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RuchiVee

Sex Offenders on SL

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I was wondering if, since sex offenders are required by federal and state laws to register and make public certain information about themselves in RL, if there was some requirement that they do the same somewhere in the SL database to caution other users.  I checked the community guidelines, and found nothing -- in fact, I found this, which, if anything, is somewhat antithetical:  "Sharing someone else’s personal information—of any kind—is not allowed. Disclosing another Resident’s real-world identity, contact information, or the text of interpersonal communications (chat, email, IM) is not allowed."  This, of course, would prohibit another user from divulging a sex offender's identity, if the user knew it (and conduct that may violate conditions of a probation or parole) but doesn't speak to whether the sex offender himself/herself should be required to divulge his/her own identity.  

I ask because another user divulged his real-life identity to me, and then subsequently behaved in a way that was arguably inappropriate.  Suspicious, I ran a check on a sexual predator database, and, lo and behold, this person is a real-life, twice-convicted sex offender against victims who were both underage.  I fear that this person may attempt to victimize people on SL (see my related thread here, which was partly serious, and partly tongue-in-cheek -- and has gone far off the rails by now -- but which I refer to in all seriousness in the instant post), and I seem to be precluded by the community guidelines from doing anything about it.  That said, those same community guidelines also seem to preclude forum-goers from posting anything that does not "keep your commentary relevant to the discussion and within the format that the forum, board or question and answer area," and the respondents of the aforementioned link are not following that.  So...it seems some violation of the community guidelines is permitted, even frivolously.  Therefore it seems reasonable to conclude that a guideline such as the one mentioned in the first paragraph could be violated for a reason as important as this.

Edited by RuchiVee

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But what is a sex offender in SL? What "crimes" do they commit? There is only one crime and the Lab is pretty fast about that one, no need to list banned users...

Edited by Fionalein
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It depends on the state, Fionalein, but that's not really relevant here.  This person is a sex offender, because he has been convicted -- twice, no less -- of crimes defined as sex offenses under federal law and the state in which he was (twice) convicted.  I seem to be precluded by the community guidelines from saying anything further about this person.

Edited by RuchiVee

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if your claim is true, you can ask the Lab to invetsigate him, and if they find anything suspicious his SL identity will most likley be toast... there is no TOS against putting all that stuff into an abuse report....

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10 minutes ago, RuchiVee said:

That said, those same community guidelines also seem to preclude forum-goers from posting anything that does not "keep your commentary relevant to the discussion and within the format that the forum, board or question and answer area," and the respondents of the aforementioned link are not following that.  So...it seems some violation of the community guidelines is permitted, even frivolously.

Come now, you posted a topic in which you began by talking about something you heard that might be an urban myth, and then went on to talk in jest.  You can't really accuse people of not keeping commentary relevant.  If you were so worried about this person, why didn't you just submit the information to LL, or if you had to post here, talk seriously?

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Thank you, Fionalein, yes, I am aware of the post facto measure of the "report abuse" option.  My question concerns, rather, a prophylactic measure (no pun intended ?), similar to the goal of Megan's Laws, that might be available on SL to make people aware of sex offenders with SL accounts so that other users can be cautioned and take extra efforts to prevent such abuse from occurring at the outset.  So far, I don't see any such prophylactic measure, only the post facto measure of the "report abuse" option.

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1 minute ago, Garnet Psaltery said:

Come now, you posted a topic in which you began by talking about something you heard that might be an urban myth, and then went on to talk in jest.  You can't really accuse people of not keeping commentary relevant.  If you were so worried about this person, why didn't you just submit the information to LL, or if you had to post here, talk seriously?

I don't see any language in the community guidelines requirement about "keep[ing] your commentary relevant to the discussion ..." that carves out an exception where the original poster uses a semi-light-hearted tone to discuss a potentially real issue.  But that's not what this thread is about.

To return back to the discussion raised in this thread, I would answer your question, but I seem to be prohibited from doing so by the community guidelines.

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   I would turn to LL directly with such an inquiry - unveiling this person, whilst morally agreeable, might get you into unnecessary trouble if that's what whichever LL representative dealing with the matter decides. LL do have to uphold their guidelines, so I wouldn't be surprised if they chose to regard you as the offending party if you were to divulge personal RL information about another SL player. 
   Linden Lab in turn is legally responsible before the court of California, if I'm not mistaken, so technically you 'could' perhaps bring up a case there with the intent of enforcing LL to 'deal' with this player - although I certainly wouldn't advise it as the person in question could just create a new account under a different online alias and continue. 

   Personally, I would block the person, give LL a nudge about it, and call it a day. Leave it up to their team to decide what, if anything, should be done.

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Just now, RuchiVee said:

I don't see any language in the community guidelines requirement about "keep[ing] your commentary relevant to the discussion ..." that carves out an exception where the original poster uses a semi-light-hearted tone to discuss a potentially real issue.  But that's not what this thread is about.

To return back to the discussion raised in this thread, I would answer your question, but I seem to be prohibited from doing so by the community guidelines.

Of course you're prohibited.  You can't give out RL information without the person's permission.  You could have posted seriously, however, in general terms, if you really had to do so.  It would have been a relevant discussion point for some, I'm sure.

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Don't judge me wrong Ruchi I come from a civilised country and while a lot of folks over here would happily accept Megan's Law as well, our Philosphists, Psychiatrists and Jurists consider such a law barbaric. We have those databases too but they are not public  and that has good reasons.

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2 minutes ago, Garnet Psaltery said:

Of course you're prohibited.  You can't give out RL information without the person's permission.  You could have posted seriously, however, in general terms, if you really had to do so.  It would have been a relevant discussion point for some, I'm sure.

That I injected some humor does not diminish the fact that I did post seriously.  Anyway...back on topic...

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3 minutes ago, Fionalein said:

Don't judge me wrong Ruchi I come from a civilised country and while a lot of folks over here would happily accept Megan's Law as well, our Philosphists, Psychiatrists and Jurists consider such a law barbaric. We have those databases too but they are not public  and that has good reasons.

Understood, Fionalein...and the U.S. has good reasons for making the databases public...but you raise a good point...perhaps there is no requirement here on SL for that reason -- out of comity for the law of other nations.  That said, Orwar raises a good point as well...that SL is legally responsible under California law.

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22 minutes ago, RuchiVee said:

I was wondering if, since sex offenders are required by federal and state laws to register and make public certain information about themselves in RL, if there was some requirement that they do the same somewhere in the SL database to caution other users.

 

Depending on the offense, sex offenders are not allowed on the internet at all. I know because I know someone.

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the TOS and guidelines are here for a reason. As long a person keeps those, and the guidelines there is no reason at all to lift their right on privacy here, or where else in the world.
For morals the USA isn't really the best leader to teach that to the world.

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3 minutes ago, Love Zhaoying said:

Depending on the offense, sex offenders are not allowed on the internet at all. I know because I know someone.

In that case even easier, alert the authorities, if he's allowed on the internet there is nothing they can do, if he is not: bingo... no LL sex offender database needed.

Edited by Fionalein
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If you feel a rl person is breaking rl regulations, laws, rules, having something to do with a rl SOR, you should be seeking out the rl authorities in charge of such violations.

I'm not just being a smartass, I actually mean that.

I don't think anyone wants me going into a novel about why disclosure in sl, of this nature, is different than it is in rl, but suffice it to say, it actually is. You need to take a look at the restrictions someone on an SOR has in rl, and attempt to apply them to sl. Are there rl underage people involved? Is this person violating whatever rl laws, rules, regulations, probation requirements, etc..while doing something in sl? Do you have proof of such? Is this person merely acting like an asshat because, well, perhaps that person is one, or is there an actual crime taking place?

If you can answer yes to any of those questions, sl, these forums, and even LL, are not the places you should be turning..but rather rl authorities. If your answer is no to all of those questions...then I highly recommend you remove yourself from the situation. If you feel the need to inform others that may also be involved in such a situation, but still answer no to all of those questions, yet your "gut" tells you something is seriously off with this person....you have recourse OUTSIDE of sl property that you can choose. While you may not be able to tell someone in sl, or on sl property, about the...status...of someone on the SOR, you have no obligation to keep quiet outside of it. It's not something I'd recommend in all situations, probably not even most, and my advice to take advantage of the fact that outside of sl property LL has no control may not go over well with some....in some cases, in some instances, I can see it necessary.

I once ran across a situation similar, in that I know someone, well met someone, years ago, who is also on a SOR and was acting, shall we say, less than savory in sl(I'm not going into detail, don't ask). I had no qualms letting the girl he was currently with in sl know, outside of sl, because she had told me they were getting serious(rl, not just sl) and she has children that fall within his desired demographic. It may make me sound like a drama llama, or even an ass for telling her, but I felt it was warranted, and I don't regret it for one minute, especially now given where he currently resides.  I would have felt horrible had I not told her and, worst case scenario....There are some thing I don't mess with. Had they not been getting serious in rl, had he merely just been an inappropriate ass in sl..I would not have told her. That was a situation that warranted it, though she wasn't all that bright and SHOULD have checked for herself anyway, given the way he behaved at times, but I digress...This is likely nothing like the situation you're speaking of, so it's probably not the best course of action for you to take. 

Edited by Tari Landar
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Do you know that the specific person you met is actually violating any of there terms of probation by being in SL?  Were they required to register as a sex offender with online sites as well as with local law enforcement agencies?  If you are certain that you really know their real identity and feel that they were in violation of RL court orders, then the place to take that up would be in RL with the appropriate law enforcement or probation department.   

I'm not sure what the specific person did inworld that was arguably inappropriate, but if it involved an underage avatar in a sexual situation, an AR would be the appropriate response (and LL does take those very seriously).  Outside of that situation,  you may find all kinds of other inappropriate behavior and propositions  (and not by people that are also RL sex offenders).  Just about every fetish that exists in the world most likely exists somewhere in SL.  

Inworld, you can mute others that you find behaving inappropriately and refine the types of areas in SL that you visit.  Always be careful about who you release RL info to, and if you do, what type of RL info you share.  If you have issues outside of SL with someone you met inworld and shared RL info with, contact local law enforcement.

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I appreciate the responses, in large part, and the invitation to consider some ancillary issues that many of the inquiries raised here are suggesting (@Garnet, please see the last sentence of my earlier post) -- it is indeed food for thought.

I guess the answer to my original question is:  my hands are tied under the community guidelines from warning other SL users against any potential dangers of this sex offender.

So...the moral of the story, I suppose, is caveat emptor.

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Just one point...

You don't know who the RL person is. You think you do because he told you who he is, but that's just an anonymous person claiming to be a real person. You don't know if he told you the truth.

Concuring with what's been said already, you need to ask LL. That's the only place you'll get a definitive answer.

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22 minutes ago, Phil Deakins said:

You think you do because he told you who he is, but that's just an anonymous person claiming to be a real person. You don't know if he told you the truth.

    My name is Bond... James Bond. Pleased to meet you.

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If the person told you who he is and acted in a lawfully unacceptable way, contact the authorities and block the person if you have no intention of interacting with him again. No need to risk breaking the rules and guidelines just to warn people about someone who might or might not be what you think he is.

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2 hours ago, RuchiVee said:

Suspicious, I ran a check on a sexual predator database, and, lo and behold, this person is a real-life, twice-convicted sex offender against victims who were both underage.

Block, then AR him please so the Lab (and not you) can decide. It may be against the LL TOS for him to be in SL, but this isn't your choice to make, it's the Lab's.

Quote

 

5.3 We may terminate your Account(s) to protect the best interests of the Service and the community or if we believe you pose an unacceptable risk to the community.

We may terminate your Account if we determine in our discretion that such action is necessary or advisable to comply with legal requirements or protect the rights or interests of Linden Lab, the Service community or any third party.

We may terminate your Account(s) if we learn, or in good faith believe, that you are a registered sex offender, that accessing the Service may violate a condition of parole or probation, that you have engaged in or attempted to engage in conduct with minors on the Service that violates this Agreement, or that you for any other reason may pose what we deem to be an unacceptable risk to the Service community.

 

 

Edited by Callum Meriman
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By the way OP, there are about 180 people in the world with my real life name, one of those people is in my own city. My name is not a common one, but it's the nature of humanity. Our family name grows in size over the century and families who have no knowledge of another can and do name their newborns similar names.

One of the people with my real life name - he lives in a different country thank the gods - is a murderer.

That's the biggest problem in my eyes with the USA's barbaric laws on this issue, innocent people, very innocent people, can be subjected to puritanical witchhunts that they don't deserve when stupid people make assumptions.

OP,  I want you to google your real life name and go through the first 10 pages, look for other people who share it. Would you enjoy it if one of them was listed publically as a sex offender? Imagine all those Facebook hate messages you get as someone sees your real name, sees a barbaric sex-offender list with the same name (different person obviously) and puts 2 and 2 together to get 9?

 

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