Adult Content Forum Transcript

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Notes from SLDEV Forum Topic: Adult Content Speakers: JP Linden, Kend Linden Date: 24 March 2009


  • JP Linden - Project Manager
  • Kend Linden - Attorney


  • Linden Lab Employees (7)
    • AO Content Program (2)
    • Solution Provider Program (2)
    • Communication and Marketing (3)
  • Solution Providers (10)
    • With Real World Clients (8)
    • With In World Clients (3)
    • With Adult Oriented Content Clients (6)


Review of Adult Oriented Content Efforts In Progress

Much work gone into adult project; most frequent objection impediment to people's experience especially extreme adult content; now introducing results of that process;

There's a blog post and forum discussions; goal is to "give users more control over their experience"; some residents simply don't want to encounter adult material and activities - meaning very sexually explicit; and some residents DO want it

Goal is to make experience more predictable for residents; NOT trying to "get rid of" or reduce people's ability to have these experiences

Three pieces:

  1. Create a part of the mainland for adult content and activities; include helping people move there easily
  2. Search filtering; allow users to sort via adult search tags e.g.
  3. Land designations the region owners self select

Linden lab will have to provide clear definitions for residents and merchants and owners; know there will be bumps in the road, invite continued input to keep experience positive and productive

Questions and Discussion

Q: What laws are going to be applied/quoted to support what is considered Adult Content? It is a very thin line you guys are trying to walk. It would have to be challengeable and be supported.. cant be simply an Opinion surely?
A: Sexually explicit likely the largest piece - not talking about private, talking about what is publicly advertised to public; another category intensely violent activity, not simple shooting more like beheadings and torture; third category actual photographs nudity, pornography
Will need to allow for exceptions for artistic display, educational components, health; some definitions in place being honed with input included

Q: Nude beaches?
A: Simple nudity alone hard to regulate

Q: What about pictures of naked skins?
A: Tough area to get right; search filters may apply here; e.g., genital words go to adult category; still thinking it through

Q: Will there be an governing process brought into place, and if so, is a policing part of it ?
A: This is new, collaboarative effort; seek common understanding first

Q: Complaints drive policing; creating an adult part implies need way of government; ambiguous based on home culture
A: Agree; perceptions differ; search filtering process will apply here as an objective process not subjective; e.g., think of words used to get people into a sex club, orgy rooms, using a search tool; they are generaly adult terms; to see the results of adult search tag results you're going ot have to be adult validated verified; credit cards, age verification, similar; that part is self enforcing; if you're running a sex business you want people to find you using those terms
The rest of it will be built around Region Designations; adult locations won't want to be located on non-adult regions; there will be some need of enforcement for adult parcels on non-adults regions who have not moved

Q: If someone uses words like Essex (valid UK location), or watch our play Dick Whittington, they could be parsed into Adult Content?
A: Probably not; lean toward conservative side

Q: Is this a precursor to incorporating the Teen grid?
A: Nope

Q: When do the new continents and search features go live, and who is liable if residents are acting against the rules on mainland, eg if someone is doing adult things on rented pg mainland etc.
A: Re AO continent on mainland some residents HAVE expressed interest to locate in adult vetted areas even though they don't have AO content; the AO continent may also be a place for non explicit sexual locations who still want adult vetting
Community standards and conduct within the community will be addressed case by case; e.g. was their collusion or not; if you're hosting violation on your property you'll be dealt with - not the landlord unless they're part of it; the community as well as the resident team will 'police'; claims will be investigated

Q: Multinational platform and opinions could result in a flood of complaints; you will have to tenfold your support team
A: It's true will get many reinterpretations; happened with gambling - still get reports about games that are not games of chance; similar misinterpretation on age play
Have a team who understand policies and only enforce where there is really a violation; will have to do same here; feel confident have learned how to do that and can do it

Q: Wondering if adding resources
A: Trying to have consistent set of standards all can understand and apply; people trying to 'sanitize' areas won't find this will serve their purposes
Logistically we have a large team who work together; deal with thousands and thousands of reports and complaints; ephemeral not pursued vs. ongoing activity; not being done 'in real time' being done over time

Q: Re: policing/policies - the parameters being used to decide what is adult content, if not legal based, could be construed as being nothing more than discrimination, which in itself is illegal
A: Adult definitions are around sexually explicit activity and intensely violent activity; those are not 'strictly legal' based definitions

Q: Historically people challenge the law - does this have legal precedent you can refer to; if you are 'making up your own' that could be considered illegal discrimination
A: No discrimination based on race religion sexual gender in law; ARE going to provide clear objective guidelines in deciding how to designate their land and where they want to locate their business and activity; about people abiding by content guidelines with consistency - all treated similarly

Q: Would like to ask Linden Lab to make statement that will give clear guidelines and explicit examples that everybody is able to understand what LL perceives as on the right side or the wrong side; example UK/Europe liberalization of pornograpy vs what US says applies to them; YouTube movies are now banned throughout the UK, by government intervention...
A: Agrees yes provide clear guidelines and examples - it's in all our interests to do that; zoning and search filtering are the key elements

Q: Will the adult region SIMs be in the same price category than mainland (195.00 USD) or because it is now an adult content SIM which would attrack certain traffic will the price be raised
A: No intent to price differently from Linden Lab; on open market another story

Q: Will the search terms include other languages (per the Internationalization Project)
A: Majority in English; to extent other terms not too broad will also be included

Q: Is there really nothing planned to include the teen grid in the regular grid?, or at least make the teen grid easier to access; the new generation is ready for sl but is not allowed especially in germany; thought this adult content discussion should lead to a final "open 3D internet"
A: Two points: one, teen grid plans are not in any part of AO project; Kend and JP are not involved in the teen grid project or plans and are not the right people to ask

Q: Can you comment on teen grid combination more
A: Knows that there is no plan to do that; yes public comments if would be useful; not something we're working on now

A: Is content separation motiviated by feedback from corporate enterprises?
A: Fair question; corporations are a small component of the resident groups that want more control predictability; they span from organizations to businesses to lots of residents doing lots of different things

Q: What percent roughly were corporations / education
A: Minority

Q: Adult themed sims must have their own country based age control; would it be possible to integrate such a system?
A: Not imminent but will contend with if takes us in that direction; age of majority in US is ultimate rule for now; not there yet for country specific

Q: Concern too much control in SL
A: There is a difference between Adult Oriented Content vs. Banking, Games of Chance; not seeking to ban anything; seeking to use search and land designation so that residents can choose

Q: Would love to see you guys talking to the teen grid BEFORE putting out the adult content rules; it´s the main problem/issue why teen grid can not be implemented; why is there nothing planned in this direction; it´s a major point for the future of SL; who can i talk to instead about this problem?
A: While these controls align with age they focus on content access; controls for AO is not age-control based it's resident-preference based; teen grid is focused on under-18 sl experience by age first, content second

Q: Would having a red light mainland make the public and press think worse of SL as 'being like Amsterdam', i.e., ignoring what else it has to offer other than adult content; would creating a specific area for this kind of thing have a negative impact on the brands value
A: The same content in SL now will be in SL after AO; it may be perceived as a red light district yes; everyone knows platform has broad creativity; so no, that's not a concern

Q: Can community have input to rules
A: Yes that's what we're doing now; broad basis forums, narrow basis these SLDEV

Recapitulation of Linden Lab Learnings from this Forum

  1. Make sure provide absolutely clear guidelines and go over them word by word, adult vs. not adult, with examples
  2. Be ware and aware of arbitrariness in reporting; not be 'kneejerk' in enforcement; properly staff reinforcement if a floodgate occurs
  3. Concerns about teen grid plans and desires for more input on that

Further Information

  • Madhavi Linden or SLDEV mail list
  • SL Blog
  • Audio Recording
  • Future SLDEV Forum Topic Noted, "Plans for Teen Grid"