Jump to content
Prokofy Neva

Why Are Nicks Allowed on the Forums?

Recommended Posts

This is one of the things that have long baffled me is why people can have names on the forums that do not correspond to an actual avatar inworld. It's not that people have let their old account lapse inworld and still chat on the forums; it's that names are used that have no equivalent inworld.

The Lindens themselves definitely link the world of the forums with the "inworld" of Second Life, and even hold over your head the threat that you will be banished from the world itself if your forum violations reach a certain level -- something quite a few merchants and landowners find appalling, and which makes some prudent ones who would have useful things to say like Desmond Shang announce that they simply won't post on the forums with that kind of risk.

Indeed, it is outrageous to make punishment for a speech crime the actual seizure of real property, even if it is virtual property, or a license to access the rendition of same, or however they phrase it -- it is still a valued good with monetary value.

Yet nicks are used so that people who routinely harass others never have to face the consequences in the community, which might be property bans, shunning or boycotts, I suppose.

If you want anonymity, you have it by making an SL avatar not tied to your RL identity in the first place, or another alt that is not tied. What's the deal?

What it means is that people have no responsibility in the community for their hateful and vicious statements, especially lifers on the forums who are expert at flying below the Lindens' radar, such as it is.

I think the Lindens should require that each forums user pick a real avatar name they have and have that be their sole voice on the forums.

  • Like 1
  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You ask

7 minutes ago, Prokofy Neva said:

why people can have names on the forums that do not correspond to an actual avatar inworld.

and you partially answer it yourself

7 minutes ago, Prokofy Neva said:

The Lindens themselves definitely link the world of the forums with the "inworld" of Second Life, and even hold over your head the threat that you will be banished from the world itself if your forum violations reach a certain level -- something quite a few merchants and landowners find appalling

There are other reasons, of course; stalking... trolling... and the believed need for privacy as you mention, but the threat of an in-world ban is quite a real one.

My concern:

When talking about locking people into a name, especially in a game like SL, I do consider that we get a lot of people here who are stalked by ex's, hurt by partners, abused by their dumbinants... and use a 1 post name to ask for help, away from their main avatar. One would need to weigh up the loss of that safety.

The biggest problem though is just how would you enforce it? Browsers can, of course, lock you in via cookies, but deleting cookies is not hard. So, a troll would delete their cookies, log in as ProkHater.resident and post some bile, then delete their cookies and log back in and SweetAndLovely.Linden (queue a rant about techno-commies not wanting to find a solution)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, Callum Meriman said:

You ask

and you partially answer it yourself

There are other reasons, of course; stalking... trolling... and the believed need for privacy as you mention, but the threat of an in-world ban is quite a real one.

My concern:

When talking about locking people into a name, especially in a game like SL, I do consider that we get a lot of people here who are stalked by ex's, hurt by partners, abused by their dumbinants... and use a 1 post name to ask for help, away from their main avatar. One would need to weigh up the loss of that safety.

The biggest problem though is just how would you enforce it? Browsers can, of course, lock you in via cookies, but deleting cookies is not hard. So, a troll would delete their cookies, log in as ProkHater.resident and post some bile, then delete their cookies and log back in and SweetAndLovely.Linden (queue a rant about techno-commies not wanting to find a solution)

The idea that a forums nick different than an inworld avatar would save a user from a blanket ban isn't really plausible, as the Lindens can obviously track URLs and log-ins and even people using proxies slip up -- even the GRU does this, thankfully, and are caught. Deleting cookies may work but again, people slip up and geographical locations may still cluster and out a serial abuser. The myth of the dynamically-updating address is just that -- a myth. Many telecoms have you in a predictable range.

People should take responsibility for their speech in a community; such visibility and responsibility in a community are at least some bar on bad conduct. Anonymity breeds contempt and bad behavior. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Prokofy Neva said:

People should take responsibility for their speech in a community; such visibility and responsibility in a community are at least some bar on bad conduct. Anonymity breeds contempt and bad behavior. 

Some people are so full of bitterness and hatred that even posting on their main avatars doesn't stop their vitriolic diatribe.

When it comes down to this forum, the main offender in the category you wish to ban is the token Trumpette we suffer with, the one who loves to post their off-topic, anti-lefist dross into any thread they can. They have even admitted to using that nick to avoid an in-world ban.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Banning Nicks...

Does this mean all of them, the Nicky's and Nicholas's and Nicolai's, and Nico's, etc., or JUST those called Nick?

Hmm, perhaps the Nicolai's... Russian name, probably members of "Copybotting Techno-Commies against Madlands Slumlords", and other subversive organisations...



 

  • Like 1
  • Haha 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In all seriousness, Prok does make a fair point.

Those of us who post here under our primary SL identities are at a disadvantage to those forumites who hide behind an alt. Not that I would call the ability to be intentionally disruptive an advantage, but you get the point.

The answer is simple, if your behavior here warrants a suspension or ejection from SL, then it should apply to ALL your accounts, not just your sock puppets.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Prokofy Neva said:

This is one of the things that have long baffled me is why people can have names on the forums that do not correspond to an actual avatar inworld.

Do you mean nicknames or alt names? They are completely different things. I was going to write that I didn't know you could use a nickname for the forum, but a couple of posts seemed to indicate that you mean alts, and yet what I quoted clearly indicates nicknames, because alts do correspond to actual avatars inworld.

6 hours ago, Prokofy Neva said:

... and which makes some prudent ones who would have useful things to say like Desmond Shang announce that they simply won't post on the forums with that kind of risk.

Is that the actual reason why Desmond Shang no longer posts in the forum? It's been many years since he posted - I think long before this forum software, and I don't think that all the forum programmes we've had allowed nicknames.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, Callum Meriman said:

They have even admitted to using that nick to avoid an in-world ban.

3 hours ago, CoffeeDujour said:

The answer is simple, if your behavior here warrants a suspension or ejection from SL, then it should apply to ALL your accounts, not just your sock puppets.

Being a moderator on another forum that uses the same software/framework as we have here, it's trivially easy even for technically illiterate moderators to find connected accounts on the forum. Making an alt alone won't hide anything, and even then, most people will rat themselves.

And using the information from the forum, it should be equally easy for LL to find any related avatars, even if you've never posted on the forum with them. 

Edited by Wulfie Reanimator

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I thought if you got banned you weren't supposed to make another account..so if they were  found out to be from the same person,that would have been against the TOS anyways..

And if they found a connection to an existing account I would think that one would get banned also..because it's not the accountthat gets banned,but the person tied to the account.

 

Maybe they changed it or something?

Edited by Ceka Cianci
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Prokofy Neva said:

This is one of the things that have long baffled me is why people can have names on the forums that do not correspond to an actual avatar inworld. It's not that people have let their old account lapse inworld and still chat on the forums; it's that names are used that have no equivalent inworld

Hmm.. how does one join to the SL forums without having actual avatar account behind that name? Is it even possible?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Coby Foden said:

Hmm.. how does one join to the SL forums without having actual avatar account behind that name? Is it even possible?

You can create a new avatar account the standard way but never enter the simulated world - you'll still be able to post on the forums.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Theresa Tennyson said:

You can create a new avatar account the standard way but never enter the simulated world - you'll still be able to post on the forums.

But it still corresponds to "an actual avatar inworld". An avatar doesn't need to be logged in, or to ever log in, for that to be true.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Theresa Tennyson said:

You can create a new avatar account the standard way but never enter the simulated world - you'll still be able to post on the forums.

So, Prokofy is wrong in saying "it's that names are used that have no equivalent inworld"?
You create avatar account, never login inworld, but the name is connected to the avatar.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Coby Foden said:

So, Prokofy is wrong in saying "it's that names are used that have no equivalent inworld"?
You create avatar account, never login inworld, but the name is connected to the avatar.

If you never log in to the 3D world you won't show up in search or be IM-able.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I think you will show in search. I don't know why you wouldn't show up in the web search (I think you probably do), but I'm sure you will in the legacy search.

ETA: Correction. Many years ago, they reduced, or they were looking at reducing, the size of the database (and web search results) by only including those who had logged in in the previous 30 days. If they did that, and still do it, then you'll be right about not showing in the web search, but I still think you'll show in the legacy search. I could be wrong, of course.

Edited by Phil Deakins

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Phil Deakins said:

I think you will show in search. I don't know why you wouldn't show up in the web search (I think you probably do), but I'm sure you will in the legacy search.

ETA: Correction. Many years ago, they reduced, or they were looking at reducing, the size of the database (and web search search results) by only including those who had logged in in the previous 30 days. If they did that, and still do it, then you'll be right about not showing in the web search, but I still think you'll show in the legacy search.

Ok, who will volunteer to make an account, not logging inworld, so we can test this? Anybody...? :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't need a new account for it. I have loads of alts that haven't logged in for years. I'll PM you.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've done the test with an avatar that hasn't logged into SL for a lot of years. She comes up in both searches - web and legacy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think this whole issue is a tempest in a teapot.  Not unusual, considering the OP.  (Love ya, Prok, but your thought processes are at an acute angle to those of...well, nearly everyone.)

I am me, Lindal Kidd, in world, on the forums, and in my blog.  Right out there with the same face for all the virtual world to see...and I have no problems with that.  I don't live in fear that something I say (in world, in the forums, on the web) will get me censored or banned.  Why not, you ask?  Does Miss Kidd have some Linden-granted immunity?  Or is she just stupid and unmindful of the danger?

It's simple:  I'm polite, mild mannered, and even when I speak in opposition to someone, I try to do so in a courteous way.

Play Nice, Kids...and you need never worry about the Banhammer.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Done more testing, and this is what I found...

All tested accounts show up in the legacy search, so they all correspond to an inworld avatar.

The first 3 accounts showed up in the web search, but they had all logged in, although 1 of them not for several months, and the other 2 for much longer than that.

The last test I did was searching for an avatar that hasn't logged in at least since the GSA was abandoned for the web search, and a freebie search engine used instead. Like the others, it shows in the legacy search, but unlike the others, it doesn't show in the web search.

Two possible reasons spring to mind. One is that LL did what they were planning to do, and limit the avatars database (for search) to those that have logged in within the last nn days. 30 days was talked about but, if they did that, then they've extended it because 3 of those test avatars haven't logged in for months.

The other, and more likely reason imo, is that, when the freebie search engine was started, the avatars database for it started from scratch (empty), and avatars were added to it as they logged in. If that's the case, the avatar in my 4th test would not show in the web search, because it hasn't logged in as far as the freebie engine is concerned. It does show in the legacy search though.

So, based on that, and assuming that Prok meant alts and not nicknames, new accounts are not added to the web search unless they log in. My guess is that new accounts are included in the legacy search, and correspond to inworld avatars, but that can only be known by creating one.

 

Edited by Phil Deakins

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Callum Meriman If it is true that putting any response to a post ups a user's reputation, then perhaps that would serve as a deterrent to this constanst idiocy of putting "confused" on every post obsessively. But we don't know that "confused" isn't a negative in the Lindens' system of reputational algorithsm.

No, the main offender isn't the pro-Trumpkin or anti-leftist poster, who at least provides some modicum of diversity to the extreme libertarian/leftist crew o the forums on issues like Net Neutrality.

By and large, it's not true that you make an avatar for joining Second Life that then merely isn't logged in. If that were true, that name would show up in Google on secondlife.com as an avatar account, even so -- it's not about inworld search, legacy or not. It doesn't. It only shows up as a "Community" account. Of course, people can remove their avatars from search inworld but I believe they would still show up in Google. 

In any event, I'm not finding this argument persuasive.It could easily be made a rule that you have to log into the world to use the forums. That might have a beneficial impact on those who never log in. Of course, they could log-in, wait five minutes, and do nothing, but my point is that the disconnect from reputation inworld to reputation on the forums is a conflict breeder and there can and should be ways for LL to deal with this rather than to edge-case on why it is technically not true or "impossible".

@Phil Deakins I imagine you thought long and hard on how you could say something contrary to an obvious point that many people, even you might agree to, and obviously this nit-picking on what "nick" means isn't your best attempt. 

Desmond Shang can speak for himself, but he has made this comment about the forums' risk many times. I think it's unlikely with his RL business and SL business keeping him busy he would have time for forums anyway.

What does your testing reveal? That making an alt that doesn't log-in does in fact generate at least some kind of profile. So if it doesn't, then...these accounts are Lindens who circumvent the system, or hackers that circumvent the system -- just as likely as they are some tiny category of people who happened to make an account when a certain set of conditions were at play.

Again, this is not about guesses, tests, and arcane technical matters or people who virtual-signal and say they play nice and others should. It's about the hard fact that people harass and harry on the forums with no consequences inworld, although the Lindens claim to like such consequences when they confiscate property over speech issues (admittedly this is rare, but it does happen and the threat is something that has been kept alive over the years).

It's wrong. 


@Wulfie Reanimator Yes, I don't think the Lindens have trouble tracking miscreants but another effect occurs -- that people's mouthing off on the forums is not tied to any inworld reputation and that's a negative. That's what matters. And we don't know how much LL really follows up on the capacity they seemingly have.

@Ceka Cianci Yes, you cannot circumvent bans by making an alt, and it is trivial to find those alts, although some people are persistent using proxies, which is why we have unpunished griefers in general, obviously.

@Coby Foden Once again, the point isn't about technical capacity or details but the larger social issue of people relentlessly posting harassing and negative posts without any consequence to inworld reputation because they can.

Is it possible? See above. Look in Google and you will see my point. It is not that I am "wrong," it's that you can't explain to me why there isn't an avatar name that matches with anything but forums activity, i.e. no avatar profile that has groups or descriptions or anything. THAT is the question.

If Theresa Tennyson is correct -- and we don't know that -- that if you never log in, no profile with groups or lack of groups, biography or lack of biography, is never generated then that is a loophole that should be closed.

The claim that no profile shows up if someone hasn't logged in for 30 days can't be true as I see profiles of people I know haven't logged in since last year.

@Lindal Kidd No, my thought processes are definitely more normally compared to the vast population of America and even Europe than the very sectarian techie groups one finds on the forums with the usual radical libertarian/socialist views.

It's not about "living in fear" of getting banned -- that was not Desmond's problem for sure; it's about the principle at stake. Lindens link forums speech with removal of inworld property when they wish; but they allow decoupling of forums speech from any consequence whatsoever in the inworld community. That's wrong.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
47 minutes ago, Prokofy Neva said:

Is it possible? See above. Look in Google and you will see my point. It is not that I am "wrong," it's that you can't explain to me why there isn't an avatar name that matches with anything but forums activity, i.e. no avatar profile that has groups or descriptions or anything. THAT is the question.

Google searches the "World Wide Web" - the publicly available information on the Internet. It can't search the hard drives of computers attached to the Internet, nor can it search the servers of Second Life. It can search any information that's in your Web profile (my.secondlife.com) if that content is set to allow it. It can search the forums because that's a separate, public website.

If someone has set their Web profile to not be visible from outside of Second Life (which can be done from its "privacy" tab), the evil, sticky fingers of Google can't touch it and that avatar name won't show up in Google as being a resident of Second Life, even if they log in every day and have huge landholdings. However, if that account has posted on the forums Google can find their forum profile.

They can also opt to not be shown in web search within Second Life.You can still find them if you know their account name though.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Prokofy Neva said:

@Phil Deakins I imagine you thought long and hard on how you could say something contrary to an obvious point that many people, even you might agree to, and obviously this nit-picking on what "nick" means isn't your best attempt. 

Not at all. I actually thought you mean nicknames, and I was going to post that I didn't know you could have them. Then I saw that a couple of people thought you meant alts, so I asked which you meant, that's all.

Desmond Shang can speak for himself, but he has made this comment about the forums' risk many times. I think it's unlikely with his RL business and SL business keeping him busy he would have time for forums anyway.

I'm genuinely interested to know if Desmond stopped posting in the forum for that reason. I can ask him myself, but you seemed to know, so i asked you.

What does your testing reveal? That making an alt that doesn't log-in does in fact generate at least some kind of profile. So if it doesn't, then...these accounts are Lindens who circumvent the system, or hackers that circumvent the system -- just as likely as they are some tiny category of people who happened to make an account when a certain set of conditions were at play.

My test show that all the avatars tested do have an inworld presence. The only type of avatar that may not not have an inworld presence is one that is created and never logs in. You surely don't object to objective tests, do you?

Again, this is not about guesses, tests, and arcane technical matters or people who virtual-signal and say they play nice and others should. It's about the hard fact that people harass and harry on the forums with no consequences inworld, although the Lindens claim to like such consequences when they confiscate property over speech issues (admittedly this is rare, but it does happen and the threat is something that has been kept alive over the years).

It's about some names used in the forum not having an inworld presence. You made it about that in your op. All I did was contribute in an objective and positive way. No guess - just tests and conclusions. You can't find fault with that, can you??

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Prokofy Neva said:

@Coby Foden Once again, the point isn't about technical capacity or details but the larger social issue of people relentlessly posting harassing and negative posts without any consequence to inworld reputation because they can.

My point is that we cannot create just a forum account which does not have corresponding inworld account. We must create the normal Second Life account; and we use that account inworld and in the forums. Just now I created new account just to see does it have inworld profile without logging in. It does.

Account-creation-test.thumb.jpg.6a82bd3c9af1058a073248303f867aeb.jpg

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

×