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Prokofy Neva

How Are Griefers Able to Spam Everyone On a Sim?

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On 23.2.2018 at 1:01 AM, Prokofy Neva said:

I don't think it's bots, because I don't think the Lindens casually let day-old accounts have scripted agent status

An agent doesn't need scripted agent status to be able to be run as a bot. The ToS requries it, yes, but there is no way for Linden Lab to know right away whether the account is controlled by a computer or a human.

That being said, I do know that at løeast one of those spam accoutn was run by a human because he or she once slipped and started replying in a very human way in once of the conference calls I was hijacked into. That doesn't necessarily mean they are all human controlled though - who knows?

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I'm pretty sure they aren't bots. For the reason you say and other reasons.

Obviously even if they are bots, a human had to program their spam using various lies, memes, and idiocies -- as well as racist and antisemitic talk. So on speech grounds alone the Lindens can ban them.

Facebook recognizes as an abuse category "this person is fake or this person pretends to be me". Sadly, LL doesn't recognize those categories, but then they heavily reduced all their categories in general and you're left now really only with "spamming" and "targeted behavior to disrupt".

If Linden Lab cannot see its way clear to requiring that all scripted agents be marked as such so that the customer base can tell them from humans, they have a very severe ideological problem that again, will prevent their platform from ultimately being used by more businesses, non-profits and educational institutions  -- oh, and even ordinary people who don't like being kept in the dark about AI status.

There's absolutely no good reason not to mark bots and require they be licensed with more than an "honour" system.

From what I gather from talking to Lindens over the years, although of course they differ on differing subjects, they basically subscribe to Turing's idea that artificially intelligence creations -- bots -- if they can "pass" as humans -- i.e. pass the famous Turing Test -- they should be *declared as humans*. Lindens *like* bots generically. It's like they "never met a script they didn't like". Any coded artifact to them should be uber alles because, well, that puts THEM uber alles, you know? That's why I oppose it. I'm for the rule of organic law. Over Big IT, over bots, over coders.

So no, I'm not for ever, ever doing that, granting "human" status to bot "personas" or leaving the distinction unmarked.

Even when they become More Than Human. They aren't humans, and never will be. And civil rights and liberties of the sort Turing himself should have been granted in his lifetime (he was a persecuted gay man) absolutely depend on the rule of ORGANIC law and the preservation of THIS distinction, that bots are not human. Otherwise, we live under the rule of coders, and code-as-law that serves them, and that is oppressive and the abolition of rights.

Yes, the Lindens don't police this because of their extremist ideological views on this matter.

Notice that social media companies, who have a foot more in the real world than the Lindens, who may share their extremist views and in their case, even benefit from them financially, have had to curb their enthusiasm for bots with the Mueller indictment. Funny that the Mueller indictment, which indicts actual Russian operatives of an actual Kremlin front group which operates bots, the Internet Research Agency, and is limited in scope (13 persons and companies) would have this BENEFICIAL EFFECT of making Twitter start to get rid of its worst Russian bots. BTW the IRA is not the only Russian state bot-wrangler.

Facebook deleted the accounts of the IRA -- and there were numerous such accounts.

Some Trumpkins are finding their follower list an awful lot lighter since Twitter felt it had to start getting rid of malevolent bots.

So the Lindens will never be motivated to stop anything harassing *me* -- indeed their indulgence of these "bots" is in part related to me, and my publicity of this matter.

But they can see their way clearer eventually to the larger picture of why they should not allow bots to be undistinguished and unregistered. And I do have confidence that they will find ways to make "conference call spam" less feral, not because of me or the griefing of me, but because massive numbers of customers hate this, and they know that.

 

Edited by Prokofy Neva
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10 minutes ago, Prokofy Neva said:

From what I gather from talking to Lindens over the years, although of course they differ on differing subjects, they basically subscribe to Turing's idea that artificially intelligence creations -- bots -- if they can "pass" as humans -- i.e. pass the famous Turing Test -- they should be *declared as humans*. Lindens *like* bots generically. It's like they "never met a script they didn't like". Any coded artifact to them should be uber alles because, well, that puts THEM uber alles, you know? That's why I oppose it. I'm for the rule of organic law. Over Big IT, over bots, over coders.

So no, I'm not for ever, ever doing that, granting "human" status to bot "personas" or leaving the distinction unmarked.

Even when they become More Than Human. They aren't humans, and never will be. And civil rights and liberties of the sort Turing himself should have been granted in his lifetime (he was a persecuted gay man) absolutely depend on the rule of ORGANIC law and the preservation of THIS distinction, that bots are not human. Otherwise, we live under the rule of coders, and code-as-law that serves them, and that is oppressive and the abolition of rights.

We don't know that this is their ideology. For example, read some Jaron Lanier (he's even been connected with SL in the past), one of the founders of VR.. He doesn't go in for this Kurzweil Nerd Rapture stuff, and we have no proof LL does either, or that this controls the issues you're speaking to.
Anyway, I more think animats will be something biological, and hence fit under your criteria perhaps.

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8 hours ago, Whirly Fizzle said:

You can create a Calling Card in your inventory for anyone you like, in the LL viewer, Firestorm or any other viewer.

Copy a calling card - your own or any other.
Right click the copied calling card -> Properties.
In the Description box, paste in the target avatar's key/UUID
Voila, now you have a copy of their calling card.

This is NOT a bug - it's just the way that calling cards work - they are rather odd assets.

8b431839cb2530b5faa22e836e0445e4.gif

 

Yes, Whirly, this is what Lindens mean by saying it is "under the cover".

 

But try to think more conceptually about this, please I know you're thoughtful and smart.

Just because you CAN doesn't mean you SHOULD.

For years and years, this didn't happen -- people stuck to the conventions of ORGANIC social life and the permissions system in the viewer that said "calling cards come when a live real human being accepts the gesture of friendship by another live real human being".

That social convention from organic real life -- which frankly still many, many orders of magnitude better, more fair, and less oppressive than virtual worlds -- should have held.

It's like the way the Lindens savaged group managers' permission granting and made "share" override even a group manager's decision not to give everyone in the group the right to "return group-set prims". Very, very similar ideological extremism privileging code-as-law instead of rule of organic law. Sadly I must now say "organic" law each time I describe that problem -- rule of law used to prevail over code-as-law as a given; now it doesn't.

The ability to "make a friend" out of ANYONE through this cut-and-paste is VANDALISM. It's VANDALISM of the sacred concept of real, life human consent.

Can you understand that?

If 100 people didn't make friends with someone, and now they can get a club spam, that's wrong. They didn't expect or ask for that.

This "just because you can" and "but you can do it this way here let me show you" as an EXCUSE for VANDALISM and defiance of the rule of organic law never, ever "flies" with me.

It shouldn't with Lindens or you or the toxic forums regs, but then, they're toxic.

DO PLEASE NOTE that this "finding" of this "affordance" is something that was known for a long time but SELDOM abused. That is, I find most club spammers use actual friendship cards they picked up from over eager friends of rentals agents like me who couldn't say "no" to their "friending". Now I do. Spam has RUINED the sacred human function of friendship even aside from this exploit.

The worst problem people have in SL is finding a friend. Not even a sexual partner -- that's easy to find. But A FRIEND. Most people want FRIENDS in a virtual world as they do in real life. 

So undermining things about the sacred consent involved in friendship is WRONG.

That these griefers can sit and rewrite the paste-up using all the names from chat -- hey, that doesn't sound like a bot. But we're told that a bot can come and slurp up all the names of all the avatars on a sim, and maybe this process of pasting and inserting new names is automated in a script. Whatever.

Automation of things in scripts -- just because you can -- doesn't mean its right.

For example, this is what Google does because it is automated and stupid. Is that correct? Is it right? 

Google fixed searches for "antisemitism" by doing some manual curation and fixing of algorithms.

They didn't do this for anticommunism. That's wrong.

You need to become a highly critical consumer of coded artifacts.

The smug superiority that most of the forums regs indulge here on this sort of thing is silly -- they never know when automated scripts might come FOR THEM.

The Lindens still remove and ban these "bots" even if they "can" use this "obvious hack" to do the cards -- on speech grounds.

They need to look more globally how to fix this because a) dozens of alts harassing first me and my tenants and thousands of other people inworld, so that they turn and harass me along with the griefers (in the mistaken belief it is me) -- this is an epidemic of the sort the Lindens need to stop. Like Philip did when he banned 60 Something Awful/Anonymous griefers in the early days because they kept crashing sims, copybotting, and harassing people. Oh, the crying and moaning that went up about this terrible cramp on "freedom" and "education" and "creativity". No, it was a cramp on *criminality*. Which we need the Lindens to straighten their socks and do more of.

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5 minutes ago, Luna Bliss said:

We don't know that this is their ideology. For example, read some Jaron Lanier (he's even been connected with SL in the past), one of the founders of VR.. He doesn't go in for this Kurzweil Nerd Rapture stuff, and we have no proof LL does either, or that this controls the issues you're speaking to.
Anyway, I more think animats will be something biological, and hence fit under your criteria perhaps.

Jared Lanier has nothing to do with Linden Lab. He made an avatar once to come on a talk here -- I've met him in RL and he doesn't bother with SL at all. 

The Lindens are not AT ALL as critical of virtual worlds and social media as Jared is.

We DO know that it is their ideology because THEY PRACTICE IT. You CANNOT distinguish a bot from a human being currently and they have only this very shabby "honours system" in place. That's how you know they have the ideology, Luna, please! PS animats is from another opera, can you grasp that? An unrelated heckler.

Edited by Prokofy Neva
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11 minutes ago, Prokofy Neva said:

ared Lanier has nothing to do with Linden Lab. He made an avatar once to come on a talk here -- I've met him in RL and he doesn't bother with SL at all. 

The Lindens are not AT ALL as critical of virtual worlds and social media as Jared is.

We DO know that it is their ideology because THEY PRACTICE IT. You CANNOT distinguish a bot from a human being currently and they have only this very shabby "honours system" in place. That's how you know they have the ideology, Luna, please!

No, no...I'm just trying to say that these 'techies' you rail against have varied perspectives. We have no proof that the Nerd Rapture way is what they believe. Not sure we're even debating this as I think these issues are a ways into the future! lol
But...it is a fascinating topic and one I'm researching. I'm reading "What The Dormouse Said:How The Sixties Counter-Culture Shaped The Personal Computer Industry" atm along with psychedelic research and Hindu Mysticism.

Technology is not good or bad in itself -- it's how we use it. Not sure the fact that you can't distinguish between bot and human here in SL proves your beliefs.

Edited by Luna Bliss

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17 minutes ago, Prokofy Neva said:

PS animats is from another opera, can you grasp that? An unrelated heckler.

nooo..look up the word 'animats'....and research the various ways people are imagining we might augment the human self in the future.

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My suggestion, Prok, is to drop some acid and put on a VR headset  :)

** I better qualify this, lest someone else read it and think it's a good idea. Best to use psychoactive substances with supervision **

Edited by Luna Bliss
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I have been getting these messages too and an alt at the same time on the same sim. I don't know if EVERYONE on the sim got them. I just got three tonight. Blocking them of course does no good since they just make another avatar. Messy. 

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9 hours ago, ChinRey said:

An agent doesn't need scripted agent status to be able to be run as a bot. The ToS requries it, yes

No it doesn't. The only time when the ToS requires a bot to be registered as a scripted agent is when it spends significant time on land that's set to show in search; i.e. when it affects the traffic count. Other than that, LL requests bots to be registered, but it's up to the bot's operator whether or not to register it.

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1 hour ago, Klytyna said:

1. Bots can happily join groups if they need to, and leave them again. It's how the beggar bots work.

...

6. Conference calls don't affect most people that much, I think I've been the victim of 10-15 unwanted conference calls in 6 years... hardly a problem of world shaking importance.

Somebody mentioned to me a trend that I hadn't noticed myself: the beggar bots are gone. Well, perhaps not "gone" gone, I don't know, but I don't recall being bothered by them in months, and I belong to enough groups that I used to get interrupted by them several times an hour. 

At the same time, though, I have gotten more of the spam conference requests, so maybe it is a trend.

Does anybody know what killed-off the beggar bots? Whatever that was -- I don't recall any relevant technical changes -- could the same measure(s) control the spam conferences?

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1 minute ago, Qie Niangao said:

Does anybody know what killed-off the beggar bots?

Starvation?   (financial, that is :) )

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19 minutes ago, Qie Niangao said:

Somebody mentioned to me a trend that I hadn't noticed myself: the beggar bots are gone. Well, perhaps not "gone" gone, I don't know, but I don't recall being bothered by them in months, and I belong to enough groups that I used to get interrupted by them several times an hour. 

I saw one a few days ago.

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23 hours ago, Luna Bliss said:

No, no...I'm just trying to say that these 'techies' you rail against have varied perspectives. We have no proof that the Nerd Rapture way is what they believe. Not sure we're even debating this as I think these issues are a ways into the future! lol
But...it is a fascinating topic and one I'm researching. I'm reading "What The Dormouse Said:How The Sixties Counter-Culture Shaped The Personal Computer Industry" atm along with psychedelic research and Hindu Mysticism.

Technology is not good or bad in itself -- it's how we use it. Not sure the fact that you can't distinguish between bot and human here in SL proves your beliefs.

No, Luna, technology is good or bad because the engineers *weld in their ideologies*. You are not free to "dislike" on Facebook because of a fatuous widespread Silicon Valley belief that this is "too negative". It also threatens their power. The Lindens got rid of negrates for that reason. Driving people to appear "emotional" if they aren't happy likers -- weepers or angry faces -- is not the same as dislike. Just think about that ONE THING that is a feature of most platforms and if you are sincere, you will be seriously creeped out by it. Because then it spreads to the Fair Vote ideology (run by a former Linden) that has now infected real-life voting in Maine. And you thought Russian hackers were are only problem. They aren't. 

Sure, there are different ideologies. I've written a blot on this for 18 years? Hello? There are technolibertarians and technocommunists. While I realize that it may be hard for you to believe, as most of your responses to me are hostile despite my frequent purchases of your products I have studied this an enormous amount, written tons, and possibly might know not even just as much as you, but more, and certainly have been more critical than you are prepared to be.

Edited by Prokofy Neva
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38 minutes ago, Prokofy Neva said:

2. WHAT I NEED TO BE ABLE TO DO IS TO SAY YES OR NO TO CONFERENCE CALLS NOT ONLY ON THESE ACTUAL FRIENDSHIP/CONTACT CARDS BUT IN GENERAL, GLOBALLY AND SPECIFICALLY, SO THAT I DON'T GET HARASSED BY GRIEFERS, VANDALS, AND HAPPY PARTY GIRLS WITH CLUBS TO FILL UP.

 

38 minutes ago, Prokofy Neva said:

9. Yeah, we get it that Firestorm -- with its origins in griefer illegal viewers which scraped data -- has an option to ignore/turn off conference calls. And Lindens could put in the same function -- if it doesn't harm some other coded thing of theirs. We haven't heard that it does. Lindens prefer to fix avatar foot shadows and voice problems than fix this.

 

39 minutes ago, Prokofy Neva said:

12. So let's sum up: no one should have to use a TPV, especially Firestorm, to be free of griefing.

The Firestorm feature to block conference chats has been requested on the LL JIRA & the issue as accepted, so I presume it's on the "to do" list somewhere.
BUG-10314 -  Please take away the ability to do a group conversation when you are not a friend

I'm not sure of you can see that Prok, so here's a screenshot of the JIRA issue: http://screenshotlink.ru/2ab8184a7ee167fb3f8dcfae07d21bdf.png

 

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1 hour ago, Prokofy Neva said:

4. The whole reason that Lindens FINALLY after years and years of complains put in "keep open group but have option to ban miscreants" is because of beggar bots -- and griefers, too, but mainly beggars. To be sure, it didn't eradicate them, as you'd have to be on moderating your group constantly to keep banning them. PS it's not true that they went away, Qie. Are you in any shopping or merchant groups? I'd say I have 40 or so of such groups and the beggars and spammers are constant and only those businesses who can afford 24/7 moderation can cope with them.

Yeah, so I understand. I do belong to some shopping groups, enough that the beggar bots were pretty annoying a year ago, and they're not as annoying now -- I literally have not seen one in months, knock on wood -- but maybe it's somehow a function of the specific groups: the beggars may find some groups less lucrative than others.

To the actual point about spam conferences, it does seem useful and wouldn't seem that terribly difficult to add user settings that automatically suppress 1) all conference invitations or 2) any conference invitation not issued by a Friend.

I realize this is already a feature of the Firestorm viewer, but it seems to me that ideally an unwanted invitation should be blocked before it ever propagates to the viewer.

So that would solve the problem for folks who activate one of those settings, but unwilling conference participants are just one kind of victim; those participants are really mere ammunition for the griefer's actual targets. Maybe enough folks would use these settings that they confer "herd immunity" sufficient to discourage griefers from setting up these calls -- but I'm not so sure about that. If 90% of folks screen their conferences, then the griefing would need to harvest ten times as many avatar keys to get the same number of successful invitations, and I just don't know if 10x is much deterrence.

Now I wonder if Firestorm has trending statistics on what share of users are blocking all conferences, non-friend conferences, or don't screen conferences at all.

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Like I said: friendship cards require consent.

Exploit of the code to make non-friend cards to harass people, to make spamming conference calls, is an EXPLOIT.

It's the creation of MALWARE.

What you just demonstrated is AN EXPLOIT and the creation of MALWARE. You didn't demonstrate "justice" or "normalcy" just because some cut and paste action can be made.

Ultimately, you can cut and paste the action for an atomic bomb, Callum, are you up for doing that and dropping it on people you don't like?  Would you ever recognize ANY constraint to "doing it because I can" ever?

To keep claiming it's "ok" and "they get to do this because they get to do this" is to live under vicious code-as-law that need not live under if we are not robots ourselves.

The Lindens seem to be leagues ahead of you all in recognizing that their code is EXPLOITED IN UNINTENDED WAYS sometimes and they see "what can we do to fix this or change this"

They are pretty culty sometimes but they do tend to have the more realistic attitude toward code called CUSTOMER REQUIREMENTS that an IBM or Apple has and have less of the awful Cosmic Engineer humanist/crypto anarchist stuff you find on the forums.

Really, the Lindens are our only hope, as bad as they can be.

 

Edited by Prokofy Neva
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8 minutes ago, Callum Meriman said:

Maybe you mean "Friendship card *should* require consent".

Currently they don't. You desire they do, which is fair enough.

No, because Friendship cards DO require consent, you have to say "yes" when the order comes in to you.

That someone can maliciously copy your name into a copyable template doesn't suddenly make something called "calling cards" that are "not" an exploit.

They are an exploit.

Because there is no normal function through a simple command to "send a calling card" as an order through the viewer.

There is ONLY the exploit to copy it and put it on a notecard or put it in a script or some other misuse of it.

Once again NO ONE throughout this ENTIRE thread has ever explain the GOOD USE CASE for spamming everyone on a sim with your message because you can snag their name and use it or make calling cards out of them without their permission.

Opt-in matters. 

Imagine a JIRA or a feature on the old lamentably killed Features Voter which says "have the ability to collect all names on a sim and send them an ad for your business".

Many people would vote it down as they don't want spam.

Spam is against the TOS.

The use of this by griefers of me commit spam and get banned.

There isn't a mass use that anyone can explain that is legitimate.

Edited by Prokofy Neva
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Understand I am mostly in agreement with you, and that's the prime reason why I have already turned off conferences. Because there is zero reason in my SL time - be it dealing with one of my tenants, or dealing with one of my shop customers - that I need to bring in any other people. If I need to talk to two people, then I prefer to do it in person.

But really Prok, in my opinion these calling cards/friendship cards are an obsolete part of SL that really should be deleted from all our inventory, they waste space and we darned well know who our friends are from our friends list. What they are in this thread though is a distraction to the real issue, spam. The cards are not facilitating spam in any way, shape, or form. Maybe consider that by being so doggedly focussed on the calling cards you degrade your own complaint - rather than allowing us to gather our voice with yours.

The great news is - as the wonderful Whirly mentions above - the conference issue is being addressed somewhat, the patch has likely been accepted and soon enough it will appear in  the lab viewer too.

a802b810f433e1e9ff2e9b684ec96b8b.png.7bb5671cb019af7abed5225032ec9c5c.png

 

 

Edited by Callum Meriman
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