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'Second Life' takes tough stance on taboos

Second Life citizens object to new rules banning certain sexual and violent behaviors.

Second Life has come under fire for some taboo sexual behavior among residents of the online world. Now maker Linden Lab is trying to lay down the law regarding what is and isn't permitted in Second Life, but not all its residents are happy about it.

Linden Lab image
Linden Lab

In a blog posting the company noted it would not tolerate certain activities within the virtual world, including "real-life images, avatar portrayals, and other depictions" of sexual acts involving children, sexual violence including rape, and other "broadly offensive content."

Violators could face sanctions, including termination of accounts, closure of groups, removal of content and loss of land, the blog said.

The message was not met with universal approval. Some citizens of the realm protested what they consider censorship, and are questioning who decides what is considered offensive.

Blog community response:

"I am afraid that this statement from Linden Lab overall is at best unhelpful, and for the most part fails to answer any questions, and raises many more."
--Second Life Insider

"Yes, banning real-life images of age play involving actual RL minors is understandable, as is the case for sexual and nonsexual RL extreme violence. But avatar portrayals of these types of activities--particularly when they are engaged in by consenting adults? That's thought-policing."
--Pixel Pulse Magazine

"Between this and some other bad news earlier today (Link), it's not looking good for Linden Lab. The dream of Second Life becoming the 'future internet' is fading fast for those who believed. I'm glad I wasn't one of them."