The Lying Thieving Bastards of Second Life

Yup, you heard me right … Lying … Thieving … Bastards … and they’re in Second Life! (zomg!) In fact, you probably know one. No, strike that, you know a LOT of them. Want to see them listed? Want to find a ready-made guaranteed list of every single cheater, liar, thief, cut-throat, scammer, spammer, crook in Second Life?

Pull up your Friends List.

The Thievers Guild

If you’re a Resident of Second Life, you are automatically and without benefit of proof or trial deemed to be a thief. Your every action is controlled by a set of rules set forth not to improve your experience or enhance your pleasure, but to stop you from doing the evil dark dastardly things that Linden Lab just KNOWS you plan on doing.

Let’s take some examples from recent past, shall we?

In-World Search

There are lots of reasons that Linden Lab switched from the GSA 5 to the GSA 6 back in 2010. Of course the primary reason was that they stopped paying the maintenance fees on the GSA 5’s they had, and when they were down to just one left, they had to do something. So some smart puppy bought into the new GSA 6 and the next year’s worth of Search Hell was born. But what followed from that “snowball down the hill” decision was totally predicated on one over-arching theme … The Residents of Second Life are Crooks!

What was the first major “improvement” released by the Search Dev Team? They killed Picks. Why? The official (and actually pretty reasonable) reason was that Picks contained a lot of noise data. They weren’t really relevant to the Parcel Location they referenced. But rather than “Fix” the problem by creating a tool that could be used for the same purpose originally intended, they just axed the whole idea. After all, if they built a replacement that did what it was supposed to do, we die-hard ne’er-do-wells would just game it and use it to cheat anyway, so they’re not gonna waste any time on it. Pfffttt!!

The next “improvement”? Boost. Yes that mystical, magical, “WTF is this all about” value called Boost. Based on some deep dark magical incantations cooked up in the back rooms at Linden Lab, your Parcel Listing would be assigned a Boost value that could quite literally remove you from Search. Were we allowed to know why the Boost was assigned? Nope. Why not? Because we horrible dishonest cheaters would use it to “tweak” our listings to avoid a negative Boost rating.

Well DUH!! If a negative Boost means we’ve done something bad, then “tweaking” (another word for FIXING) our listings to avoid doing bad stuff would … guess what! Remove the bad things we’d done. But no, we’re not to be trusted with such sensitive information as that. We might, Heaven Forbid, use it to cheat. No, that’s not true. In fact we WILL use it to cheat. Because we’re all no good scum.

Over time they adjusted the way they calculate Boost, trying different approaches and different magical equations. At times your Parcel could get a -3 if you had less than 100 items listed in Search. (In fact it’s still that way. Huh?!?) You could get a -1 Boost if you repeated a word too many times, unless you owned a BIG Parcel .. and then you could repeat it a lot and not suffer the same penalty. None of the rules made sense. They were all capricious and bogus .. and totally undocumented. And we all wasted hours and hours trying to understand them so we wouldn’t accidentally trip over one in the dark.

Hey! Turn on the damn lights .. will ya!?

Marketplace Items Delisted

When The Second Life Marketplace was released, aside from the fact that it was horribly under-featured, it had this nifty new feature that allows anyone to “Flag” an item listing. Now keep in mind that we were told this feature would be tightly policed and that an item would be delisted only AFTER a human being under LL’s aegis had reviewed the Flag and the Listing and determined its validity. Furthermore there would be a method to stop Serial Flag Abusers … those that flag their competitor’s products just to gain an advantage. But did we get any of that?

Nope.

What we got instead is a system that allows an item to be Flagged for being “Not as advertised”, but NOT flagged for being a blatant copybot ripoff of someone’s legitimate products. Furthermore Serial Abusers aren’t tracked nor punished. Hell, there’s been Merchants that have their items flagged and removed every day for a month. But do we get to know WHY it’s been flagged or delisted? Nope. All we get is a note scribbled on our Merchant Dashboard in the hopes we’ll stumble across it sometime.

Oh, and if you actually WANT to fix it … you can’t. You can’t because the REASON it was delisted is never included. Sure you get a nice cookie cutter explanation such as “Not as advertised”, and recently they even added “Wrong category”, but that’s no help. If it’s ┬áthe wrong freakin’ category, which is the RIGHT category?

Oh, sorry, I forgot. We are all professional criminals and scam artists just looking for every way possible to cheat the system, so any effort to actually HELP us out is useless; we’ll just ignore it and do the “wrong” thing anyway, so why would they bother?

Adult Ratings

Under pressure from the law (and their lawyers), Linden Lab implemented a thing called “Automatic Rating” for Product Listings. Based on a super-secret list of words that only Linden Lab is allowed to know, our products can be automatically marked as “Adult Only”. They did this to prevent … you guessed it … those people that CHEAT all the time by listing their clearly Adult products as being suitable for the General Public. Okay, so it happens. Mistakes get made. But they’ve got to protect the world at large from ALL of us too, so the list of words must be maintained in complete secrecy. In fact, it’s so super-secret that if your listing contains ONE word on that list, the whole listing gets red-flagged. What’s worse? They won’t even tell you which word it is either. You have to play an hours-long game of hide and seek, trying to figure out which word it might be.

There’s some really dangerous words on that list too. Just recently it was pointed out that “Kinder” is a strictly adult word. (Heaven forbid you’re trying to create a kinder gentler world.) Oh, and the horrific (not sure this will pass the censor but .. ) “P38”. Catch your breath, yes indeed, the word “P38” is so horrible for public consumption that it will get your listing marked Adult Only in a heartbeat.

Damn Us All To Hell!

Thank our lucky stars that the Overlords of Linden Lab are so clear on our true intent .. and so willing to implement all these magnanimous safeguards to keep the world safe from all of us miscreants and bad examples of humanity. If not for them, we might escape onto the Internet and pull off horrific scams and Crimes Against God and Nature. Without their dedicated efforts to keep us from cheating at every turn, stealing everything we can, and generally lying our way through every breath we exhale .. we might very well take over the world … and maybe even pay our taxes too.


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Comments

2 Comments on The Lying Thieving Bastards of Second Life

  1. Magnet Homewood on Sat, 2nd Jul 2011 4:54 AM
  2. Yeah, my parcel has a -1 boost it seems (from using your AMAZING “Get Parcel Boost v1.04”!!) and I said to myself, fuck it. I sell skybox panoramas, and you know, I have the boxes down in the shop, and also up in the sky with the demos, so if someone wants to buy, they can do it up there too. If naming the 80 or so items ‘skybox panorama’ means it brings down my boost for repeating the name, and also for having duplicate items, then fuck it, thats how my business works.

  3. Magnet Homewood on Sat, 2nd Jul 2011 4:58 AM
  4. Just one more thing (Columbo style), in the time I have been a merchant, one thing I have learnt about LL is they have little or no idea how commerce works in SL, and so my expectations about what they do to ‘help’ us is very low.