Linden Lab further clarify ageplay policy

Linden Lab have further clarified their policy on ageplay. The real clarity is around child-like avatars and what is acceptable behaviour – essentially anything sexual is out, including promotion of sex-related products by child-like avatars. The ongoing grey area revolves around defining what is child-like and what isn’t, something Linden Lab acknowledges in their clarification.

I’d also like to see the overall policy in one location, rather than a series of blog posts – hopefully this will occur in the near future. We’ve been clear in our support for Linden Lab’s efforts to date and this is an incremental improvement that should put no-one in doubt about what is acceptable in regards to the Terms of Service.

Is there anything in the clarification you disagree with? Do you feel the definitions are too strict or too lax?

The full announcement:

“We’ve had a number of questions from Residents regarding Second Life’s policy regarding sexual “ageplay,” i.e., depictions of or engagement in sexualized conduct with avatars that resemble children. This practice has been disallowed in recognition of our Community Standards, complaints from Residents, and international laws, so it’s important to understand the definitions.

Under our Community Standards policy, real-life images, avatar portrayals, and other depictions of sexual or lewd acts involving or appearing to involve children or minors are not allowed within Second Life. When detected, individuals and groups promoting or providing such content and activities will be subject to sanctions, which may include termination of accounts, closure of groups, removal of content, and loss of land or access to land.

There are three key aspects, which are in breach of the Community Standards:

(1) participation by Residents in lewd or sexual acts in which one or more of the avatars appears to represent minors (or the depiction of such acts in images, video, textures, or text) is a violation of the Community Standards;

(2) promoting or catering to such behavior or representations violates our Community Standards. For instance, the placement of avatars appearing to represent minors in proximity to “sex beds” or other sexualized graphics, objects, or scripts, would violate our Community Standards, as would the placement of sexualized “pose balls” or other content in areas depicting playgrounds or children’s spaces;

(3) the graphic depiction of children in a sexual or lewd manner violates our Community Standards.

We understand that in some cases there may be an element of subjectivity as to whether an avatar (or other image) appears to be a minor. Objective factors which will be used to decide include whether an avatar has child-like facial features, is sized as a child, has clothing or accessories generally associated with children, and whether, based on the circumstances, an avatar is speaking or acting like a child (e.g. “My Mommy says…”).

If you are in doubt as to whether an activity may be interpreted as ageplay, we request you err on the side of caution and desist. Please note that some countries’ laws may impose penalties for graphics, drawings or anime that resemble child pornography, even where no children have been involved.

Linden Lab reserves the right to immediately terminate the accounts of Residents who violate these standards.

Of course, any images, chat or other conduct which leads us to believe actual minor children are involved will lead to swift action, including reporting to the appropriate authorities.

Please note it does not violate this policy merely to have a child-like avatar. It is not our intent to banish child-like avatars in and of themselves.

We appreciate the Community’s continued support in reporting abuses of these standards, and we hope this helps answer any questions about this topic and our policy. To report a violation of the policy, please go to the Help/Report Abuse feature in your Second Life viewer, and follow the instructions given.”

Comments

  1. Thanks for your thoughtful post Gary – I couldn’t agree more that definition of behaviours is the real challenge here…

  2. Since I play a child avatar in S.L., this worries me deeply. I am in no way involved in ANY sexual ageplay, I abhor it, and find it revolting, sickening, and the sign of a deeply disturbed mind.

    However, since many individuals in SL do play either child avatar, or babyfur avatar, I’m concerned that there will be a ban on such avatar, and child-like behaviour in Second Life.

    Something as innocent as a diaper change, and yes, many child avatars and babyfurs do wear diapers in S.L. could be construed as ‘sexual ageplay’ when for the people involved, it is nothing more than a caring gesture that an adult or parent would do for a child.

    While I have seen no animations for nursing, I have seen bottle feeding, and other close cuddle animations that, to some overzealous person would, or could, appear to be sexual ageplay, when in fact it is not.

    Community standards are wonderful. In real life, we have standards which are upheld be our law enforcement agencies, as they should be. Child abuse, and child pornography are two very large ones that have come to light in the last few years, and it is necessary to hunt down and prosecute those people.

    Since Second Life is supposed to be between adults, the reason for the Teen Grid, who is to determine what is and what is not appropriate.

    Please, yes, find the pedophiles and evict them, find them in Real Life and put them in jail before they harm someone. Coming from a history of childhood abuse, and having my sister raped as a child, I want that very badly.

    But, consider what is happening. Blatant sexual act with a child avatar violates the stated Community Standards set forth by Linden Labs. It is wrong, and should be eliminated. However, please be willing to have an open mind when something isn’t blatant. That is equally as important, because what to you may seem one thing, from anothers eyes, may be totally innocent.

  3. Since I play a child avatar in S.L., this worries me deeply. I am in no way involved in ANY sexual ageplay, I abhor it, and find it revolting, sickening, and the sign of a deeply disturbed mind.

    However, since many individuals in SL do play either child avatar, or babyfur avatar, I’m concerned that there will be a ban on such avatar, and child-like behaviour in Second Life.

    Something as innocent as a diaper change, and yes, many child avatars and babyfurs do wear diapers in S.L. could be construed as ‘sexual ageplay’ when for the people involved, it is nothing more than a caring gesture that an adult or parent would do for a child.

    While I have seen no animations for nursing, I have seen bottle feeding, and other close cuddle animations that, to some overzealous person would, or could, appear to be sexual ageplay, when in fact it is not.

    Community standards are wonderful. In real life, we have standards which are upheld be our law enforcement agencies, as they should be. Child abuse, and child pornography are two very large ones that have come to light in the last few years, and it is necessary to hunt down and prosecute those people.

    Since Second Life is supposed to be between adults, the reason for the Teen Grid, who is to determine what is and what is not appropriate.

    Please, yes, find the pedophiles and evict them, find them in Real Life and put them in jail before they harm someone. Coming from a history of childhood abuse, and having my sister raped as a child, I want that very badly.

    But, consider what is happening. Blatant sexual act with a child avatar violates the stated Community Standards set forth by Linden Labs. It is wrong, and should be eliminated. However, please be willing to have an open mind when something isn’t blatant. That is equally as important, because what to you may seem one thing, from anothers eyes, may be totally innocent.

  4. Thanks for your thoughtful post Gary – I couldn’t agree more that definition of behaviours is the real challenge here…

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