Linden Lab Official:Bot policy

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Overview

This document summarizes Linden Lab's policy on bots. The goals of this policy is to increase fairness and reliability of the search and communications services.

Traffic and bots

Traffic is a numerical metric calculated for every parcel of land inworld. This score can be summarized as the cumulative minutes spent on the parcel by all visitors to the parcel within the previous day (PT). For details, see Guidelines for creating search listings in the Knowledge Base.

Bots, or scripted agents, are avatars controlled by computer programs rather than people. For more information, see What is a bot?.

In calculating traffic scores, the number of visitors include bots, which has led to their use to increase traffic scores and boost search rankings.

Communications and bots

Some bots are used to automate communications with parcel visitors, and to provide interactive services for human users. These types of bots can enhance the Second Life experience.

Every chat message, IM, inventory offer, group notice, group IM, and group invitation creates load on the Second Life communications services. There is an upper limit where bots consume excessive resources and threaten to decrease the quality of service for others.

Mainland parcel sales and bots

Some bots are used to automate the purchase of Mainland parcels priced below fair market values.

Policy

Bots per se, are allowed and have legitimate uses, but inappropriate uses are violations of this policy.

Therefore:

Using bots to "game" traffic is not allowed
You may not attempt to gain an unfair advantage in search results through the use of bots to inflate the traffic for a parcel. This policy applies to both mainland and private estates since both are represented in search.


Sending an excessive number of messages with bots is not allowed.
You may not use bots to send more than 5,000 messages in a calendar day. Messages to groups are counted as one message for every recipient in the group. All bots operated by a single user share a common limit.

For example, the following activities are violations of this policy:

  • Bots causing unreasonable load on search or the regions in which they operate.
  • Bots causing a nuisance by regularly getting stuck at welcome areas or infohubs. This includes the use of large numbers of land bots to get around the throttling of search requests.
  • Bots joining groups and sending group IMs or notices such that more than 5,000 individual messages will be received.
  • Bots sending more than 5,000 individual messages in a calendar day.
  • Using multiple bots to send an aggregate of more than 5,000 individual messages in a calendar day.


Using bots to purchase Mainland parcels is not allowed
The use of bots, autonomous software, scripting (manual or automated), scripted agents, or any systems or software internal or external to the Second Life service that circumvent, automate and/or remove the human interaction required to purchase a Land parcel within Second Life on the Linden Lab owned Mainland is prohibited.

Set scripted agent status

If you own a Second Life account that is primarily operated by a Scripted Agent (a "bot"), identify it as a bot on the Scripted Agent Status page. By identifying bots, you can help us give you more accurate account statistics and inworld search results.

Enforcement

Linden Lab routinely looks at search results, and will treat use of bots to gain an unfair search advantage as an abuse issue. You do not need to file an abuse report for violations; Linden Lab monitors the search results.

To begin, Linden Lab sends a warning message to the land owner. If the issue persists, then account suspension or removal from search may result. If you feel there has been an unfair decision in this regard, use the abuse appeals process.

Linden Lab routinely looks at message volume, and will treat use of bots to send excessive messages as an abuse issue. You do not need to file an abuse report for violations; Linden Lab monitors aggregate communication volume.