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"It's really, really hard to build a world" - Philip on Civility


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Philip pays a lot more attention to the problems of civil society than he did 20 years ago, and I tend to agree with what he says here -- and I'm glad he is getting the attention of Politico (which could have tuned in 10 years ago, but ok):

“Any centralized company such as Facebook that's trying to maximize shareholder value is going to create an environment of rules that allows people to do too much harm to each other,” Rosedale said. “The ideas that maximize profits for a company are not contained in the social contract that humans need to behave civilly.”

So many socialists and anti-capitalists on this forum will be noisily applauding but I think it's important to look closer>

Note the distinctions underpinning this statement, (even given Philip's propensity, like a lot of Silicon Valley techs, to espouse anti-business ideals even as they embody the "no business but my business" ideal themselves): he's not saying that the profit motive should be outlawed, that the motivation of business to make a profit is somehow "wrong"; rather, it has its place. But it is not the organizing principle of *society at large*. Behaving civilly -- and ensuring that others behave civilly -- is not going to maximize profit because it's expensive ('the customer service state") and hard and people disagree. You could argue that "do unto others" maximizes profits but it doesn't, really. It's expensive.

The motive for the US Constitution isn't "profit" but "the pursuit of happiness," let's say, which isn't the same thing.  "Happiness" in the sense of welfare, prosperity, and freedom which are not all expressed as "profits".

Philip was always really taken with the problem of griefing and earlier sought technical solutions that his fellow techs saw as "nerfing". Self-replicating attacks by 4chan that crash sims? Let's have gray-goo fences. Etc. Then Starax' wand is "destroyed" (it actually wasn't as anyone could demonstrate today but the rapidity and the plethora of cows were perhaps diminished, leading him and others to say with anguish that "creativity was destroyed". But why, for the sake of the wonder and joy of Starax' wand, do I have to have showers of racist and anti-gay prims and particles deluging my sim? And so on.

The problem of how to have a civil society online has always been what I found intellectually interesting in SL although its founders and fanboyz were less enthralled with these concerns because they all think they are solved by "benevolent dictatorship" -- fork, or GTFO, there's the door, go on your own sim, de-render, etc. etc. Tools. Ever problem has a tool, every nail a hammer. So there's never any effort to tackle moral problems by organic methods, which I think are still necessary and why I bother. For example, to help stop school shooters, you would have to end the glee that so many public figures, media, and entertainment take in others' misfortunes. That is, it won't be possible to end (it's human nature, which isn't fixable with technical solutions), but it is curbed and deterred when it becomes clear that it isn't socially acceptable and also a needless path of failure.

So when a tenant puts a Russian genocidal "Z" on her cabin, and puts it for sale in a residential area, there are two offenses of my rental rules here -- the first is for commercial activity in a residential rental, and the second is summarized as a violation of the general rule "be considerate of your neighbour," and to me, it's a very basic issue that even if the TOS doesn't proscribe the Russian "Z" as it does swastikas, it should, so I AR'd them under the "offensive" rubric. (The TOS used to contain a great section, 2(C), which said that you should not interfere in the enjoyment of SL by another. Lawyers removed it as overbroad, but it was very useful and in fact applicable. 

It's not just because there might be Ukrainians who see this "Z" and are harmed; all of us should be repulsed at the "Z" if they have read even the slightest coverage of battles such at Mariupol. Of course the Lindens, like this particular tenant, still harbour illusions that perhaps communism/Putinism/etc. are not "like" Nazism and therefore "good ideas gone wrong" that therefore don't have offensive symbols. Or they "aren't equivalent" and "don't rise to the test." They should. My "Z"-celebrating tenant started peppering me with links to stories on the Azov battalion. If she kept up the linky-loo work, pretty soon she'd find my own articles on Azov, where we reported on the awful hands-on thugs running that outfit in the early years of the war. Of course, Russia has even more fascists who are far worse, proportionally, and now this is far more visible in the war in Ukraine, although apparently not to everyone. Imagine putting Pastor Niemoller's famous quote on your profile, as so many do, and imagining that therefore the "Z" is some kind of positive symbol, like some kind of Lincoln Brigade in the Spanish Civil War.

(Further explanation): Next, this tenant put out a 4chan type cynical meme of the type "I'm for all the things you're supposed to be for" -- which included the Ukrainian flag in a jumble of things. Then after I muted her when she kept arguing, removed the content, and told her she didn't have to rent from me and could get a refund, I expected that she accepted this, as the next time I went there, there was no sign at all. Then I was alerted to the fact that she put two Z signs out for sale again, so then I evicted her and returned the content.

I cite this as a moral issue that LL won't do anything about, technical or social, but then the individual landlord can do what he likes as the same principles apply (within the TOS) on a smaller level. And Internet platforms don't even need Section 230 to make rules of civility -- the question is more about how to enforce it (and I'm not sure a legion of librarians is the answer although this thinker Joan Donovan is very interesting to read on these issues.)

So the question is basically how morality will be legislated and that's always controversial. So back in the day when the Lindens were reforming the group tools (under pressure from various factions including landlords), you would get thinkers like Daniel Linden who would say, it doesn't matter if some extreme form of slavery or persecution is allowed, as long as it is kept on their own sim, and they will regulate it as they see fit (and thus remove the burden from the platform). So what if a Gorean slave finds this slavery is taken to RL? Well, then call the local police station, call your Mom, it's not LL's problem. OK, but let's say the master demands that the slave give him her password so he can control her account, that violates the TOS, what then? Will the Lindens take an AR? Well, the thinking from Daniel then was that the master as owner of the sim would take the complaint. But fast forward to today, and you see the Lindens didn't take this direction. Up to a point, there is "home rule," but there is platform intervention on the basics of security, so that crashing your university's sim regularly was not accepted as "academic freedom". Good!

What I hear from Philip in this interview and others are a lot of really great warnings, a lot of really great cautions, and a certain belief that the Lindens solved some of this (and in fairness they did through the AR system and the soft promulgation of values like "turn off full bright on objects" or things like script or attachment limits.  But you don't really hear more from Philip on anything more robust. And come to think of it, we ourselves within SL haven't really hard anything of what Philip has been doing lately. 

Edited by Prokofy Neva
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1 hour ago, Prokofy Neva said:

So when a tenant puts a Russian genocidal "Z" on her cabin, and puts it for sale in a residential area, there are two offenses of my rental rules here -- the first is summarized by "be considerate of your neighbour," and to me, it's a very basic issue that even if the TOS doesn't proscribe the Russian "Z" as it does swastikas, it should, so I AR'd them under the "offensive" rubric.

What was the second offense of your rental rules? I looked and looked and looked, but did not find it in your post.
 

Also, did you kick your renter out? I looked and looked but didn't see that either.

Edited by Love Zhaoying
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I could go on with great length on this, but perhaps it is all over, and as I had posed to recent staff on a related platform - that current society and it's social issues and needs of the individuals for safe spaces and to ban and cancel everyone and everything they don't like - then add to that some form of Facebook babysitting and governance, etc - that it is no longer possible to have a free and open virtual world.

The last 2 years I saw how far the nanny state will go. I had experienced it first 2 years in a virtual platform and experienced first hand what it feels like when people want a safe space where nothing will ever offend them - and then in real life to a shocking degree that I will never forget, and am probably traumatized by if I am being honest.

The nanny state is here and only growing in both virtual and reality worlds. AR is just code for 'tattletaling', and yet real disputes are handled with "Both of you stop arguing, or you're both grounded!" - both very frustrating and unfair yet modern practices.

It's really hard to build worlds alright, creators will know more than anyone the work it takes even into the smallest instance or 'game level', and it makes it harder when it must conform to squeeky clean, apolitical, don't offend anyone with anything at anytime - or you lose it all - is not conducive to investment into it.

It was fun while it lasted, but virtual reality seems to want to mirror the real world and be a hellish hole of governance and parental doting and tattletaling, and possibly with a bigger Metaverse manifestation - a means of mass user control. No thanks. As usual... born to early to get in at the ground floor, too old to take the ball and run with it because it all died before you had the chance.

As a creator, for a company to have the ultimate say over your future - and who can wipe out your creations, your worlds, your accounts and your investments 'at our discretion' will allow them huge control over those types and other people - and I've seen it used and personally experienced it. I won't be joining any platform that aims to put me under chains in order to particpate. It can stay dormant and 'broke' like some platforms that decided to do so.

I should be excited about the metaverse and the possibilities but how Facebook and other companies want to do it, just looks like a hellish experience

Edited by Codex Alpha
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1 hour ago, Love Zhaoying said:

What was the second offense of your rental rules? I looked and looked and looked, but did not find it in your post.
 

Also, did you kick your renter out? I looked and looked but didn't see that either.

Maybe it isn't obvious to you, but when you designate an area as "residential" in a rentals, it is the norm that no commerce can be done there, no stores, tip jars, vendors, etc. The chief reason is that if you have a store it attracts people and fills up the sim, and then other tenants can't get home to their rentals they paid for. And another good reason: if I'm offering cheap, *subsidized* small rentals like this for $50/75, where the rent doesn't cover the tier I pay, I don't see why you get to exploit that cheap, subsidized land to run your business and save yourself costs I bear. The sign sold for $10. 

And yes, of course I kicked her out after the second warning. I don't care if the Lindens only designate the swastika is an intolerable hate symbol; the Z is one just as well, as is the Soviet hammer and sickle. The Lindens would get too much static if they policed Soviet symbolism in SL -- but I do AR the communists who constantly grief my memorial to the victims of communism and exploit the fact that it is open for candles to be placed and put out all kinds of junk. The Lindens could only shrug and say put on autoreturn and put on group access only -- see THAT is the point, solve moral problems with technical means. No, I think you leave the lot open; you continue to make your statements and provide information about the mass crimes against humanity committed by communists, and you AR people who encroach and litter, even if you can return it, because it's the sign of a larger moral problem, where these people are violently, using force, griefing, and harassment, trying to enforce their view of the world. 

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4 minutes ago, Prokofy Neva said:

Maybe it isn't obvious to you, but when you designate an area as "residential" in a rentals, it is the norm that no commerce can be done there, no stores, tip jars, vendors, etc.

No, it was fairly obvious, but you explicitly listed 1 of 2 things. So, rather than guess, it seemed worth actually understanding your story and the points you were making. That's why I asked, thank you.

6 minutes ago, Prokofy Neva said:

And yes, of course I kicked her out after the second warning.

Thank you again.
 

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1 hour ago, Codex Alpha said:

I could go on with great length on this, but perhaps it is all over, and as I had posed to recent staff on a related platform - that current society and it's social issues and needs of the individuals for safe spaces and to ban and cancel everyone and everything they don't like - then add to that some form of Facebook babysitting and governance, etc - that it is no longer possible to have a free and open virtual world.

The last 2 years I saw how far the nanny state will go. I had experienced it first 2 years in a virtual platform and experienced first hand what it feels like when people want a safe space where nothing will ever offend them - and then in real life to a shocking degree that I will never forget, and am probably traumatized by if I am being honest.

The nanny state is here and only growing in both virtual and reality worlds. AR is just code for 'tattletaling', and yet real disputes are handled with "Both of you stop arguing, or you're both grounded!" - both very frustrating and unfair yet modern practices.

It's really hard to build worlds alright, creators will know more than anyone the work it takes even into the smallest instance or 'game level', and it makes it harder when it must conform to squeeky clean, apolitical, don't offend anyone with anything at anytime - or you lose it all - is not conducive to investment into it.

It was fun while it lasted, but virtual reality seems to want to mirror the real world and be a hellish hole of governance and parental doting and tattletaling, and possibly with a bigger Metaverse manifestation - a means of mass user control. No thanks. As usual... born to early to get in at the ground floor, too old to take the ball and run with it because it all died before you had the chance.

As a creator, for a company to have the ultimate say over your future - and who can wipe out your creations, your worlds, your accounts and your investments 'at our discretion' will allow them huge control over those types and other people - and I've seen it used and personally experienced it. I won't be joining any platform that aims to put me under chains in order to particpate. It can stay dormant and 'broke' like some platforms that decided to do so.

I should be excited about the metaverse and the possibilities but how Facebook and other companies want to do it, just looks like a hellish experience

I totally understand your thinking on this but I think this is exactly what has to end, has to be changed, and has to be re-thought. And that re-thinking doesn't have to end with a net-nannying experience of the type we have all come to loathe on the forums. 

We have school shooters because no one ever dares to admit that violent video games could be at issue, and much more to the point, that 4chan and 8chan web sites are implicated, obviously in at least 3 cases and related in others. Everyone says oh noes, you can't ban free speech. But if you can't see your way clear to removing a video that shows a lone gunman murdering people in a church or school or shopping market, then you are not decent or reputable -- and PS you control your platform enough to scrape every detail of information from every individual to sell ads, yet you "can't" remove *this*??? It has to change. And all the content that precedes those shootings that incite ridicule, hate, cynicism, nihilism? Why can't we morally oppose this? Everyone is so busy fighting off a legislative solution from the Christian right or whatever that they forget that you *can* take a moral position and you *can* set the tone.

That's what the point is, not letting the cynical mavens of Facebook be "net nannies". He's saying virtuality will have to be run on a different principle. So what is that principle, who will pay for it and who will govern it? And the answer is, the government will have to run some of it, ideally a liberal democratic elected government, especially when related to elections, health care, education, etc. And the private companies will be tasked not to turn out school shooters.

And will change, because people won't go on standing for it and endlessly indulging in whataboutism. Platforms are not free speech town halls, like real life town halls or town squares; that they play this role in a society where town halls (and churches and civic centers etc) are empty doesn't matter: the reality of the law still is that they can make their own rules. So they should. I can't name the name of a landlord on the forums who skipped his tier and left his tenants with their property returned by the Lindens? Yet I can't get the Lindens to issue a warning on the grounds of extreme violent content over the "Z"? What kind of world is that? Virtual worlds have to become more real. 

Instead of the morality and civility of RL eventually influencing the Internet to become better, the opposite has happened, where the insidious enjoyment of the misfortune of others is rampant through every aspect of life and murder becomes acceptable and unstoppable. 

I think there's a big difference between safe-spacing and shielding particularly students and young people from every kind of "trigger" or unpleasant content, and pushing back against nihilism and cynicism with a moral stance on various issues. What, the kids can laugh and point and re-post a mass shooting on Reddit and 4chan and Insta? Then they need a safe space on their campus to retreat if "The Iliad and the Odyssey" is being read aloud and might "trigger" them? Really?

Did not the Lindens make a very effective statement and blogpost about Ukraine? And wouldn't the moral outcome of that stance involve removing a "Z"? And the "Z" is just an example of a moral problem in this discussion. There are countless others. 

What Philip is saying is that if you run the platform essentially as an ad business (it's no longer supporting the noble mission of connecting people; it *is* the mission -- just like Google isn't just search, but an ad business) -- then you by definition will not be moral in your implementation of this mission. I agree. You will let the viral video go 30 minutes, 60 minutes, anything to sell ads. You will let the antisemitic and anti-LGBT hate speech sit for days because it keeps people "engaged" and then they click on the ads more. You can't be fixed by technology or by good intentions. The ONLY way to stop you is by redacting Section 230 and other measures so that you at least bear the pain that the regular legacy media has to bear for libel, misinformation, and bias.

How has the Hill, the Washington Post, etc. fixed the problem of Kremlin trolls and bad actors in their comments? They removed them completely or heavily edit them. The NYT allows more comments but filtrates extensively; I was surprised to see a NYT "content manager" snooping my Linked-In before clearing my comment criticizing Timothy Snyder. Imagine. Elite curation goes on constantly, the battle is already underway, and you're worried about net-nannying? 

 

Edited by Prokofy Neva
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1 hour ago, Prokofy Neva said:

Note the distinctions underpinning this statement, (even given Philip's propensity, like a lot of Silicon Valley techs, to espouse anti-business ideals even as they embody the "no business but my business" ideal themselves): he's not saying that the profit motive should be outlawed, that the motivation of business to make a profit is somehow "wrong"; rather, it has its place. But it is not the organizing principle of *society at large*. Behaving civilly -- and ensuring that others behave civilly -- is not going to maximize profit because it's expensive ('the customer service state") and hard and people disagree. You could argue that "do unto others" maximizes profits but it doesn't, really. It's expensive.

It's a little difficult to make out exactly where you are going with this, but I take it from what you're saying here generally, along with your Twitter thread, that you are calling for a sort of "mixed system" in which there is room for both profit-making (but not profit maximization) and the imposition of mechanisms and rules that enable (enforce?) civility.

Which, okay, sure . . . yes, I generally agree. But you're a wee bit fuzzy on how the actual mechanisms of this might look. It's also not clear to me who will police the police, so to speak: are there sufficient mechanism existing now to encourage companies like LL to create worlds built along ethical principles? Is the solution simply to get rid of Section 230 and safe harbour laws? How financially feasible is that? Wouldn't that make it essentially impossible for YouTube, Twitter, Facebook . . . and potentially SL, to survive?

And that's an important question precisely because it's the economics of it, the economic model within which LL itself must operate, that dictates the "need" for Sec. 230. What is more, LL is embedded in a system that rewards profit maximization. I think I'd argue that, while I'm sure there are very good and ethical people "at the top," they are always gong to be constrained by the need to generate profit. And the economic model in place in SL is even more Neoliberal than the system under which LL itself operates: there are next to no consumer protections, very few restrictions on what one can feature on one's own land, etc.

You mention, in your Twitter feed, that you were banned from the forums at one point as a "business" decision. I think I could argue that virtually everything that LL has done since . . . 2005? . . . has been a "business decision." Celebrating Pride Month here isn't precisely pink-washing, but it comes close: LL recognizes how important the LGBTQ community is to its operations. NOT doing anything about representations of extreme violence and, most especially, violence against women, is a business decision.

Again, I think LL employs a great many people of real integrity, who DO actually care about things like Pride. But in the final analysis, the issues here are systemic, and the "system" in question is the one that houses LL itself.

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9 minutes ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

It's a little difficult to make out exactly where you are going with this, but I take it from what you're saying here generally, along with your Twitter thread, that you are calling for a sort of "mixed system" in which there is room for both profit-making (but not profit maximization) and the imposition of mechanisms and rules that enable (enforce?) civility.

Which, okay, sure . . . yes, I generally agree. But you're a wee bit fuzzy on how the actual mechanisms of this might look. It's also not clear to me who will police the police, so to speak: are there sufficient mechanism existing now to encourage companies like LL to create worlds built along ethical principles? Is the solution simply to get rid of Section 230 and safe harbour laws? How financially feasible is that? Wouldn't that make it essentially impossible for YouTube, Twitter, Facebook . . . and potentially SL, to survive?

And that's an important question precisely because it's the economics of it, the economic model within which LL itself must operate, that dictates the "need" for Sec. 230. What is more, LL is embedded in a system that rewards profit maximization. I think I'd argue that, while I'm sure there are very good and ethical people "at the top," they are always gong to be constrained by the need to generate profit. And the economic model in place in SL is even more Neoliberal than the system under which LL itself operates: there are next to no consumer protections, very few restrictions on what one can feature on one's own land, etc.

You mention, in your Twitter feed, that you were banned from the forums at one point as a "business" decision. I think I could argue that virtually everything that LL has done since . . . 2005? . . . has been a "business decision." Celebrating Pride Month here isn't precisely pink-washing, but it comes close: LL recognizes how important the LGBTQ community is to its operations. NOT doing anything about representations of extreme violence and, most especially, violence against women, is a business decision.

Again, I think LL employs a great many people of real integrity, who DO actually care about things like Pride. But in the final analysis, the issues here are systemic, and the "system" in question is the one that houses LL itself.

I don't expect to have any really useful discussion on the forums about this which is why I didn't make a long post even longer. I mainly wanted people to see Philip's interview and think about it. Philip endlessly counters Meta with sober warnings about how bad things get and how much has to be done in a virtual world. And yet he stood idly by while griefers endlessly harassed and vilified people inworld; while they endlessly crashed sims; while they extorted with ad farms (and still do). That is, he did "something" -- which was technical in nature, make a gray goo fence, eventually make a rule about ad farms that can be mechanically measured automatically I suppose, etc. 

But for the world to have changed in the way he wished, HE would have to change his culture, where 4chan wasn't creative and edgy and cool; where not 50 but 150 Something Awful denizens in his world would be banned (remember when he banned some but not all? There were those who held the cloaks). He would have to face down his own staff and his peers who thought security orbs that teleport people home like warriors defeated in battle in an online war game were fine, and deprecate that script. 

But the real answer to your question is that real life has to do this. Elected representative bodies. Moral leaders. Civic institutions. Of the kind destroyed by the Internet, but which still limp along enough that they could still rise and make the Internet a more tolerable and less destructive place. I don't see the Lindens as  pink washing as they have a long history of protecting LGBT in SL and promoting pride out of their general cultural and ideological position. Their tolerance of violent and extreme forms of sexual entertainment likely cannot last. We are always one news story away from an SL "choke me daddy" kind of group going real and ending in tragedy. 

Yes, redacting Section 230 so that Google and Facebook have to behave like the New York Times will go a long way towards fixing this. They will end by having to introduce subscriptions as they will lose customers. They will have to weather the change in a business model. They will have to become the phone company and the electric company AND the New York Times.

I don't have the loathing you do to the capitalist system and the profit motive. I think that it has to be regulated as you know and the capitalists can't kill their own customers but have to ensure their own welfare for pragmatic if not moral reasons, and it is the duty of the citizenry and the media to make this clear to them. The word "Neoliberal" comes from a belief system I don't share and its imagined evils don't impress me. There is enough real evil without imagining the patriarchy forcing every woman into a red gown.

As I have said many times before, the path to integrity and ending the tyranny of 230 in our little case is for the Lindens to allow allegations of crime and wrongdoing on the forums, and to allow counter arguments to be made by the person targeted and his supporters. I really is important. And reinstating a full police blotter with name of complainant, name of perpetrator, location, and action taken. Like real life.

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

But the real answer to your question is that real life has to do this. Elected representative bodies. Moral leaders. Civic institutions. Of the kind destroyed by the Internet, but which still limp along enough that they could still rise and make the Internet a more tolerable and less destructive place.

Yes.

12 minutes ago, Prokofy Neva said:

I don't see the Lindens as  pink washing as they have a long history of protecting LGBT in SL and promoting pride out of their general cultural and ideological position.

I actually did stop short of saying that it was pink-washing. I think you're probably right, although I wouldn't underplay the financial side of it either. Pink-washing has become very prevalent in the past decade or so for a reason.

13 minutes ago, Prokofy Neva said:

As I have said many times before, the path to integrity and ending the tyranny of 230 in our little case is for the Lindens to allow allegations of crime and wrongdoing on the forums, and to allow counter arguments to be made by the person targeted and his supporters. I really is important.

That would effectively kill the forums. Do you have any idea what it would be like here if anyone with a gripe against a merchant, customer, renter, etc., could simply air their grievances here? And part of the problem is that, again, there would be no mechanisms to prevent malicious attacks on people. The forums would become like Virtual Secrets without the stupid memes.

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27 minutes ago, Prokofy Neva said:

The word "Neoliberal" comes from a belief system I don't share and its imagined evils don't impress me.

Why would you like neoliberalism?

"Neoliberalism sees competition as the defining characteristic of human relations. It redefines citizens as consumers, whose democratic choices are best exercised by buying and selling, a process that rewards merit and punishes inefficiency. It maintains that “the market” delivers benefits that could never be achieved by planning.

Attempts to limit competition are treated as inimical to liberty. Tax and regulation should be minimised, public services should be privatised. The organisation of labour and collective bargaining by trade unions are portrayed as market distortions that impede the formation of a natural hierarchy of winners and losers. Inequality is recast as virtuous: a reward for utility and a generator of wealth, which trickles down to enrich everyone. Efforts to create a more equal society are both counterproductive and morally corrosive. The market ensures that everyone gets what they deserve.

We internalise and reproduce its creeds. The rich persuade themselves that they acquired their wealth through merit, ignoring the advantages – such as education, inheritance and class – that may have helped to secure it. The poor begin to blame themselves for their failures, even when they can do little to change their circumstances.

Never mind structural unemployment: if you don’t have a job it’s because you are unenterprising. Never mind the impossible costs of housing: if your credit card is maxed out, you’re feckless and improvident. Never mind that your children no longer have a school playing field: if they get fat, it’s your fault. In a world governed by competition, those who fall behind become defined and self-defined as losers".

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/apr/15/neoliberalism-ideology-problem-george-monbiot

Edited by Luna Bliss
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2 hours ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

That would effectively kill the forums.

It would kill the entire grid, and much of the social internet as we know it.

Proponents of removing section 230 often cite its removal as a way only censor objectionable or illegal content, however the remaining burden would be such that absolute censorship is the only possible practical or financially viable outcome. It is a technical (and legal) impossibility for any platform or corporation to sign off on the explicit legality of all their users actions all of the time.

A service that is liable for all the actions of it's users can't simply police those actions to tighter standards, it must prevent user actions or they can and will be held liable for everything.

 

All so some can force authoritarianism, be it government or a service provider, the boot must come down because should it fail to, a bigger boot will come for it.

 

The EFF cover this in far more detail and go into how section 230 underpins everything we have built online.

https://www.eff.org/issues/cda230

https://www.eff.org/issues/cda230/infographic

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Prokofy Neva said:

Yes, redacting Section 230 so that Google and Facebook have to behave like the New York Times will go a long way towards fixing this

i agree with this. I don't see how posting to a public forum, like this one, or to public boards on Facebook or Reddit, etc. is any different from posts/letters/articles on the New York Times

Facebook, Reddit, Linden too with this forum, are publishers. And I think they have to abide by publishing rules same as any other publisher

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4 minutes ago, Mollymews said:

i agree with this. I don't see how posting to a public forum, like this one, or to public boards on Facebook or Reddit, etc. is any different from posts/letters/articles on the New York Times

Facebook, Reddit, Linden too with this forum, are publishers. And I think they have to abide by publishing rules same as any other publisher

How do you imagine any public forum would operate post section 230 ?

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"It's really, really hard to build a world". But SL is close to having it right.

The key to the "civility" problem is keeping jerks local. As I've said before, jerks in SL have an annoyance radius of about 100 meters (the "shout" distance), and Second Life is about the size of Los Angeles. Right now, there's probably someone, somewhere in SL, being a jerk. And very few users are aware they even exist. That's a really good feature.

SL does not have a broadcast medium. There are groups, but nobody can add you to their group without you taking action. So spam is not much of a problem. Group owners can stop spam within their groups, and if the group owner spams, people leave the group.

This both keeps the jerk problem under control and makes advertising difficult. There's no way to blast ads at large numbers of people within SL. Most of the people pontificating about the metaverse in the mainstream media do not get this at all. They think of it as a broadcast ad-supported medium, like Facebook or Twitter, where "followers" and "influencers" have large audiences.

The features needed for advertising create the "civility" problem. Which is why ad-supported social media systems end up with an army of outsourced censors armed with ban hammers.

Edited by animats
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15 minutes ago, Coffee Pancake said:

How do you imagine any public forum would operate post section 230 ?

Remember something called "editing"? It's what they do at newspapers, including the letters to the editor section.

In our time, the comments section of those papers which still have them are moderated in some ways less than this forum, in some ways more, by professional "content managers" who actually went to journalism school, which you think would be the opposite of what they are doing now, but no, it fits. 

There is absolutely no reason not to require real identity on any forums or virtual world. You can always layer a pseudonym over this RL name which makes you responsible for what you post. A car on the highway has a license and is identifiable when it violates traffic rules, and the Internet of people should be no different. The question is first to identify the limits of speech and the second is to invest in moderation. But most important is to set the tone and show leadership. The Lindens or any platform owner can editorialize. They can comment on the issues of the day and opine on what is right and wrong. They already do this on some issues, but not all. 

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Remember something called "editing"?

How do you imagine that's a practical solution for social media?  How many instances of publication do you think are taking place on Facebook per minute on average?  How many hours per day do you think Hobby fan101 has to devote to policing their hobby forum or the comment section of their blog? 

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Will there be a Reader's Digest Condensed Books version of this thread?  

*Edit* I went back and read the really long earlier posts; it took more patience and attention than I'm used to, but it was worth the effort.

Edited by Love Zhaoying
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8 hours ago, Prokofy Neva said:

As I have said many times before, the path to integrity and ending the tyranny of 230 in our little case is for the Lindens to allow allegations of crime and wrongdoing on the forums, and to allow counter arguments to be made by the person targeted and his supporters. I really is important. And reinstating a full police blotter with name of complainant, name of perpetrator, location, and action taken. Like real life.

But who will be the judge in this case? Forum moderators? "Upvotes" by forum members? Who says either of those have the needed good judgment and integrity? I agree with almost everything you say on this subject.

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5 hours ago, Coffee Pancake said:

How do you imagine any public forum would operate post section 230 ?

moderation queue. A post has to be moderated before it is published. Not withdrawn/deleted/edited/removed by the moderator after it has been published

 

 

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