Teens on the grid
Posted by Suzanna Soyinka on January 01 2011 07:51:22
Back when the rating system was introduced the Lindens and I had a discussion on the content of CoLA and determined that the content of CoLA and other role play sims like it was most generally Mature and not Adult this was largely because the sims presented content was not sexual in nature by design. And that it was more akin to an R-rated movie than an adult themed sim.

Unfortunately now with the integration of the Teen Grid with the main grid. The TOS and rating system was updated to adjust for this and with the changes what was once Mature is now rated as Moderate and the Moderate rating actually due to some very suspicious policies on the Linden side will only block out underage users if they have bothered to register as an underage user.

Now CoLA isn't a sex sim, its a role play environment, but the role play in the CoLA environment is fairly dark and individual role play activities or even group role plays can spawn incidents that are of a mature nature that I feel are legally inappropriate for under age users.

Now let me first qualify my statements here by saying that I'm well aware that the average 14 year old on the internet in the 21st century has seen more porn than I probably did at the same age, but regardless of that as a legal business entity and a responsible adult, it my decision at this time that because flimsy Linden content control policy which only methodically blocks under age users from Moderate if the user is honest enough to register as an underage user, it puts me and the staff of CoLA and every sim owner in the CCS network in the position of having to force our users to age verify to responsibly ensure we are not exposing minors to inappropriate content and to protect ourselves from the gaping wide hole in the Linden verification policy which has essentially hung all estate owners out to dry if they host any content at all which could be considered inappropriate that isn't shunted off into an Adult rated sim that keeps minors out of the region.

I've wanted to avoid this as I believe everyone has a right to privacy in regards to their Second Lives' but unfortunately with the integration of the teen grid and the situation as it stands I have no choice but to at this time set all the CoLA chain sims to Adult rating, and to also recommend the entire CCS network do so as well for their own protection to ensure that no one can be legally held culpable for the gigantic loophole the Lindens left in the TOS policy which effectively defers all legal responsibility for content exposure to minors to the estate owners while somehow believing in their own blowing rainbow smoke rings up their own ass that the kids on the Teen Grid, in total, are honest enough to register as underage users when if they don't do so they can go where ever they want.

I would like to close this post by saying that I personally don't have a gigantic problem with people under the age of 18 and I'm sure there are many mature under age users that are better behaved than some 30+ year old users in Second Life, but the simple facts of the matter is the Linden TOS changes and rating changes and the huge flaw in their logic that assumes all under age users will register as such leaves us no choice but to force all our users to age verify simply to ensure that we as a community cannot be legally held responsible for exposing minors to content that may be inappropriate.
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So with that, for those of you that haven't age verified, heres a quick and dirty explanation on how to do it:

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After clicking on the Age Verification Link, input your information to the form presented and click submit, the process only takes a few moments and then will allow you access to Adult flagged content in Second Life and then you and I and everyone else will feel better cause at least then if you're 16 and you sent them false information, your parents can't sue anyone.

So, with that said, well done Linden Labs I applaud your foresight and responsibility in regards to letting a bunch of minors on a grid that is well known for having 100m tall ejaculating penises all over the mainland. Well done, nicely thought out, I'm sure this will somehow benefit everyone...in the long run.

I realize this may block out some of our users who for some reason cannot verify reliably or, who are, for some reason, underage and not being honest about it, but thats the breaks kids. CoLA and CCS are a bit to important to get taken down by a frivolous lawsuit simply because the Lindens left the goddamn door open for one. So for those of you that can't verify for unknown reasons, I'm sorry, for those of you that aren't really over 18? Sorry again, see you after your 18th birthday.