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Void Singer

An Open letter to Rod Humble (Re: Second Life forums)

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(with apologies for length, and the fact that I had no one beter to direct this to)

To Mr. Humble, CEO Linden Lab

  I'm writing you today, in the hopes of bringing your attention to what I feel is a detriment to the public image of SL and goodwill of it's residents. There is a trend of what appears to be worsening misapplication of guidelines in the official forums culminating with my own recent experience which I will detail shortly. I do wish to note first that I am not contesting the actions taken by LL staff, as I believe that they are only operating under the guidelines given to the best of their understanding and ability, and I hold no malice over it. My only issue is the clarity of the policies involved. Regardless of this, my understanding of the guidelines tells me that my discussion of the following details will very likely result in a ban from the forums. I am willing to accept this, because I believe the issues need to be openly addressed.

  Recently a poster upset by recent events posted a suggestion that others who felt similarly about those events, should join them in a sort of "blue flu" protest for a week, by refraining from answering questions. I don't know the details of those events beyond that a person (who is a known agitant) was banned. This is not my issue however. In reply to that I pointed out that historically (within SL) such protests had little effect, and that it would be more effective to direct those questioners to official support channels (original text below). The following day I logged in to find a private message from a moderator informing me that my post was removed for a violation of guidelines, specifically, "Flaming". I also found that the original thread to which I had replied was also removed, although I'm not aware of it's reasoning. Believing this to be a mistake or a simple misunderstanding of my intent, I requested a clarification, which was received the next day as "disruptive with the intent to abuse support" (text below), I can only assume that similar reasoning was applied to the original thread.

  I feel that this is both a gross misinterpretation of intent, and misapplication of guidelines that does a disservice to both the original poster, and myself, as well as the community at large. As examples of our depth of commitment and dedication to SL, the original poster is a long time and frequent assistant to those in need of help in SL, and my own efforts go back to 2005, with contributions across a wide array of fora and topics, the wiki, jira, and various inworld groups both official and resident run. These things are not a claim to some special privilege, we have neither expected nor asked for special consideration or recognition of our efforts, nor desire them.

  I believe that history speaks to intent though, which has ever been to help others where we can. I do realize my own statement could be misread, however I feel the suggestion to use (and education to find) the many scattered official sources can never be a bad thing... at the very worst it might slow response times, and at it's best it enables users to more easily help themselves. Similarly, residents are not paid workers, and the suggestion to temporarily halt their own voluntary efforts in a show of support is not deserving of punishment. It my firm belief that silencing these statements sends the message that LL considers resident helpers as an unpaid workforce, which are only tolerated so long as they fulfill the express purpose of easing LL's burden of providing support to residents. This is not a message I can support. I am not seeking an apology, or even a reason, but rather a change.

Sincerely,
- Void Singer (the only name anyone would recognize me by here anyway)

 

References (and the full text of this letter) can be found off site @ http://voidsinger.blogspot.com/ in a attempt to comply as much as possible with posting guidelines.

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OMG. I saw that post and thought nothing of it other than "Good idea!" I can't say that I wasn't tempted to follow your advice. Not everyone chose to participate or probably even knew of the "protest" and so I don't believe anybody went lacking for help.

I, too, am stunned by the revelation that telling someone to contact support could somehow be considered "abuse." I don't know what else to say except that if you do move on to greener pastures, as you suggest you may elsewhere, you will be sorely missed.

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Void Singer wrote:

<snip>

  I believe that history speaks to intent though, which has ever been to help others where we can. I do realize my own statement could be misread, however I feel the suggestion to use (and education to find) the many scattered official sources can
never
be a bad thing... At the very worst it might slow response times, and at it's best it enables users to more easily help themselves. Similarly, residents are not paid workers, and the suggestion to temporarily halt their own voluntary efforts in a show of support is not deserving of punishment.
It my firm belief that silencing these statements sends the message that LL considers resident helpers as an unpaid workforce, which are only tolerated so long as they fulfill the express purpose of easing LL's burden of providing support to residents.
This is not a message I can support.
I am not seeking an apology, or even a reason, but rather a change.

I also hope that a change is made.  Thank you, Void, for putting words to how I was feeling when I found out that thread was pulled.  I received the exact same letter with 'flaming' as the reason even though that was never the intent.  Since it was posted as I was leaving,  I never knew what responses were given. 

You have been helping the residents of SL for much longer than I've even been logging in and your reputation precedes you.  THAT is the kind of help that you can not hire.  It comes from a willingness to give up a small amount of your time just to give back to something you believe in while expecting nothing in return.  There are countless scripters out there who you have advised and I hope you continue to help.  Your experience is invaluable.

Thanks,

Cinn

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Void Singer wrote:

<snip>

  I believe that history speaks to intent though, which has ever been to help others where we can. I do realize my own statement could be misread, however I feel the suggestion to use (and education to find) the many scattered official sources can
never
be a bad thing... At the very worst it might slow response times, and at it's best it enables users to more easily help themselves. Similarly, residents are not paid workers, and the suggestion to temporarily halt their own voluntary efforts in a show of support is not deserving of punishment.
It my firm belief that silencing these statements sends the message that LL considers resident helpers as an unpaid workforce, which are only tolerated so long as they fulfill the express purpose of easing LL's burden of providing support to residents.
This is not a message I can support.
I am not seeking an apology, or even a reason, but rather a change.

I also hope that a change is made.  Thank you, Void, for putting words to how I was feeling when I found out that thread was pulled.  I received the exact same letter with 'flaming' as the reason even though that was never the intent.  Since it was posted as I was leaving,  I never knew what responses were given. 

You have been helping the residents of SL for much longer than I've even been logging in and your reputation precedes you.  THAT is the kind of help that you can not hire.  It comes from a willingness to give up a small amount of your time just to give back to something you believe in while expecting nothing in return.  There are countless scripters out there who you have advised and I hope you continue to help.  Your experience is invaluable.

Thanks,

Cinn

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Void, I just wanted to emerge from hibernation to say that I am completely supportive of your actions, and that it is apparent to me that LL has two options: either it can proceed the way that it is now, demonstrating an astonishing degree of corporate arrogance and short-sightedness, thereby alienating its long-term supporters and eroding the numbers of its core contributors (both from a support point of view and in terms of its commercial markets) or it can initiate a dialogue with the more influential members of its community which might illuminate the way forward and restore confidence in LL's roadmap towards a stable, fun and lucrative environment.

 

Pep (Over to you Rod)

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BUMPED

Hey Rodvik, if we in the forum had someone to deal with our issues here maybe then you wouldn't have to close down your feed.

 

We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values.  For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.  ~John F. Kennedy

 

The peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it.  If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth:  if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.  ~John Stuart Mill, On Liberty, 1859

 


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