Linden Lab Violates User’s Privacy!

March 13, 2011 by
Filed under: Linden Lab and Second Life 

If you’ve been paying attention to the noise and brimfire surrounding zfRedZone and Linden Lab’s ongoing battle with the owner, zFire Xue … hang on tight because you haven’t seen anything yet. Would you believe that Linden Labs is purposely posting their user’s IP Addresses in publicly available form on a RUSSIAN WEBSITE?!? And it gets worse too. The site they’ve chosen to post them on has NO contact info and NO way to appeal the posting of the image and NO way to stop them being shared ALL over Facebook, Twitter and a whole host of other social media web sites.

The Start of the Problem

Not too long ago, Linden Lab turned off their Jive blog software and moved everyone over to their new Lithium Community Platform. With its introduction, they also installed a new staff of “Moderators”. As pointed out by Suspiria Finucane on her blog “Genn Moderator and the Gang (of forum thugs)“, the new Moderation is a sham and has already turned into a way to threaten and intimidate anyone speaking out against their friends.

I’ve never been one to keep my mouth shut, and I have received warnings from Mods before, but on the new Community Forums I received a warning for “harassment and personal attack” after I was harassed and personally attacked by one of Genn’s Thuggees. I addressed that in a previous post “Dear Mr. Humble …

But it isn’t enough for these new “Moderators” to harass and intimidate the people they don’t like, now they’ve taken to divulging your private information. How delightful! Thank you Linden Lab … NOT!

The Proof is in the Screenshot

This new tactics of intimidating members of Second Life that aren’t in their “Inner Circle” involves sending them a PM (Private Message) through the Lithium platform, and including in that message a link to a “Screencap” of the message they claim is in violation. That screencap, a graphical image copy of the moderator’s computer screen, includes the “Violators” IP Address. Here is a portion of the screenshot they took of my “harassing and personally attacking post”.

I’ve blanked out the first two octets of my IP Address and the complete URL to this image, but it’s not passworded or locked in any way. Anyone can access it at any time. But that’s not even the worst part.

The Russian Connection

If you’ve been on the Internet for very long, you know that one of the WORST possible places to visit is a website hosted or run by a Russian company. China and Russia both have very little control of the people that use the Internet in their country, and they have even less interest in controlling it. So where did Linden Lab choose to post these screencap images that violate their own Terms of Service?

Yup, that’s right … a Russian Company. Thanks again Linden Lab, you’ve just plastered my IP Address on a Russian Website.

Am I Being Paranoid?

So about now you’re thinking I’m making a mountain out of a molehill. Surely there’s a lot of screencaps on that site and why would anyone care anyway? How would anyone know?

There’s a maxim that any wise person follows … if someone is hiding something, that means you probably should know what that is. So what is hiding? How about .. everything!

Go to their home page at Now look at that page carefully. Notice anything missing? How about “Contact Info”, “Feedback”, “Help”, “Support” or any other normal means of contacting the owners of the site. That info is just not there! I had to do a WHOIS to find out where they were located. I want to email them and have my private info removed from their site. But can I? Nope.

Linden Lab Has Stepped Across The Line

This act steps across the line in my book. Not only is Genn Moderator biased in the people he/she attacks, but now he/she is also posting the private info on a website with NO means of contact, no way to appeal the posting of this information .. and hosted in Russia!

Be advised Linden Lab … Your employees have broken the law, violated your own Terms of Service … and now they have exposed you to some SERIOUS legal action.

Frankly … I’m PISSED!

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19 Comments on Linden Lab Violates User’s Privacy!

  1. Karen on Mon, 14th Mar 2011 12:11 AM
  2. Knowing this, I will be using a proxy anytime I ever do visit the new Second Life forums. Thank you for letting everyone know. 🙂

  3. nina on Mon, 14th Mar 2011 1:21 AM
  4. heres how much i care about my ip being made public:
    (url removed by admin)

  5. Darrius Gothly on Mon, 14th Mar 2011 1:34 AM
  6. @nina – It’s not about the exact IP, proxies are too easy to use. It’s about Linden Lab employees targeting specific people for harassment on the forums and THEN posting their account details on a public site. It’s about the lack of thinking, the lack of respect and the lack of adherence to their own rules. It’s about saying they won’t violate our privacy, about their new CEO stating loud and wide that privacy is of utmost importance … and then promptly turning around and plastering info on public sites with questionable provenance. It’s just flat wrong!

  7. Steve Noland on Mon, 14th Mar 2011 1:49 AM
  8. You know, this does not shock me. In every group or circle of people I see in SL I can find bullies and people that just want to control every aspect of everything.
    Often these bullies are blind to the causes they supposedly support and go out of their way to make people feel uncomfortable and chase them away.

    You know. I say screw all this privacy crap. zFire is the bad guy? maybe. What about the controlling little freaks that would never recognize well intentioned actions because they feel it detracts from their control?

    In a very popular anti RZ group I have seen it many times. Someone asking for info or submitting some alternate interpretations or whatever is run off being called a troll, stupid, fan of the opposition and worse.

    They can have their drama, run off decent people and do whatever they like. I feel most of them (your forum bullies you mention and all the rest like them) do as much harm as they feel they do good.

  9. nimil on Mon, 14th Mar 2011 2:04 AM
  10. if i’m not mistaken the forum moderators are volunteers? or were? they are not employees at all unless they’ve changed something (i don’t really go to the forums all that much)

    i would suggest filing a complaint against them.

  11. Darrius Gothly on Mon, 14th Mar 2011 2:18 AM
  12. I believe they are either contract or direct employees of Linden Lab, but I am not entirely sure. If they are volunteers, LL needs to state that more clearly as the Mods have a LOT of power to act in LL’s name. TBH .. I would be shocked to find out they are unpaid volunteers. That’s a lot of liability to put in the hands of “amateurs”.

  13. Neotoy Story on Mon, 14th Mar 2011 3:42 AM
  14. LOL, this is exactly how SL has been run since forever. Now they have simply morphed into their ultimate form thanks to this new support platform. Finally the most asinine and elitist circlejerks in the SL community can finally maximize their potential thanks to the new system that rewards them for being consummate f***tards! Pure genius if you ask me.

  15. Cummere mayo on Mon, 14th Mar 2011 3:45 AM
  16. the actual photohosting for that site is handled by imageshack whose tos states that pictures of a harassing nature or containing private information may not be posted. their abuse email is the same as their dmca takedown… you can also use the very buggy form at

  17. Darrius Gothly on Mon, 14th Mar 2011 8:23 AM
  18. @Cummere – Thank you for the deeper information. You can be sure I’ll be filing one shortly.

  19. Talwyn Mills on Mon, 14th Mar 2011 7:34 AM
  20. The actual host for this site seems to be in Houston, Texas, USA and not Russia. I guess you could file your DMCA’s to the apparent host even if the Russian owners don’t honour them.

    Still a bad idea to post those sorts of screenshots to an external site, if they need to be taken and stored it should be internally.

  21. Pserendipity Daniels on Mon, 14th Mar 2011 8:16 AM
  22. The current moderators are definitely not volunteers but LL employees (probably excess programmers from the Version 2 team that were responsibe for the worst bits of code, but are on extended contract so they have repurposed them – in my experience they are semi-literate geeks that get confused if you use words of more than two syllables) although Amanda and Lexie claim that they are “experienced” moderators. Maybe they are even guys that Rod knew from his previous fascist tech support forums, or perhaps they have given the Startek Scouts new identities, since their homeworking adherence to inadequate scripts – in the name of achieving piecework targets and the associated remuneration – was exposed.

    Wasted Engineer showed how inadequate LL’s forum security is in the face of proxy use, and the repeated waves of spammers – in Jive and now again in Lithium – have demonstrated the failure of LL to learn, so I would recommend using proxies and alts that have no inworld existence to participate in the forums.

  23. storm clarence on Mon, 14th Mar 2011 8:58 AM
  24. You are so pathetically full of s**t.
    You are a pathetic consultant and business person.
    You are a pet!

  25. Darrius Gothly on Mon, 14th Mar 2011 9:04 AM
  26. @Storm – Your post has been edited to remove profanity.

  27. Dale Innis on Mon, 14th Mar 2011 10:08 AM
  28. Are you sure this isn’t just “insufficiently sensitive/trained moderators thoughtlessly using an image-hosting service because it’s convenient in order to share screenshots with people that they moderate” rather than “evil moderators specifically identifying people to harass and then intentionally revealing those people’s IP addresses to the world”?

    The former seems far more likely to me, even though it’s less exciting…

  29. Darrius Gothly on Mon, 14th Mar 2011 10:20 AM
  30. Actually, I think it’s both. I think it’s a very inexperienced (and very probably highly biased) Moderator abusing their power .. AND blowing it big time by posting private info on a public website. Were it just that they’d been revealing IP Addresses, it wouldn’t be an issue of this magnitude. If it was just them harassing people not their “Friends” .. again not much of an issue. But the two together .. that’s one step over the line.

    […] Gothly reports that he was recently sanctioned by the moderators of the new Community Platform.  The whys and wherefores of the sanction […]

    […] post is a follow-on to my previous post “Linden Lab Violates User’s Privacy!” A lot has happened in the day since I first posted on this issue, but nothing has been done. […]

  31. Frank Skinnar on Sat, 19th Mar 2011 10:15 PM
  32. Oh but werent you the one that told me “IP addresses who cares about them?” when I posted early in 2010 about redzone? Infact I remember very well that you and Gothgirl Demonia were quite adamant that the fact redzone was collecting IP addresses didnt matter because IP addresses are very public. Or were you just trolling that day?

  33. Darrius Gothly on Sat, 19th Mar 2011 10:49 PM
  34. Actually my original post was about using IP Addresses displayed on the Forums as a means to identify Alts .. in an attempt to stop Trolls using Alts to stir up drama. I don’t remember your name, but I do remember the heated discussions quite well. That was also before Linden Lab added the language about not divulging IP Addresses. I have never commented in support of RedZone .. and in fact what little I have posted regarding the product was more about the sad state of affairs it suffered because its creator was an ass. (And for the records, RedZone was not “on the scene” yet when I originally posted about IP Addresses.)

    During the course of that thread, many many people expressed great fear that having their IP Address outed would put them in harm’s way. I still do not fully subscribe to that fear as there are many ways to obscure your true origin (as pointed out by many on that thread), but the public spoke loudly .. I heard and respect their concerns.

    However, my main concern with LL posting IP Addresses on images that also showed the Avatar name was that it was in direct contradiction to their published privacy policy.

    If you are remembering me agreeing with Gothgirl Demonia on RedZone, then you have me confused with someone else.