Cristiano Midnight, the owner of the Second Life photo hosting service "Snapzilla" as well as its parent site SL Universe, has just taken down his websites in protest of Linden Lab‘s new registration procedures that he says opens the floodgates for "griefers" (i.e. troublemakers) and children in the adult-areas of Second Life. Cristiano’s specific beef:
Linden Lab without warning has removed any billing information requirements from the account creation process, which allows complete unrestricted access to Second Life by minor children and destructive users with no accountability and no ability to ban problem users. It exposes the residents of Second Life to unnecessary stress and even potential legal liability and is contrary to the advertised
promise of an adults only service that users have subscribed to. Additionally, even the most basic of tools to help combat the increase in griefing incidents, fraud, and other problems that are occuring with alarming frequency are not yet in place, with no clear timeframe on when such functionality will be available. Until such time as these tools are adequately tested and made available, along with best effort safeguards to ensure that minor children are not easily gaining access to Second Life and its mature content, Linden Lab needs to roll back the registration changes.
I certainly support this principled protest and hope it gets serious consideration by Philip and the rest at Linden Lab. If we let griefers and children run rampant all over our virtual world, it will become just like, well, the internet. Maybe Hamlet has a point about keeping the web seperate from Second Life.
Cristiano urges residents to contact Linden Lab to register their own protests on these policies. The protest will last all through today in conjunction with the third anniversary of Second Life.