$-heads out there - but they are less likely to be the type who are going to do things that are going to get their account banned.

If you look around, too - you will find that there are a lot of sims out there that are adult rated, but that really aren't all porny and aren't all about being a "sex place". Our sim, for example, has some adult beds and hypnosis stuff for sale up in the sky, but when you are down on ground level you'll find fishing, horseback riding, golfing, arcade games and so on. About the most adult thing you will encounter down there is people playing a "skins" match in golf - if you get my drift. lol

So, in the end, the irony of all of this is that LL's attempt to move the "Creepy Adult Freaks" to their own continent has really only created an area that is more of a haven from the creeps - they all still hang out in the PG and Mature areas. lol

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Sadly, there is no real way to tell exactly who is who in SL. Same as in real life.

Interestingly, the one major difference between how it works in RL and SL is the new "Adult" policy. Though it's still not 100% foolproof, I have noticed a huge decline in stalkers, creeps, and generally annoying people since we changed our sim to "Adult" rated. I made our sim "Adult" when it was all going down - even though I am pretty sure we could still have no problem being "Mature". I didn't want the headaches and issues, so we just flipped the switch.

As an end result, sales have remained pretty much the same (except this last month, but it seems everyone in SL - including LL is having issues this month) but the "creepy people hanging out" factor has gone way down. I think this is because you have to take extra steps to create an avatar who can access the adult areas in SL. It's not a ton of extra work, and it's still possible to sneak through, but it is extra work. And that equates to the notion that if you spend the time to get it set up, you don't want the avatar to be "disposable" - you're more likely to take care of it and not get it banned. If you can just create a user name and password and log in - it's disposable. If you get banned/blocked/ignored/kicked out of SL, you just create a new one.

Thus, though it's not a foolproof way to go about it, my experience has shown that you are far less likely to encounter stalkers and creeps and the like if you hang out in Zindra or other adult rated sims. That's not to say that there still aren't plenty of @$$-heads out there - but they are less likely to be the type who are going to do things that are going to get their account banned.

If you look around, too - you will find that there are a lot of sims out there that are adult rated, but that really aren't all porny and aren't all about being a "sex place". Our sim, for example, has some adult beds and hypnosis stuff for sale up in the sky, but when you are down on ground level you'll find fishing, horseback riding, golfing, arcade games and so on. About the most adult thing you will encounter down there is people playing a "skins" match in golf - if you get my drift. lol

So, in the end, the irony of all of this is that LL's attempt to move the "Creepy Adult Freaks" to their own continent has really only created an area that is more of a haven from the creeps - they all still hang out in the PG and Mature areas. lol

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Heyyy...MY land is Mature!

Still, I guess you may have a point, Rygel.  Only one thing...when I'm on an Adult sim (especially one like yours, where everyone KNOWS you have some kinky stuff), and I see grassy parks and white picket fences, I immediately start feeling like I've entered the city limits of Stepford.

As for the OP...nope, there is no sure way to detect a stalker/predator/Bad Person.  Keep your eyes and ears open and go a little slowly in making new friends, and especially new lovers.

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If your antennae/red flags go up, pay attention. Slow down, back up, log off, whatever.

If someone refuses to respect a boundary you set, see above.

If someone insists that you prove yourself somehow to them, see above.

The most proficient cons will always turn the tables, put the onus on you, make you earn their trust.

Manipulative people will, at some point, insist.

Pressure and guilt (peer pressure, 'what's wrong with you' guilt) are often used.

Try setting boundaries. If the person isn't out to manipulate you, they won't care.

None of the above will apply to the truly clever ('predator' or exploitative type.)

Keep RL and SL (or anywhere online) separate - that's the surest way short of not logging online at all.

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I too have seen the number of alts people have...and some doing harrassing too. I think in all honesty the only way to maybe curb this is - perhaps do what WOW does. You have 3 months to try the game - see if you like it, and if you want to continue- you get a membership. If you have to pay for the avatars you have...I think the number of alts would definitely go down.

 

Just my humble opinion...

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My business partners and I created an alt strictly for business purposes.  We all have access to this alt, its contents and $L's.  We found it easier then assigning permissions, roles etc. and easier to pay land tiers, employees, etc.  The 1st thing written on our alts profile is "I am an Alt and strictly for business purposes." so there isn't anything underlying sneakyness or malicious intent.  I just recently created an alt for personal reasons.  Some days I just want to explore and be by myself.  I find that whenever I am exploring a new sim or checking out an art exhibit (which I like to read descriptions or bio's of the artists) or just having fun discovering new things, I get bombarded with IM's from friends and group notices or TP requests and I'm not one to ignore my friends or customers so I end up having to stop what I'm doing and either go vote for a friend somewhere or hit a MM board that only needs 5 more ppl and so on.

I don't know why I didn't create an alt before now!  I actually would dread logging in somedays cuz I had a rough RL work day and just wanted to escape by exploring. The newbie alt gets ignored for the most part, is not bogged down with tons of attachments and over primmed hair or clothing so I have less lag.

I would never use it to grief or hurt anyone ever, and if I post I would never use the alt to speak for me but after 2 years on SL, I do see a purpose of an alt.  I almost feel like Im in SL to escape RL (if only for an hour at a time) and with the new alt Im in Thrid Life to escape Second Life...LOL

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you have made an interesting suggestion about the verifying of your avi, it did not seem to matter in this case but your right you would need a solid form of id to do this which im guessing in theory will help LL track the mature sim i think really only helps keep away those without money but still you make a valid point that it is still an extra effort and record of your steps (im guessing)

Thank you all for your responses. I dont feel that this situation is a land issue but more a tracking of alts and their actions

i myself have alt avatars which i use for different living scenarios and for business purposes. i guess my goal here ishow to raise awareness because the scenario that happened to me is pretty mindblowing and i highly doubt it would be a case of the worst

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They seem "too good" to be true,  just too nice, all a part of their confidence play to win your trust.

They are extremely persistent and patient.

They listen more closely then others.

They ask more personal questions then most. specifically about your real life and usually much earlier in the relationship then others might.

They speak often of there male/female relationships  in an attempt to convince you that they are trustworthy.

They may have information about you that you have not shared directly with them because they have been seeking information about you from online sources (usually after you have shared too much information with them.)

They ask for some commitment,. that  you share something with them, a place for instance. If you accept they become "Mr/Ms. Hyde".

If you refuse to provide the information or accept the commitment offer they get very angry. a sign of their true character.

Remember they may have been doing this for decades. Those that do it best may go undetected till it is too late.

 

I have known 9 of them .

 

Nothing they do can be done without information from you.

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Heh... waaay back in the day, when it didn't even occur to me to use an alt, I used to be a greeter.

 

I had a "friends" list a mile long, because I wanted the people I mentored and "greeted" to be able to contact me with questions and such.  Some were pretty cool and we wound up being good friends.

One of those "good" friends kinda, well... I think he was just obsessed with me.  This was a time when we could map all friends without having to give them permission (oh geeze... remember those days?  cheating partners caught by having their partner tp right on top of them when... uh.. anyway... back).  So yeah, someone in my circle of friends was obsessed and we had a few incidents. After deleting, muting and banning from my lands he just kept creating noobs and waiting for me on greeter island, friending me, and tracking me all over the place, sitting there just within chat range when I was hanging out with friends, etc.  He even created an alt and "dated" one of my best rl/sl friends.

Finally, I made an alt and started over.  Only a few select knew.  Now I have like.. 8 and those "select few" from 5 years ago are still the "select few", plus one or two I've added to the circle.  I no longer build or greet (do people do that still?), I'm more selective of whose friendship a accept, and I use all alts in different RP venues.  IF I happen to run into someone I actively rp with elsewhere I do have the courtesy of telling them who I am just on principle.  It feels deceitful, even if its not intentional.

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The way you are using your "business alt" is a violation of the Terms of Service. Accounts cannot be shared and cannot be transferred to another individual without doing so through Linden Lab.

Not to mention the fact that as far as LL is concerned you and your business partner's computers are now going to be forever tied together through this alt now. Meaning, if one of your partners gets their account held or suspended your account could be held as well since to Linden Lab it looks like you are all possibly the same person. If that happens you'll have to go through the long and painstaking process of trying to prove you are not the same person. That's why sharing or giving away accounts is generally not allowed in the first place.

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The thing about this question is you're asking about alts, but the issue really has nothing to do with alts. It a human psychology drama about victim and abuser personality types, with a victim who needs to figure out how to shake the victim personality type.

So you'll probably feel I'm way out of line and rather rude in posting what I post below, but if you don't maybe it will help. I hope it does.

 

Somehow or another, something attracted that person to you, and made them stick. But one thing to consider there is that it appears to have been one RL person.

First of all, AR every alt you know of. Second, remember that it was one person. There's a lot of us out here who are not that person.

Get some alts yourself, make some new friends, and in time bring them over to your old account.

Change up your habits a bit - see if you can shake whatever's bringing you pain.

 

The very harsh statement: Victims don't deserve to be abused, but they do attract it. Predatory people have 'types' that they will abuse - and sadly those types are fairly consistent across many different predators and types of predators. If you get bullied, you are likely to get bullied by other bullies as well. If you can find whatever it is that gives you a bit of victim-persona, work to shake it. That's not fair, but it is practical.

 

But the worst defense to that is to shut oneself off from others and withdraw. If you look like a turtle in a shell, some crab will come along and try to break it open.

The best plan, after moving on from the one stalker you've got or hopefully, formerly had, is to engage with others from a new angle. Don't show yourself as hurt and abused - present as self confident, even if you don't feel it yet.

 

 

People who seem to be victims, become victims.

 

The two typical ways to prevent this are becoming the aggressor, or getting out of the cycle.

The easy path is become the aggressor. Bullies are people who were victims, or see the world as either A or B, and don't wish to be B, so preemptively jump onto A.

Getting out of the cycle is harder, because it involves a paradigm shift. It can't be simply told to you. You have to open up your mind and actually see outside of the box of your world view, and find some other course, some other way of being.

  • When you're Eeyore and Rabbit's got you down, its very hard to become Tigger, let alone Pooh.

The most established path for that though, is to try and project confidence, peace, and a friendly demeanor until it actually becomes who you are. At first it will feel fake, but in time it will become normal to one degree or another.

The more alienating solution to become dispassionate. The classic example being 'Spock' – you exist, there you are, but who cares, you don't. A lot of very anti-social and negative people 'pretend' to be this, but the reality of this is more of a Buddha or a Spock – you have transcended your emotions to the point where you're neutral enough about things that people just seem to slide past you and towards the next person. For the 0.1% of humanity to ever reach this state, its not lonely because they don't feel that emotion anymore. Its not pent up or suppressed, it just isn't there. For the many who try to reach this state – they don't, because as a Taoist might say, the hardest way across the river is to try and cross it. You just have to be on the other side.

  • The more likely result of an      attempt to become dispassionate is to end up sociopathic...

But it -IS- possible to brush off a lot of negativity and just take in the good – to exist, be in harmony, and so on. Read something like a Tao of Pooh. That's a positive mindset of a non-victim.

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xalier.Streeter wrote:

 

What are some safety tips on avoiding predators when the general rules are to mute and delete people in the advisory forums?

I use to Mentor a few years back then decided as i was too busy to just mentor with people along my travels in my interests, i have just found out that i have bn harrassed by 5 for sure possibly 6 different people over 9months of time who were both male and female avatars and that turned out to be the same one person. Some of those people formed a very close bond with me until their actions became a little too destructive to maintain a friendship and i was forced to block them. I love people thats why i love SL but this recently found news has really thrown me as to an individuals capabilities and now im very wary of strangers and am looking for some pointers on how to pick a predator?

Some very constructive advice on this thread. I agree with another poster that alts are not the main problem because an alt can be as much protection for you as well.

Most problems arise once someone knows something intimate about you. That gives them power and confidence. The two biggest sources of this are 1. you releasing anything of an RL nature and 2. sex/intimacy in world. Just don't do it unless you've known someone for a long, long time. Keep your groups hidden from everyone so they can not track you if they turn out to be a nut job. It's not perfect but it helps.

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