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Has any resident reading this post actually benefited from filing an abuse report? My experience, and the experience of every resident I have chatted with, has been extremely negative.

In September 2014 an ex bf began harassing me. I filed 23 abuse reports, heard nothing, and saw no change in his behavior, so I stopped sending reports. I tried to raise the issue in live chat support, but the tech shut me down and told me abuse reports had to be filed in-world using the standard form.

The systematic harassment continues for 23 months now. My stalker has a small army of alts who track my movement and interrupt the furntiture menus when I have sex, either stopping the menu or moving us into the grossest poses available. He does this not only on public sims, but in my own home. He or one of his alts lands on a neighbor's land or in the common tier area, watches me like a peeping tom in my own home, listens to local chat or interrupts conversations, and then somehow interrupts furniure menus reserved for group memebers only,despite fact he is not and has never been a group member. I dont know what back door he uses. I dont know what tracking devices he uses.

My partner and I started finding new sims to enjoy until he found them, and then we would find more new sims. Then my stalker boasted to me about forceing me out of my home. So a month ago my landlord found me new land and I moved. My stalker found me in six days. I have no idea how he did it. And the harassment continues

The terms of service prohibit and provide sanctions for systematic harassment of a targeted resident, but the terms of service are a sick joke if there is no credible enforcement mechanism. Residents hould be safe from harassment anywhere in Second Life, but especially in the privacy of their own homes.

There are several changes Linden labs should consider. First, they should change the way abuse is reported. When residents file an abuse report in-wold, they should receive an in-world or email acknowledgement, the way they receive purchase acknowledgements in the Marketplace.

Second, somebody should actually do something and then send an in-world or email reply stating what action was taken. If it is a case of he siad.she said, the reporter should be able to provide names of thrid parties to assist in the investigation.

Third, cases of systematic violations of the tems of service should result in permanent banishment from Second Life, by IP adress, not resident name.

Fourth, there should be a limit on unpaid alternate avatars at the same IP address. My stalker uses a small army of 50-100 avatars. He creates them as fast as i block, derender, and ban them. There is no legitmate reason for having that many.

Fifth, there should be a victim protection program. Upon payment of an appropriate fee, or upon confirmation of extreme systematic harassment, a resident should be given a new identity and Linden Labs should transfer the resident's inventory to the new identity. People ask me why I just don't create a new avatar. I tell them that I should not have to give up my 8-year identity, my favorite sims, and the non-trasferrable portion of my 67,000-item inventory, when I did nothing wrong.

We all know that Second Life is a virutal and choatic Wild West when it comes to governance. That is part of its appeal. But Linden Labs must enforce its own terms of service to keep Second Life safe for its residents, especially in their own homes. Linden labs has not kept me safe, or provided adequate tools for me to keep myself safe, for the past 23 months.

 

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I can't think of a time when an abuse report I sent didn't result in some sort of resolution.  I've even had occasions where a Labbie would land on my head because they used my avatar's position as their SLURL.  In the end, I've regularly seen everything from a quiet cleanup of a particle spamming to getting grilled for more detail in IMs.  (o.O)

To wit, my ARs have been so visibly effective that I had once been suspected and falsely accused of getting some prominent SL residents in trouble over their TOS violations. "Falsely accused of upholding the TOS." << How does that ring? (o.O)

One thing I make absolutely sure of, when sending an AR, is that I fill the form directly according to the TOS guideline being violated.  Don't ever personalize them or just report any old personal dispute.  The Lab makes it quite clear that they won't get involved in resident disputes.  I'm pretty sure they have some sort of Litmus test for something to sound too personalized to bother with.  They've got their hands full as-is just sustaining the guidelines of their service. (>_<)

You mention that AR's should result in an Email acknowledgement.  They do.  If you aren't getting the Email, odds are your ARs aren't even reaching the server.  If you happen to have some sort of 3rd party firewall or antivirus, there's a chance that it could be blocking your reports from being sent.

As for residents getting updates regarding actions being taken, there's no reasonable way to do that. One, because they're enforcing their TOS, not our whims.  And Two, if they did people would develop ways to game the system based on a history of reported actions.  Something like that would be a disaster. (>_<)

IP bans don't do anything.  Not sure why this mode of thinking still persists.  Your IP address is not "yours", is likely to be shared among various routings and NAT services, and can change dynamically for a number of reasons.  Banning by IP is just taunting someone to try again. (o.O)

People who provide bot services depend on large alt armies.  If they're going to offer something like group or land management bots to a thousand residents, they'll likely require a few hundred alts. (o.O)

I can't imagine any fee based "protection" arrangement working online.  Even the LifeLock CEO couldn't keep his data secure. (=_=)

At best, there are probably still a lot of things you are doing wrong and you're expecting others to fix those mistakes for you.  TL-DR, it's not going to work.  (>_<)

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Marisa Paule wrote:

Has any resident reading this post actually benefited from filing an abuse report?

 

That's about as far as I got through the WoT but yes.  It has been a few years but I did get an encroaching prim removed from my land.

I know I reported someone for throwing out self replicating itmes on group land once.  I may or may not have reported a few other similar griefers over the years but I honestly don't remember.  My whole part is to AR then mute.  I don't know nor care what happened after that.

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if he can keep tracking you, i'ts you or your partner.. or a friend that talks too much, has a pick in the profile or something like that...

If i report i always get a email that the reports is received.

 

There's only one solution... keep blocking banning and derendering, do NOT respond to anything.

If he or his alts can enter your land, your landsettings are wrong.

Set access to group or allowed residents only, and it's over.

 

... block, derender, ban and group restricted access should do the trick

check your picks and feed... don't publish anything.

 

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Immy's covered all the bases. I don't often hear stories like yours, but when I do my inclination is to think a good part of the trouble is self inflicted. Your stalker is apparently expending tremendous energy and that usually (not always) requires at least some small reward for the effort. Have you exchanged words with this stalker in the last 23 months? If so, there's the reward.

Stalking in SL does not require technical tools, just persistence and (sometimes unavoidably) sloppy behavior by the stalked. If you have a large pool of friends, there are likely some leaks in it, providing all the tracking needed without an ounce of technical help.

Immy has explained why your proposed solutions will not work, and I think the absence of privacy tools beyond mute/block/derender is the result of lack of demonstrated need, not lack of care by LL. My limited experience with the AR mechanism is that LL does respond. I've also chatted with quite a few residents who've had similar positive experiences. The picture is not all doom and gloom.

If you have favorite haunts, avoid them for awhile. Limit your interactions with your pool of friends to smaller groups, so you have some chance of correlating breaches of your privacy with patterns in your socializing. If you aren't accidentally spilling the beans, one or more of your friends is.

I wish you the best in dispatching your stalker.

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See this is the kind of thing I think is unhealthy, Madelaine. If someone is being stalked by someone who is absolutely ruthless in their behavior, it is irresponsible and inflammatory to blame the stalkee for that in any way. In the real world we call that victim blaming.

I think the reason it may not seem like anything is being done though is because, as it was stated, this guy apparently has 50-100 accounts. That must be at least somewhat frustrating and hard to keep track of on Linden Lab's part, and is really gross too.

Aside from making sure your land and group permissions are correct, I really do think LL should have a resident name changer, which would be a really simple solution. If you need help with land settings and other security measure that you can take to keep this person out of your privacy, feel free to IM me in-world and I'll help you out.

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Believe me, if you check out Maddie's post history you'll see an unending fountain of sympathy for the victims of attacks like this. It spans years. Actual years.

There are practical solutions for both law enforcement and in-world moderation. In the first instance and to reduce the likelihood of these events occuring in future, however, there will inevitably be action that the victim can choose to take.

Systems take time to change, and Second Life has been around long enough by now that experienced users can thoroughly predict the Lab's response. If we left it to the system to change the way it works without stating possible options to victims, this would cause harm too. Linden Lab - for better or worse - has decided where it sits on this issue.

Stating these options doesn't assign blame. It doesn't reduce sympathy. This isn't zero sum, there are routes toward less harm that also include some change on the victims part.

 

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You seemed to miss the part in her post where she plainly stated that this abuse she's been receiving was possibly self inflicted. I don't really care about how buddy-buddy you are with her, I'm stating facts. There is a difference between suggesting things that may help in increasing security and the reduction of harassment and flat-out making statements that place blame on the person receiving the abuse.

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Merylimperil wrote:

You seemed to miss the part in her post where she plainly stated that this abuse she's been receiving was possibly self inflicted.

I did not.

Determining that something could be construed as victim-blaming is not "a fact", I don't understand what you mean.

I'm going to let the victim decide which advice is most useful in lowering harm. I don't feel that you're doing a good job of speaking for anyone, and this thread could be better served by listening than dictating.

Hope this helps.

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The first paragraph of the OP sent up a red flag for me...

"Has any resident reading this post actually benefited from filing an abuse report? My experience, and the experience of every resident I have chatted with, has been extremely negative."

My 8+ years of experience in SL has been very different. The AR mechanism has worked for me, and I have numerous friends who've got result as well. I have watched countless dramatic flare-ups (including 20+ years of them online before arriving in SL) and witnessed victims both diffuse or exacerbate their situations. I offer what help I can.

When I see hyperbolic claims such as "every resident", I begin to wonder. And because I wondered, I looked up the OP's post history and read this, from three years ago...

https://community.secondlife.com/t5/LSL-Scripting/tracking/m-p/2235997#M19780

So, nearly three years ago, Marisa had already filed 22 of her total 23 abuse reports for various things, some of which I don't believe are technically possible in SL. Also note that that post predates the beginning of her relationship with her current stalker. I suspect she got the year wrong in this thread.

I gave Marisa the benefit of some doubt, provided a little insight into how stalking can appear magical here, and a little advice on avoiding that magic. It's okay that you don't see this as I do, and I have heard your criticism. Hopefully, I've at least partially addressed it.

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Freya Mokusei wrote:


Merylimperil wrote:

You seemed to miss the part in her post where she plainly stated that this abuse she's been receiving was possibly self inflicted.

I did not.

.

I bet 99 percent of long time forumites, who have heard this kind of story many times over, have the same thought. I did -- because most of the time, it turns out the stalkee is doing something to contribute to the problem, sometimes without being aware of it. 

Stalkers do not have a magical ability to track people, as far as I know. And few are going to continue stalking if they get zero response. 

This story may be a rare exception, but it's not the rule.

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Madelaine McMasters wrote:

The first paragraph of the OP sent up a red flag for me...

"Has any resident reading this post actually benefited from filing an abuse report? My experience, and the experience of every resident I have chatted with, has been extremely negative."

My 8+ years of experience in SL has been very different. The AR mechanism has worked for me, and I have numerous friends who've got result as well. I have watched countless dramatic flare-ups (including 20+ years of them online before arriving in SL) and witnessed victims both diffuse or exacerbate their situations. I offer what help I can.

When I see hyperbolic claims such as "every resident", I begin to wonder. And because I wondered, I looked up the OP's post history and read this, from three years ago...

So, nearly three years ago, Marisa had already filed 22 of her total 23 abuse reports for various things, some of which I don't believe are technically possible in SL. Also note that that post predates the beginning of her relationship with her current stalker. I suspect she got the year wrong in this thread.

I gave Marisa the benefit of some doubt, provided a little insight into how stalking can appear magical here, and a little advice on avoiding that magic. It's okay that you don't see this as I do, and I have heard your criticism. Hopefully, I've at least partially addressed it.

So we are NOT just mean victim blamers???

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Merylimperil wrote:

Okay, with that link you've included I have to admit this all does seem a little strange

Yeah.

I appreciate your concern here, Meryl. I do sometimes shoot my mouth off before thinking, but I try to avoid it. I've been here a long time and I'm certain it can appear I'm jumping to unwarranted conclusions.

Keep an eye on me, one way you'll be right, and it's still possible that today was that day.

;-).

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Pamela Galli wrote:


Madelaine McMasters wrote:


Pamela Galli wrote:

So we are NOT just mean victim blamers???


Maybe not, but I think we've got potential, Pamela!

If hanging out in this forum does not make a jaded skeptic out of you, nothing will.

I've never liked jade. I only wear pearls.

Seriously, it does take some effort to keep the cycnism at bay. I'd already been online 20 years before coming here. If cynicism is going to eat me alive, it's taking its time. I do get Meryl's concern over victim blaming. It really does happen, I'm fully capable of doing it, and I don't mind explaining myself when challenged. But it really is the case that many victims don't fully understand the dynamics of harassment, often because they're still seeing red.

I'm not the warmest and cuddliest of supporters, that's never been my style. I resort to cold hard logic in hopes that I can offer a li'l agency. SL has far better tools than RL for curbing harassment, that can give the beleagured a little bit of power to shape their situation. I'm happy to help the defenseless, often by showing them that they aren't.

ETA: Although I think it's clear that I'm referring to online harassment, that is what I'm referring to. RL is a different thing, where the tools available to victims are less plentiful and less effective.

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i had same issue with my very 1st , he turnd out to be a stalker, been stalking me for years, in all my alts, but thats because we had common friends, luckily i got rid of them coz they werent real, all were trolls who made me believe i could count on them, now i'm with few trusted friends.. no one bothers me :smileytongue:

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Marisa Paule wrote:

People ask me why I just don't create a new avatar. I tell them that I should not have to give up my 8-year identity, my favorite sims, and the non-trasferrable portion of my 67,000-item inventory, when I did nothing wrong.

 

Yes, but in many cases, both in SL and RL, drastic measures are to be taken to 'go dark' and get rid of exes, would-be stalkers and other problem people.

The leaks could be on your blog, your Facebook, your website, especially in this day of social media, or even a so-called 'friend' is ratting you out.

Perhaps, go and use an alt for an extended period of time instead, then you don' t have to trash your main. Without a regular target, a troll or stalker will simply go away on their own once they lose the trail.


PinkWarded wrote:

i had same issue with my very 1st , he turnd out to be a stalker, been stalking me for years, in all my alts, but thats because we had common friends, luckily i got rid of them coz they werent real, all were trolls who made me believe i could count on them, now i'm with few trusted friends.. no one bothers me :smileytongue:

Also, Marisa, this is an important point Pink made that you should heed.

Your 'friends' in RL can truly be traitorous at times; perhaps they don't like certain parts of your personality or other reasons, that will make them want to 'teach you a lesson' and expose you to your ex/stalker.

Sometimes your very own, so-called 'friends' are the ones betraying you, or wanting to win favour with your stalker for some reason, so give up the goods on you, your location, your SL name, etc.

In the end, regardless of LL's response, you're going to have to get to the bottom of this and make some serious decisions as how you are going to stop this action against you. Cutting off anyone related to this stalker in any way is a good start, perhaps go on an alt and introduce one friend at a time (and see if one is the snitch).

As you can see, no one here really cares about your plight, and will tend to start pointing the finger in your direction instead, cuz that's what they like to do around here.

Good luck!

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We now interrupt this program for some wisdom from Tacocat.


Hate from the basement
Hate from the insecure
When you're anonymous
No consequence to fear
Your place is so low
You're my mosquito
No conversation only vitriol

What place do you have?


Would you or wouldn't you
Nothing of value
The dregs, the tired sum
Dumbed down for everyone
Your mind is narrow
Your head is hollow
Correct [?] the trivial

What place do you have?

Your place is so low
You're my mosquito
No conversation only vitriol

What place do you have?

 

..........we now return you to our regularly schedued programming.

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Pamela Galli wrote:


Madelaine McMasters wrote:


Pamela Galli wrote:

So we are NOT just mean victim blamers???


Maybe not, but I think we've got potential, Pamela!

If hanging out in this forum does not make a jaded skeptic out of you, nothing will.

Understandable and yes I too question the veracity of many of the claims made.  I don't doubt that there are people who get stalked and harassed but I have myself only met/known one person In World who claimed harassment and even then some of the things she told me stretched credibilty.

As far as this Forum goes, the thing we have seen over and over when people claimed long term harassment has been when we dug into the nitty gritty of it is that the harassed failed to heed one of the things we say over and over again:  They failed to ignore their harasser. 

So yes we question what's really going on.

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Perrie Juran wrote:

As far as this Forum goes, the thing we have seen over and over when people claimed long term harassment has been when we dug into the nitty gritty of it is that the harassed failed to heed one of the things we say over and over again: 
They failed to ignore their harasser.
 


Don't get us wrong, we understand that it is not as easy to do as it sounds and there will be times of frustration where you want to strike back. However it is critical that you do not acknowledge the harasser in any way. It just resets the harass/ignore process back to the begining.

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Rhonda Huntress wrote:

It just resets the harass/ignore process back to the begining.


Ding. There's a reason why prevailing Internet wisdom can be summerised as "Do not feed the trolls", regardless of how victim-blame-y that statement is at face value.

Advice in these situations can be channeled in only two directions: Up (to tackle systematic abuse, flaws in privacy) or down (to the individual who was victimised). On the Internet, when you're tacking with the very concrete concepts of modern web economics - 24/7 access, huge amounts of spam, big data collection of personal information, the income inequality and corruption affecting developing countries/economies, the ease of exploiting trade loopholes - affecting change upwards takes a very, very long time (years, decades). Affecting change downward - effectively - can have quick, positive results that immediately protect from further abuse.

My perspective - as someone who is moderately active in the field of online security at a corporate level, and as someone who has been harassed, stalked and attacked (both by strangers and by family members, as recently as weeks ago) in real life - is that reducing personal responsibility can only cause more harm in future, risking repeated attacks or reducing them to helpless victim-types either in their own heads or within society (I'm not sure which is worse). This is a view supported by a fair amount of research, but it is only my perspective based on my experiences.

The psychological risks of feeling like a victim are signifiant. It hurts to feel powerless, to feel like you have no choice but to leave yourself "exposed" - that whomever is the abuser can return at any moment, and lure you back in again. My grandmother experienced this when she was burgled at home - nowhere felt safe, things that had been hers for 80 years suddenly felt untrustworthy and alien. Absolutely, fixing the systematic flaws that enabled the abusers methods are important, but just as important is equipping the victim to feel secure and safe in the unfortunate event that they're targetted a second time. Most sadly of all, repeat victimisation is a thing - being abused once often increases the likelihood of being abused again.

Equipping people with tools to help themselves is not intrinsically harmful, does not definitively depress someone into the role of victimhood. In cases of financial fraud (e.g. phishing) it would be ridiculous to not discuss possible new approaches when receiving phonecalls or Emails asking for money. Fortunately, a lot of advice for victims is out there - and it accurately reduces cases of fraud. In the case of my grandmother, the police didn't just investigate the crime - they gave her better locks and showed her how to make her home look more "lived in" at all hours of the day.

I get that this is a sensitive issue, and that my patterns of speech don't make me sound like a sensitive person. There are folks better equipped to handle situations like this, but to the extent that I can help, I keep trying to do so effectively. This isn't about me, I'm just explaining the contrast between approaches, and where the psychology meets the road.

(Additionally, the OP hasn't been back for 24 hours.)

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Rhonda Huntress wrote:


Perrie Juran wrote:

As far as this Forum goes, the thing we have seen over and over when people claimed long term harassment has been when we dug into the nitty gritty of it is that the harassed failed to heed one of the things we say over and over again: 
They failed to ignore their harasser.
 


Don't get us wrong, we understand that it is not as easy to do as it sounds and there will be times of frustration where you want to strike back. However it is critical that you do not acknowledge the harasser in any way. It just resets the harass/ignore process back to the begining.

Yep, very much this.  It is not that we don't understand how irritating it can be.

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  • 5 months later...

It has been over 5 months since I received the excellent advise to break off all contact with my stalker. I have not spoken to him since then. He left me alone for a couple of months, but now he is back again. I have been filing abuse reports. My stalker (one of his many alts actually) just interrupted me having sex with a man I had just met in sl, at a location I had never been to before. How do you explin him being able to do that? What else can I do to make him leave me alone?

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