84 of 365 SL Terms of Service Violations and Elite FIC Press Membership FTW

I am a member of an inworld group -- that you are free to join -- called the Second Life Press Corps (SLPC). I believe the group was formed about a year ago or maybe less I am not really sure. SLPC has been stone quiet forever. It has been so inactive that a few times I thought about deleting the group but I kept hoping that Linden Lab would engage us talkative bloggers so I held on to my membership. Recently, Pete Linden has started to engage the SLPC, which is a sign to me that things really may be changing under the new leadership at the Lab.

Some time last week members of of SLPC were invited to a meet and greet with the new CEO and were asked to RSVP. Some of us said "why thank you for the invite, I would very much like to meet Rodvik Linden in world for a half hour." The appointed time rolled around (11am SLT yesterday) and we all TPed to a bland meeting spot. We introduced ourselves. We talked for a few moments. It was an upbeat meeting.

I thought to myself -- hmmm.....there are only 20 people here. Perhaps posting a chat log of this to my blog would be a good idea so the people who are not in the group or those who could not make it would know what happened. Control C, Control V, publish. I have had a lot of pageviews on that post -- about 3 times my normal daily traffic -- so people were indeed interested in reading about what Rodvick Linden had to say. Mission accomplished. I shared information people found valuable and I got some pageviews. I felt pretty good! yay!

Fairly quickly someone on twitter suggested that posting a chat log is a TOS violation. Now, I take TOS violations seriously and I would not suggest such a thing, especially in a public forum like twitter, unless I knew for absolute sure what I was talking about. So in the interest of pubic education here is the relevant section of the Community Standards - NOT the Terms of Service mind you -- the Community Standards.


Residents are entitled to a reasonable level of privacy with regard to their Second Life experience. Sharing personal information about a fellow Resident --including gender, religion, age, marital status, race, sexual preference, and real-world location beyond what is provided by the Resident in the First Life page of their Resident profile is a violation of that Resident's privacy. Remotely monitoring conversations, posting conversation logs, or sharing conversation logs without consent are all prohibited in Second Life and on the Second Life Forums.

The important sentence is the last one in the paragraph above. Linden Lab tells us we are not allowed to post conversation logs without consent *in Second Life* and *on the Second Life Forums.* Note that it does not say "on your blog" or "in an email" or "on your radio show." Why? Because it is ludicrous to suggest that the long arm of Linden Lab controls the internet. They don't and the TOS and Community Standards do not exist outside of Second Life.

Beyond that minor point, when Pete Linden and Rodvik Linden invited members of the Press to a meet and greet I am going to guess they expected we would report back to our audiences what happened. I would go so far as to suggest that they wanted us to talk about our experience. Isn't that why a PR group for a corporation would create a press group and invite them to a meeting?

I have also seen rumblings from people who were not invited to the meeting about feeling excluded. I have seen blog posts calling those of us who did attend "the elite." How about we bring some facts to bear here. Here is the group charter of the SLPC group :

This group will be used by Linden Lab's PR team to share announcements, invitations to inworld press events, etc.

To request an invitation, please email pete@lindenlab.com with the following information:

• Your Second Life name

• The outlet (blog, magazine, TV show, etc.) that you work for - please provide the name, URL, and a brief description

Note: To be admitted to the group, the outlet you work for must be in compliance with our trademark guidelines: http://secondlife.com/corporate/brand/

So, if you want to be a member of this "elite" group please do email Pete Linden. I am sure the Press Corps can use a few more members. Next time we meet you can post the chat log, ok?


Maggie Darwin said...

His actual SL name is "Pete Linden". pete@lindenlab.com

Imnotgoing Sideways said...

Chatlog posting comes up quite often on the forums and in inworld Q&A groups. People often really believe their word is golden and they can find an authoritative way to protect every letter typed. (^_^)

What they miss is that Linden Lab is not the internet and they can't exactly enforce content rules beyond their own walled garden other than those things that exist within the walled garden of the U.S. patent and copyright guidelines. (^_^)

Hmmm... Email Peter? Lemmee guess; P@LL.COM, no? Meethinks he's gonna get a tad grumpy over this. =^-^=

Suella Ember said...

You know, this whole idea that there is a FIC and Linden favouritism really gets on my nerves, because it's obviously not true.

What did people expect Rod to do? Invite the whole of SL along? That would have worked well with everyone shouting their issues at him wouldn't it?!

Don't get me wrong, I'm sure Rod will do blog posts and meetings open to the wider community in due course. This was clearly just a bit of press thing though and, as you say, anyone can apply to join the press corp (although they obviously need to do some sort of blogging or something).

There are so many opportunities for people to get involved if the want to and say their piece. I think a lot of people somehow expect LL to respond to their every whim though. That they can just IM Rod and get him to jump to their demands.

Also, I agree that LL obviously expected you to blog about the meet and greet. If they didn't they would have made you sign a NDA (which they would only do if it was development work or something that they didn't want being released yet).

Honestly peeps - the FIC *does not exist*! If you want LL to listen to you, use the various public channels open to you. And don't forget to express yourself politely and factually. LL are probably not going to respond to a rant, and I don't blame them.

That said - I'll end my minor rant now too, because no-one will listen to it! :-D

Magnus Brody said...

I shouldn't worry for two reasons you mention: firstly, there is nothing in the ToS to cover publishing chatlogs outwith the Lab's domain and secondly, and I agree, the content of this meeting was of interest to many who did not attend.

At the recent Hippiestock party, I pasted the entire chatlog to my blog, but made a point in the forums, that if anyone was uncomfortable with their name appearing, I would gladly delete that section of the log and/or mention of their name.

Like you, I received a lot more visits to my blog than is normal for my other mundane mutterings :)

Perhaps that's the answer, to ensure you're not upsetting anyone; offer to remove any mention of a resident if that particular resident request it. I didn't receive a single request.

livingvirtually said...

I've always thought that section referred to private (i.e., ims) rather than open chat. The odd time I have quoted open chat, I usually leave out the av names of people who haven't given me permission just to avoid embarrassing people if it's not relevant to the issue at hand.

But, as a rl journalist, I think your take on the meeting and the expectations of everyone involved are justified. I had no issue with your posting.

Chestnut Rau said...


It says "email Pete Linden" in the SL Press Corps group charter, which I quoted. If Pete has an issue then I am sure he will let me know. So far, I have not heard a word from him on this or any other subject.


Anonymous said...

Quiet laughable.

There is no "TOS" violation if your posting chats outside of Second-Life. Not to mention Second-Life is an open 3D environment where everyone can see anything out in public to began with.

Second-Life TOS applies ONLY to the services themselves. These people who act like the "sacred TOS" follows them outside of SL are fairly ignorant and a waste of time, and a form of journalist censorship. These are not people's real names and faces. These are avatars.