Linden Lab Official:Filing an Abuse Report

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This article is part of the Extended Second Life Knowledge Base that includes advanced and specialized information. This information was originally provided by Linden Lab, but is not actively maintained nor guaranteed to be accurate. Linden Lab does not certify nor assume any responsibility for this information.

See the official Second Life Knowledge Base for the most current information.

What is abuse?

Abuse happens when anyone violates the Terms of Service (ToS) or the Community Standards (CS). Every Resident agrees to abide by these rules upon joining Second Life. Some special areas, like Help Island and the Infohubs have additional restrictions, called the Welcome Area Guidelines.

When should you file an abuse report?

Whenever you see one of these rules being broken and you believe it to be intentional or malicious, everyone present at the scene should file an abuse report. The abuse-reporting system exists to make your Second Life more pleasant and satisfying. If there are multiple incidents, file multiple reports.

We encourage you to file reports on abuse you see happening anywhere in addition to abuse that targets you personally. Not every Resident is aware of the abuse reporting mechanisms, or remembers to use them in times of trouble, so help out your fellow Residents! Reports from multiple people show the RESI (Resident Experience Support Inworld) Team that an incident affected more people than a single report would. If twenty Residents are affected, we should receive at least twenty abuse reports from twenty different Residents, which can corroborate evidence.

What happens when an abuse report is filed?

Abuse reports go to the RESI Team, and you receive an automated response by email. If you need to add more information after submitting a report, please submit a new report.

RESI Team can access logged information inside Second Life, and review what Residents said or did at the time the report was filed. They then decide on an appropriate response; often, all it takes is an official warning to curtail an issue. If a serious abuse issue occurs, the RESI Team may issue account suspensions or permanent bans. The disciplinary record of the Resident who was reported is reviewed in all cases to determine an appropriate response. The length of a suspension is determined by the nature of abuse, previous violations, and how many people were affected.

How to report abuse

There are several ways to reach the abuse reporting tool, each of them convenient for its purpose:

  • From anywhere, go to Help > Report Abuse from the menus at the top of your Viewer window.
  • To directly report another avatar, right-click the avatar and select Report from the pie menu.
  • To directly report an object, right-click the object and select More > More > Report from the pie menu.

All of these take a snapshot of what's onscreen at that moment, and in the cases of reporting an avatar and object directly, relevant identifying info is pre-filled in the Abuse Report window's text fields.

Filling out the abuse report

After you've reported a person or object, the Abuse Report window appears, presenting you with a number of options.

  1. If the snapshot helps clarify the issue, check Include Screenshot to show what you see. Screenshots can be very helpful visual evidence; include them whenever appropriate.
  2. If the problem is about an avatar or object and you didn't report it directly, click the button showing a cursor on a box, then click the offending avatar or object. Its information is then auto-filled into the report.
  3. Click Select category and choose a category. If you don't see a category for the particular incident you are reporting, use Select Category > Other and explain in the Details field.
  4. Fill in the Location of Abuse field. If there are multiple locations, add them in the Details field.
  5. In the Summary field, write a concise, one line summary, much like an email subject line. Be brief yet precise: "Bob Avatar's a jerk" isn't useful, while "Bob Avatar is firing weapons and swearing in a Welcome Area" is much better.
  6. Use the Details field to give us as much useful information as possible to help RESI Team assess the incident.

Recommendations for self-governance

  • If you're being pushed or thrown around by scripts, sit on a non-physical object, because it stops you from being moved. Remain calm, and don't panic â€" most offenders get bored pretty quickly and go away if you don't respond to them.
  • Consider using the mute feature. You can mute avatars and their objects! To mute an avatar, open their profile and push the Mute button. To mute an object, right-click the object, select More > More from the pie menu, then click Mute.
  • You can also mute an object by name by using View > Mute List.
  • If you're on combat/damage-enabled land, shooting someone with a weapon is not abuse. Look for a little red heart, which indicates health, in the menu bar. If you can see it, you're in a valid combat zone, which means weapons fire is permitted. Your avatar can't die permanently, and even if you lose all your health, you'll simply be teleported back to your home location without any other negative effects. Using weapons on non-combat land is usually abuse unless clearly allowed by the landowner, such as in a role-playing game where fighting is part of the experience.
  • If a friendship went sour, in addition to muting the person, remove them from your friends list. This will also remove any permissions you may have granted them, like the ability to track you on the map.

Helpful video!

The following video explains many aspects of dealing with abuse and abuse reporting:

KBnote.png Note: Note: Since the creation of this video tutorial, in Second Life® Viewer 1.21, we introduced an expanded, more intuitive menu of abuse report categories.