History/Adult Content FAQ

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This article is obsolete, but kept as a historical record. Do not rely on this information in any way. However, it may be used in the future, so please do not delete or modify.

KBwarning.png Warning: This article was compiled by Residents and hasn't been reviewed or verified by Linden Lab employees. For official information, refer to the Maturity ratings page.

This is a compilation of frequently asked questions about the new Adult Content changes for Second Life. Questions are marked "No Answer", or "Partial Answer" if not fully answered.

These answers are based on our best understanding of the new rules and Linden Staff answers to our questions. Only official documents (Terms of Service, Community Standards, Blog Posts, and Knowledge Base) as interpreted in practice by the Governance Team can be considered the final word on the subject

When Does this All Happen?

These changes are not all at once. It requires first creating new software, and then distributing it to the majority of SL users, moving a number of region's worth of parcels with adult content, and informing enough people so that enforcement of the new rules is feasible. This entire process will have taken at least 6 months from initial announcement in March 2009.

How does this affect the average Second Life resident?

If your account not verified, you will not be able to fully use search, or visit adult regions on the grid. Even if you are verified, you must still activate the adult settings in preferences and search to access adult regions. If you shop at, work at, or rent a place that moves to Zindra, or the estate owner changes the region to Adult, you will need to verify to continue visiting it.

How does this affect Landowners on Mainland and Estates?

The new definitions for PG, Mature, and Adult land are eventually supposed to be followed by everyone. In particular, some things that used to be allowed on Mature land, will not be any more. If you fall in that category, you would have to change those things, or move to Adult land.

If you are on estate land, and you have adult material, your choices are to get the estate owner to change the rating for the region, or to move. Conversely, if you are not verified, and the estate owner changes the rating to adult, you will not be able to enter the region any more, even if you own or rent a parcel there.

How does this affect businesses and public venues?

Publicly promoted adult content is supposed to be located on adult rated land, and certain adult words are filtered from search below the adult settings. If you have adult content or advertise it, you may need to move part or all of your business or venue.

Search also now has the ability to turn off results from PG, Mature, or Adult land. This will change how you use search to get people to find you.

Linden Lab has made many statements that strongly connect search listings (title and description) that use adult words to requiring being on adult land. There are many other ways to communicate and control access within SL. Which of those will make your place "public", and thus fall under the new rules, is less clear.

What does "Advertises or Publicly Promotes" Mean?

The maturity ratings (KB6010) distinguish between publicly promoted adult content, which is required to be on adult regions, and implicitly non-public adult content, such as private homes with a sex bed, which could be located on moderate land.

It sounds like this is specifically targeting businesses, but even if nothing is for sale, adult activities cannot be advertised or publicly promoted on moderate land. Such activity can be done privately, behind closed doors, on moderate land, and is forbidden on general land.
Blondin Linden: If someone whats to have a swinger party and invite some friends, there is no problem with that. As long as they don't advertise it, who is going to know what is happening in their own home?

What if it's Not 100% Adult?

There are several ways a parcel can be not entirely adult:

(1) Mixed content in a public area, for example a store that sells a variety of items, some of which are adult in nature, but those are not advertised explicitly or provided for public adult usage. This would require a moderate rating.

(2) Mixed public and private use of a parcel, for example a store at ground level which only sells non-adult items, and a skybox above, which is residential, and contains sex furniture. The landing point is at the store only. This would require a moderate rating.

(3) Mixed use by time. For example a parcel that is normally a private residence, but occasionally advertises an adult event. This would require an adult rating. On moderate land, the event must not be advertised and must be kept behind closed doors.

What is Promotion?

It is pretty clear from the Knowledge Base that advertising in the SL search database using adult words clearly requires being on adult land. Other ways to advertise or promote would be renting signs in various locations around the grid, listing on events, buying ads in newspapers, distributing flyers or notecards to passersby, etc. Private invitations to friends are not considered advertising or promoting. Inviting everyone on a small private group that you control would probably not be considered advertising. However, inviting everyone on a public group would most likely be considered a promotional effort.

Who gets a "free" move to Zindra? (Partial Answer)

If your business relies on adult content, and would be negatively impacted, you can submit a ticket to get granted land on the Zindra continent. While the land will be set to purchase at no direct cost (ie "free"), there are significant costs to moving in time to pick up and re-build your location, adapt to different terrain and parcel shape, inform customers, redo landmarks, and search entries, rebuild traffic from scratch, loss of unused time on classified ads, etc.

If it is an adult venue, but not a business, it is not clear if it would be granted land in the initial move.

Who gets to choose to move?

What about people who bought Mature land on the Mainland, since the Mainland is not being designated as Adult?
Blondin Linden: However, if your business relies on Adult Content and would be negatively impacted, then there is nothing stopping you from submitting a ticket along with everyone else, explaining your need to move. We'll judge it on a case by case.
And if your property in SL "relies on adult content", but it's not a "business"?

What about shop owners who can't change their keywords

Posted 4-27-2009

Originally Posted by Argent Stonecutter
What if the words are ones they CAN'T remove from their search tags because they are the ones that describe their plot, the ones their customers use to find them? Why shouldn't they be entitled to move?

Blondin Linden: I never said that they weren't. In fact, these individuals probably would qualify.

Is simple nudity without sex adult?

Depending on context, not necessarily. A nude beach without sexual activity can be rated mature. Skin vendors require showing a nude skin to display the product, but are not sexual. Neither is nude art automatically sexual, so either of those are acceptable on mature land. Strip clubs that do not use adult words in search or host sex furniture can be mature.

According to this post in the forums simple nudity, with explicitly depicted but non-erect genitals, is not automatically "adult".
Originally Posted by Argent Stonecutter
Next question: what does "nudity" refer to. Are non-erect prim "naughty bits" considered automatically adult? (Edit: I see other people are bringing this up)
Not automatically. It depends on what they are doing.
Hanging out at a nude beach would be fine. Walking around pants-less on the mainland just to expose yourself to others would be inappropriate.
Posted 4-21-2009:
Ran Garrigus: So can we again get a clarification on this? Are non-sexualized depictions of nudity (basically, the vendors images most skin makers tend to use) 'Mature' or are they 'Adult'?
Blondin Linden: They are mature - NOT adult.

Strip Clubs

Posted 4-21-2009:

  1. Strip Club would be Mature.
  2. Strip Clubs that use adult key words in listings and in search would be considered Adult.
  3. Strip Clubs with sex balls and back room sex areas would be Adult.

What words are filtered in Search?

A full list of filtered words is not provided in order to prevent "gaming" of search. Nonetheless, anyone can test individual words on the Second Life Search page, or by using in-world search. Seven words are known to be filtered always, no matter what settings are used, and an additional 65 are known to be filtered when the adult checkbox is not active.

Are Child Avatars Allowed on Adult regions?

Yes, child avatars (having been verified as being operated by adults in real life) are allowed in adult regions, but the existing rules prohibiting sexual ageplay or proximity to sexual content still apply. Since Adult regions by design will often contain sexual content, child avatars should be cautious about visiting those areas.

Why Didn't Verification Work for Me?

There are several possible problems here. The first is that you successfully are verified, but did not yet activate the adult settings in preferences (general tab, rating) and search (each tab you want to see adult results for). The second is you provided payment info, and it did not show on your profile (submit a support ticket to fix this). Third is Age Verification failed because the database they are comparing your information to is incorrect, or the entry fields are incorrect for your country (Send photocopy of your ID info to Linden Labs)

Where is all this information in other languages

Some Knowledge Base resources are already translated into other languages. In case you'd like to help out with this, please join the CT Projects. When you'd like to translate this wiki page, please read Project:Languages and start your translation! :-)

6032: Adult-oriented content controls FAQ

Language Title Jira Last Update Note
English Linden_Lab_Official:Adult-oriented content controls FAQ   12/3/2009  
German Kontrolle nicht jugendfreier Inhalte - FAQ CT-283 N/A in progress 
French FAQ sur les restrictions concernant le contenu réservé aux adultes CT-280 2/4/2009  
Japanese アダルト向けのコンテンツの管理に関するよくある質問集 CT-284 July 31, 2009  

6362: How to become verified as an adult

Language Title Jira Last Update Note
English Linden_Lab_Official:How to become verified as an adult   15/6/2009  
German Altersverifizierung - Wie geht das? CT-402 29/6/2009  
French Comment être vérifié comme adulte CT-398 8/7/2009  
Japanese Adultとして認定を受ける方法 CT-399 2009/Jul/15  

6010: Maturity ratings: an overview

Language Title Jira Last Update Note
English Linden_Lab_Official:Maturity ratings: an overview   27/4/2009  
German Alterseinstufung: Ein Überblick CT-347 15/6/2009  
French Présentation des catégories de contenu CT-351 18/5/2009  
Japanese レーティング区分概要 CT-355 July 31, 2009  

Additional Questions: