Linden Lab Official:Alt account policies

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Alternate accounts... multiple identities... We all have them in some way or another. Perhaps in real life you're an entrepreneur in the morning, soccer mom in the afternoon, and vegetarian chef in the evening. In Second Life, you get to externalize these roles in customized, uniquely identifiable personas -- otherwise known as alt accounts. How cool is that?

There are great reasons for having more than one account in Second Life, and we like to facilitate these uses. One of the ways we protect these legitimate accounts is by limiting the creation and use of illegitimate alt accounts -- primarily fraudsters and people bent on disruptive behaviors. Below you'll find answers to commonly asked questions.

What does it cost to create additional Basic accounts?

Your first Basic account is free, and we won't charge you for a few alternate accounts. If we find that you've been creating an army of alts, we may charge a small fee of US$9.95 for the creation of each additional Basic account as a way to recoup some of the cost of maintaining the accounts for you. This is explained further in section 1 of the Second Life Billing Policies[1], which are linked to from our Terms of Service. (Note that in the billing policies, "Access Account" means Basic account and a "Subscription Account" means a Premium account.)

What if I have a Premium account already?

Your first account, paid or not, counts as your free Basic account. The free Basic account is meant as an incentive to new Residents to try Second Life with no associated charges. If you have many accounts already, additional accounts may incur an associated cost for maintenance.

How many alts may I have?

Currently, you can create as many additional Basic or Premium accounts as you want to pay for, with the following limitations:

  • You can create up to five accounts per household.
  • You can create no more than two accounts in a single 24-hour period.

We do require that alt accounts adhere to all of our policies. For example, by agreeing to our Terms of Service (TOS) you agree to provide truthful and accurate information about yourself when you register for accounts -- that includes not only your contact information and real name but also whether this is your first free Basic account or a new alt (see TOS section 2.1). People who do not provide truthful information risk losing their accounts.

How are these policies enforced?

We have various means of detecting illegitimate accounts and enforcing necessary limits to prevent fraud and other disruptive uses of Second Life and LindeX services. For security reasons, we cannot reveal exactly how our fraud detection processes operate.

What are the consequences of creating or using illegitimate alts?

When we find people with accounts that have not been paid for and are in violation of our policies, we may, at our discretion and in alignment with our Terms of Service, take any or all of the following actions:

  • Prevent them from creating additional accounts
  • Close some or all of their accounts until payment is made
  • Close all of their accounts permanently

So, we know no system is perfect. If you have legitimate reasons for creating multiple accounts but have been unable to do so:

  • Residents with a Basic account should go to Help Island and talk to someone there.
  • If you have a Premium account, you can submit a support ticket.

We're always striving to balance the desire to see people use Second Life in the most robust and interesting ways possible with maintaining the security and stability of the systems that hold it all together. Thanks for joining us in creating this new world.